GIANTS (-3) over Eagles
Two teams going nowhere, playing for nothing. Jeffrey Lurie just pink-slipped Chip Kelly, so I guess we can't use the term "Kelly's Heroes" anymore. On the New York side, head coach Tom Coughlin has one foot out the door. So, if anyone can sit across the table from me and tell me that they can figure out the right side in this game, I'll listen. And if you tell me, or anyone tells you, that this game is a stone-cold lock, run. Will the Birds be happy to get out of Chip's cage and go nuts against the New Yorkers? Or, will Eli Manning go ballistic with Odell Beckham Jr. back in the lineup? So many questions, and, really, not many answers. The only wager I would like to make in the finale, if I can find it is, how many carries DeMarco Murray will have. Saturday night, he had five for 27 yards. This week, it's gotta be at least double-digit carries, and well over 50 yards. That you can take to the bank.
Patriots (-10) over DOLPHINS
Throw poison arrows at New England and the response is ferocious. The NFL suspended Tom Brady for "Deflategate," but he didn't serve a New York minute. What the Brady Bunch did was rip off 10 straight wins before losing at Denver. One of those W's was a breezy 36-7 victory over Miami. But did you know that the Dolphins brought additional personnel with them in October to ensure that no Patriots staff members would have reason to tamper with their equipment before the game? Yeah, that really helped. So, now the Pats head to Florida with a chance to secure home field throughout the playoffs, and all we have to lay is 10. Looks as if Matt Moore will probably get the start at quarterback in place of Ryan Tannehill, which is more good news for New England, since Moore has thrown - and completed - only one pass this season. One! The Fish come into the finale on an 0-6 spread run, and lucky No. 7 is only 60 minutes away. As is another victory for my Best Bet.
BILLS (+3) over Jets
The AFC New Yorkers have done everything right the last five weeks, beating the Dolphins, Giants, Titans, Cowboys and Patriots. Very impressive. So a win at Buffalo should be a piece of cake right? Nope. This is the game Rex Ryan wants more than any other game. The Buffs would finish the season at a respectable 8-8, but, way more important, a W would knock the Jets out of the playoffs. And you can watch Ryan dancing all the way to the locker room.
TEXANS (-6) over Jaguars
After starting the season at 1-4, Houston has roared back to win seven of the last 10, and, with a W in front of the home folks, will clinch the AFC South. Granted, the South is as weak as the NFC East, but the division title puts the Texans in the playoffs. And with Jacksonville coming to town, we kinda think it's over before it starts. The Jags have compiled a 1-15 record on the road the last two years, so we suggest you play the money line (Houston is -$275), as well.
Lions (+1) over BEARS
Not quite sure why Matthew Stafford had to save his best work for the second half of the season, but that's a fact, Jack. Detroit went 1-7 in the first half, but has rebounded with a solid 5-2 mark (straight up and against the spread) after the bye week. Even with all the problems early, the Lions found a way to beat the Bears (37-34), extending a streak that has grown to 5-0 dating back to 2013. And remember, Chicago sucks at home, winning only one of the last 10.
Redskins (+3.5) over COWBOYS
Totally get that Washington has clinched the NFC Least, and might be resting some players eventually, but making Dallas, which has lost 11 of the last 13, a favorite here is absurd.
PACKERS (-3) over Vikings
Green Bay looked horrible on Sunday against Arizona, while Minnesota was lights out against the New York Giants. Look for the tide to turn at Lambeau, where the Packers have won 14 of the last 16.
PANTHERS (-10) over Buccaneers
It ain't perfect anymore, but Carolina has more than enough to squash the visitors from Tampa Bay by double digits.
BENGALS (-9) over Ravens
Cincy needs help (a Denver loss) to clinch a bye, but will not need any help beating Baltimore.
FALCONS (-4) over Saints
Not thrilled about Atlanta as a favorite, but, with two straight wins, we'll lean that way, but lightly.
Steelers (-10) over BROWNS
After going totally ugly against the Ravens on Sunday, gotta look for the Steel Men to flatten Cleveland.
Raiders (+6.5) over CHIEFS
KC will probably be on the road to open the playoffs and not super-pumped for this game, so maybe a backdoor cover for Oakland.
COLTS (-6) over Titans
Lines don't get any more tentative than this, but, at this point, we are leaning Indy. If it gets much higher, we'd switch sides.
BRONCOS (-9) over Chargers
Denver can clinch the AFC West with a win, and San Diego will not stand in the way.
Rams (-3.5) over 49ERS
St. Loo is closing with a rush, winning and covering three in a row. Make it four against the Niners.
Seahawks (+6.5) over CARDINALS