NFL Week Five Tips: Back the upsets in both Sunday evening Sky games
The NFL serves up a couple of cracking games this Sunday with the Jags and Eagles in action. Neil Monnery looks at those fixtures and more in his NFL tip sheet...
"Mike Carlson likes the Chiefs-3 whereas Mark Kirwan likes the Jags+3. They both make great points but I'm going with the away team to win outright at 13/10 on the money line. For me, defense still wins big games."
The big game of the week
Jacksonville travel to Kansas City in a match-up of two of the best from the AFC. The home side are 4-0 following late game heroics from Patrick Mahomes in Denver and the visiting Jags are 3-1 with only a letdown 9-6 loss to the Titans blotting their resume.
This encounter has all the makings of one the talking heads will spend hours debating come Monday. A breathtaking offense against a defense that will take your breath away.
For the Chiefs, their young QB passed his first real test with flying colours on Monday night. Down two scores away from home at a division rival, the 23-year-old engineered two fabulous touchdown drives. This wasn't the air-it-out-and-score-a-bunch Mahomes that we've seen through three weeks but a gritty find-a-way-to-win version, which is just as impressive.
Kareem Hunt got back involved with the offense in a big way (175 total yards) and the receiver corps played well enough down the stretch. Without a shadow of a doubt they are the surprise team through a quarter of the season, Sunday's game is a huge challenge, however.
The Jaguars showed us in their beat-down of the Patriots that they are very much for real. Defensively they are as good as the Super Bowl 50 winning Broncos. Up front they don't allow a lot of rushing yards and they can cover anyone you have out wide.
Offensively it is evident that they are somewhat limited. Blake Bortles has been boom or bust this season with two games under 200 yards, yet in the other two he's gone over 375. His passing yard over/under total is 264.5 and with a poor Chiefs D waiting, the Evens price for the over is very tempting.
Mike Carlson likes the Chiefs-3 whereas Mark Kirwan likes the Jags+3. They both make great points but I'm going with the away team to win outright at 13/10 on the money line. For me, defense still wins big games.
The second Sky game on Sunday is a repeat of the 2018 NFC Championship Game. The Super Bowl champion Eagles haven't recreated any of their form from a magical playoff run but sitting at 2-2 in a weak division, they have plenty of time to get Carson Wentz back to where he was a year ago before his injury.
As for the Vikings, at 1-2-1 and coming off a terrible home loss to the Bills and a shellacking at the hands of the Rams, they have many question marks. I still like Kirk Cousins and love their receiver corps but what happened to that vaunted defense? They need to step it up and remind us just how good they really are.
Give Sky their due, they don't always pick the best games but this week you can't argue with either of them. I like the upset in the first and I'm happy to follow that up with the upset in the second at 13/10 on the SBK.
Acca of the week
A treble this week all from the over/under lines. Over 58 in Atlanta @ Pittsburgh, over 50 in LA @ Seattle and over 46.5 in Minnesota @ Philadelphia. This is available at the time of writing at 7.41 on the Sportsbook.
The game in Pittsburgh has all the makings of a shootout. Neither team have shown much of a propensity for defense so far in this young season. The 58 is high but not scary at all.
I like the Rams to score 30+ against most teams they play. All Seattle have to do is get to 17 points and a big play here or there should be enough.
As for the Vikings' game in Philly, I think both offenses are ready to put on a show. Carson Wentz is getting there and Kirk Cousins even against a fine Rams D a week ago lit them up.
Last week I went with the Buccaneers winning straight up in Chicago. It is probably fair to say that wasn't the shrewdest superdog pick ever but who knew Mitch Trubisky would suddenly become what the Bears moved up to draft to get and the magic in Ryan Fitzpatrick's arm would spectacularly run out?
This week I'm going to Pittsburgh where the home side are giving three points to a very good offense in the Falcons. Something smells in the Steel City and Matty Ice is lighting it up. Give me Atlanta+3 all day long but straight up, I'm still more than happy at 6/4.
The long-shot of the week
A five-fold all in the anytime touchdown scorer markets coming in at 153.05 at the time of writing is my long-shot of the week.
Calvin Ridley, John Brown and Adam Thielan to go along with the return of Mark Ingram and a potential start for Alfred Blue gets them added to this list.
If you are a fan of the 3TDs for both teams in each half bet then the best choice this week is Atlanta @ Pittsburgh at 150/1
The full picks
Each week I'll pick every game bar the Thursday game according to their handicap on the SBK at the time of writing (home team in caps):
JETS (+1) over Broncos
Giants (+6.5) over PANTHERS
BILLS (+5.5) over Titans
Ravens (-3) over BROWNS
Jaguars (-3) over CHIEFS
BENGALS (-6) over Dolphins
Packers (-1) over LIONS
Atlanta (+3) over STEELERS
Raiders (+5) over CHARGERS
49ERS (-3.5) over Cardinals
Rams (-7.5) over SEAHAWKS
Vikings (+3) over EAGLES
TEXANS (-3.5) over Cowboys
SAINTS (-6.5) over Washington
Two hooks cruelly took me down last week but still batting over .500
Last week: 5-8-1
Season Record: 30-27-1
Back Jacksonville to win straight up at 13/10 on SBK (Sportsbook)
Back the over in Pittsburgh, Seattle and Philadelphia at 7.41 (Sportsbook)
Back Atlanta to win straight up at 6/4 on SBK (Sportsbook)
Back each team to score over 3TDs in each half in Falcons @ Steelers at 150/1 on SBK (Sportsbook)