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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

First win no guarantee for struggling Chargers

Eagles can build on two divisional wins

Odell Beckham had a big game for the Giants in Philadelphia
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Best handicap bet
Philadelphia +2.5 at LA Chargers

The NFC East is traditionally one of the closest-fought divisions in the NFL and this season looks like being no different.

However, Philadelphia, who were the last team to successfully defend the division in 2004, have gained a great advantage by winning against rivals Washington and the New York Giants, and there seems no reason to believe they will slip up at the Chargers today.

Quarterback Carson Wentz looks to be flourishing in his sophomore season after a tricky campaign last year and on the pitch the signs are good.

Kicker Jake Elliott should also be buzzing after firing home a monster 61-yard field goal to beat the Giants last week.

They do have some injury concerns defensively, but the loss of diminutive running back Darren Sproles for the season should be offset by the use of LaGarrette Blount.

The former Patriot is in a different type of player, but he averaged six yards per carry against the Giants and looks set to be used extensively against a team who have conceded at least 140 rushing yards in two of their matches this season.

Other NFL stories and tv-match previews

Week Four power rankings

New Orleans v Miami

Pittsburgh at Baltimore

Oakland at Denver

Indianapolis at Seattle

The Chargers, who moved to Los Angeles from San Diego in the off-season, have found life difficult in their new home as the Tinseltown public have so far failed to take the team to their hearts.

They have yet to post a win this season but while they were close against Denver and Miami, three turnovers cost them against AFC West rivals Kansas City.

Quarterback Philip Rivers has struggled to get things going in his last two matches and when he is not on song, the Chargers tend to stand still.

This could prove another day when they fail to get over the line.

Next best
Cleveland +3 v Cincinnati

The Cincinnati offence finally got going against Green Bay last week - they were 21-7 ahead at half-time - but an overtime defeat at Lambeau Field will have been deflating.

The Bengals were dismal in home matches against Baltimore and Houston - they claimed just nine points from those two clashes - and it would be no surprise if the crowd turned on a team who won just six games last season and look unlikely to reach the playoffs this time.

The chances of crowd hostility are more likely as they face a team who are also winless and will see the match as a massive opportunity to get off the mark.

Cleveland won just once last season, but a succession of disappointing campaigns have allowed them to recruit some decent young talent through the draft.

There are hopes that this year's number one pick, defensive end Myles Garrett, could be available to make his debut after an ankle injury and his inclusion would be a huge boost.

If the Browns use running back Isaiah Crowell more to help rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, they have a chance of getting off the mark.

Best total-points bet
Over 38 points in Jacksonville at New York Jets

Little faith has been put in the offences at Jacksonville and the New York Jets, but a 38-point line is modest and is one that could be eclipsed.

Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles blows hot and cold but they should be boosted by last week's 44-7 romp over Baltimore at Wembley.

Rookie running back Leonard Fournette has taken to the demands of the professional game comfortably while the Jets have so far not proved the absolute disaster many predicted.

Despite the absence of running back Matt Forte, they have scored 20 points in their last two matches, including last week's victory over Miami, and they can make their presence felt.

Best player bet
O Beckham to score a touchdown

The New York Giants are still looking for their first win of the campaign and a lot of the burden of getting their season going is falling on the shoulders of star receiver Odell Beckham.

He stepped up in last week's agonising defeat to the Eagles and with such a poor running game, he is likely to be the focus for quarterback Eli Manning as they head to Florida to take on Tampa Bay.

Beckham missed the opening match against Dallas, but contributed two touchdowns against Philadelphia, so there is a feeling his season is now up and running.

Philadelphia +2.5
2pts 28-29 188Bet
Cleveland +3
1pt Evs general
Over 38 points in Jacksonville at New York Jets
2pts 10-11 Betway, BoyleSports, Hills
O Beckham to score a touchdown
2pts 6-5 Sky Bet

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The loss of diminutive running back Darren Sproles for the season should be offset by the use of LaGarrette Blount
E.W. Terms
Sky bet