Dallas Cowboys (-5.5) @ New Orleans Saints
Man, it has to be tough being a Cowboys fan. On paper this team should be able to compete with any team in the league. In games against TB, LAC, and NE they looked like a team that could compete and really win games. Yet, they came out flat against KC, and got absolutely embarrassed by LV on Thanksgiving. Now they have what looks like a cake matchup against a Saints team led by Taysom Hill and no Alvin Kamara on Thursday night. OH! And their head coach has covid. But, in my humblest opinion, that’s only going to make them better. Kellen Moore should be the head coach of this team but he is “too young,” yet he is the best coach on that staff still. Quinn is the interim, but he knows better than to take control of this talented offense. The Saints have scored 20+ points in 4 of their last 5 games. Dallas has allowed 16 or more points during that same time span, so I see this being closer than people expect. The 47 O/U seems too enticing for two great offensive minds and Vegas actually agrees. Once the news came out that Taysom Hill was starting, the line actually moved a half point greater. Hill is a competent QB and has proven to us that he is a winner. He knows the Saints scheme way better than Simeien ever did. That comfortability will help him move this offense in the right direction. Give me the Over 47 and sprinkle the Saints +6 on a parlay for some juice.
Minnesota Vikings (-7) @ Detroit Lions
How can one franchise have so many tremendously bad seasons. Looking at the Lions remaining schedule, it looks almost certain they won’t get a win this year. Goff looks abysmal. Their best offensive weapon Swift will be missing for a couple weeks and the coaching staff looks absolutely lost. Thankfully the defense for some reason has looked solid these last three weeks, or maybe that’s based on circumstance. The Vikings look solid but yet they can’t seem to win games. The defense absolutely dropped the ball against SF allowing them to run for 208 yards and thus allowing the niners to absolutely control the game clock. They will need to be better this game, and what better way than to beat up on the worst offense in football. Still with no Dalvin Cook for this game, I do believe the offense moves as normal with Mattison in the backfield. The Vikings have won 8 straight matchups against Detroit and I don’t see that stopping Sunday. The ML bet is going to be heavily favored for the book but for good reason. I just find it hard for Detroit to put up points in this one, and the 46.5 seems like too many. Give me the Under 46.5, and throw in a Mattison TD into a parlay for somer juice.
Arizona Cardinals (-7.5) @ Chicago Bears
For some odd reason Matt Nagy is still the coach for Chicago. Despite the fact that he has totally tanked the talent around this franchise. The team, on the other hand, has been playing some pretty solid ball the last couple weeks. They played Pittsburgh and Baltimore very tough, showing they have capabilities to be good. However, when it came time to flex against a weaker opponent, they couldn’t prevail against Detroit, needing some 4th quarter magic to win. That won’t happen against this talented Arizona squad. The Cardinals are looking like they will be getting Kyler back, and they could possibly be getting back the great Hopkins as well, after resting for multiple weeks. James Connor seems fresh, and I think him and Kyler will be able to take advantage of this 22nd ranked rushing defense in Chicago. Especially because Chicago has been top 5 against the pass over their last three. The 7.5 points is scary, especially if Hopkins isn’t healthy. I think if he isn’t there to take away the extra DB’s out of the box it could be a problem, so keep up to date with that news closer to game time. I find it hard to take either side in this as I see it’s completely possible both teams cover. I’m thinking the Cards take some time to warm up, and thus not allowing them to score 30+. With that sad, I like the Under 45.5 in this one.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-10.5) @ Atlanta Falcons
A funny stat about TB is the fact that last week was the first time they put up 30+ points on the road. We know how great Tom Brady is at home, but something lacks when they leave that perfect weather in Tampa. They have even played some easy competition like WFT, Philly, and NO away from home and lost two of those three games. But, how on God’s green earth can they let Atlanta keep this close. Atlanta seems like a team that should be way worse than their 5-6 record. When you play the NFC and AFC East, you’re bound to get some wins against other low level competition. However, they’ve been embarrassed by competent offenses on the year, and I don’t think that will stop Sunday. Tom has to get this team back on track, and nothing screams a get right game more than facing an Atlanta team who is giving up the second most points in the league this year. For once this week I’m not scared of the big number, and I’m taking Tampa to cover the 10.5.
Indianapolis Colts (-8.5) @ Houston Texans
Is this the week for heavier favorites?! The Colts coming in -8.5 seems like a lot, but after what they put up against Tampa, it doesn’t seem that bad. I mean Houston has lost 6 of their 9 games by double digits as it is. Now they are going to be hosting a pissed off Colts team who was one drive away from beating the defending Super Bowl Champs. Weirdly, though, this Texans team is better with Tyrod at quarterback. I’m not saying they’re good, but they’re not completely awful either. Indy has put up 30+ points in 6 of their last 8 games. Do we think Houston will score 21? Now do we think Houston will be able to hold them to 27 or fewer? What if I told you Houston is the 2nd worst team at defending the running game? JTT should absolutely feast in this game, barring injury. The 8.5 almost seems low, and I bet if the Colts beat Tampa last week we would see a line of 10+. Take the Colts -8.5.
Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) @ New York Jets
So when you see a line under seven against the Jets, that has to signal how much faith Vegas has in the offense playing New York. For good reason, though, as Hurts still hasn’t proven he can throw the ball in this league. Even with that said, give him some credit. He threw 3 interceptions against a Giants team who is top 10 in takeaways on the year. Hurts still isn’t a good passer, hell, he has more games under 200 yards passing than over. Thankfully, for the Eagles, the Jets are awful at both. The Jets are 2-8 ATS this year. That should give you some idea of how truly bad this team has been. The Eagles are solid at defending the pass, and to me that’s the only way the Jets can succeed. I hate the way the Eagles play – I truly do. But I’m reluctantly going to take the Birds to cover the 6.5 in this one.
LA Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals (-3)
Curious question to the reader – Is this line more based on LA not looking great, or more on Cincy thrashing the Steelers last week? I mean, we saw Mixon absolutely piece up Pittsburgh each and every drive last week, and LA is still the worst team in the league at defending the run. Cincinnati is the 8th worst team at defending the pass, with zero linebackers on their roster who can cover Ekkler in then the passing game. To me, this screams the game of the week being as both teams have everything to play for. Both divisions are still up for grabs, but ultimately this game seems more about Wildcard seeding than anything. I love what the Bengals did to improve their swagger. I love how it seems obvious that LA is coming into this game needing something to prove. 50.5 seems a little light, and I would’ve put this number at 53-54. I want the Over in this game, with Mixon getting a TD.
New York Giants @ Miami Dolphins (-3)
Miami is coming into this game winners of 4 straight, and New York is coming in off a hard fought win against a divisional opponent in Philadelphia. Both teams have pride on the line. A lot of people thought Miami was going to be better than their record currently says. A lot of people expected Daniel Jones to elevate himself into a better QB in this league, especially adding Kenny G and a somewhat healthy Barkley to the mix. Yet, both haven’t happened and now both franchises are faced with a possible reality of having to look forward to next year. Miami, however, has a history of turning things on later in the year. Tua is getting more and more comfortable in the offense after knowing that he is 100% the starter. Honestly, I think this line should be a point or two more into the favor of Miami. The Giants haven’t looked great all year, but the defense has kept them in every single ball game. I think this game is close but not 3 points close. Miami ML -154
Washington Football Team @ Las Vegas Raiders (-3)
Primetime has a way of making people overreact to teams in a way, but both of these teams proved themselves respectfully last week. The Raiders came out strong against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, putting up 30+ points for the fifth time this season. The Raiders are actually 6-0 when they score 20 or more points. WFT was an absolute force defensively on Monday night against a fading Seattle team. They forced Seattle to 7 straight drives of three plays or less, and totally minimizing any DK Metcalf explosion. The takeaway for me is the fact that, despite those efforts, they still almost lost. The offense looked like it played to not lose, as opposed to trying to win, which scares me. WFT doesn’t look like a playoff team to me but they are hot as of late. LV is a playoff team that needs wins in order to secure themselves a spot. I think Vegas is going to take advantage of the 30th ranked passing defense in Washington. Washington is also allowing that magical number of 20+ points in every game but two. Carr is looking like true leader and deep down I think he takes this team to second place in the AFC West, alongside a Wild Card spot. Las Vegas ML -144
Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Ugh – As a Steelers fan this is one of the harder games to cover. On one hand, I believe Lamar is going to ball out against this Pittsburgh defense that has given up 41 points in back to back games. We also have a Pittsburgh team who is the worst at stopping the run over their last three games, giving up 195.3 on average. We also know Baltimore is at their absolute best when they get a lead, and are able to lean on the legs of this team to coast them to a victory. However, for some reason, Lamar seems to look suspect against this Pittsburgh defense every time. His totals in 4 game so far are: a completion percentage of 57.9%, a TD/INT ratio of 3/5, 9 total sacks, and a QB rating of just 59.2%. I think the edge rushers in Pittsburgh are able to set the edge and contain Lamar better than others. Mike Tomlin gets the boys ready for this game against Baltimore better than others. Yet, I think this time is different. Ben looked abysmal in Cincy and I think we are seeing exactly what happened last year. Ben played solid for 10 games and then he fell off. Last week showed me the reality that I will sadly see the same thing this year. Baltimore covers the -3.5.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ LA Rams (-13)
This might just be the worst game to watch on the week. The Jaguars have looked absolutely awful for a large portion of the year, but somehow are cranking out a win here and there. But, this won’t be one. The Jags have nothing, and I mean nothing to protect or surround Lawerence with any quality talent. Which is sad because Lawerence could arguable be the best QB prospect we have seen come in since Andrew Luck. He is going to have his hands full all game, and I think the Rams are coming into this game pissed off. I imagine Aaron Donald will come in with the will to get multiple sacks, Ramsay wants a pick, and this team needs a win. That being said, I don’t know how the Jags are gonna score. A 48 point O/U seems steep to me. Will they score 20+? I don’t see it. Give me the Under 48.
San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) @ Seattle Seahawks
San Francisco is coming in as one of the hottest teams in the league. Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy G have put whatever differences aside from drafting Lance and willed this team into the playoff hunt. Jimmy has been great during this little hot streak, having a TD/INT ratio of 6/2. His ability to not only be careful with the football, but also effective, has only opened up holes for the running game they want to lean on. After seeing what holes Washington was able to open up, Shanahan should be foaming at the mouth for this Matchup. However, Russel Wilson has shown up and showed out against divisional rival San Francisco throughout all of his career. He has almost 4000 yards, 34 TD’s, just 9 interceptions, and a passer rating of 100.1 – All of those stats have led him to a 15-4 record against the 49ers. You can’t argue that’s pure dominance, but he wasn’t playing this team on the field for all 19 of those games. The Seahawks are coming into this game 1-6 over their last seven, and it’s honestly not looking great. Despite the talent at receiver, Russ can’t get any time back there. I think this is close, I mean 3.5 isn’t a lot of points, but the O/U of 45.5 isn’t too high either. I like the 49ers to cover the 3.5, and the Over 45.5.
Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs (-10)
Are the Chiefs back?! That is the giant question everyone wants to know. The Chiefs had everyone scratching their heads back on primetime when they played the Giants. Having a record of 3-4, the line looked awful, the defense couldn’t stop a child let alone a professional athlete, and all of that equated to Mahomes feeling like he had to do too much. But that win spurred a four-game win streak that included three teams currently in the playoffs. If you want to be pessimistic about something, it falls under the fact that this high power offense scored 20 points once. The Broncos, on the other hand, have their season on the line, and are coming off a huge win against LA last week. They got to Herbert 3 times, intercepted him twice, and won that game handedly. I honestly don’t know what Broncos team is going to show up. We have two teams who haven’t really been instilling fear in opponents. -10 seems a little steep and after doing some digging, the Broncos have lost their last 11 matchups against the Chiefs. Call me crazy, but maybe this team is due. I think they can force turnovers at a decent clip, they can get after the QB, and Teddy B is a gamer. I don’t know if they pull out a W but Broncos cover the +10.
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills (-2.5)
My oh my, who would’ve thought the Patriots, led by rookie QB Mac Jones, would be leading the AFC East in week 13? Unless you were a loyal Patriots fan, I highly doubt anyone did. Bill Belichick is showing that maybe Tom Brady didn’t do absolutely everything on his own. Bill has this team looking absolutely fantastic. Over the last four games they have out scored opponents 130-26. The notion about Bill eliminating your best option is still raining true. He forces you to rely on a gameplan that makes you uncomfortable, and that panic sets in. Teams don’t know what to do, and the defense capitalizes. Then you have Mac Jones playing mistake free, and leaning on the run to wear down the defense. The Patriots look like the best coached team in the NFL and, to be honest, its not even close. And if you don’t believe in the Patriot way, look at Mac Jones’ press conferences over the season. The man came in answering every question, now it’s “on to the next one.” It also would be silly to believe Bill doesn’t have a proper gameplan for Josh Allen. At one point Buffalo did look like the best team in the AFC, but a loss to Jacksonville and a thrashing from the Colts has the perception changing. I honestly believe Josh Allen will try his best to have a good game. But you best believe Bill drops 7 guys into coverage and asks one of the worst rushing offenses to dare run the ball. I’m going ballsy here. I want the Patriots to not only cover the 2.5 , but give me Patriots ML +122.