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The Rams have established themselves as the team to beat in the NFC, but they have not always done it in a convincing fashion with a number of close calls along the way. Chicago was on the road to elite status in the conference, but last Sunday’s stunning loss brought it back to earth.
The play in this one hinges on Trubisky's playing status. With his current "questionable status", I will lay the points and take the Rams to cover.
Dallas on the road will undoubtedly be a significant step-up for the Eagles in competitive quality compared to beating up on a snake-bitten Washington team on their own turf, last Sunday. The writing is on the wall with this one, as the Eagles went from a 5.5-point favorite last week (despite covering by 7.5 points over the number) to an initial four-point underdog this week before initial public action on Philadelphia pushed the champs to their present offering. This 9.5-point swing showcases the market's reluctance to buy into a repeat performance like we saw on Sunday Night by Philly and we will take such a position as well. Dallas wins and covers on its own field to keep its late-season surge flowing.
While the Redskin injuries have severely damaged the post-season outlook of Washington, they are still in contention for the NFC East or a wildcard berth in the playoffs as they are right in the thick of both races. A win here keeps those hopes alive. For New York, they remain at the bottom of the division and towards the basement of the conference with their season pretty much called a wrap. We posed the query of the wrong team being favored here, and that is only heightened by motivation levels here as well. Skins win outright.
Jacksonville lost to Tennessee 9-6 in Week 3 as a heavy 10-point home favorite so you can see why the total is set so low for Thursday’s rematch. You probably cannot go wrong with a play on the UNDER this time around despite the low number and the SU lean is towards a Tennessee sweep.
The Titans are still in the AFC playoff race, and they have shown a knack for winning games. I still think this will be a three-point game either way, so I am taking Jacksonville and the 4.5 points.
The Panthers have announced Ron Rivera will take over defensive play-calling duties. Carolina also fired DL coach Brady Hoke and DB's coach Jeff Imamura. DC Eric Washington will stick around, but he will oversee the defensive front seven with Rivera taking on a more significant role. In the midst of a four-game losing streak and fading out of playoff contention, the Panther's had to try something. While the Browns hold a 3-2-1 home record this season, Sunday against the Texans was the first time Baker Mayfield looked like a rookie QB. The Panthers have struggled on the road this season with a 1-5 record but should come out ahead of the Browns in Week 14.
The Ravens will be the 5th top-8 defense in Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed to QB’s that Patrick Mahomes has faced his season. His passing lines in the first 4: 304-1-0, 303-4-1, 375-3-1 and 249-3-0. Despite how good the Baltimore defense is, it’s hard to see the Ravens offense keeping up with such a high-powered offense. Especially in Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs are 5-0 on the season, playing behind one of the NFL’s loudest crowds.
The overall impact of losing Smith at quarterback was rather evident in the recent loss to Dallas. The Redskins have gotten the best of things in this series in recent years, especially on the road, but the Eagles are still too good of a team to go down without a fight.
I like Philly SU, but it has a habit of making things as tough as possible on itself win or lose, so I will take the 6.5 points and take the Redskins ATS.
Overall, Oakland' season has been a colossal disappointment. However, the Raiders can salvage whatever is left if they somehow someway were able to pull an upset over their arch-nemesis. While the upset is unlikely, do not expect Oakland to lie down. The Black Hole will be rocking, and the Raiders will make a game of this match-up.
New England remains a perfect 5-0 when playing at home this season, while the Vikings are worse on the road than they are at home. If Rhodes is forced to sit, Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman have the ability to pick on any secondary with Tom Brady throwing to them. We expect this to be a close game, but we're siding with the home Patriots this week to do enough to get the win and the cover.
For a team like the Lions who allowed 10 sacks in Week 9 against the Vikings, who knows how many sacks Aaron Donald will rack up in this week’s matchup. Donald is an absolute freak, leading the league in sacks with 14.5 as an interior defensive lineman. There’s not much hope for the Lions in this matchup as we’re taking the Rams on the road this week.
The present number on the board is one that is very friendly to back the underdog Cleveland in this contest. The -6 hook with Houston would create an illusion of an easy cover if the Texans were to win by a touchdown. However, it likely won’t even come down to that. Cleveland is a dangerous team that still harbors the carefree and free-wheeling mentality of their formerly disenfranchised selves combined with the best talent they have had in years. The combination of these two ingredients makes the Browns a true value play here as they can potentially orchestrate an upset outright to end Houston’s winning streak.
This should be a great matchup with two of the top quarterbacks in the league trying to top one another through the air. Each team also has the ability to run the ball which puts even more pressure on the defense to slow the other side down.
With so much offensive star power on the field at Heinz Stadium this Sunday night, I would have a strong lean towards the total going OVER, but my “best bet” pick is Los Angeles covering with the 3.5 points.
The Saints started this extended run by just beating teams, including a close call against Baltimore on the road in late October. Since then, they have been running over teams with double-digit victories in their last five games. Dallas may be the best team in the watered-down NFC East, but it is just the next team in the way of New Orleans’ quest for the top seed in the NFC.
Lay the points on the road favorite with the Saints posting another double-digit win.
It is safe to say that Monday night is a must win for Tennessee to keep pace in the AFC South Division race, but it will be a tall task to get one against a red-hot Houston team playing this game on its home field. The Titans should still be able to keep this game close to make things interesting right through the fourth quarter.
While my lean in this one is with Tennessee ATS, I am betting that the total stays UNDER 41 points.
Push comes to shove in this heated division showdown in what is basically a playoff elimination game for each team. The Vikings have had the recent edge in the series, and they also have the advantage of playing Sunday night's meeting in their own backyard.
I still see Rodgers keeping Green Bay in this one all night long, so I will take the extra half point on the field goal spread in the Packers’ favor in a game they still might win SU.
This game will be the third-straight home game for the Colts, and it's hard to imagine them having any problems against the Dolphins. While we've seen some upsets this season, we don't expect that to be the case for the Colts who are favored -10 over the Dolphins this week. Take the Colts to win this game easily on Sunday.
This is a huge game for both teams that are battling for an NFC wildcard playoff spot. The Panthers are favored -3.5 at home this week and will try to remain undefeated at home this season. The Seahawks lead the all-time series with an 8-4 record and winners of six of their last eight matchups against the Panthers. Look for the Panthers to grab a much-needed home win over Pete Carroll and the Seahawks.