Paul Higham takes you through Sunday's NFL schedule with three best bets including a couple of well-priced road teams who could do the business.
For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record
Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills
Always playing for second place in the AFC East behind the Patriots must drive these teams nuts, but at least the Bills are having a decent go at it this season at 4-1 and they’re huge favourites against the winless Dolphins, who have far more chance of going 0-16 than they do of troubling the play-off picture.
The Fins are in the driving seat for the number one pick in the draft next year, where they’ll be selecting a quarterback judging by the benching of Josh Rosen, their supposed new hope, for ultimate journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick – who counts Buffalo as one of his numerous former teams. He’s produced sparks of ‘Fitzmagic’ before so Buffalo beware!
The Bills are more used to being 17-point underdogs than 17-point favourites – in fact they’ve not been favoured that much since 1992, but it's understandable given how bad Miami are, as they showed by somehow managing to lose to Washington last week.
Miami averages just over eight points a game, yes that’s just eight! And when you allow an average of 36 then it’s easy to see why they are where they are. Buffalo’s games have been tough defensive scraps without too many points so it may not be the hiding we all expect. Having them to win by 17 when they only score 18 on average each game is again another shocking illustration of the levels Miami have sunk.
The Bills will win, but they may not be able to cover such a lofty spread given their lack of points to date.
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
There’s not much separating these two teams and there are even conflicting thoughts on who exactly should be favourites – it’s the Colts by the narrowest of margins but in tight games like this it’s often individual brilliance that settles the contest, and that brings Houston’s Deshaun Watson into the equation.
Watson is playing at a level only Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes could match in the MVP conversation, and it's his ability to make plays with his arm and legs that could be the x-factor needed to clinch a win on the road.
Houston have a better offence, having piled up 84 points in their last two games, and their better rush defence means they’ll try and force Jacoby Brissett to win the game for the Colts and, while he’s a decent QB, he’s not elite.
Watson can win it for Houston at a decent price here.
New Orleans Saints @ Chicago Bears
It’s a tough game to be a quarterback on either side here with both the Bears and Saints ranking in the top 10 for sacks and QB hits. We’ve hardly got two stud triggermen involved either with back-up Teddy Bridgewater going up against either journeyman Chase Daniel or middle-of-the-road Mitchell Trubisky.
Bridgewater is no Drew Brees, far from it, but as a stand-in he’s still engineered four straight wins for the 5-1 Saints. He’ll have his toughest test to date however against a Bears defence that allows less than 14 points per game and never gives an opposing QB a moment’s peace.
If Saints running back Alvin Kamara misses out through injury that’d be a big worry, especially as the ground game could be the chink in the Chicago armour after lineman Akeem Hicks got injured.
Jet-lag could be a reason for Chicago’s London loss to Oakland, but New Orleans offer a lot more than the Raiders, and for a team on such a roll they’re worth backing at the odds in this one even when playing in such a tough road game.
NFL Week 7 schedule & results
Sunday, October 20, 2019
- Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta Falcons
- Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills
- Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals
- Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
- Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers
- Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
- Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants
- San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins
- Los Angeles Chargers at Tennessee Titans
- New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears
- Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks
- Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Monday, October 21, 2019
- New England Patriots at New York Jets
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