A few weeks back we gave you our preview of the new NFL season. However, since then we have had five weeks of action, with a fair few twists and turns and a good number of surprises.
Oh, and throw into the mix plenty of drama, especially on those prime-time Thursday, Sunday and Monday night games.
Now we know you are probably enjoying betting on the games, both pre-match and In Play with bet365 Sport and BetRivers Sportsbook (if you are based in the USA) and this week, we’re going to recap how the first few weeks of the season have gone in each of the eight divisions.
Then we will give you our best tips for the weekend’s action, which has a number of exciting games including Monday Night’s AFC match up between AFC East leaders, the Buffalo Bills and the AFC South leaders Tennessee Titans.
So, let’s now take a look at how each of the eight divisions stand after five weeks of action, starting with the four in the AFC.
American Football Conference Standings
- Baltimore Ravens – 4-1
- Cincinnati Bengals – 3-2
- Cleveland Browns – 3-2
- Pittsburgh Steelers – 2-3
The Ravens have dominated this division and but for a crazy loss on the opening weekend of action, they would have a perfect record. Lamar Jackson is in MVP contention once again after a superb start to the season and Baltimore seem set to be the team to beat in the North.
The Browns were expected to challenge them and are doing so, although the form of quarterback Baker Mayfield has been a bit erratic. The Bengals are the surprise team here having had a fine season so far and they do look like legitimate playoff contenders – the first Bengals team you can say that about for a while.
The Steelers started the season with a big win over Buffalo but have struggled since then although they did land another win on week five which keeps them in contention in the division.
- Buffalo Bills – 4-1
- New England Patriots – 2-3
- Miami Dolphins – 1-4
- New York Jets – 1-4
The Bills have totally dominated this division, bouncing back very strongly from their Week 1 loss to Pittsburgh to dominate their next four games and they look a class outfit, not just in the East but in the AFC as a whole.
The rest of the division looks pretty weak with the Patriots managing just two victories, both of them against relatively weak opponents, while the Jets and Dolphins are having their now customary struggles to win any games.
Buffalo look a good bet not just to win this division but perhaps to clinch home field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs at this rate.
- Los Angeles Chargers – 4-1
- Denver Broncos – 3-2
- Las Vegas Raiders – 3-2
- Kansas City Chiefs – 2-3
The big shock in the West has been the fall of the Chiefs who went from two Super Bowl appearances (and one win) in two years, to bottom of the division after five games. Their offense still shines bright, but defensively they have had all kinds of problems stopping teams scoring points on them.
The Chargers have been the top team in this division, winning a shootout against the Browns last weekend to go one game clear of the Broncos, who have lost their last two games, as have the Raiders, a fact which has kept the Chiefs in touch with the teams in the group.
The Chiefs are too good not to come through and finish at least second in this division, but the Chargers do look like the team to beat here.
- Tennessee Titans – 3-2
- Houston Texans – 1-4
- Indianapolis Colts – 1-4
- Jacksonville Jaguars – 0-5
Along with the East, the South is the weakest division in the AFC. The Titans have been the top team but they have been beaten by the Cardinals and Jets in recent weeks. The Colts struggles have been something of a surprise, given that they were a playoff calibre team last year.
It was always known that the Texans and Jags would struggle this season and so it has proved, only even with a 1-4 record, the Texans have been playing above expectations this season given their issues.
The Titans should win this division now, but given how erratic they have been this season, they will likely be the weakest of the divisional winner in the AFC.
National Football Conference Standings
- Green Bay Packers – 4-1
- Chicago Bears – 3-2
- Minnesota Vikings – 2-3
- Detroit Lions – 0-5
As expected the Packers have come through after a poor start on Week 1 to win their next four games and take control of the North. They are by far the strongest team in this division and should claim yet another title and playoff spot.
The Bears will be their closest contenders but they are still very much a work in progress, while the Vikings have been somewhat erratic this season and the injury status of Dalvin Cook hasn’t helped their progress either.
The Lions are having a typical Lions season in terms of results and they are one of two teams yet to win a game.
- Dallas Cowboys – 4-1
- Washington Football Team – 2-3
- Philadelphia Eagles – 2-3
- New York Giants – 1-4
This was a weak division last season, but Dallas look the strongest outfit in it this season and by a comfortable margin. I expect the Cowboys not just to win the division, but have a real shot at top spot in the NFC playoffs.
Washington and Philadelphia have both had mixed campaigns so far, with many negative issues, but some positives but it is clear that both these teams are ones in transition and they are way off the level of the Cowboys at the moment.
The Giants have been racked with injuries on offense and with their defense not firing either, it looks like being another long hard season for their fans.
- Arizona Cardinals – 5-0
- Los Angeles Rams – 4-1
- Seattle Seahawks – 2-3
- San Francisco 49ers – 2-3
Perhaps the toughest division in football with four teams rated by many as genuine playoff contenders. The Seahawks and 49ers have started the season surprisingly poorly and with Russell Wilson out for the Seahawks and the 49ers off to another poor start, it could be a tough few weeks for both these teams.
The Rams were the top team in this division but when the Cardinals got the better of them, it now appears as if the Cards will be the team to beat, however it is very close between the two and in truth, both should definitely make it through into the playoffs this season.
The Cards are still the only team in the NFL with a 100% winning record after five games and quarterback Kyler Murray is having a career season so far.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 4-1
- Carolina Panthers – 3-2
- New Orleans Saints – 3-2
- Atlanta Falcons – 2-3
Super Bowl holders Tampa Bay have dominated this division, despite the Panthers going 3-0. Since then the Panthers have lost their last two games and the Bucs have continued to pick up wins, including a big win over Miami last weekend.
The rest of the teams in this division are all much of a muchness and have had their positive and negative sides to their games this season. It could well be a very close battle between all three teams for which of them finishes second in this division behind the Bucs.
AFC Playoffs & Wildcards (seed in brackets)
- North – Baltimore Ravens (2), Cleveland Browns (5), Cincinnati Bengals (7)
- East – Buffalo Bills (1)
- West – Los Angeles Chargers (3), Kansas City Chiefs (6)
- South – Tennessee Titans (4)
NFC Playoffs & Wildcards (seed in brackets)
- North – Green Bay Packers (4), Chicago Bears (7)
- East – Dallas Cowboys (2)
- West – Los Angeles Rams (1), Arizona Cardinals (5)
- South – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3), New Orleans Saints (6)
This week’s games sees the start of bye weeks for some teams with Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers all on their Bye Week this week.
Outlined below, we have given you our moneyline tip for each of the games on Week 6 in the NFL, together with the odds from bet365 Sport, which were correct as of 9am on Wednesday 13th October 2021.
NFL Week 6 Fixtures & Tips
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Philadelphia Eagles – Bucs to win – 20/61
- Miami Dolphins @ Jacksonville Jaguars – Dolphins to win – 5/9
- Cincinnati Bengals @ Detroit Lions – Bengals to win – 4/7
- Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears – Packers to win – 10/21
- Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts – Colts to win – 2/9
- Kansas City Chiefs @ Washington Football Team – Chiefs to win – 10/33
- Los Angeles Chargers @ Baltimore Ravens – Ravens to win – 20/31
- Los Angeles Rams @ New York Giants – Rams to win – 1/6
- Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers – Vikings to Win – 5/6
- Arizona Cardinals @ Cleveland Browns – Browns to win – 5/4
- Dallas Cowboys @ New England Patriots – Cowboys to win – 1/2
- Las Vegas Raiders @ Denver Broncos – Broncos to win – 20/37
- Seattle Seahawks @ Pittsburgh Steelers – Steelers to win – 5/11
- Buffalo Bills @ Tennessee Titans – Bills to win – 2/5