NFL Tipsheet: Mini previews and recommended bets for Week 6 fixtures

Steady Teddy Bridgewater is a calming influence
Steady Teddy Bridgewater is a calming influence

Luca Bercelli continues his quest for winners with a tip for all of Sunday's games in week six

The Vikes are better than their 2-2 record


Recommended Bet
Back the Minnesota Vikings -3.0pts @ 2.01/1

Arizona Cardinals @ Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, 18:00

Mick Vick has got his mojo back in a big way in Pittsburgh, and his versatility and all round game were never more in evidence than in the MNF win v the Chargers. He's a handful to contain, especially with Le'Veon Bell drawing so much defensive attention. Some teams are built to deal with Micky Magic, some aren't; unfortunately for him the Cards are one of those sides that can pressurise the quarterback while simultaneously bottling up receivers. It's not a match-up that favours the Vickster. Add a fully firing offence to Arizona's suffocating defence and this is only going one way. I make this a seven-point ball game so only giving up 2.5, I like Arizona minus the points. I'll eat Bruce Arians' hat if they don't win.

Recommended Bet
Back the Arizona Cardinals -2.5pts @ 1.768/11


Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions Sunday, 18:00

Talk about deflategate; the Lions' post match press-conference last week had echoes of the Labour party HQ after the election. Doom and gloom everywhere and with good reason. A team that has been built around Megatron can no longer rely on the fading receiver to carry the offence and make Matthew Stafford look good. The organisation needs a major overhaul, and it's not going to happen mid-season despite the introduction of back-up QB Dan Orlovsky at the tail end of last week's hammering. Stafford will be the starter in week six and although a home fixture versus the Bears presents a golden opportunity to bounce back, I'm pretty sure that the result is only going to take the Lions one step nearer the number one draft pick and keep them on track to finish the season with a maximum of three wins. The Motor-city franchise has failed its MOT and will have to wait a while before it can trade in its decaying desperadoes for new parts. The Bears are not exactly flying themselves but with a three point start, should get the job done.

Recommended Bet
Back the Chicago Bears +3.0pts @ 2.01/1


Cincinnati Bengals @ Buffalo Bills Sunday, 18:00

Rex Ryan's hot air balloon has run out of gas earlier in the season than usual, and that's despite a win being notched up last week against the tiptoeing Titans. It was a performance that really put the crap into scrappy, and even Mr Spin himself couldn't find too many good things to say about a win that was fortuitous, boring and ugly. A scrambling quarterback such as Tyrod Taylor will find a way to notch a win here and there, but without a supporting cast, which the Bills seem to be lacking, sustained success will prove to be elusive. The handicap line here is ridiculous since the Bengals are one of the form teams in the league, and pumped full of confidence after their miraculous comeback against the champs last week. I'd be backing Carrot Top minus 9.5 so with only 1.5 points to give away, I'm all in.

Recommended Bet
Back the Cincinnati Bengals -1.5pts @ 1.84/5


Denver Broncos @ Cleveland Browns Sunday, 18:00

Josh McCown is playing well for the Browns, Mad Dog Manning is playing badly for the Broncos. Not one hack's opinion...but the facts. Offensively the Broncos are a mess, in two games this season they haven't scored a touchdown on offence, and despite this they sit atop the AFC West unbeaten at 5-0. That position is about as precarious as Humpty Dumpty's, it's only a matter of time until they come down to earth with a bump and start thinking the unthinkable...bench Mad Dog. It's not like they don't have a viable alternative - Brock Osweiler is a fourth year player who's had some experience and has looked the part when given a chance. I look forward to seeing him improve the Broncos at some point in the season. In the meantime, are the Browns capable of finding success against the league's number one defence? With McCown on fire, why not? I'll give them a shot with the points.

Recommended Bet
Back the Cleveland Browns +4.5pts @ 2.01/1

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, 18:00

There are some pretty dire match-ups this week, but this one must have created some e-tumbleweed on Stubhub. Even die-hard fans must be thinking this Sunday is a good opportunity to get the Christmas shopping done early. Both teams have a single win to their name and are looking down the barrel of long, frustrating and ultimately fruitless seasons. At least there are some glimmers of light in the Jacksonville camp. Blake Bortles is developing nicely, rookie running back T.J. Yeldon is a nugget, and 2nd year receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns have turned up at the party. The Jags seem to be a decent team in waiting whereas the Texans get more disappointing every time I see them. Lacking a decent QB to boot, they are likely to hand the title of 'worst team in the NFL with a 2-0 record' to Jacksonville. If this was on MOTD it would definitely be on last.

Recommended Bet
Back the Jacksonville Jaguars to win @ 2.1511/10


Kansas City Chiefs @ Minnesota Vikings Sunday, 18:00

The Vikes are better than their 2-2 record and should be able to handle a Jamaal Charles-less Chiefs without too much fuss. Young Edward Bridgewater, Minnesota's QB, has yet to hit top gear this season but I'm still a believer and expecting a big year from him. The stats are in his favour as Minnesota aim for their sixth home win in a row and only narrowly went down to the dominant Denver D the week before their bye; the Chiefs meanwhile have only scored one touchdown in the last two weeks. AP and Teddy versus Alex Smith and god knows who... surely no contest.

Recommended Bet
Back the Minnesota Vikings -3.0pts @ 2.01/1


Miami Dolphins @ Tennessee Titans Sunday, 18:00

The Tennessee defence looked nasty against the Bills last week, and if they can get to the ultra-mobile Tyrod Taylor that easily, they could give Ryan Tannehill back-to-back brown underpants games after he was chased all around Wembley by the Green Machine in week four. Miami can't get worse than they showed in Merry Olde England, and will be trying to make an immediate impression under new head coach Dan Campbell. He has replaced Joe Philbin's measured approach with a more Gung-Ho, competition-based attitude. He who shouts loudest, however, does not necessarily find success in the NFL, it's much more of a chess match with muscles than many people think. Campbell may have the winning formula (he's certainly got the talent at his disposal), but I won't be betting on it just yet. Give this one a wider berth than Oxford Circus at rush hour...but if you're hell bent on a punt, Miami are the value at odds-against.

Recommended Bet
Back the Miami Dolphins to win @ 2.166/5


Washington Redskins @ New York Jets Sunday, 18:00

No longer referred to as the J-E-S-T, the Jets really put a marker down in the Wembley turf two weeks ago. The most aggressive defence in the league was just too hot to handle for Ryan Tannehill and the dysfunctional Dolphins. Washington should provide a sterner test for the improving Planes, but even captain Kirk Cousins won't be able to escape the relentless blitzing by the Jets' defence. Russell Wilson, maybe, Captain Kirk, no chance. On offence the New Yorkers only rate a C+, but as long as they don't turn the ball over, the defence will suffocate the Skins. Expect this one to be low scoring so a play on the unders is a viable option. I'm firmly on board the Jets' revival rollercoaster and I take them to nail another W to the board, especially with the destructive Sheldon Richardson back on defence after suspension.

Recommended Bet
Back the New York Jets -5.5pts @ 2.01/1


Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks Sunday 21:05

The Hawks aren't far off their best and they were unlucky not to knock the Bengals off their perch last week when beaten in overtime. Crucially, an alternative to Marshawn Lynch emerged from relative obscurity with a break out rushing performance. Rookie Thomas Rawls really shone while gaining 169 yards and scoring a touchdown. He gives Seattle an added dimension that even Lynch doesn't provide, and that's a dynamic burst of pace rather than the battering ram approach. Tight end Jimmy Graham is the one area of concern. He's yet to fire for Seattle, but if and when he does, they will be a fearsome opponent for anyone in the league. Carolina roll into town defending a perfect 4-0 record but I'm pretty confident that Seattle can knock them off. The seven point line is a tad off-putting, however, so I'll take the unders and watch two stern defences do their stuff.

Recommended Bet
Back under 41.5pts @ 2.01/1


Baltimore Ravens @ San Francisco 49ers Sunday, 21:25

More low level fare here with another battle of the 1-4s. Both look poor, both look vulnerable, and both come here off sucker punch defeats. The Niners, however, did a lot of things right in their 27-30 defeat by the Giants, and getting burned by Odell Beckham Jr as they did repeatedly, is an occupational hazard in the NFL these days. CK Maxx looked perkier than he has for a while and threw some beautiful strikes to his old pal Anquan Boldin. If he can carry that form over into this clash, I think he'll use the home advantage to nick a win. I make this a pick, so odds of 2.26/5 for the win has to be the play.

Recommended Bet
Back the San Francisco 49ers to win @ 2.26/5


San Diego Chargers @ Green Bay Packers Sunday, 21:25

It's easy to look at Green Bay's 5-0 record and think that everything is rosy in the garden of the Superbowl favourites. Well, it's not. The Pack laboured to a tight win over the Rams last week in a game they could have easily lost if Nick Foles had played a bit better. Even God Mk II Aaron Rodgers threw a couple of interceptions (his first at Lambeau since 2012), and overall the offence was sub-par, a rarity for Green Bay. Rodgers is definitely papering over the cracks of a depleted and underperforming Green Bay offence, but if you want a painter and decorator to do your dirty work in the NFL, there is no one better than God II. The Chargers are a match for anyone on their day and they have a highly ranked offence (unlike Green Bay's opponents so far this season). This could be closer than the handicap suggests so I'll take the points.

Recommended Bet
Back the San Diego Chargers +10.5pts @ 1.834/5

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