The 2018 NFL campaign rolls into Week 6, featuring a host of key clashes as teams look to move up the division standings. Palmerbet Sports Team has NFL tips for the eight most intriguing clashes this weekend.
History: Played 170: Giants 85 V Eagles 83 (2 Ties)
Last meeting: December 17, 2017: Eagles 34 d Giants 29 at MetLife Stadium
Final Thoughts: The Philadelphia Eagles’ title defence is looking slightly shaky at 2-3. After winning two of their first three, the champs have lost back-to-back games to the Titans (OT) and the Vikings. Carson Wentz and his receivers are struggling for continuity.
The 1-4 New York Giants shape as an ideal palate-cleanser, however. Superstars Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr are under the pump after losses to the Saints (33-18) and Panthers (33-31) in the past fortnight.
The Eagles have won seven of their last eight against the Giants. But the last five encounters were all decided by margins of five points or less (four by margins of exactly five). The Eagles prevailed 34-29 on the road last season, with Eli Manning racking up 434 yards and three TDs in a losing effort.
Despite their recent struggles, this one should be a bit more comfortable for the Eagles.
History: Played 49: Falcons 25 V Buccaneers 24
Last meeting: December 18, 2017: Falcons 24 d Buccaneers 21 at Raymond James Stadium
Final Thoughts: These division rivals are both looking to arrest frustrating losing streaks.
The 1-4 Atlanta Falcons are at crisis point following narrow defeats to the Saints and Bengals, and a 24-point thrashing at the hands of the Steelers. Their injury-ravaged defence and a spluttering offence has all but kyboshed their post-season hopes.
The 2-2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers won their first two against the Saints and the Eagles. But the euphoria has well and truly subsided courtesy of a narrow loss to the Steelers and a 48-10 humiliation at the hands of the Bears.
The Falcons have won their last three against the Bucs, including a 34-20 success at home and a 24-21 away victory last season.
Neither side is inspiring any confidence of late, but the Falcons are hard to go past as a home option with both teams in awful form.
History: Played 26: Chargers 16 V Browns 9 (1 Tie)
Last meeting: December 3, 2017: Chargers 19 d Browns 10 at Stubhub Center
Final Thoughts: For a team that lost all 16 games last season, the Cleveland Browns’ 2-2-1 start is little short of a revolution. The long-suffering Browns have edged the Jets and Ravens in the past three weeks either side of an OT loss to the Raiders.
But the 3-2 LA Chargers are coming off consecutive wins over the 49ers (29-27) and Raiders (26-10). Phillip Rivers continues to pull out the big play but big question marks remain over their D.
The Chargers have won nine of their last 12 against the Browns, though the Browns have managed two wins in the past four clashes. Phillip Rivers steered the Chargers to a 19-10 home win last season with 344 yards and a touchdown.
The Browns are a blistering 5-0 against the line this season, but with little between these sides in the head-to-head stakes we have to have the better-credentialled Chargers.
Tip: Chargers Win @ $1.82
History: Played 13: Panthers 7 V Redskins 6
Last meeting: December 19, 2016: Panthers 26 d Redskins 15 at FedEx Field
Final Thoughts: The 3-1 Carolina Panthers came off the bye to edge out the Giants 33-31. They’ve put themselves in a handy position but their performance against the Giants was less than convincing, with Cam Newton picked off twice.
The Washington Redskins also came off the bye in Week 5 – with disastrous results. They were smacked 43-19 by the Saints to slip to a 2-2 record, with Alex Smith enduring a forgettable night.
The Panthers are on a five-match winning streak against the Redskins, whose last victory in the rivalry was back in 2006. Cam Newton put on a clinic in DC when the teams last met in 2016, leading the Panthers to a 26-15 win.
Last week aside, there’s been a lot to like about Smith and the ’Skins. The hosts look great value as narrow favourites at home.
History: Played 97: Steelers 62 V Bengals 35
Last meeting: December 4, 2017: Steelers 23 d Bengals 20 at Paul Brown Stadium
Final Thoughts: The 2-2-1 Pittsburgh Steelers are still searching for consistency but they are coming off a season-best 41-17 drubbing of the Falcons. QB Ben Roethlisberger called the tune as James Conner and Antonio Brown had a big day out.
The AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals have been one of the season’s surprise packets. Their 27-17 win over the Dolphins in Week 5 advanced them to a 4-1 record.
The Steelers have dominated this division rivalry in recent year, winning nine of the last 10 – including the last six straight. Last season the Steelers downed the Bengals 29-14 at home and 23-20 in Cincinnati, with Ben Roethlisberger throwing for two TDs in each win.
The Bengals head in as favourites at home but think the value lies with Big Ben and the Steelers in this one.
History: Played 13: Rams 8 V Broncos 5
Last meeting: November 16, 2014: Rams 22 d Broncos 7 at Edwards Jones Dome
Final Thoughts: The Los Angeles Rams are the only team in the NFC with a 5-0 record. They have been pushed by the Vikings (38-31) and Seahawks (33-31) in the past fortnight, but their offence – which is producing the third-most points in the league – keeps getting the job done.
The 2-3 Denver Broncos’ promising start has collapsed under the weight of three straight losses. They were embarrassed 34-16 by the Jets in Week 5. Their run game was poor and big question marks remain over Case Keenum’s claims as a top-shelf quarterback.
The Rams have won their last three against the Broncos, whose last win in the rivalry came back in 2002.
A traditionally strong home record won’t save the Broncos against a red-hot Rams offence.
History: Played 6: Jaguars 3 V Cowboys 3
Last meeting: November 11, 2014: Cowboys 31 d Jaguars 17 at Wembley Stadium
Final Thoughts: This is a crunch game for the 3-2 Jacksonville Jaguars, rated a dark horse at the start of the season. They have lost two of their last three, going down to the Titans and Chiefs either side of a win over the Jets.
The 2-3 Dallas Cowboys are coming off an overtime loss to the Texans. Dak Prescott is not getting support he needs from his receivers and only two teams in the league have scored less points.
The Jaguars boast a 2-2 record in Dallas.
The Jags need Blake Bortles to find his best form, but they should squeeze out a pressure-relieving win in Dallas.
History: Played 35: Chiefs 18 V Patriots 14 (3 Ties)
Last meeting: September 7, 2017: Chiefs 42 d Patriots 27 at Gillette Stadium
Final Thoughts: The 5-0 Kansas City Chiefs face arguably their biggest test to date – an away trip to take on the Patriots. But their confidence should be sky-high, with Patrick Mahomes continuing to enjoy a dream campaign. They hammered the Jaguars 30-14 at home last week.
New England are 3-2, chalking up back-to-back wins over the Dolphins and Colts by big margins. Tom Brady threw three touchdowns in each win and the Pats’ offence looks to be returning to its devastating best.
The Patriots have won six of their last seven at home against the Chiefs. But the Chiefs gained revenge for their 2016 AFC Divisional Playoff loss to the Pats with a 42-27 victory at Gillette Stadium early last season.
This should be an absolute cracker but a winner is very difficult to tip. We’re leaning towards the overs as the best option as two of the most potent offences in the league go toe-to-toe.