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Rich 7th Oct 2012 - 15:55

Can the Eagles fly high in the Steel City?

After a shock win for the Rams on Thursday Night Football, Week 5 of the NFL season promises to throw up some more surprises.

Here we feature previews of the three live games. Of course, you can find our Enhanced Sunday Treble, which this week combines a Steelers, Patriots, and Saints win to 5/2, from 9/4.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Pittsburgh Steelers

With the return of some of their more important players, including star defensive back Troy Polamalu, the Steelers come into a home game against eh Philadelphia Eagles off the back of a bye week.
The Eagles have started the season well, and after a last minute victory over bitter rivals New York Giants on SNF last weekend, they travel to Heinz Field on a high. However, their 3-1 record is not necessarily indicative of how the season has played out. Back-to-back one point wins over Cleveland and Baltimore was followed by a hammering at the hands of Arizona, and then they required a late FG to beat NY by only two points. So far, Philly's offense has been one of the most generous in turnovers, and whilst they have got it done in the big games, the Steelers pose a different threat.

That threat is encapsulated by Ben Roethlisberger, and the returning James Harrison and Troy Polamalu. After their bye, Pittsburgh will be raring to avenge their loss to Oakland, a defeat that was fully deserved. The performance in the Bay area was plainly un-Stealer, and sitting at 1-2 will have angered Tomlin and his staff. Perhaps the more important returning player is powerful RB Rashard Mendenhall, who will start his first game of the season and look to turn an anaemic rush offense around.

"Both teams with a disappointing aspects to the season, -3.5 Pittsburgh probably about right on home turf."

This will be one of the games of the weekend, and may see the Steelers coming from behind, so why not back my Tip of the Game: 13/2 on Eagles/Steelers Double Result.


Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots

Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. That is all that is important in this match. Literally nothing else matters.

Well, Denver's offense has gone under the radar, with a previously unfenced rushing game stepping up. They rank 5th in offensive production, and after Manning's three pick quarter to open the game against Atlanta, they have barely put a foot wrong. Of course, the road team's D is a well respected unit, and with star second year LB Vonn Miller leading the charge, New England's offensive line will have a long game if they repeat their first half performance from last weekend.

Trailing 21-7 at HT against the Bills, New England came back to annihilate them, scoring 45 unanswered points in the second half, including a breakout performance from RB Brandon Boldin. The Patriots running game is always a difficult beast to predict, considering the one of the premiere QBs in the league hands them the ball.

"Both teams coming off impressive wins last time out with a lot of points scored, this could easily turn into a shoot-out with two top notch QB's. -6.5 about right in terms of the handicap for which I am impartial, although I do like the over's."

Remember when Arizona went into Gillette Stadium and beat NE in a home opener; well don't expect more of the same here. Denver are good, New England are better. My Tip of the Game: 13/8 on Brandon Boldin to score a TD anytime.


San Diego Chargers @ New Orleans Saints

0-4! Yes, the team that lit the off-season alight with controversy now looks to have their season smouldering in front of their eyes as they head into the Sunday Night game of week 5 without a win.
The visit of the consistent San Diego Chargers will present a difficult task for any team, as Phillip Rivers metronomic production continues to play a big factor in the Bolts' success. After losing their top to receivers to Tampa Bay and injury, SD have utilised some lesser-known receivers throughout the year, and have relied on second string RB Jackie Battle to carry the rock due to first, an injury to ‘star' back Ryan Matthews, and now to attitude issues. Their D has stepped up, and will need to continue if they want to stop Drew Brees.

The Saints QB is looking to break the record for most consecutive games with a passing touchdown, currently held by Johnny Unitas, the legendary Colts Super Bowl winning QB. Of course, that is one highlight in what could be a devastating night for the Saints who still hold some ambitions, ludicrous or not, for post season football. A loss to San Diego, at home, on prime time, would spell the end to those hopes, and will rely on their pass offense to get the job done.

"A difficult match to weigh up, with New Orleans finally getting going last time out and San Diego a difficult one to fathom. -3.5 is about right although I do think both teams will put up a lot of points so again I'd like to be with the overs."

Most of the time, a team's record is indicative of the team's season, however there is little to no doubt the Saints are bet than a winless team. My Tip of the Game is 9/2 on New Orleans to win by 7-12 points,


Betting Previews presented by Richard Churchill & Fran Scott.


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