Week 5: Redzone Best Bets

Week 5 is upon us and although the 6pm slot doesn’t offer the most exciting book of fixtures, the blow is softened by the first of the London games kicking off at 2.30pm, meaning we don’t have to wait as long for our NFL fix. Let’s hope for a profitable week after a couple of misfires thus far this season.

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The Double:

£20 PAYS £72.80


Jets v Falcons (Neutral Venue) Over 45 Points:

We start in London for a game between two teams who have underwhelmed this season and both sit at 1-3.

The Jets have been good defensively this season, at least on paper but there are reasons to believe they are slightly flattered by their 23.5 points per game conceded (15th in the NFL). Firstly their schedule, which has seen them play three teams built around defense in the Broncos, Patriots and Panthers before they overcame the Titans last week who were without their only two top grade receivers in Julio Jones and AJ Brown. Secondly there is the performance of the defense in the Red Zone, the Jets have allowed opposing offenses in to to the redzone seventeen times (3rd most in the NFL) but have only allowed touchdowns on 35% of these visits. The Falcons may not be as wasteful if they afforded the same opportunities.

Atlanta’s offense has been far from elite this season but there are reasons to be hopeful for Arthur Smith’s team. Calvin Ridley is a top receiver and Kyle Pitts is showing signs of the ability that made him the fourth overall pick in the draft, throw in the emergence of Cordarrelle Patterson as a genuine threat in the receiving game and Matt Ryan (who is still a good quarterback) has some good weapons around him. The Falcons amassed 30 points against Washington last week and put up 25 against the Buccaneers, neither of these displays were padded with meaningless ‘Garbage Time’ scores. Atlanta can amass some points this week.

The Falcons defense has been a mess this season and has given up the most points per game in the NFL (32), while the Jets offense holds the honour of having the worst points per game in the league (11.8). They are not facing a New England, Carolina or Denver here though and rookie quarterback Zach Wilson showed he could take advantage of a leaky defense with a much-improved display against the Titans in Week 4 after being too bad too be true in New York’s touchdownless displays against New England and Denver. This Falcons defense present the ideal opportunity for Wilson to build on his Tennessee performance.

Take the over, the Falcons offense is good enough to put up points against most defenses and Wilson’s men can hold up their end of the bargain against a shambolic defense.

Washington Football Team 2020

Saints @ Washington (+2.5):

Often, the NFL is all about matchups. Washington may have found one here in their home stadium that finally gets their defense up and running for 2021. ‘The Football Team’ were meant to be a stud defense this season but it hasn’t quite materialised. Their problems have mainly come against the passing game (28th in the NFL) but they have the luxury of facing a New Orleans outfit that doesn’t possess the quarterback or the receiving corps to capitalise on this. New Orleans boast the least passing yards per game in the league with a paltry 144 yards per game, throw in injuries on the offensive line to pro bowl tackle Terron Armstead and center Erik McCoy and, Alvin Kamara aside, this is barely a passable NFL offense.

It’s hard to weigh up this New Orleans defense from what we’ve seen this season. They faced a clearly out of sorts Green Bay in Week 1 before Carolina beat them comfortably in Week 2, a result which was more down to New Orleans inability to move the ball on offense as opposed to any glaring defensive frailties. Week 3 saw them benefit from a Patriots offense built around efficiency being anything but efficient as Mac Jones threw three interceptions. Week 4 against the Giants may have been our best indicator of what this defense is, a unit with some strong individuals but enough weaknesses overall for opposing offenses to exploit. Daniel Jones had a career day with 402 passing yards as he carved up a New Orleans secondary which has serious holes outside of the likes of Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Williams. Washington’s offense has exceeded expectations and ranks 10th in points per game, Taylor Heinicke has shown he can be a serviceable quarterback in an offense which is reliant upon a dependable offensive line and some genuine playmakers in the skill positions. Terry McLaurin is outstanding, Antonio Gibson can go off at any moment while JD McKissic and Curtis Samuel possess more than enough ability to round off a useful enough offense. There’s enough here to cause the Saints some problems.

I just can’t have this Saints outfit as road favourites, their offense can’t hurt this Washington unit and they aren’t defensively strong enough to hold them down. The Washington moneyline may well be a play but for the purposes of the double we may as well take the 2.5 point start on offer.

player props treble:

£20 PAYS £153.07

Hunter Long

Mike Gesicki Over 40.5 Receiving Yards (Dolphins @ Buccaneers)

Gesicki has gone for 41, 86 and 57 yards in the last three weeks, he faces a Buccs team that has given up the most passing yards in the NFL this season and the Dolphins are going to have to throw the ball once they fall behind here.

Trevor Lawrence Over 248.5 Passing Yards (Titans @ Jaguars)

The number one pick faces a bad secondary and there’s a good chance he’ll be forced to throw when the Jags get behind. The Titans have given up 266.8 yards per game through the air, they gave Zach Wilson a career leg up last week and they can do the same for Lawrence here.

Aaron Jones Under 58.5 Rushing Yards (Packers @ Bengals)

Jones has been limited in practice this week and second year rusher AJ Dillon went 15 for 81 when given a more prominent role last week against the Steelers. I expect to see Dillon take snaps again this week. Plus, this Bengals run defense is pretty good.

Michael Norbury