Last Week: 10-5
Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5) -2.5 at Atlanta Falcons (5-8):
After a huge win against the Cincinnati Bengals, the Steelers remain only a half game out of the division lead, but need to continue forcing the ball to Le’Veon Bell if they want to win and make the playoffs. The Falcons may have been awful for most of the season, but they still have the division lead and have been playing better of late.
Steelers win 35-28
Spread pick: Steelers
Washington Redskons (3-10) +6.5 at New York Giants (4-9):
The Redskins continue to have questions at quarterback, whether it be Colt McCoy or RG3, which makes their offense incredibly stagnant and impossible to watch. The Giants were able to snap their seven game losing streak against the struggling and they hope to end their underachieving season on a high note.
Giants win 24-13
Spread pick: Giants
Miami Dolphins (7-6) +7.5 at New England Patriots (10-3):
The Dolphins were defeated at home against the Ravens due to the inconsistency of Ryan Tannehill and the offense, which will likely end the Dolphins hope of making playoffs. The Patriots’ performance last week should scare opponents because they were able to rebound after a difficult defeat and the defense is playing at an extraordinarily high level.
Patriots win 28-13
Spread pick: Patriots
Oakland Raiders (2-11) -10.5 at Kansas City Chiefs (7-6):
The Oakland Raiders had a great win against the 49ers at home, which could ultimately cost the Raiders in the draft, but the recent play of Derek Carr has given confidence to the Oakland fan base. The Chiefs still have a chance to make the playoffs, but they must win the rest of their games and their offense needs to play at a significantly higher level.
Chiefs win 23-17
Spread pick: Raiders
Houston Texans (7-6) +7 at Indianapolis Colts (9-4):
The Texans have been hurt by quarterbacks who can throw the ball down the field to explosive wide receivers. Unfortunately, they may be playing against the best wide receiver-quarterback combination, Luck and Hilton. Although the Colts will most likely win the division anyway, this win would officially clinch them a playoff spot and allow Luck and the Colts’ porous defense to focus on the top teams that they will be playing in January and hopefully February.
Colts win 27-21
Spread pick: Texans
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11) + 14 at Baltimore Ravens (8-5):
The Jaguars may have only won two games, but they continue to play hard on defense under Gus Bradley and their offense has steadily improved over the past few weeks. The Ravens won a critical game last week against the Dolphins with their dominating defense and diverse offensive attack, but they need to continue winning, if they are going to catch the Bengals in the division or claim one of the wild card positions.
Ravens win 21-13
Spread pick: Jaguars
Green Bay Packers (10-3) -4.5 at Buffalo Bills (7-6):
Although they did not play well during the second half of the game against Atlanta, they have established themselves as the premier team in the NFL, especially if they can have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Bills were in the playoff hunt, but unfortunately have to play the Broncos and Packers in back to back games, which will ultimately extend their playoff drought to 15 years.
Packers win 31-21
Spread pick: Packers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-11) +4.5 at Carolina Panthers (4-8-1):
Although the Bucs possess dynamic weapons of offense, Doug Martin, Mike Evans, and Vincent Jackson, they cannot score more than 17 points in a game, which puts too much stress on a lackluster defense to stop opposing offenses during every possession. The Carolina Panthers received terrible news when they found out that their starting quarterback, Cam Newton, will likely be missing the game due to two broken vertebrae caused by a devastating car crash.
Panthers win 17-13
Spread pick: Buccaneers
Cincinnati Bengals (8-4-1) +1.5 at Cleveland Browns (7-6):
Whenever the Bengals have a chance to solidify themselves as one of the better teams in the league, they always lose. The Bengals need a big performance from the defense in order to confuse the Browns and their new starting quarterback. The debut of Johnny Manziel is the moment that every Browns’ fan has been waiting for since they drafted him in the first round.
Bengals win 24-17
Spread pick: Bengals
Denver Broncos (10-3) -3.5 at San Diego Chargers (8-5):
The Broncos are currently tied with the Patriots for the best record in the AFC so I expect Peyton Manning to put forth a very impressive game plan against a tough San Diego squad. The Chargers are another 8-5 team that has the chance of making the playoffs, but need their offense to take a step forward after being shut down by the Pats at home last week.
Broncos win 24-21
Spread pick: Chargers
Minnesota Vikings (6-7) +7.5 at Detroit Lions (9-4):
The Vikes’ offense has not been very impressive throughout the regular season, but the defense has been able to score and keep the team in games. The Lions have a great chance of making the playoffs, but the defense needs to play well and Stafford cannot throw interceptions so they can win this game at home.
Lions win 24-17
Spread pick: Vikings
San Francisco 49ers (7-6) +10 at Seattle Seahawks (9-4):
The 49ers will not make the playoffs this season, but they are always can be a difficult matchup because they are proven winners and have the to potential to play a physical brand of football, which gives many teams problems. Like last season, the Seahawks seem to be hitting their stride at the best time because their defense, especially the secondary, is starting to put fear into defenses and the offense has been impressive because of their physical running game.
Seahawks win 21-13
Spread pick: 49ers
Dallas Cowboys (9-4) +3.5 at Philadelphia Eagles (9-4):
The Boys were unable to establish their offense on Thanksgiving Day, which desperately needs to change if they want to give Romo enough time to pass. The Eagles control their own destiny in the NFC East because they have been able to apply pressure on the quarterback and McCoy has reestablished his past form which made him one of the best in the league.
Eagles win 31-27
Spread pick: Eagles
New Orleans Saints (5-8) -3.5 at Chicago Bears (5-8):
Although the Saints have a lot of talent and an extremely high payroll, they are one of the most disappointing teams this season. Miraculously, they still have the chance to make the playoffs and have a home game, if they can win out or at least just finish above the Falcons. The Bears are very similar to the Saints because they have a dynamic offense while their defense has been horrendous.
Saints win 24-20
Spread pick: Saints