We are already a quarter of the way through the 2017 National Football League season and the playoff hunt is starting to take shape. After falling just short in last week’s accumulator, I am back to try and go one better this time around. Check out my thoughts on the American football action before Sunday’s fixtures...
Cincinnati Bengals vs BUFFALO BILLS
The Bengals were slow starters but a change at offensive co-ordinator has helped Cincinnati massively. Andy Dalton isn’t in that top bracket of quarterbacks by any stretch but he can do a job – especially if AJ Green is in the mood. Offensively, the Bengals have struggled but they are beginning to find their feet.
Meanwhile, Sean McDermott deserves plenty of praise for his efforts since being appointed as Buffalo Bills head coach. The AFC East side are 3-1 so far this season and they rank as one of the top defensive units statistically. In the NFL, defence tends to trump offense and Bills fans will be eyeing up a shock postseason berth.
TIP: Buffalo +3.5 on the handicap @ 17/20
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS vs San Francisco 49ers
No Andrew Luck? No problem for the Colts this weekend. Indianapolis have failed to inspire confidence in recent weeks but Jacoby Brissett has shown enough to suggest that the Colts can win this game. There are still major question marks over Indy’s defence and coaching staff but the AFC South side look well priced to win here.
Brian Hoyer isn’t a long term fix for San Francisco and the 49ers are attempting to rebuild a menacing defensive unit before focusing too much on offense. San Francisco are going to struggle to keep pace with their NFC West rivals but a win here could be the catalyst for the 49ers to push on this year. Expect Indy to shade a fairly low scoring encounter.
TIP: Indianapolis to win @ 41/50
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES vs Arizona Cardinals
Philadelphia have been very impressive this season, winning three of their four games – that sole defeat came against the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. Carson Wentz looks like the real deal and the Eagles will only improve further as he gains more NFL experience. On the other side of the ball, Philly’s ball-hawking secondary make big plays on a weekly basis.
And then we have one of the NFL’s most disappointing franchises, the Arizona Cardinals. At the start of the season, most fans had Arizona to reach the playoffs but the Cardinals have shown very little. David Johnson’s injury has hindered their opportunity to shine but Bruce Arians’ position looks precarious and another defeat here won’t help his standing.
TIP: Philadelphia to win @ 9/25
Los Angeles Rams vs SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Who’d have thought it, the Rams are 3-1 and TOP of the NFC West. Young quarterback Jared Goff has been solid this year but the biggest factor has been Sean McVay. Los Angeles have the youngest head coach in the National Football League and his enthusiastic approach has Rams supporters dreaming of a surprise run to the playoffs.
Pete Carroll’s men have coasted so far this season but it hasn’t all been plain sailing. Seattle were rampant in the second half against Indianapolis though and Seahawks supporters will be hoping that they come out on top in this NFC West divisional encounter. This is arguably the most risky leg in this weekend’s accumulator...
TIP: Seattle +1.5 on the handicap @ 20/21