The race for the Super Bowl is starting to take shape. With a handful of teams already out of playoff contention, the National Football League landscape is about to get a little strange for a couple of weeks.
This week, four playoff-hunting franchises make up my top tips ahead of Week 10 – the defending Super Bowl champions New England look well priced to defeat the Denver Broncos on the road. Check out my views on the action below...
Buffalo Bills vs NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
I’m a big fan of new Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott and some punters will be shocked to see me siding with the visiting New Orleans Saints here.
Winning on the road against the Bills is no easy feat but New Orleans have something special going on right now and the NFC South leaders can prosper in what could be a feisty affair.
Future Hall of Famer Drew Brees is making smart decisions with the football whilst the New Orleans defence – so often their Achilles heel – is making game-changing plays on a regular basis.
Throw versatile running back Alvin Kamara into the mix and the Saints have the tools required to challenge for Super Bowl glory; 8/11 to beat Buffalo is a decent price.
TIP: New Orleans to win @ 8/11
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS vs Los Angeles Chargers
Defensively, you’d be hard pressed to find a franchise that can compete with the Jaguars at the present moment.
League-leading in numerous categories, Jacksonville are building momentum in the AFC and it would take a brave man to back against them. The Jaguars have allowed a combined seven points in their last two games – that’s Super Bowl-winning form.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the Chargers. Sluggish for the first month of the 2017 campaign, Los Angeles have found their feet in recent weeks.
Quarterback Philip Rivers is far from perfect and his own performance could be a huge factor here. If he continues to make bad throws and force things, Jacksonville may run away with it.
TIP: Jacksonville to win by two points or more @ 8/13
Denver Broncos vs NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Brock Osweiler will get a second opportunity to lead this Denver offense but expecting an immediate change would be foolish – especially against the New England Patriots.
Initially, the defending Super Bowl champions struggled to contain their rivals and actually ranked as one of the worst defensive units in the NFL. But those struggles are over...
New England’s defence has stepped up to the plate in recent weeks and, as history tells us, they are about to get even better. The Patriots tend to hit top form in the second half of the season and they are deserved favourites to win the Super Bowl in 2018.
For now, a win here – valued at 8/25 – will have to suffice for Bill Belichick’s men.
TIP: New England to win @ 8/25
CAROLINA PANTHERS vs Miami Dolphins
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has taken plenty of flack in recent years but he is still as resilient as ever.
Carolina need ‘Super Cam’ to be at his brilliant best for the rest of the year – especially with Greg Olsen on injured reserve and Kelvin Benjamin now with Buffalo. This one could get ugly for Miami if Newton is on top form this weekend.
Trading away Jay Ajayi raised a fair few eyebrows across the National Football League but the Dolphins have stuck by that particular decision.
This was always going to be a tough year for Miami after Ryan Tannehill’s setback but Adam Gase’s men have exceeded expectations – most believed they would struggle. The playoffs are within reach but this one might be a stretch too far...
TIP: Carolina to win by nine points or more @ 22/25
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*