INDIANAPOLIS @ JACKSONVILLE
The Colts claim that they will not begin resting starters yet and if that is the case they are 69 percent favorites to stay undefeated. If Peyton Manning rested the Colts only have a 42 percent chance. For the Jaguars to beat the Colts playing at full strength they will need Maurice Jones-Drew to break out of his slump of 4 straight games under 80 rushing yards. If MJD has at least 80 rushing yards the Jaguars have a 45 percent chance. There is a 41 percent chance MJD has 100+ rushing yards and if he does this the Jaguars are slight 51 percent favorites.
DALLAS @ NEW ORLEANS
The Cowboys December struggles are well documented and with DeMarcus Ware doubtful their pass defense which allowed many big plays to the Eagles is expected to struggle against the Saints. Drew Brees is projected for 290 passing yards on 72 percent completion percentage and just a 47 percent chance of throwing 1+ INTs. For the Cowboys to upset New Orleans they need to have at least 2 Brees interceptions and Tony Romo needs to have no more than 1 INT. If Romo commits fewer turnovers than Brees the Cowboys are 60 percent favorites.
NEW ENGLAND @ BUFFALO
The Bills pass defense has played very well and they are holding Tom Brady to a simulation passer rating of just 55 percent chance that Brady throws at least 1 interception. Brady INTs have cost the Patriots this season and Buffalo has 25 INTs in 13 games. If Brady has 2+ INTs this week Buffalo is just a 47 percent underdog losing by a score of NE 23, BUF 22. If Buffalo forces at least 2 Patriots turnovers and the Buffalo running game averages 4.5 or more yards per carry the Bills have a 52 percent chance of upsetting New England.
OAKLAND @ DENVER
With Bruce Gradkowski likely out the rest of the season JaMarcus Russell or 3rd stringer Charlie Frye will start at QB and the Raiders chances in this game declined from 28 to just 20 percent. The Raiders only have an 18 percent chance of passing for 200+ yards. If they have 200+ yards the Raiders still only have a 20 percent chance of winning. For Oakland to upset Denver they need to be +2 in turnover margin and their running game needs to average at least 4.5 yards per carry. If they can do this the Raiders have a 67 percent chance.
ARIZONA @ DETROIT
The Cardinals are playing well at the right time of the season. The Lions defense has been horrible allowing opposing QBs to complete 70 percent for 29 TDs and just 8 INTs. Collectively, the opposing QBs would be the landslide MVP of the league. If Warner plays the entire game he is projected for 290 yards on 77 percent with a nearly 4 to 1 Pass TD to INT ratio. A Lions upset would require 3 things - The Lions are at least +1 in turnover margin and Maurice Morris, filling in for Kevin Smith, has a 75+ yard, 1+ TD game. In this scenario the Lions win 60 percent.
MIAMI @ TENNESSEE
Ricky Williams has averaged over 20 carries and over 100 yards since the Ronnie Brown injury. Chris Johnson is on his way to a 2000 yard season. Johnson is projected for 115 yards on 23 carries (5.0 ypc) and Ricky Williams is projected for 95 yards on 21 carries (4.5 ypc). The edge Johnson has over Williams is the key to Tennessee winning 57 percent of simulations. If Williams wins the individual match-up with 100+ yards on 5.0+ ypc and Johnson runs for no more than 100 yards the Dolphins are the 67 percent favorites.
CLEVELAND @ KANSAS CITY
AccuScore was one of the few sources that did not believe Matt Cassel was a legit starting QB. His 21 TD, 11 INT production in New England was actually pretty poor when you consider the overall talent of his team. His sub-55 percent completion percentage and 13 TD, 13 INT ratio to go along with 13 fumbles (3 lost) make him one of the 7 worst starters in the NFL. In simulations he has just a 72 passer rating against Cleveland and the Chiefs are slight 52 percent favorites. If Cassel throws 1+ TDs and no more than 1 INT the Chiefs chances increase to 63 percent. However, if the Browns sack Cassel 4+ times, pressure him all game and force at least 1 INT, Cleveland is a 69 percent favorite.
HOUSTON @ SAINT LOUIS
The Texans may be headed to yet another disappointing 8-8 season, but fantasy owners should love the production they are getting from Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson. Schaub is projected for 280 yards, 2 TDs and Andre Johnson has a 45 percent chance of having at least 75 yards and 1+ TDs. If Johnson dominates the Texans are heavy 80 percent favorites. If the Rams defense can keep Johnson out of the end zone, intercept Schaub at least once the Rams, and Steven Jackson has at least one touchdown the Rams are 51 percent favorites, but there is only a 10 percent chance of this particular scenario occurring.
ATLANTA @ NEW YORK
The Falcons still do not know if Matt Ryan and Michael Turner will be able to play. If both are healthy enough to play the Falcons are just 47 percent underdogs, but without them they have just a 35 percent chance. The Jets should be able to run the ball effectively with Thomas Jones have a 55 percent chance of rushing for at least 75 yards and if he has 75+ yards rushing the Jets are 74 percent favorites. If Atlanta can force at least 2 turnovers and they hold Jones to under 75 rushing yards the Falcons are 67 percent favorites.
SAN FRANCISCO @ PHILADELPHIA
The Eagles offense is hot and Donovan McNabb is projected for a simulation passer rating over 95 and DeSean Jackson is averaging over 70 receiving yards on 18 yards per reception. If McNabb has 2+ TDs and Jackson has 70+ yards, 1+ TD the Eagles are heavy 80 percent favorites. If San Francisco hold McNabb to no more than 1 TD and at least 1 INT, while preventing big plays from Jackson (under 75 receiving yards), the 49ers are just 46 percent underdogs. If Frank Gore can average at least 4.5 yards per carry as well the 49ers are 51 percent favorites.
GREEN BAY @ PITTSBURGH
The Steelers are reeling but they are still favored to beat the hot Packers winning 58 percent of simulations. Pass protection is a key to this game. Ben Roethlisberger is getting sacked 3.9 times per sim, nearly as many times as Aaron Rodgers at 4.4. If Roethlisberger is sacked 4+ times and Rodgers is sacked no more than 3 times the Packers are 65 percent favorites. If the situation is reversed and Ben is sacked under 4 times and Rodgers 4+ times the Steelers are the heavy 75 percent favorite.
CINCINNATI @ SAN DIEGO
The Bengals successfully built a team to win the AFC North, but they are only 3-4 outside the division. Carson Palmer has passed for just 424 yards in his past 3 games and the Chargers have the 9th ranked pass defense. If Palmer can break out with 250+ yards, 2+ TDs to go along with 75+ yards from Cedric Benson then the Bengals are just a 44 percent underdog. If the defense can also intercept Rivers at least once then the Bengals are 53 percent favorites. However, if Rivers continues to play well with 2+ TDs and no more than 1 INT San Diego is the heavy 81 percent favorite.
TAMPA BAY @ SEATTLE
Both of these teams have been extremely unimpressive. Josh Freeman has 8 INTs in his past 2 games and is averaging over 2 INTs per simulation. If Freeman can limit himself to no more than 1 INT then Tampa Bay has a 43 percent chance, up from 26 percent. If Freeman also can have 2+ TDs Tampa Bay is the 58 percent favorite. Seattle needs their running game to average at least 4.5+ yards per carry. If they do this the Seahawks are heavy 80 percent favorites.
MINNESOTA @ CAROLINA
Whether Jake Delhomme plays or not is not having a significant impact on the game. In fact, when Delhomme plays the Panthers win 23 percent which is less than the 29 percent they win with Matt Moore. The Panthers can upset Minnesota if they do not turn the ball over which is Delhomme's major problem. If Carolina has zero turnovers their chances of winning improve to 52 percent, but there is only an 11 percent chance that Carolina does not have any turnovers. Carolina can also upset Minnesota if they hold Adrian Peterson to under 80 rushing yards, force at least 1 lost fumble and 2 total turnovers. In this scenario Carolina wins 53 percent of the time.
CHICAGO @ BALTIMORE
The Ravens are heavy favorites because Jay Cutler is averaging 1.8 interceptions per simulation. He has 22 INTs in 13 games (1.7 per game) and the Baltimore defense is 6th in interceptions. If Cutler has no more than 1 INT the Bears chances improve significantly from 24 to 39 percent. If the Bears defense can hold Ray Rice to under 75 rushing yards on top of Cutler not turning the ball over more than once, then the Bears are 58 percent road favorites. There is only a 9 percent chance of this particular scenario.
NEW YORK @ WASHINGTON
The Giants defense had nothing last week against the Eagles and the Redskins offense has been surprisingly effective with scores of 24, 30 and 34 points their last 3 games. If Jason Campbell has 250+ yards, Quinton Ganther averages over 4.0 yards per carry and the Redskins commit no more than 1 turnover the Redskins are the 63 percent favorite. If the Giants can force two or more Washington turnovers and Eli Manning throws no more than 1 INT then the Giants are the 68 percent favorite.