Detroit and Atlanta will descend on these shores this weekend but only the Lions will return with their pride intact...
Lions are known as the kings of the Animal Kingdom and so far this season, the Detroit defence is living up to that lofty expectation. They are ranked in the top five in points allowed, yards given per game and rushing yards allowed, dominating teams on that end of the field in every game.
On the other side of the field this Sunday in the second NFL game at Wembley this season stands the Atlanta Falcons, a team devastated by injuries on their offensive line to the point where they are playing tight ends and third-string players. All that says to me is that the Lions will decimate the Falcons in the UK, especially if game-changing wide receiver Calvin “Megatron” Johnson is fit to play. 87/100 with the -3 handicap looks nailed on for a team looking to continue their ascent to the top of the NFC North.
The pick of the games in the later kick-offs is the Philadelphia Eagles taking a visit to the desert to take on the high-flying Arizona Cardinals. Both teams have been excellent so far this season, the Eagles fast-paced offence blitzing through teams whilst Arizona have slipped by teams playing some stern run-defence and not buckling with persistent injuries on both sides of the ball.
When the two 5-1 teams face off this Sunday, you have to be leaning towards the Eagles even though the Cardinals are the best team against the run this season. Arizona’s QB play has been erratic at times and their depleted secondary, that is such a strength when all fit, will be bombarded by Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offensive strategy. The Eagles are at 6/5 to take the win and that’s a great price for a game that should go only one way.
To round things off on Sunday night comes a real clash between two Super Bowl winning quarterbacks as the New Orleans Saints host the Green Bay Packers at the Superdome. The Saints have been on a real slide as of late, currently holding a record of 2-4 whilst the Aaron Rodgers led Packers are at 5-2 with one of the most potent offenses in the NFL.
Much was expected of the Saints defence that produced so well last season and added some great pieces but they’ve failed to deliver so far, which has only put more pressure on their star quarterback Drew Brees. Expect them to stutter to another close loss against a Green Bay team on a roll. 21/20 represents strong value for the Packers to continue their excellent run in New Orleans.