Eagles should beat Bears, but it's a game to be wary of
Game is tough to figure, because so much rides on the early Dallas-Washington game.
EAGLES (-3.5) over Bears
The NFL has moved this game to prime time but the possibilities make it very tough to handicap, and it all hinges on what Dallas does earlier in the day. If the Cowboys lose at Washington, the Eagles (8-6) will claim the NFC East title by beating the Bears. And the amazing part is, it's only 6 weeks after being under .500 and down to the third-string quarterback. If the 'Boys win, this game becomes somewhat irrelevant for the Eagles, because with a win or a loss, the NFC East would be up for grabs next week when the Birds visit Dallas. However, the Chipster says that no matter which way the early game falls, he has no plan to rest his starters. Couldn't tell whether he was winking when he said it. So, Vic is gonna be very careful with this game, and play the Green, but kinda light. And since Da Bears really suck against the spread, covering only five of the last 19, we'll call the Birds.
BENGALS (-7) over Vikings
What an odd game last week. Minny comes in without All-World RB Adrian Peterson and backup Toby Gerhart, then proceeds to make the Eagles look foolish. Crazy, or, just another Sunday in the NFL. Now the Vikings have to travel to Cincinnati, with the key word being travel. The Purple People have not won a game on the road this season, in the United States (they won in London), while the Bengals are sheer perfection at home. Not only do they have a 6-0 record at Paul Brown Stadium, but they have outscored the opposition, 199-103, for an average of 16 points per game. But it's the last three in Cincy that really stick out. The Bengals put up 49, 41 and 42, while allowing 57. And Andy Dalton loves the home cooking, hitting on 63 percent of his passes overall, and has thrown 11 TDs in his last three games. All that makes this my Best Bet.
PANTHERS (-3) over Saints
This should be as simple as night and day, or home and road. Carolina is 6-1 at home, the only loss coming to the NFL's best team, Seattle, in the opening week. The Panthers are 5-1-1 against the spread in Charlotte, and are one of the most prolific money makers in the league, covering 12 of the last 17. New Orleans can't find any answers outside the Superdome, posting a 3-4 record away from home, and is pathetic against the spread, covering only one of seven.
Colts (+7) over CHIEFS
Don't be too impressed by Kansas City running up big numbers against the Raiders (4-10) and Washington (3-11). Those are the bottom feeders in the NFL, while Indy has already clinched the AFC South and should not be taken lightly. Not with Andrew Luck at the controls. The Horseshoes have been kinda inconsistent after the bye week, but with KC covering only two of seven at home, ya gotta take the dog in this spot.
JAGUARS (+5.5) over Titans
Neither team is going anywhere except the golf course at the end of the season, so why even bother with this game? Because Jacksonville looks like a tasty wager. The Jags have covered four of the last six, while Tennessee has covered only two of its last eight. And if we're talking AFC South, and we are, the Titans are atrocious inside the division, winning just one of the last 10.
Buccaneers (+5.5) over RAMS
Not quite sure why, but Tampa has perked up down the stretch, covering five of the last seven, and St. Loo is gonna have a tough time matching last week's intensity in that 27-16 win against New Orleans.
49ERS (-13) over Falcons
San Francisco beat Atlanta, 28-24, in the last NFC title tilt, but, boy, how things have changed. The Niners are still riding high, but the Falcs have turned into a sad sack of losers with a 4-10 record. Niners by at least two dozen.
Dolphins (-3) over BILLS
E.J. Manuel is gone and the Fish come in on a 5-0 spread run. Unless there's a snowstorm, Miami is your side.
WASHINGTON (+3) over Cowboys
Washington showed signs of life with QB Kirk Cousins last week, and Dallas cannot stop anyone.
JETS (-2) over Browns
Could be the ugliest game on the card, and that means only one thing: Monopoly money only.
TEXANS (+11) over Broncos
With Case Keenum out, Matt Schaub gets one more shot. Maybe he can find a Christmas miracle, or at least a backdoor cover.
Cardinals (+10.5) over SEAHAWKS
Just about impossible to win in Seattle, but Arizona has not failed to cover a spread since October 17 (5-0-2).
LIONS (-9) over Giants
Not sure why, but the Detroit players are backing Jim Schwartz, so we'll go along for the ride.
CHARGERS (-10) over Raiders
Since Oakland has only two wins in the last 13 on the road, we'll fly with the Lightning Bolts.
Packers (-3/-8) over Steelers
Has to be an either/or line here. With Aaron Rodgers, the Pack would be -8; with Matt Flynn, it would be -3. Light play at -3, even lighter play at -8.
RAVENS (-2.5) over Patriots
With a ridiculous 29-4 record at home the last four years, gotta roll with Baltimore.