We’re now into the seventh week of the 2017 National Football League season and the race for the Super Bowl is starting to take shape. After a slow start to the year, the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers are looking sharp in the AFC whilst the Philadelphia Eagles have romped into an early lead in the NFC.
If nothing else, one thing is for sure: we are set for another exciting weekend of American football action – here are my top tips...
Indianapolis Colts vs JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Andrew Luck is still side-lined so the onus will be on Jacoby Brissett to lead Indianapolis to victory here. The Colts are struggling to inspire confidence on both sides of the ball but T.Y Hilton could be the main difference maker once again.
Likely to be shadowed by star Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, that matchup may determine which side comes out on top. Jacksonville fell short against the Los Angeles Rams last time out but this could be the ideal opportunity for the Jaguars to bounce back.
Defeating the Colts in this all-AFC South contest could be the catalyst for Jacksonville as they look to make a legitimate run at the playoffs. At 13/20, they represent solid value considering their defensive prowess.
TIP: Jacksonville to win @ 13/20
LOS ANGELES RAMS vs Arizona Cardinals
The first Twickenham game of the season takes place on Sunday evening and the Rams look well priced to emerge victorious. Todd Gurley has matured into an elite running back this year and he is now a real force in the passing game too.
Jared Goff is playing some superb stuff under center right now and Sean McVay is blessed with a complete roster on both sides of the ball. Arizona’s offense looked much better with the experienced Adrian Peterson at running back last weekend and Bruce Arians will be demanding a similar effort here.
The Cardinals failed to inspire confidence on defence however and this aggressive Rams roster should see plenty of chances to score points in London.
TIP: Los Angeles to win @ 4/7
San Francisco 49ers vs DALLAS COWBOYS
The 49ers have lost six on the bounce but all six contests have been tight-knit affairs. This is where that run ends – but I don’t mean with a 49ers victory. I mean with a convincing Dallas triumph at Levi's Stadium.
Ezekiel Elliott’s spot at running back is secure for another two weeks but the Cowboys star may miss out in the near future. Offensively, Dallas have the tools to overpower their rivals and San Francisco may struggle to keep tabs on Dak Prescott and co.
C.J. Beathard carried the 49ers offense in the defeat to Washington Redskins last weekend and their luck will change at some point. The 49ers have shown glimpses of quality at times this year but Dallas should prove too strong and could run riot.
TIP: Dallas to win by seven points or more @ 49/50
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS vs Atlanta Falcons
Sunday’s late game sees the New England Patriots take on the Atlanta Falcons in a repeat of last season’s Super Bowl. We all know what happened on that day; Tom Brady inspired the Patriots to one of the greatest Super Bowl wins of all-time.
And I fancy another New England win here. Injuries have affected the Patriots this season but if anyone can cope, it is New England. Bill Belichick’s “next man up” philosophy is well and truly in play at Gillette Stadium – and their roster is paper thin.
The Falcons are arguably the stronger of the two sides heading into this one but playing in Boston may swing the contest in favour of New England. Should Matt Ryan and the Atlanta defence perform well, they stand a decent chance but I fancy the Patriots to edge it.
TIP: New England to win @ 13/20
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*