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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Cardinals should be punished for their sins

Baker can help Browns to rise again in Oakland

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson
1 of 1

Week four
Matches from 6pm Sunday

Top tip
Seattle -2.5
2pts 10-11 Ladbrokes

Seattle looked set for a fall from grace this year, after positing winning records for the last six seasons and reaching two Super Bowls in that time.

That looked to be the case when they lost their first two games this season in Denver and Chicago, but the good news for the Seahawks is that two other teams in the NFC West are looking in even worse shape. 

The LA Rams are already looking good for the divisional crown after winning their first four games, but second place looks a reasonable target for Seattle after San Francisco lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the season with a knee injury and Sunday's opponents Arizona have started in dire form.

The Seahawks posted their first win at home to Dallas last week and they could well get another against the Cardinals, who have benched ineffective quarterback Sam Bradford and will give rookie Josh Rosen his first start.

Seattle should be confident of giving him a baptism of fire given the weakness of Arizona's offensive line and his lack of practice time with the starters.

The Cardinals lost 24-6 to Washington in Week One before being obliterated 34-0 by the Rams. They raced into an early 14-0 lead aganist Chicago but failed to score after the first quarter and lost 16-14. More disappointment could follow in what could be a long season for them.

Next best
Cleveland +3.5
2pts 5-6 Betfred

Winning could become a habit for the Browns. Winless last year, their 21-17 success over the New York Jets was their first since they beat the Chargers on Christmas Eve, 2016.

But this time it's Oakland who are yet to register a victory and taking the Browns with a start appeals.

Hue Jackson's side have had three extra days to prepare, having played the Jets on a Thursday, which not only negates the disadvantage of a long cross-country trip, but also gave rookie Baker Mayfield more time to adapt to being their starting quarterback.

Mayfield, the top pick in this year's draft, showed impressive accuracy and poise after coming off the bench to replace concussed Tyrod Taylor and lead his side to a comeback victory.

The job is his now, but the Browns' strength this year is a defence led by Myles Garrett and bolstered by another rookie, cornerback Denzel Ward. Cleveland tied with Pittsburgh in their opener and went down to a narrow defeat in New Orleans but this looks winnable.

The Raiders have played well in patches under Jon Gruden but blew leads of 12 points against Denver and ten against Miami.

Best points bet
Over 21 Tampa Bay points
1pt 20-23 Ladbrokes

Tampa Bay have become one of the most entertaining teams in the NFL this season and while they look hard to trust to deliver results, points have been a feature of all their outings this season.

Last week's helter-skelter 30-27 defeat by Pittsburgh saw the best and worst of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who passed for 411 yards but threw three interceptions.

But however much of a hole they fall into, they will still be in games with receivers in Mike Evans, the emerging Chris Godwin and DeSean Jackson in their ranks.

Tampa Bay scored 75 points against two good teams in New Orleans and Philadelphia in their first two games and they should be hopeful of exceeding bookmaker expectations again for their game in Chicago.

The Bears held Arizona to 14 points last week but they should find the Bucs much more difficult to keep at bay.

Best player bet
T Eifert over 39.5 receiving yards
2pts 10-11 Sky Bet

Both offences should be productive when Cincinnati visit Atlanta. It might not be the 80 points the Falcons and Saints produced last week but there have been at least 52 points in all three of the Bengals' games this season.

Atlanta continue to be stricken with defensive injuries. They are already missing both safeties and a starting linebacker and Bengals tight end could be a key target for quarterback Andy Dalton.

Eifert is not a bad bet at 11-4 to score a touchdown at any time but preference is to back him to have 40 receiving yards or more. 

He recorded six catches for 74 yards in the defeat to Carolina last week, while the Falcons were struggling to control Saints tight end Ben Watson, who grabbed five receptions for 71 yards.

Eifert could get over the line in just two or three connections with his quarterback in a likely free-flowing game.

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The Cardinals lost 24-6 to Washington in Week One before being obliterated 34-0 by the Rams
E.W. Terms
Sky bet