Paul Higham has the pick of the best bets for Week Five in the NFL as the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders do battle in London.
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Chicago Bears @ Oakland Raiders (London)
The first NFL International Series game in London takes place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as the Raiders ‘host’ the Chicago Bears looking to earn back-to-back wins that would turn their season around.
After losing big last year, the Raiders arrived in the UK on Monday in a bid to acclimatise a bit better, while Chicago came in only on Friday when taking the opposite view that flying in as late as possible keeps disruption down to a minimum.
The Bears needed some extra time to get used to playing without injured starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, as veteran back-up Chase Daniel will make his third start in his two years with the Bears.
It’s the Chicago defence that is the star of this show though, especially with the story of the game Khalil Mack playing against his former side after transforming the Bears defence into something like their old Monsters of the Medway moniker.
Mack will now spend Sunday trying to get at his friend and former quarterback Derek Carr and his importance is shown up by one important stat – he’s had 17 sacks and ten forced fumbles since joining the Bears, while the entire Raiders team has mustered just 18 sacks and eight forced fumbles combined.
Games are usually tight and low-scoring in London as a result of the travel disruption, but especially with this Chicago defence in town it’ll be a tough battle for Oakland to overcome, and if touchdown-grabbing receiver Tyrell Williams can’t play that will make it an even bigger mountain to climb.
RequestABet: Khalil Mack 2+ sacks at 5/2
Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys
A marquee match-up between two marquee teams here and both of these well-fancied NFC giants are looking to respond after losing for the first time this season last week when both were favourites.
Dallas didn’t allow a touchdown but still lost to the Saints last week as their previously high-octane offence was expertly shackled while mistakes and a couple of untimely fumbles cost them the chance to extend their best start to the season in a decade.
Defence had been key to Green Bay’s 3-0 start before Aaron Rodgers was just unable to engineer a late comeback against the surprising Eagles last week, this time they’ll have to slow Ezekiel Elliott who’ll be desperate to kick-start a run game that managed just 45 yards against the Saints.
The Packers are 3-0 in their last three games in Dallas, and having new star linebackers Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith they’ll be looking to get after Dallas QB Dak Prescott with the Cowboys having injury problems on their offensive line.
New England Patriots @ Washington Redskins
You could hardly find a bigger gap between two sides in the NFL than the reigning Super Bowl champions and the hapless Redskins, and not just because one’s 4-0 and the other 0-4.
Tom Brady has been ordinary at best statistically so far, but Bill Belichick’s Patriots defence has been other-worldly through four games, and while they can become the first team in 31 years to go five games without conceding a passing touchdown, the Skins have had five starting QBs in less than a season.
The Bills really tested the Pats last week, but Buffalo looks like a genuinely decent sides this season, which is a far cry from the Redskins who allow the second-most points per game in the league – the number just don’t stack up for the hosts.
New England have the best defence in the league, allowing a miserly 6.8 points a game, and again it’ll be that unit that dominates – especially when getting after this week’s Washington QB Colt McCoy. The Pats defence has twice as many interceptions as anyone else and leads the league in sacks.
WEEK 5 NFL SCHEDULE
Sunday, October 06, 2019
- Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers
- Arizona Cardinals at Cincinnati Bengals
- Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
- Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants
- Chicago Bears at Oakland Raiders (London)
- New York Jets at Philadelphia Eagles
- Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
- Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans
- New England Patriots at Washington Redskins
- Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers
- Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys
- Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs
Monday, October 07, 2019
- Cleveland Browns at San Francisco 49ers
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