Tag Archives: NFC East

NFL Playoff Picture for Week 17

John Morgan
December 30, 2017 at 2:00 pm ET

The 2017 NFL regular season wraps up on Sunday afternoon. There is not as much drama this year compared to the week 17 of many previous seasons. The 2017 NFL playoff picture is relatively settled. In the AFC there are four teams battling for two wild card spots. The NFC still has one division title up for grabs, but has just two teams competing for one final playoff slot.

For the sake of clarity and sanity, ties have been omitted from the scenarios below.

 

AFC Playoff Picture for Week 17

12-3 New England Patriots
15½ point home favorites vs Jets.
Have clinched AFC East and a first round bye.
Clinch the #1 seed with either a win, or a Pittsburgh loss.

12-3 Pittsburgh Steelers
7 point home favorites vs Browns.
Have clinched AFC North and a first round bye.
Need a win plus a Patriots loss for #1 seed.
Are the #2 seed in any other scenario.

10-5 Jacksonville Jaguars
3 point underdogs at Tennessee.
Have clinched AFC South and #3 seed.
Locked into the #3 slot.

9-6 Kansas City Chiefs
3½ point underdogs at Denver.
Have clinched AFC West and #4 seed.
Locked into the #4 slot.

9-6 Baltimore Ravens
9½ point home favorites vs Cincinnati.
Become #5 seed with either a win, or losses by both Buffalo and Tennessee.
Become #6 spot with loss, and either Buffalo or Tennessee loses.
Miss playoffs with a loss, plus both Buffalo and Tennessee win.

8-7 Tennessee Titans
3 point home favorites vs Jacksonville.
Become #5 seed with a win, plus Baltimore loses.
Become #6 seed with a win, plus Baltimore wins.
Can still become #6 seed despite a loss if both Bills and Chargers lose.
Eliminated with a loss, plus a win by either the Bills or Chargers.

8-7 Los Angeles Chargers
8 point home favorites vs Oakland.
Become #6 seed with a win, plus both Tennessee and Buffalo lose.
Become #6 seed with a win, plus both Tennessee and Baltimore lose.
Chargers are eliminated with a loss, or if Tennessee wins, or if Buffalo wins and Baltimore loses.

8-7 Buffalo Bills
2½ point favorites at Miami.
Clinch #5 seed with a win, plus losses by both Baltimore and Tennessee.
Become #6 seed with a win, plus Baltimore loses.
Become #6 seed with a win, plus both the Titans and the Chargers lose.
Eliminated with either a loss, or if the Titans and Ravens both win, or if the Chargers and Ravens both win.

 

NFC Playoff Picture for Week 17

13-2 Philadelphia Eagles
3 point home underdogs vs Dallas.
Have already clinched NFC East and #1 seed.

12-3 Minnesota Vikings
12 point home favorites vs Chicago.
Will be the #2 seed unless they lose, Carolina wins, plus the Saints and Rams both lose.

11-4 Los Angeles Rams
3½ point home underdogs vs San Francisco.
Clinch the #3 seed with a win, or with losses by both Carolina and New Orleans.
Drop to #4 seed with a loss, plus a win by either Carolina or New Orleans.

11-4 New Orleans Saints
7 point favorites at Tampa Bay.
Become #3 seed with a win, plus loss by Rams.
Win NFC South and #4 seed with either a win, or Carolina loss.
Become #5 seed with a loss, plus a Carolina win.

11-4 Carolina Panthers
3½ point underdogs at Atlanta.
Clinch #2 seed and first round bye with a win, plus losses by the Vikings, Saints and Rams.
Win NFC South and #3 seed with a win, plus losses by both the Saints and Rams.
Win NFC South and #4 seed with a win, plus loss by Saints.
Become #5 seed with either a loss, or a New Orleans win.

9-6 Atlanta Falcons
3½ point home favorites vs Carolina.
Make the playoffs as #6 seed with either a win, or a Seattle loss.
Miss the playoffs with a loss, plus Seattle wins.

9-6 Seattle Seahawks
9½ point home favorites vs Arizona.
Make the playoffs as #6 seed with both a win, plus Atlanta loss.
Miss the playoffs with either a loss, or an Atlanta win.

 

NFL Playoff Picture Entering Week 16

John Morgan
December 23, 2017 at 2:00 pm ET

Entering Week 16 five teams have clinched a playoff spot. The Patriots, Steelers, Jaguars, Eagles and Vikings have all punched a ticket for the post season. Philadelphia is the only team thus far to earn a first round bye.

In the AFC six teams have been eliminated: the Browns, Colts, Texans, Broncos, Bengals and Jets. The Dolphins and Raiders are technically alive, but comatose and on life support. The Chargers are not in much better shape, even though they are only one game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West. Most likely it is Ravens, Titans and Bills battling for two wild card spots.

The Giants, Bears, Forty Niners, Bucs, Cardinals, Skins and Packers are all officially eliminated. Dallas, Seattle and Detroit face tall odds to get in. Philadelphia and Minnesota have won their divisions and will host at least one playoff game. The only way the Rams don’t win the NFC West is to lose twice while Seattle wins twice. The NFC South is probably going to send three teams to the playoffs. Games involving the Saints, Panthers and Falcons are the most intriguing over the next two weeks. Atlanta is at New Orleans this week, and then the Falcons host Carolina next week.

For the sake of clarity (and sanity), I will not consider ties in the following playoff scenarios. Yes, I know they can happen: just ask Donovan McNabb.

 

AFC Playoff Picture

#1 (11-3) New England Patriots
Home vs 8-6 Bills, home vs 5-9 Jets.
Have clinched AFC East and at least #3 seed.
Clinch #2 seed with win, plus a loss by either Jacksonville or Pittsburgh.
Clinch #1 seed with win, plus losses by both Jacksonville and Pittsburgh.
Clinch #1 seed with two wins regardless of what else happens.

#2 (11-3) Pittsburgh Steelers
At 4-10 Texans, home vs 0-14 Browns.
Have clinched AFC North and at least #3 seed.
Clinch #2 seed with win, plus Jacksonville loss.

#3 (10-4) Jacksonville Jaguars
At 4-10 49ers, at 8-6 Titans.
Clinch AFC South and #3 seed with either a win, or a Tennessee loss.

#4 (8-6) Kansas City Chiefs
Home vs 6-8 Dolphins, at 5-9 Broncos.
Clinch AFC West and #4 seed with a win, plus a Chargers loss.

#5 (8-6) Tennessee Titans
Home vs 10-4 Rams, home vs 10-4 Jaguars.
Clinch playoff spot with a win, plus losses by both the Bills and Ravens.

#6 (8-6) Baltimore Ravens
Home vs 3-11 Colts, home vs 5-9 Bengals.
Clinch playoff spot with two wins.

#7 (8-6) Buffalo Bills
At 11-3 Patriots, at 6-8 Dolphins.

#8 (7-7) Los Angeles Chargers
At 5-9 Jets, home vs 6-8 Raiders.
Eliminated with a loss.
Can win AFC West and #4 seed with two wins, plus two losses by Kansas City.
Scenario #1 as a wild card: win twice, Titans lose twice, Ravens win or lose out (don’t go 1-1), and Bills lose at least once.
Scenario #2 as a wild card: win twice, Ravens lose twice Titans win or lose out (don’t go 1-1), and Bills lose at least once.

#9 (6-8) Oakland Raiders
At 12-2 Eagles, at 7-7 Chargers.
Can only be a #6 seed, or miss playoffs.
Eliminated with a loss.
To make the playoffs the Raiders need to win twice while Buffalo and Tennessee both lose twice, Miami wins twice, and Baltimore wins at least once.

#10 (6-8) Miami Dolphins
At 8-6 Chiefs, home vs 8-6 Bills.
Eliminated with a loss.
Scenario #1 as a wild card: win twice, Titans lose twice, Bills lose to Pats, Chiefs lose to Broncos, and Raiders lose at least once.
Scenario #2 as a wild card: win twice, Ravens lose twice, Bills lose to Pats, Chiefs lose to Broncos, and Raiders lose to Chargers.

 

NFC Playoff Picture

#1 (12-2) Philadelphia Eagles
Home vs 6-8 Raiders, home vs 8-6 Cowboys.
Have clinched NFC East and at least #2 seed.
Clinch #1 seed with either a win, or a Vikings loss.

#2 (11-3) Minnesota Vikings
At 7-7 Packers, home vs 4-10 Bears.
Have clinched NFC North.
Clinch #3 seed with either a win, or a Rams loss.
Clinch #2 seed with both a win, plus a Panthers loss.

#3 (10-4) Los Angeles Rams
At 8-6 Titans, home vs 4-10 49ers.
Clinch a playoff spot with losses by the Falcons, Panthers and Lions.
Clinch the NFC West and #3 seed with either a win, or a Seahawks loss.

#4 (10-4) New Orleans Saints
Home vs 9-5 Falcons, at 4-10 Bucs.
Clinch at least #5 seed with a win over Atlanta.
Clinch NFC West and at least #4 seed with win over Falcons, plus Panthers loss.

#5 (10-4) Carolina Panthers
Home vs 4-10 Bucs, at 9-5 Falcons.
Clinch playoff spot with a win.
Clinch at least #5 seed with a win, plus Saints loss to Falcons.

#6 (9-5) Atlanta Falcons
At 10-4 Saints, home vs 10-4 Panthers.
Clinch playoff spot with a win.

#7 (8-6) Detroit Lions
At 5-9 Bengals, home vs 7-7 Packers.
Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
Scenario #1 as wild card: win twice while Falcons lose twice.
Scenario #2: win twice, and either Saints or Panthers lose twice, and either Seahawks or Cowboys win twice.

#8 (8-6) Seattle Seahawks
At 8-6 Cowboys, home vs 6-8 Cardinals.
Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
Must win twice plus Rams lose twice to win NFC West and #4 seed.
Scenario #1 as wild card: win twice, Panthers lose twice, and Saints lose twice.
Scenario #2: win twice, Lions lose at least once, and one of Panthers, Saints or Falcons lose twice.

#9 (8-6) Dallas Cowboys
Home vs 8-6 Cowboys, at 12-2 Eagles.
Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
Scenario #1 as wild card: win twice, Panthers lose twice, and Saints lose twice.
Scenario #2: win twice, Lions lose at least once, and of Panthers, Saints or Falcons lose twice.

 

NFL Week 16 Odds, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

 

NFL Week 11 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines: Pats favored by 6 vs Raiders

John Morgan
November 11, 2017 at 5:30 pm ET

The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has published their latest NFL Advanced Betting Lines. These early odds are posted prior to the following week’s games, including this past Thursday’s game between Seattle and Arizona. Also known as Look-Ahead lines, they give the adventurous sports fan an opportunity to wager on games up to twelve days away. Early lines offer a short opportunity to get a jump on odds that could be less favorable after Sunday’s games.

NFL Week 11 looks like it will have plenty of close games. There are no double-digit favorites, and only one game with a spread of more than seven. Home teams are favored in only half of the 14 scheduled games, and nine games have odds of 3½ or fewer points.

The week kicks off with Tennessee at Pittsburgh in Thursday night. In the early Sunday time slot there is what should be a great game between two NFC division leaders. The Rams are at Minnesota in a battle between two teams that have far exceeded expectations thus far in 2017. The winner will be in good position to head into the playoffs with a first round bye. LA has shown that all they needed was to rid themselves of Jeff Fisher, while the Vikings defense has carried the load after losing RB Dalvin Cook to a torn ACL.

In the late afternoon time slot the Patriots and Raiders renew a rivalry dating back to the inception of the American Football League 57 years ago. Players will face the challenge of the high altitude and smog of Mexico City in the 35th meeting between these two franchises. What’s the over/under on the number of times ‘tuck rule’ is mentioned on television that day? Don’t turn hearing that phrase into a drinking game; too many people will die from alcohol poisoning.

Week 11 wraps up with a pair of good prime time NFC games. On Sunday night the Eagles are at Dallas. Philly has a 2½ game lead heading into the week 10 games, and the Cowboys need a win to keep up for a chance of at least a wild card spot. Then on Monday night Atlanta is at Seattle. The two clubs have represented the NFC in the Super Bowl in three of the last four years. Both have underachieved somewhat this year despite their winning records, but still have enough talent to put together a long winning streak in the second half of the season.

NFL Week 11 Early Odds

Thursday Nov 16 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC
Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7)

Sunday Nov 19 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox
Detroit Lions (-2½) at Chicago Bears
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Miami Dolphins (-3½)
Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings (-3)
Arizona Cardinals (-2) at Houston Texans
Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints (-7)

Sunday Nov 19 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
Kansas City Chiefs (-9½) at New York Giants
Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Green Bay Packers
Jacksonville Jaguars (-7) at Cleveland Browns

Sunday Nov 19 late afternoon games
Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Chargers (-3), 4:00 pm ET on Fox
Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos (-2½), 4:30 pm ET on CBS
New England Patriots (-6) at Mexico City Raiders, 4:30 pm ET on CBS

Prime Time Games, 8:30 pm ET
Philadelphia Eagles (-1) at Dallas Cowboys, Sunday November 19 on NBC
Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks (-2), Monday November 20 on espn

Bye Week
Carolina Panthers
Indianapolis Colts
New York Jets
San Francisco 49ers

 

I like the Jaguars minus-7 against the Browns based on the numbers above. Another option is a three-point teaser two-game teaser. Bring Houston to plus-5 at home versus Arizona, and the Jags to minus-4 at Cleveland. For less risk (but a lower payoff) make it six points. That would give Houston more than a touchdown (+8) and Jacksonville just a minus-1.

NFL Week 8 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines: Pats favored by 7 at Chargers

John Morgan
October 19, 2017 at 6:00 am ET

The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has published their latest NFL Advanced Betting Lines. These early odds are posted prior to the following week’s games, including the Thursday Night Football game. Also known as Look-Ahead lines, they give the adventurous sports fan an opportunity to wager on games up to twelve days away. In other words, these week 8 odds are published prior to the week 7 games being played. If you are in Vegas and have a good feeling about a matchup further down the road, the Westgate offers an opportunity to get a jump on odds that could be less favorable after this week’s games.

The early week 8 games don’t offer a whole lot worth watching. Best of the lot in the early Sunday time slot involve the AFC East versus AFC West. The AFCE is currently a home favorite in both games. Buffalo (-2½ point) hosts Oakland, and the Chargers visit New England (-7).

Week 8 kicks off with a couple of mediocre games. Miami is at Baltimore on Thursday night, and Minnesota plays Cleveland in a Sunday morning breakfast game from London. Things improve in the late afternoon slot with Houston at Seattle and Dallas at Washington. Sunday night features Pittsburgh at Detroit, with the Steelers favored by three. Then we have a good (!) Monday night game to finish the week. Denver is at Kansas City in the 115th meeting between these two original AFL rivals.

 

NFL Week 8 Early Odds

Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens (-4½), Thursday October 26 at 8:30 pm ET on CBS

Minnesota Vikings (-7½) vs Cleveland Browns in London, Sunday October 29 at 9:30 am ET on NFLN

Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals (-3½), Sunday October 29 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1½), Sunday October 29 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox
Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills (-2½), Sunday October 29 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots (-7), Sunday October 29 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS
Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (-8½), Sunday October 29 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox
Atlanta Falcons (-7) at New York Jets, Sunday October 29 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles (-10½), Sunday October 29 at 1:00 pm ET on Fox

Houston Texans at Seattle Seahawks (-6½), Sunday October 29 at 4:00 pm ET on CBS
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (-1), Sunday October 29 at 4:30 pm ET on Fox

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Detroit Lions, Sunday October 29 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-6½), Monday October 30 at 8:30 pm ET on espn

 

NFL Week 16 Odds, TV Coverage and Broadcast Distribution

John Morgan
December 21, 2016 at 8:45 pm ET

With the NFL now playing games on Saturday, Week 16 features five nationally televised games. The week kicks off Thursday night with another NFC East prime time game, this time between the Giants and Eagles. Then with Christmas on Sunday the standard slate of games is moved back a day to take place on Saturday. On Saturday night Cincinnati is at Houston on the NFL Network. Then on Sunday there are two unopposed matchups. Late afternoon it’s Baltimore at Pittsburgh, also on NFLN. Then NBC has their normal marquee Sunday night game, with Denver at Kansas City. The week wraps up with Detroit at Dallas on Monday Night Football.

For out of town Patriot fans their is some good news. The Patriots-Jets game receives some fairly extensive broadcast distribution. That game will be available from most of the eastern seaboard, across the gulf states to Texas. It will also be shown in most of the northwest, from South Dakota to Washington as well as in Alaska.

The bad news is that Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts will again be calling the game. If you have surround sound set up as part of your entertainment system just mute (or unplug) the front center speaker. Voila! No more insane commentary from the Bird and the Beard.

The Patriots are listed as 16½ point favorites, which is the largest spread of the week. If you want to win $100 taking the Pats straight up without any points then you would have to risk $2500 to do so.

CBS has the single game this week and most of the western states will receive Indianapolis at Oakland in the late time slot. On Fox Minnesota at Green Bay will be televised almost everywhere in the early time frame. After that the eastern United States gets Tampa Bay at New Orleans, while most of the west receives Arizona at Seattle. Unfortunately fans in California are stuck with the 49ers at Rams dumpster fire.

 

NFL Week 16 Schedule and Odds

10-4 New York Giants at 5-9 Philadelphia Eagles
Thursday Dec 22 at 8:25 pm ET on NBC, NFLN and Twitter; Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, Heather Cox.
Giants -2½ . . . . over/under 41½ . . . . NYG -150, PHI +130
Broadcast in all US television markets.

7-6-1 Washington Redskins at 3-11 Chicago Bears
Saturday Dec 24 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Dick Stockton, David Diehl, Kristina Pink.
Redskins -3 . . . . over/under 46½ . . . . WAS -175, CHI +155
Broadcast in DC, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Harrisburg PA, Virginia and West Virginia.

9-5 Miami Dolphins at 7-7 Buffalo Bills
Saturday Dec 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl.
Bills -3½ . . . . over/under 41½ . . . . BUF -185, MIA +165
Broadcast in Ft Smith AR, Florida (except Jacksonville), Albany GA, western New York, Erie PA and Spokane WA.

9-5 Atlanta Falcons at 6-8 Carolina Panthers
Saturday Dec 24 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis, Chris Spielman, Peter Schrager.
Falcons -2½ . . . . over/under 52 . . . . ATL -140, CAR +120
Broadcast in Alabama, parts of Florida (Ocala, Panama City, Tallahassee, Tampa), Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and eastern Tennessee.

7-7 Minnesota Vikings at 8-6 Green Bay Packers
Saturday Dec 24 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews.
Packers -6½ . . . . over/under 43 . . . . GNB -320, MIN +260
Broadcast in all markets with the exceptions of Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Harrisburg PA, Washington DC, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, eastern Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Also broadcast in parts of southern Florida (Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers).

4-10 New York Jets at 12-2 New England Patriots
Saturday Dec 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn.
Patriots -16½ . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . NWE -2500, NYJ +1100
Broadcast in New England, Alabama (except Mobile), Alaska, Arkansas (except Ft Smith), some of Georgia (Augusta, Columbus, Savannah), Idaho, Louisiana, Maryland, Cape Girardeau MO, Mississippi (except Tupelo), Montana, eastern New York, North Carolina (except Charlotte), Cincinnati OH, Oklahoma, Oregon (except Eugene), Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas (except Beaumont, Houston and Tyler), western Virginia and West Virginia.

8-6 Tennessee Titans at 2-12 Jacksonville Jaguars
Saturday Dec 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker.
Titans -5 . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . TEN -220, JAC +190
Broadcast in Mobile AL, Gainesville FL, Jacksonville FL, Hawaii, Bowling Green KY, Tupelo MS, Tennessee and southeastern Texas (Beaumont, Houston, Tyler).

5-9 San Diego Chargers at 0-14 Cleveland Browns
Saturday Dec 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots.
Chargers -6 . . . . over/under 44 . . . . SDG -260, CLE +220
Broadcast in Yuma AZ, southern California and Ohio (except Cincinnati).

 

7-7 Indianapolis Colts at 11-3 Oakland Raiders
Saturday Dec 24 at 4:05 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson.
Raiders -3½ . . . . over/under 53 . . . . OAK -180, IND +160
Broadcast in DC, northern California, Colorado, northern Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky (except Bowling Green), Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri (except Cape Girardeau), Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, southern Oregon, Utah, eastern Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

8-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 6-8 New Orleans Saints
Saturday Dec 24 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin.
Saints -3 . . . . over/under 52½ . . . . NOR -150, TAM +130
Broadcast in all markets east of the Mississippi River. Also broadcast in Iowa, Topeka KS, Louisiana, Minnesota, northern Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

1-13 San Francisco 49ers at 4-10 Los Angeles Rams
Saturday Dec 24 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale.
Rams -3½ . . . . over/under 40 . . . . LAR -180, SFO +160
Broadcast in California (except San Diego) and Reno NV.

5-8-1 Arizona Cardinals at 9-4-1 Seattle Seahawks
Saturday Dec 24 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver
Seahawks -8½ . . . . over/under 43 . . . . SEA -360, ARI +300
Broadcast in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Wichita KS, southern Missouri, Montana, Las Vegas NV, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

5-8-1 Cincinnati Bengals at 8-6 Houston Texans
Saturday Dec 24 at 8:25 pm ET on NFLN; Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon, Stacey Dales.
Texans -1 . . . . over/under 41 . . . . HOU -120, CIN +100
Broadcast in all television markets.

8-6 Baltimore Ravens at 9-5 Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday Dec 25 at 4:30 pm ET on NFLN; Mike Tirico, Doug Flutie, Heather Cox.
Steelers -5 . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . PIT -230, BAL +190
Broadcast in all television markets.

8-6 Denver Broncos at 10-4 Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday Dec 25 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsowrth, Michele Tafoya.
Chiefs -3½ . . . . over/under 37½ . . . . KAN -175, DEN +155
Broadcast in all television markets.

9-5 Detroit Lions at 12-2 Dallas Cowboys
Monday Dec 26 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters.
Cowboys -7 . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . DAL -340, DET +280
Broadcast in all television markets.

 

NFL Week 15 Odds, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
December 17, 2016 at 1:00 pm ET

It is mid-December and we are in the final stretch of the 2016 NFL season. In recent weeks weather has played a role and that could be the case again this weekend. With only bowl games remaining for college football the NFL can now play on Saturdays. As a result the work crew at the Meadowlands will be busy, with a Jets game Saturday night and then a Giants game Sunday afternoon.

Rain and cold temperature is expected in northern New Jersey which will be a challenge for the visiting teams. Miami (vs Jets, Saturday) is used to much warmer weather in south Florida. Detroit (vs Giants, Sunday) is a cold weather city but the Lions play in a dome. Also on Sunday Green Bay is at Chicago where the wind chill is expected to be minus-18.

For all you need to know about clinching and elimination scenarios, check out Week 15 Playoff Picture: Six Teams Can Clinch Playoff Spots.

 

NFL Week 15 Television Broadcast Information

CBS has the doubleheader this week. In the early time slot Pittsburgh at Cincinnati will receive most of the broadcast distribution. For the late game the Patriots at Broncos will air across almost all of the United States. CBS will send Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and their top production team to work that game. The Lions at Giants will be televised on most Fox affiliates, in the early time frame. To see what is being televised where you will be on Sunday please check out Patriot fan JP Kirby’s 506 Sports Week 15 NFL Maps.

 

AFC East Participation Trophy Game

★★★ 8-5 Miami Dolphins at 4-9 New York Jets
Saturday December 17 at 8:25 pm ET on NFLN; Mike Tirico, Doug Flutie, Heather Cox.
Dolphins -2½ . . . . over/under 37½ . . . . MIA -140, NYJ +120

Why has New York had such a large drop from their 10-6 2015 record? The Jets rank 31st in giveaways and 30th in takeaways. Their minus-16 turnover differential is 31st (two-win Jacksonville is minus-17). I doubt that will improve any in tonight’s cold and wet weather, even against a rusty backup quarterback.

Prediction: Dolphins 20, Jets 17
Dolphins -2½ . . . . . under 37½ . . . . . Miami -140

 

NFL Week 15 Early Games on FOX

★★★★★ 9-4 Detroit Lions at 9-4 New York Giants
Sunday December 18 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews.
Giants -4 . . . . over/under 41 . . . . NYG -190, DET +170

The Lions have won five straight and eight of their last nine games. Over the last seven games Detroit is allowing just 16.4 points per game. However center Travis Swanson is out with a concussion. The Giants have a very solid pass rush and could take advantage with pressure up the middle. Matthew Stafford is dealing with a dislocated finger. After suffering the injury last week most of Stafford’s throws were fine, though he was off on a couple of passes.

The Giants were fortunate to win last week, with Dallas dropping what should have been three Eli Manning interceptions. New York’s offensive line did not look very good, unable to figure out what to do whenever confronted with a Dallas pass rush stunt. The Detroit defense is superior up front than Dallas and capable of forcing many three-and-outs. With Darius Slay at corner the Lions are also better equipped to cover Odell Beckham.

The Lions and Giants have made a habit of winning close games. Both teams have won eight games by seven points or less. Expect another close battle here. I liked the Lions a lot when the spread opened at -5½, but I’ll still take Detroit at four points – despite the injuries to Swanson and Stafford.

Prediction: Lions 17, Giants 16
Lions +4 (two units) . . . . . under 41 (one unit) . . . . . Detroit +170

 

★★★ 5-8 Philadelphia Eagles at 7-6 Baltimore Ravens
Sunday December 18 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin.
Ravens -6 . . . . over/under 40½ . . . . BAL -250, PHI +210

After a 3-0 start the Eagles have not looked good. Since that time Philly has had only two victories, home upsets versus Minnesota and Atlanta. In those eight other games Philadelphia is giving up an average of 27.5 points per game. The Eagles will be without Darren Sproles Sunday. That doesn’t help an offense that is scoring only 16 points per game during their current four game losing streak.

Prediction: Ravens 24, Eagles 17
Ravens -6 . . . . . over 40½ . . . . . Baltimore -250

 

★★★ 7-6 Green Bay Packers at 3-10 Chicago Bears
Sunday December 18 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver.
Packers -5½ . . . . over/under 38½ . . . . GNB -250, CHI +210

Cold weather and gusty winds are expected to make this the coldest game in Chicago Bears’ history. Aaron Rodgers suffered a calf injury last week so that weather won’t help his situation. Green Bay is down to a third option of Ty Montgomery at running back. Eddie Lacy is on IR with an ankle injury and James Starks is doubtful after suffering a concussion in a car accident Monday. With Jordan Howard running the ball Chicago should be able to keep this game close.

Prediction: Packers 20, Bears 16
Bears +5½ (one unit) . . . . . under 38½ . . . . . Green Bay -250

 

NFL Week 15 Early Games on CBS

★★★ 6-7 Indianapolis Colts at 7-6 Minnesota Vikings
Sunday December 18 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon.
Vikings -5 . . . . over/under 45½ . . . . MIN -240, IND +200

Running back Adrian Peterson has been activated, though it remains to be seen how much he will play. The Colts are giving up 4.5 yards per rush; Peterson would be a huge boost to Minnesota’s anemic offense. Both teams are dealing with injuries to key players. Indy LG Jack Mewhort’s season ended with a knee injury last week and his backup, Denzelle Good, is out with a concussion. Free safety Harrison Smith (ankle) and RG Brandon Fusco (concussion) are both out for the Vikings.

Prediction: Vikings 20, Colts 17
Colts +5 (one unit) . . . . . under 45½ (one unit) . . . . . Indianapolis +200

 

★★ 0-13 Cleveland Browns at 6-7 Buffalo Bills
Sunday December 18 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Tom McCarthy, Adam Archuleta.
Bills -10 . . . . over/under 41½ . . . . BUF -500, CLE +400

Cleveland’s defense ranks 31st in points (28.8 ppg), yardage (397 ypg) and rushing (146 ypg). The Browns are also allowing 4.6 yards per rush (29th) and are last in the NFL on third down (48.2%). Expect a heavy dose of LeSean McCoy, who now has eight games with over 100 yards from scrimmage. While the Bills have almost zero chance of making the playoffs, they don’t want to be the team that lost to the Browns.

Prediction: Bills 27, Browns 13
Bills -10 . . . . . under 41½ . . . . . Buffalo -500

 

★★★★ 7-6 Tennessee Titans at 10-3 Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday December 18 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl.
Chiefs -5½ . . . . over/under 41½ . . . . KAN -230, TEN +190

The big question is how Kansas City will perform without Derrick Johnson, who was lost last week with a torn Achilles. Tennessee ran for 180 yards last week against Denver, who has a comparable run defense to Kansas City. The Chiefs have had extra time to prepare after playing last Thursday, but this could be a trap game. Last week KC played Oakland, and they could be caught looking ahead to next week’s game against Denver. However Arrowhead offers one of the best home field advantages in the league and the crowd noise could lead to mistakes by the Titans. This Tennessee team is not used to playing in big games. KC has made a habit of capitalizing on opponent’s mistakes, resulting in an NFL-best 25 takeaways.

Prediction: Chiefs 23, Titans 20
Titans +5½ (one unit) . . . . . over 41½ . . . . . Kansas City -260

 

★★ 2-11 Jacksonville Jaguars at 7-6 Houston Texans
Sunday December 18 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker.
Texans -5½ . . . . over/under 39½ . . . . HOU -220, JAC +190

Houston has not won by six or more points since Week 8, but this is the Jaguars they are playing. The Jaguars have lost eight straight and just want the season to hurry up and be over. Jacksonville doesn’t force turnovers (a league-low eight takeaways) while giving the ball away 25 times. Houston should win easily despite their stagnant offense.

Prediction: Texans 24, Jaguars 13
Texans -5½ . . . . . under 39½ . . . . . Houston -220

 

★★★ 8-5 Pittsburgh Steelers at 5-7-1 Cincinnati Bengals
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn.
Steelers -3 . . . . over/under 44½ . . . . PIT -170, CIN +150

Cincinnati is allowing 4.5 yards per run (27th) and 119 rushing yards per game (25th). The Steelers ran for 240 yards on the road last week against what was supposedly a decent Buffalo defense. If Cincy sells out to stop Le’Veon Bell then Ben Roethlisberger will be more than happy to throw passes to Antonio Brown. The big concern is Pittsburgh’s penchant for playing down to the level of their competition. Pittsburgh struggled mightily on the road early this season with losses at Philadelphia, Miami and Baltimore. Is that a thing of the past after victories at Indianapolis and Buffalo?

Prediction: Steelers 24, Bengals 20
Steelers -3 . . . . . under 44½ . . . . . Pittsburgh -170

 

NFL Week 15 Late Games on FOX

★★★ 5-8 New Orleans Saints at 5-7-1 Arizona Cardinals
Sunday December 18 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX; Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale.
Cardinals -3 . . . . over/under 50½ . . . . ARI -150, NOR +130

Carson Palmer has not played well all season. The Arizona offensive line is incapable of either pass protection or run blocking. Now the Cardinal defense is being decimated with injuries. However, center Max Unger missed last week’s game and is questionable for Sunday with a foot injury. Without Unger opponents are able to collapse the pocket and apply pressure up the middle on Drew Brees. Look for Calais Campbell to be tormenting Brees all afternoon.

Prediction: Cardinals 24, Saints 23
Saints +3 . . . . . under 50½ . . . . . New Orleans +130

 

★★ 1-12 San Francisco 49ers at 8-5 Atlanta Falcons
Sunday December 18 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX; Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis, Chris Spielman, Peter Schrager.
Falcons -13½ . . . . over/under 50½ . . . . ATL -900, SFO +600

Even without Julio Jones the Falcons should win easily. The Niners have had no defense all year, and now the offense has been weakened. LT Joe Staley is doubtful with a hamstring injury. On top of that C Daniel Kilgore and TE Vance McDonald were placed on IR this week.

Prediction: Falcons 31, Niners 13
Falcons -13½ . . . . . under 50½ . . . . . Atlanta

 

NFL Week 15 Late Games on CBS

★★★★★ 11-2 New England Patriots at 8-5 Denver Broncos
Sunday December 18 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson
Patriots -3 . . . . over/under 44 . . . . NWE -170, DEN +150

Denver’s run defense has taken a hit in comparison to recent seasons. The Broncos are allowing 127 yards rushing (29th) and 6.2 rushing first downs (28th) per game. The Patriots will try to run the ball with LeGarrette Blount, and utilize running backs Dion Lewis and James White as well. That would open things up for play action passes, and keep Denver pass rushers honest. The Broncos have been unable to run the ball, and neither Denver quarterback is capable of generating much offense.

Prediction: Patriots 27, Broncos 20
Patriots -3 (two units) . . . . . over 44 . . . . . New England -170

 

★★★★ 10-3 Oakland Raiders at 5-8 San Diego Chargers
Sunday December 18 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots.
Raiders -3 . . . . over/under 49½ . . . . OAK -140, SDG +120

Oakland cannot stop the run. The Raiders are giving up 4.7 yards per carry (30th) and 120 yards rushing per game (26th). Unfortunately for San Diego Melvin Gordon is out with a hip injury and Danny Woodhead blew out his knee in September.

Prediction: Raiders 31, Chargers 27
Raiders -3 . . . . . over 49½ . . . . . Oakland -140

 

NFL Week 15 Prime Time Games

★★★★★ 8-5 Tampa Bay Bucs at 11-2 Dallas Cowboys
Sunday December 18 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya.
Cowboys -7 . . . . over/under 46½ . . . . DAL -300, TAM +250

After looking atrocious early in the season, the Buccaneer defense has taken great strides. Over the last five games the Bucs have allowed an NFL-best 13.0 points per game. Much of that has to do with Keith Tandy replacing an ineffective Chris Conte at safety, but other players have stepped up their game as well. OLB Lavonte David and DT Gerald McCoy have been studs for a while. Now thy’re getting help from MLB Kwon Alexander and defensive ends Robert Ayers and Noah Spence. Wouldn’t an upset be fun, just to watch Jerrah’s reaction?

Prediction: Buccaneers 24, Cowboys 23
Buccaneers +7 (one unit) . . . . . over 46½ . . . . . Tampa Bay +250

 

★★★ 5-8 Carolina Panthers at 7-5-1 Washington Redskins
Monday December 19 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters.
Redskins -6½ . . . . over/under 51½ . . . . WAS -270, CAR +230

The Carolina offensive line is a mess. As a result Cam Newton cannot complete even fifty percent of his passes. On defense the post-Josh Norman era has not worked out well for the Panthers. Injuries to Luke Kuechly and Charles Johnson have exacerbated the situation.

Prediction: Redskins 31, Panthers 24
Redskins -6½ . . . . . over 43½ . . . . . Washington -270

 

Thursday: Rams at Seahawks.

My advice was to take the Seahawks, despite the huge spread.

I just don’t understand why Pete Carroll decided to go for a fake punt with a big lead in the fourth quarter. Wouldn’t he have been better off saving that play for a critical time in a meaningful game?

Prediction: Seahawks 34, Rams 9
Seahawks -15 (two units) . . . . . over 39½ . . . . . Seattle -1600

Final Score: Seahawks 24, Rams 3 ✓
Seahawks -15 ✓✓ . . . . . over 39½ x . . . . . Seahawks -1600 ✓

 

NFL Week 14 Parlays and Teasers

3-Game Parlay (one unit):
Giants vs Lions +4
Broncos vs Patriots +3
Colts at Vikings under 45½

5-Team 6-Point Teaser (one unit):
Cowboys vs Buccaneers +13
Giants vs Lions +10
Colts at Vikings under 51½
Niners vs Falcons -7½
Cardinals vs Saints +9
Chiefs vs Titans +11½

 

Tale of the Tape

Week 14 wasn’t bad at all, considering the fact that there were not many games that jumped out at me that were particularly advantageous.

Week 14 Results:
11-5 Straight Up
8-7-1 Against the Spread
6-10 Over/Under
2-unit plays: 4-0, +800
1-unit plays: 2-3, -130
3-Game Parlay: 1u, -110
5-Game Teaser: 2u, -220
16 units invested
6-5, +240 on $1760 risk.
+13.6% ROI

Year to Date Results:
125-81-2 Straight Up
110-92-6 Against the Spread
112-96 Over/Under
5-unit plays: 1-0, +500
4-unit plays: 1-0, +400
3-unit plays: 6-5-1, +120
2-unit plays: 39-19-1, +3600
1-unit plays: 41-29-1, +900
Parlays: 3-9, +1300
Teasers: 6-6, +2390
97-68-3, +9110 on original $2310 risk.
394.4% ROI on original $2310 bankroll.
30.4% ROI on $29,920 (272 units) of total weekly investments.

6-5, +240 on 16 units (+13.6%) in Week 14.
6-5, -90 on 18 units (-4.5%) in Week 13.
6-9-1, -360 on 28 units (-11.7%) in Week 12.
9-2, +2380 on 16 units (+135.2%) in Week 11.
4-9, -510 on 18 units (-25.8%) in Week 10.
7-4, +850 on 17 units (+45.5%) in Week 9.
11-2, +3470 on 27 units (+116.8%) in Week 8.
3-6, -480 on 12 units (-36.4%) in Week 7.
9-3-1, +1300 on 17 units (+69.5%) in Week 6.
7-7, +50 on 22 units (+2.1%) in Week 5.
9-2, +1910 on 18 units (+96.5%) in Week 4.
3-9-1, -1280 on 22 units (-58.2%) in Week 3.
9-3, +950 on 20 units (+43.2%) in Week 2.
9-2, +840 on 21 units (+36.4%) in Week 1.

 

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the publisher of this website. Neither the author nor this website promote or advocate gambling. This is solely for entertainment purposes only. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call 1-888-ADMIT-IT or 1-888-GA-HELPS.

 

Follow on Twitter @AllThingsPats

 

NFL Week 16 Early Advanced ‘Look-Ahead’ Betting Lines: Pats 13.5 point favorites

John Morgan
December 15, 2016 at 4:20 pm ET

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has published their Advanced Lines for NFL Week 16. These early odds look ahead to the following week’s games for those willing to roll the dice. When visiting Sin City you can wager up to 3,000 clams on one of the games – prior to Sunday’s week 15 action occurring. While subsequent injuries can dramatically change the prognosis of future games, over reaction from the most recent result can also be minimized.

Once again the New England Patriots are listed as the heaviest favorite in Week 16. Two weeks ago the Pats defeated the Jets by only five points, but that result apparently did not sway the professional handicappers. The Patriots are at home this time, and the Jets already had their annual Super Bowl in that November 27 loss. New England has (with Dallas) the best record in the NFL, and is 10-3 against the spread. By Christmas Eve Gang Green could be in even more disarray than they already are now. The seven-game delta in season wins between the Patriots and Jets is the largest of the sixteen games on schedule for Week 16.

Only two games will be played on Sunday since that is Christmas, but they are both good ones. At 4:30 pm eastern time Baltimore is at Pittsburgh. These contests are always very physical and the last three games between these two have been decided by an average of just four points. To add further intrigue the winner will likely win the NFC North while the loser will be left scrambling for a playoff spot.

The Sunday night game is just as compelling. Denver travels to Kansas City in a battle of AFC West rivals. The Broncos are in a difficult situation, finishing the season with games against the Patriots, KC and Oakland. Arrowhead Stadium will be rocking and the Chiefs would love to be able to hammer a nail in the coffin on Denver’s season.

In the early time slot on Saturday the best game is Minnesota at Green Bay. Both teams are on the playoff bubble, currently two games behind the Lions in the NFC North. This week the Vikings are home against Indianapolis while the Packers travel to Chicago.

Tampa Bay plays the Saints for the second time in three weeks, this time in New Orleans. This game was flexed to the late afternoon time slot and will surely be the primary game for the doubleheader on Fox.

Week 16 wraps up with an unusual occurrence: a quality game on Monday Night Football. Detroit is at Dallas for what could possibly be a game for the number one seed, and a preview of the NFC conference finals. We will soon have a better idea of just how strong Detroit is. The 9-4 Lions finish the season at the Giants, at Dallas and home versus Green Bay.

The week kicks off on Thursday night with the Giants at Philadelphia. New York is one of five road teams to be favored in Week 16. That says more about the poor play of those home teams than anything else. The home dogs are Philly, the Bears, Panthers, Jaguars and Browns.

 

NFL Week 16 Early Advanced Look-Ahead Betting Lines

9-4 New York Giants (-3) at 5-8 Philadelphia Eagles
Thursday December 22 at 8:25 pm ET on NBC

7-5-1 Washington Redskins (-3½) at 3-10 Chicago Bears
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX

8-5 Miami Dolphins at 6-7 Buffalo Bills (-3½)
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

8-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 5-8 New Orleans Saints (-3)
Saturday December 24 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX

8-5 Atlanta Falcons (-2½) at 5-8 Carolina Panthers
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX

7-6 Minnesota Vikings at 7-6 Green Bay Packers (-5)
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX

4-9 New York Jets at 11-2 New England Patriots (-13½)
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

7-6 Tennessee Titans (-3½) at 2-11 Jacksonville Jaguars
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

5-8 San Diego Chargers (-4½) at 0-13 Cleveland Browns
Saturday December 24 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS

6-7 Indianapolis Colts at 10-3 Oakland Raiders (-6)
Saturday December 24 at 4:05 pm ET on CBS

1-12 San Francisco 49ers at 4-9 Los Angeles Rams (-2½)
Saturday December 24 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX

5-7-1 Arizona Cardinals at 8-4-1 Seattle Seahawks (-7½)
Saturday December 24 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX

5-7-1 Cincinnati Bengals at 7-5 Houston Texans (-2½)
Saturday December 24 at 8:25 pm ET on NFLN

7-6 Baltimore Ravens at 8-5 Pittsburgh Steelers (-6½)
Sunday December 25 at 4:30 pm ET on NFLN

8-5 Denver Broncos at 10-3 Kansas City Chiefs (-4)
Sunday December 25 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC

9-4 Detroit Lions at 11-2 Dallas Cowboys (-7)
Monday December 26 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN

 

 

NFL Week 15 Thursday Night Football

Back to this week’s games for a moment. Week fifteen kicks off tonight with a typical Thursday night game: a bad team being featured in prime time in a game that won’t be competitive. Yes Seattle lost last week to Green Bay. However the Seahawks have responded to their three losses this season with victories by an average of 19 points. And yes Seattle lost to the Rams in Week 2, but their offense – in particular their offensive line – is performing far better than they did in early September.

This is the leagues best offense facing the league’s worst offense. In a rebound situation. Back home in a stadium providing one of, if not the most favorable home field advantages in all pro sports. Against a rookie quarterback who did not play in a pro style offense in college, making just the fifth start of his career. Against a team that has given up after losing eight of their last nine games. A team averaging a mere 12 points per game since late October.

Take the Seahawks, despite the huge spread.

Prediction: Seahawks 34, Rams 9
Seahawks -15 (two units) . . . . . over 39½ . . . . . Seattle -1600

Final Score: Seahawks 24, Rams 3 ✓
Seahawks -15 ✓✓ . . . . . over 39½ x . . . . . Seahawks -1600 ✓

Week 15 NFL Playoff Picture: Six Teams Can Clinch Playoff Spots

John Morgan
at 7:00 am ET

Heading into Week 15 only the Dallas Cowboys have clinched a playoff spot. After this weekend that is bound to change. Six other teams, including the New England Patriots, can punch a ticket to the post-season this weekend.

In the AFC the Jets, Jaguars and Browns have been eliminated. San Diego and Cincinnati are all but done. And after last week’s losses the Colts and Bills are comatose and on life support. The Patriots, Chiefs and Raiders are going to be playing in January. That leaves the Steelers, Ravens, Broncos and Dolphins vying for two post-season positions while Houston and Tennessee battle for the AFC South title.

Over in the NFC Dallas has clinched a playoff spot while on the other end the Niners, Rams and Bears are looking ahead to the draft. Four other teams – the Eagles, Panthers, Saints and Cardinals – are all but mathematically eliminated. With Seattle virtually assured of winning the NFC West that leaves seven teams going for four playoff slots.

I know ties happen – as Donovan McNabb and Jay Gruden now realize – but for the sake of clarity (and sanity) I’ll avoid bringing those possibilities up.

 

AFC East

11-2 New England Patriots
Currently AFC #1 seed.
3-game division lead with three games remaining.
Remaining Opponents 20-19: at 8-5 Broncos; vs 4-9 Jets; at 8-5 Dolphins.
– Can clinch division title with either a win or a Miami loss.
– Can clinch a first round bye with a win.
– Can clinch a first round bye with (a) a Miami loss, plus either (b) a Pittsburgh loss.
– Can clinch a first round bye with (a) a Miami loss, plus (b) a Kansas City win.
– 99% chance of winning the AFC East.
– 99.9% chance of making the playoffs.

8-5 Miami Dolphins
Currently AFC #7 seed.
Remaining Opponents 21-18: at 4-9 Jets; at 6-7 Bills; vs 11-2 Patriots.
– Eliminated from division title with either a loss or a New England win.
– Eliminated from #5 slot with both (a) a loss, plus (b) a Kansas City win.
– 40% chance of making the playoffs.

6-7 Buffalo Bills
Currently AFC #11 seed.
Remaining Opponents : vs 0-13 Browns; vs 8-5 Dolphins; at 4-9 Jets.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) loss to Browns plus Miami wins; or (b) loss to Browns plus Baltimore wins; or (c) Broncos win.
– 2% chance of making the playoffs.

 

AFC West

10-3 Kansas City Chiefs
Currently AFC #2 seed.
Remaining Opponents 20-19: vs 7-6 Titans; vs 8-5 Broncos; at 5-8 Chargers.
– Clinch a playoff spot with a win.
– Clinch a playoff spot with (a) a Broncos loss, plus either (b) a Baltimore or Pittsburgh loss.
– Clinch at least the #5 seed with (a) a win, plus (b) a Miami loss.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with a New England win.
– 74% chance of winning the AFC West.
– 99% chance of making the playoffs.

10-3 Oakland Raiders
Currently AFC #5 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-20: at 5-8 Chargers; vs 6-7 Colts; at 8-5 Broncos.
– Clinch a playoff spot with a win.
– Clinch a playoff spot with (a) a Miami loss, plus (b) either a Pittsburgh or Baltimore loss, plus (c) either a Denver or Kansas City loss.
– Clinch at least the #5 seed with (a) a win, plus (b) a Denver loss.
– 25% chance of winning the AFC West.
– 99% chance of making the playoffs.

8-5 Denver Broncos
Currently AFC #6 seed.
Remaining Opponents 31-8: vs 11-2 Patriots; at 10-3 Chiefs; at 10-3 Raiders.
– Eliminated from division title with either (a) a loss to Patriots, or (b) a Kansas City win.
– Eliminated from #5 seed with both (a) a loss to Patriots, plus (b) an Oakland win.
– 1% chance of winning the AFC West.
– 38% chance of making the playoffs.

5-8 San Diego Chargers
Currently AFC #13 seed.
Remaining Opponents 20-19: vs 10-3 Raiders; at 0-13 Browns; vs 10-3 Chiefs.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with either (a) a Miami win, or (b) a Denver win, or (c) wins by both Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
– cannot win the AFC West.
– less than 1% chance of making the playoffs.

 

AFC North

8-5 Pittsburgh Steelers
Currently AFC #3 seed.
Remaining Opponents 12-26-1: at 5-7-1 Bengals; vs 7-6 Ravens; vs 0-13 Browns.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with either (a) a loss, or (b) a New England win.
– Eliminated from first round bye with (a) a loss, plus (b) either a Kansas City, Oakland or Denver win.
– 80% chance of winning AFC North.
– 87% chance of making the playoffs.

7-6 Baltimore Ravens
Currently AFC #8 seed.
Remaining Opponents 18-20-1: vs 5-8 Eagles; at 8-5 Steelers; at 5-7-1 Bengals.
– Eliminated from first round bye with a loss.
– Eliminated from first round bye with a win by either Kansas City, Oakland or Denver.
– 20% chance of winning AFC North.
– 30% chance of making the playoffs.

5-7-1 Cincinnati Bengals
Currently AFC #12 seed.
Remaining Opponents 18-20-1: vs 8-5 Steelers; at 7-6 Texans; vs 7-6 Ravens.
– Eliminated from division title with a Baltimore win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss to Pittsburgh.
– Eliminated from playoffs with both (a) a Baltimore win, plus either (b) a Miami or Denver win.
– less than 1% chance of winning AFC North or making the playoffs.

 

AFC South

7-6 Houston Texans
Currently AFC #4 seed.
Remaining Opponents 14-24-1: at vs 2-11 Jaguars; vs 5-7-1 Bengals; at 7-6 Titans.
– Eliminated from first round bye with a loss.
– Eliminated from number three seed with either a Kansas City, Oakland or Denver win.
– 78% chance of winning AFC South.
– 79% chance of making the playoffs.

7-6 Tennessee Titans
Currently AFC #9 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-20: at 10-3 Chiefs; at 2-11 Jaguars; vs 7-6 Texans.
– Eliminated from first round bye with either (a) a loss, or (b) an Oakland win, or (c) a Denver win.
– Eliminated from number three seed with both (a) a loss, and (b) a Pittsburgh win.
– 21% chance of winning AFC South.
– 23% chance of making the playoffs.

6-7 Indianapolis Colts
Currently AFC #10 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-20: at 7-6 Vikings; at 10-3 Raiders; vs 2-11 Jaguars.
– Eliminated from division title with a loss, plus either a Houston or Tennessee win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) a loss, plus (b) a Miami win, plus (c) either a Houston or Tennessee win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) a loss, plus (b) a Houston win, plus (c) either a Baltimore or Denver win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) a loss, plus (b) a Tennessee win, plus (c) either a Baltimore or Denver win.
– 1% chance of winning AFC South.
– 2% chance of making the playoffs.

 

NFC East

11-1 Dallas Cowboys
Currently NFC #1 seed.
Remaining Opponents 22-17: vs 8-5 Buccaneers; vs 9-4 Lions; at 5-8 Eagles.
– Clinch division and first round bye with (a) a win, plus (b) Giants lose to Detroit.
– Clinch at least the #5 seed with either a win, or an Atlanta loss.
– 95% chance of winning the NFC East.
– Cowboys clinched a playoff spot in Week 13.

9-4 New York Giants
Currently NFC #5 seed.
Remaining Opponents : vs 9-4 Lions; at 5-8 Eagles; at 7-5-1 Redskins.
– Clinch playoff spot with (a) win vs Detroit, plus (b) losses by Green Bay, Minnesota and Washington.
– Eliminated from first round bye with loss to Detroit.
– Eliminated from division title with both a loss, plus Dallas win.
– 5% chance of winning NFC East.
– 79% chance of making playoffs.

7-5-1 Washington Redskins
Currently NFC #7 seed.
Remaining Opponents 17-22: vs 5-8 Panthers; at 3-10 Bears; vs 9-4 Giants.
– Eliminated from #5 seed with both a loss, plus a Detroit loss to Giants.
– Can not win NFC East.
– 49% chance of making playoffs as wild card.

5-8 Philadelphia Eagles
Currently NFC #13 seed.
Remaining Opponents : at 7-6 Ravens; vs 9-4 Giants; vs 11-2 Cowboys.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a win by either Washington, Atlanta, Green Bay or Minnesota.
– Can not win NFC East.
– less than 1% chance of making playoffs as #6 seed.

 

NFC North

9-4 Detroit Lions
Currently NFC #2 seed.
Remaining Opponents 27-12: at 9-4 Giants; at 11-2 Cowboys; vs 7-6 Packers.
– Clinch NFC North with both a win, plus a Green Bay loss.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with both a loss, plus a Dallas win.
– 73% chance of winning NFC North.
– 80% chance of making playoffs.

7-6 Minnesota Vikings
Currently NFC #8 seed.
Remaining Opponents 16-22: vs 6-7 Colts; at 7-6 Packers; vs 3-10 Bears.
– Eliminated from division title with a loss or a Detroit win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) a loss, plus (b) Tampa Bay and Atlanta wins, plus (c) either a Washington or New York win.
– 5% chance of winning NFC North.
– 12% chance of making playoffs.

7-6 Green Bay Packers
Currently NFC #9 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-20: at 3-10 Bears; vs 7-6 Packers; at 9-4 Lions.
– Eliminated from division title with a loss or a Detroit win.
– Eliminated from first round bye with both a loss, plus a win by either Seattle, Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– Eliminated from #3 seed with (a) a loss, plus (b) a Seattle win, plus (c) a win by either Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– Eliminated from #5 seed with (a) a loss, plus (b) both Detroit and Washington wins.
– Eliminated from #5 seed with (a) a loss, plus (b) Detroit, Atlanta and Tampa Bay all win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with (a) a loss, plus (b) Detroit, Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Washington all win.
– 22% chance of winning NFC North.
– 26% chance of making playoffs.

 

NFC West

8-4-1 Seattle Seahawks
Currently NFC #3 seed.
Remaining Opponents 10-28-1: vs 4-9 Rams; vs 5-7-1 Cardinals; at 1-12 49ers.
– Clinch NFC West with either a win, or an Arizona loss.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with either a loss, or a Dallas win.
– 99% chance of winning NFC West.

5-7-1 Arizona Cardinals
Currently NFC #10 seed.
Remaining Opponents 17-21-1: vs 5-8 Saints; at 8-4-1 Seahawks; at 4-9 Rams.
– Eliminated from division title with either a loss or a Seattle win.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with wins by Seattle, Atlanta and Tampa Bay.
– 1% chance of making the playoffs.

 

NFC South

8-5 Atlanta Falcons
Currently NFC #4 seed.
Remaining Opponents 11-28: vs 1-12 49ers; at 5-8 Panthers; vs 5-8 Saints.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with either a loss, or a Dallas win.
– 75% chance of winning NFC South.
– 91% chance of making playoffs.

8-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Currently NFC #6 seed.
Remaining Opponents 21-18: at 11-2 Cowboys; at 5-8 Saints; vs 5-8 Panthers.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with a loss to Dallas.
– 25% chance of winning NFC South.
– 58% chance of making playoffs.

5-8 New Orleans Saints
Currently NFC #11 seed.
Remaining Opponents 21-17-1: at 5-7-1 Cardinals; vs 8-5 Buccaneers; at 8-5 Falcons.
– Eliminated from division title with win by either Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with wins by either (a) Atlanta and Tampa Bay, or (b) Atlanta and Washington, or (c) Tampa Bay and Washington.
– Eliminated from playoffs with wins by (a) Minnesota, plus (b) Green Bay, plus (c) either Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– less than 1% chance of making playoffs.

5-8 Carolina Panthers
Currently NFC #12 seed.
Remaining Opponents 23-15-1: at 7-5-1 Redskins; vs 8-5 Falcons; at 8-5 Buccaneers
– Eliminated from division title with win by either Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– Eliminated from playoffs with a loss.
– Eliminated from playoffs with wins by both Atlanta and Tampa Bay.
– Eliminated from playoffs with wins by (a) Minnesota, plus (b) Green Bay, plus (c) either Atlanta or Tampa Bay.
– less than 1% chance of making playoffs.

 

Week 14 NFL Playoff Picture: Pats, Seahawks, Cowboys Can Clinch Division Titles

John Morgan
December 11, 2016 at 10:00 am ET

It is December and we are now in the fourth quarter of the 2016 NFL regular season.

That means it is now late enough in the year that we can talk about playoff races.

Heading into Week 14 there are four teams that have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs: the Browns, Jaguars, Jets and Forty Niners. After this weekend six others will most likely officially be out of it: the Bengals, Chargers, Bears, Rams, Panthers and Eagles. The Cardinals, Saints and Bills are already on life support and could be declared dead very soon.

That leaves nineteen teams with varying possibilities fighting for twelve playoff spots. Here is a look at the current status of those teams heading into Sunday’s games.

 

AFC East

10-2 New England Patriots
Currently AFC #1 seed.
3-game division lead with four games remaining.
Remaining Opponents 25-23: vs 7-5 Ravens; at 8-4 Broncos; vs 3-9 Jets; at 7-5 Dolphins.
– Can clinch division plus first round bye with (a) win vs Ravens, plus (b) Dolphins loss to Cardinals, plus (c) Steelers loss to Bills.
– Can clinch division and #3 seed with (a) win vs Ravens, plus (b) Dolphins loss to Cardinals.
– 98% chance of winning the AFC East.
– 99% chance of making the playoffs.

7-5 Miami Dolphins
Currently AFC #7 seed.
Remaining Opponents 24-23-1: vs 5-6-1 Cardinals; at 3-9 Jets; at 6-6 Bills; vs 10-2 Patriots.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with a loss.
– Eliminated from division title with (a) loss to Cardinals, plus (b) Patriots win vs Ravens.
– 2% chance of winning the AFC East.
– 24% chance of making the playoffs.
– 76% chance of missing the playoffs.

 

AFC West

10-3 Kansas City Chiefs
Currently AFC #2 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-17: vs 6-6 Titans; vs 8-4 Broncos; at 5-7 Chargers.
– 73% chance of winning the AFC West.
– 99% chance of making the playoffs.

10-3 Oakland Raiders
Currently AFC #5 seed.
Remaining Opponents 19-17: at 5-7 Chargers; vs 6-6 Colts; at 8-4 Broncos.
– 23% chance of winning the AFC West.
– 99% chance of making the playoffs.

8-4 Denver Broncos
Currently AFC #6 seed.
Remaining Opponents 36-14: at 6-6 Titans; vs 10-2 Patriots; at 10-3 Chiefs; at 10-3 Raiders.
– 4% chance of winning the AFC West.
– 58% chance of making the playoffs.
– 42% chance of missing the playoffs.

 

AFC North

7-5 Baltimore Ravens
Currently AFC #3 seed.
Remaining Opponents 26-21-1: at 10-2 Patriots; vs 5-7 Eagles; at 7-5 Steelers; at 4-7-1 Bengals.
– 37% chance of winning AFC North.
– 42% chance of making the playoffs.
– 58% chance of missing the playoffs.

7-5 Pittsburgh Steelers
Currently AFC #8 seed.
Remaining Opponents 17-30-1: at 6-6 Bills; at 4-7-1 Bengals; vs 7-5 Ravens; vs 0-12 Browns.
– 62% chance of winning AFC North.
– 68% chance of making the playoffs.
– 32% chance of missing the playoffs.

 

AFC South

6-6 Houston Texans
Currently AFC #4 seed.
Remaining Opponents 18-29-1: at 6-6 Colts; vs 2-10 Jaguars; vs 4-7-1 Bengals; at 6-6 Titans.
– 59% chance of winning AFC South.
– 41% chance of missing the playoffs.

6-6 Indianapolis Colts
Currently AFC #9 seed.
Remaining Opponents : vs 6-6 Texans; at 6-6 Vikings; at 10-3 Raiders; vs 2-10 Jaguars.
– 28% chance of winning AFC South.
– 72% chance of missing the playoffs.

6-6 Tennessee Titans
Currently AFC #10 seed.
Remaining Opponents: vs 8-4 Broncos; at 10-3 Chiefs; at 2-10 Jaguars; vs 6-6 Texans.
– 13% chance of winning AFC South.
– 86% chance of missing the playoffs.

 

NFC East

11-1 Dallas Cowboys
Currently NFC #1 seed.
3-game division lead with four games remaining.
Remaining Opponents 28-20: at 8-4 Giants; vs 7-5 Buccaneers; vs 8-4 Lions; at 5-7 Eagles.
– Can clinch division plus number one seed with (a) win at Giants, plus (b) Seahawks loss to Packers, plus (c) Lions loss to Bears.
– Can clinch division and bye with (a) win at Giants, plus either (b)Seahawks loss to Packers, or (c) lions loss to Bears.
– Can clinch division and #3 seed with win at Giants.
– Can clinch a playoff spot and #5 seed despite a loss, with either (a) Bucs loss to Saints, or (b) Falcons loss to Rams.
– 98% chance of winning the NFC East.
– Cowboys clinched a playoff spot in Week 13.

8-4 New York Giants
Currently NFC #5 seed.
Remaining Opponents 30-17-1: vs 11-1 Cowboys; vs 8-4 Lions; at 5-7 Eagles; at 6-5-1 Redskins.
– 2% chance of winning NFC East.
– 66% chance of making playoffs.
– 34% chance of missing playoffs.
– Eliminated from division title with loss to Cowboys.

6-5-1 Washington Redskins
Currently NFC #7 seed.
Remaining Opponents 20-28: at 5-7 Eagles; vs 4-8 Panthers; at 3-9 Bears; vs 8-4 Giants.
– Cannot win NFC East.
– 47% chance of making playoffs as wild card.
– 53% chance of missing playoffs.

 

NFC West

8-3-1 Seattle Seahawks
Currently NFC #2 seed.
3-game division lead with four games remaining.
Remaining Opponents 16-31-1: at 6-6 Packers; vs 4-8 Rams; vs 5-6-1 Cardinals; at 1-11 49ers.
– 99% chance of winning NFC West.
– Can clinch division with a win, plus a Cardinals loss.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with a loss, plus a Cowboys win.

 

NFC North

8-4 Detroit Lions
Currently NFC #3 seed.
2-game division lead with four games remaining.
Remaining Opponents 28-20: vs 3-9 Bears; at 8-4 Giants; at 11-1 Cowboys; vs 6-6 Packers.
– 79% chance of winning NFC North.
– 85% chance of making playoffs.
– 15% chance of missing playoffs.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with (a) loss to Bears, and (b) Cowboys win vs Giants.

6-6 Minnesota Vikings
Currently NFC #8 seed.
Remaining Opponents 17-31: at 2-10 Jaguars; vs 6-6 Colts; at 6-6 Packers; vs 3-9 Bears.
– 5% chance of winning NFC North.
– 23% chance of making playoffs.
– 77% chance of missing playoffs.
– Eliminated from first round bye with (a) loss to Jaguars, and (b) Seahawks win at Packers.
– Eliminated from division title with (a) loss to Jaguars, and (b) Lions win vs Bears.

6-6 Green Bay Packers
Currently NFC #9 seed.
Remaining Opponents 25-22-1: vs 8-3-1 Seahawks; at 3-9 Bears; vs 6-6 Packers; at 8-4 Lions.
– 16% chance of winning NFC North.
– 22% chance of making playoffs.
– 78% chance of missing playoffs.
– Eliminated from first round bye with loss to Seahawks.

 

NFC South

7-5 Atlanta Falcons
Currently NFC #4 seed.
Remaining Opponents 14-34: at 4-8 Rams; vs 1-11 49ers; at 4-8 Panthers; vs 5-7 Saints.
– 71% chance of winning NFC South.
– 87% chance of making playoffs.
– 13% chance of missing playoffs.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with either (a) loss to Rams, or (b) Cowboys win at Giants.

7-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Currently NFC #6 seed.
Remaining Opponents : vs 5-7 Saints; at 11-1 Cowboys; at 5-7 Saints; vs 4-8 Panthers.
– 26% chance of winning NFC South.
– 60% chance of making playoffs.
– 40% chance of missing playoffs.
– Eliminated from #1 seed with either (a) loss to Saints, or (b) Cowboys win at Giants.

 

NFL Week 14 Odds, Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

John Morgan
December 10, 2016 at 2:00 pm ET

The schedule makers saved the best for last in NFL Week 14. On Sunday night Dallas is at the New York Giants in an NFC East showdown. Then on Monday night the Ravens and Patriots square off in a battle of division leading AFC rivals. While those two contests are the only ones (other than Thursday’s Raider-Chiefs game) between pairs of teams with winning records, there are still plenty of other interesting and competitive games.

Four other games are between clubs that both have at least a .500 record and genuine hopes for making the playoffs. Seattle at Green Bay, Pittsburgh at Buffalo, Denver at Tennessee and Houston at Indianapolis are all good matchups between teams fighting for a playoff spot. The only real stinkers this week are the Jets at Forty Niners and the battle for Ohio between Cincinnati and Cleveland.

 

NFL Week 14 Early Games on CBS

★★★★ 8-4 Denver Broncos at 6-6 Tennessee Titans
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn.
Titans -1 . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . TEN -120, DEN +100
• Broadcast in Alaska, Arkansas, northern Alabama, Los Angeles CA, Palm Springs CA, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Sioux City IA, Kansas, Bowling Green KY, northern Mississippi, Missouri (except Hannibal), Montana, Nebraska, Las Vegas NV, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon (except Eugene), South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Tennessee defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau should be able to confuse whomever is at quarterback for the Broncos. The Titans are better defending the run than the pass and newly signed Justin Forsett has shown no signs in the last two seasons of being the answer to Denver’s inability to run the ball. Without the advantage of opponent’s gasping for air at Mile High the Broncos could be looking at their fifth loss in their last nine games.

Prediction: Titans 23, Broncos 20
Titans -1 . . . . . under 43½ . . . . . Tennessee -120

Final Score: Titans 13, Broncos 10 ✓
Titans -1 ✓ . . . . . under 43½ ✓ . . . . . Titans -120 ✓

 

★★★★ 6-6 Houston Texans at 6-6 Indianapolis Colts
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon.
Colts -6½ . . . . over/under 46½ . . . . IND -280, HOU +240
• Broadcast in Indiana, Louisville KY, Shreveport LA and Texas.

Houston is 1-5 on the road this year, averaging a league-worst 13.2 points per game away from home. After crushing the Jets last week the Colts seek their first back-to-back victories this season. Andrew Luck is playing better than he did early in the year and the Colts are healthier, with both lines performing better as well. I’ll take Luck at home over Brock Osweiler and his sub-60% completion rate on the road.

Prediction: Colts 27, Texans 20
Colts -6½ . . . . . over 46½ . . . . . Indianapolis -280

Final Score: Texans 22, Colts 17 x
Colts -6½ x . . . . . over 46½ x . . . . . Colts -280 x

 

★★ 4-7-1 Cincinnati Bengals at 0-12 Cleveland Browns
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Andrew Catalon, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker.
Bengals -5½ . . . . over/under 41 . . . . CIN -240, CLE +200
• Broadcast in eastern Kentucky and Ohio.

I keep getting suckered in by big point spreads for the Browns, and keep getting hosed. Cleveland is not only winless, they are also an NFL-worst 2-10 against the spread. The Bengals aren’t much better: 4-7-1 straight up, 3-8-1 ATS; 1-5 S/U and 0-5-1 ATS on the road. Even without AJ Green Cincy should win this game against a rusty Robert Griffin at QB for Cleveland. On a side note former Patriot Jonathan Cooper will make his first start at right guard for the Browns.

Prediction: Bengals 24, Browns 23
Browns +5½ . . . . . over 41 . . . . . Cincinnati -240

Final Score: Bengals 23, Browns 10 ✓
Browns +5½ x . . . . . over 41 x . . . . . Bengals -240 ✓

 

★★★★ 7-5 Pittsburgh Steelers at 6-6 Buffalo Bills
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, Tracy Wolfson.
Steelers -3 . . . . over/under 46½ . . . . PIT -150, BUF +130
• Broadcast in New England, Alabama (except Birmingham and Huntsville), DC, Florida (except Jacksonville and Miami), Georgia, Louisiana (except Shreveport), Maryland, Mississippi (except Tupelo), New York (except NYC), North Carolina (except Charlotte), Pennsylvania (except Philadelphia), South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

Following a four game mid-season losing streak, the Steelers have rebounded with three straight victories. With LB Ryan Shazier back on the field the Pittsburgh defense has vastly improved. The Steelers surrendered an average of just ten points per game during the current winning streak – with two of those wins coming on the road. Similar to the Steelers with Shazier, Buffalo is a much better team when LeSean Mcoy is able to play. Take away two games with very limited action and the running back is averaging 125 yards from scrimmage per game. The Shazier-McCoy matchup will be fun to watch, and will likely determine the outcome. Forecast is for snow and 15-25 mph winds, but that shouldn’t be much of a factor considering that the Steelers are used to that type of weather.

Prediction: Steelers 24, Bills 20
Steelers -3 . . . . . under 46½ . . . . . Pittsburgh -150

Final Score: Steelers 27, Bills 20 ✓
Steelers -3 ✓ . . . . . under 46½ x . . . . . Steelers -150 ✓

 

★★★ 3-9 Chicago Bears at 8-4 Detroit Lions
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots.
Lions -7½ . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . DET -330, CHI +270
• Broadcast in Illinois, Iowa (except Sioux City), Michigan, Hannibal MO and Wisconsin.

Former Patriot Akiem Hicks is coming off a 10-tackle, two-sack game last week. Detroit center Travis Swanson is out with a concussion, and guard Graham Glasgow will slide over to replace him. 2015 first round pick Laken Tomlinson would then start at guard; how those two fare versus Hicks will determine whether or not the Bears can pull off an upset. Chicago was able to pressure Matthew Stafford into early interceptions in a week three victory. However the Detroit defense has come on strong lately, holding opponents to an average of 16.3 points over the last six games.

Prediction: Lions 24, Bears 17
Bears +7½ . . . . . under 43½ . . . . . Detroit -330

Final Score: Lions 20, Bears 17 ✓
Bears +7½ ✓ . . . . . under 43½ ✓ . . . . . Lions -330 ✓

 

NFL Week 14 Early Games on FOX

★★★ 5-7 San Diego Chargers at 4-8 Carolina Panthers
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Sam Rosen, Brady Quinn, Jennifer Hale.
Panthers -1½ . . . . over/under 48½ . . . . CAR -125, SDG +105
• Broadcast in San Diego CA, Santa Barbara CA, Augusta GA, Columbus GA, North Carolina and South Carolina.

With C Ryan Kalil and RT Michael Oher on injured reserve, the Carolina offensive line has turned into a sieve. As a result Cam Newton has completed less than 50% of his passes in three straight games, and has surpassed a 60% completion rate just once all season. San Diego should be able to dominate the line of scrimmage behind Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Despite the long trip for an early kickoff the Chargers should win this game; they are the better team on both sides of the ball.

Prediction: Chargers 24, Panthers 20
Chargers +1½ (one unit) . . . . . under 48½ . . . . . San Diego +105

Final Score: Panthers 28, Chargers 16 x
Chargers +1½ x . . . . . under 48½ ✓ . . . . . Chargers +105 x

 

★★★ 5-6-1 Arizona Cardinals at 7-5 Miami Dolphins
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Holly Sonders.
Cardinals -1½ . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . ARI -125, MIA +105
• Broadcast in New England (except Hartford), Arizona, Florida (except Jacksonville), Boise ID and Rochester NY.

After going 7-1 on the road last year the Cardinals are just 1-4 away from home in 2016, and have lost three straight on the road. Miami is due to bounce back after last week’s epic failure at Baltimore, but Arizona does have some matchups in their favor. The Cardinals can run the ball with David Johnson, who leads the NFL with 1,709 yards from scrimmage (142 ypg). Miami ranks 30th against the run in both yards per carry (4.7) and yards per game (130). However the Dolphins have an advantage with Cameron Wake and Ndamukong Suh against an o-line that is poor in pass protection. I’m thinking both teams regress to their norms after last week’s games. Arizona hasn’t shown me any reason to believe in them either on the road, or in consecutive games.

Prediction: Dolphins 24, Cardinals 17
Dolphins +1½ (two units) . . . . . under 43½ . . . . . Miami +105

Final Score: Dolphins 26, Cardinals 23 ✓
Dolphins +1½ ✓✓ . . . . . under 43½ x . . . . . Dolphins +105 ✓

 

★★ 6-6 Minnesota Vikings at 2-10 Jacksonville Jaguars
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Laura Okmin.
Vikings -3½ . . . . over/under 39½ . . . . MIN -170, JAC +150
• Broadcast in Alaska, Jacksonville FL, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Toledo OH, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Jacksonville has lost seven in a row. Minnesota has lost six of their last seven, but at least their defense is keeping them in a position to win. Even with safety Harrison Smith sidelined the Viking defense should be able to do enough to carry Minnesota to a victory.

Prediction: Vikings 23, Jaguars 13
Vikings -3½ (two units) . . . . . under 39½ . . . . . Minnesota -170

Final Score: Vikings 25, Jaguars 16 ✓
Vikings -1½ ✓✓ . . . . . under 39½ x . . . . . Vikings -170 ✓

 

★★★ 6-5-1 Washington Redskins at 5-7 Philadelphia Eagles
Sunday December 11 at 1:00 pm ET on FOX; Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch, Pam Oliver.
Redskins -2½ . . . . over/under 46½ . . . . WAS -130, PHI +110
• Broadcast in Alabama, Arkansas, California (except San Diego and Santa Barbara), Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Georgia (except Augusta and Columbus), Hawaii, Idaho (except Boise), Indiana (except Indianapolis), Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York (except Buffalo and Rochester), Ohio (except Cleveland and Toledo), Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee (except Nashville), Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Washington is dealing with multiple injuries to their offensive line. All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams returns from his suspension just in time for the Skins. Presuming that Kirk Cousins is given a decent amount of time, he should be able to pick apart a mediocre Philadelphia secondary. Washington is in a tough spot having to play a third straight road game, but they are definitely the better team. Playing away from home hasn’t bothered Cousins, who has 18 touchdowns to only four picks in his last nine road games.

Prediction: Redskins 31, Eagles 27
Redskins -2½ . . . . . over 46½ (two units) . . . . . Washington -130

Final Score: Redskins 27, Eagles 22 ✓
Redskins -2½ ✓ . . . . . over 46½ ✓✓ . . . . . Redskins -130 ✓

 

NFL Week 14 Late Games on CBS

3-9 New York Jets at 1-11 San Francisco 49ers
Sunday December 11 at 4:05 pm ET on CBS; Greg Gumbel, Trent Green, Jamie Erdahl.
Niners -2½ . . . . over/under 43½ . . . . SFO -150, NYJ +130
• Broadcast in Arizona, California (except LA and Palm Springs), Jacksonville FL, Miami FL, Minnesota, Reno NV, New York City, Charlotte NC, Eugene OR and Philadelphia PA.

The San Francisco defense is awful and the Niners have lost eleven straight, including five in a row at home. In their last three home games SF has lost by an average of 16 points. At least the Jets have a decent defense.

Prediction: Jets 17, 49ers 13
Jets +2½ (one unit) . . . . . under 43½ (one unit) . . . . . New York +130

Final Score: Jets 23, 49ers 17 OT ✓
Jets +2½ . . . . . under 43½ . . . . . Jets +130 ✓

 

NFL Week 14 Late Games on FOX

★★★★ 5-7 New Orleans Saints at 7-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday December 11 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis, Chris Spielman, Peter Schrager.
Buccaneers -2½ . . . . over/under 51½ . . . . TAM -140, NOR +120
• Broadcast in Mobile AL, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Roanoke VA, Beckley WV and Charleston WV.

New Orleans had trouble throwing the ball against Detroit, so expect the Saints to return to a more balanced offense that worked effectively earlier this year. The Tampa Bay defense ranks 26th in yards per rush (4.4) and 25th in rushing yards per game (116). The Bucs have been hot but even though this is a division game they could be caught looking ahead to next week’s Sunday night game against the Cowboys.

Prediction: Saints 31, Buccaneers 27
Saints +2½ (one unit) . . . . . over 51½ . . . . . New Orleans +120

Final Score: Buccaneers 16, Saints 11 x
Saints +2½ x . . . . . over 51½ x . . . . . Saints +120 x

 

★★★★★ 8-3-1 Seattle Seahawks at 6-6 Green Bay Packers
Sunday December 11 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews.
Seahawks -3 . . . . over/under 45 . . . . SEA -145, GNB +125
• Broadcast in almost all markets. Available everywhere except for those areas airing the Saints-Bucs or Falcons-Rams game. Also not available in the San Francisco bay area due to NFL broadcast rules.

Green Bay getting point at home is almost unheard of, especially after a pair of wins. The Packers improved dramatically on defense the last two weeks, but that may be a function of the opposing offenses. Seattle has been playing very well and the Green Bay defensive back seven is in bad shape right now. I’ll take Russell Wilson and Seattle’s superior defense. Regardless of the outcome this should be a great game for football fans to watch.

Prediction: Seahawks 30, Packers 24
Seahawks -3 . . . . . over 45 . . . . . Seattle -145

Final Score: Packers 38, Seahawks 10 x
Seahawks -3 x . . . . . over 45 ✓ . . . . . Seahawks -145 x

 

★★★ 7-5 Atlanta Falcons at 4-8 Los Angeles Rams
Sunday December 11 at 4:25 pm ET on FOX; Dick Stockton, David Diehl, Kristina Pink.
Falcons -6½ . . . . over/under 45 . . . . ATL -270, LAR +230
• Broadcast in Alabama (except Mobile), southern California (except San Diego) and Georgia.

I am leery of Atlanta’s offense outdoors against a good defense. Now add in WR Julio Jones attempting to play through a turf toe injury that makes it extremely difficult to plant your foot. And for good measure WR Mohamed Sanu has already been ruled out with a groin injury. If the Rams didn’t have such an inept offense then LA plus the points at home against a team traveling cross country would be the easy pick. But can anyone have faith in a Jeff Fisher-coached team?

Prediction: Falcons 24, Rams 20
Rams +6½ . . . . . under 45 . . . . . Atlanta -270

Final Score: Falcons 42, Rams 14 ✓
Rams +6½ x . . . . . under 45 x . . . . . Falcons -270 ✓

 

NFL Week 14 Prime Time Games

★★★★★ 11-1 Dallas Cowboys at 8-4 New York Giants
Sunday December 11 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya.
Cowboys -3½ . . . . over/under 46½ . . . . DAL -190, NYG +170

Much was made of the Giant’s six game winning streak, but that was a house of cards. I know you can only play who is on your schedule, but look at who Big Blue played prior to losing to Pittsburgh. Defeating the Browns, Bears, Bengals, Eagles and Rams isn’t all that difficult. Last week Le’veon Bell gashed the G-Men for 118 yards on the ground another 64 yards on six receptions. Ezekiel Elliott should be able to run all day as well. That will neutralize any hope the Giants have of staying in the game with their pass rush. Dallas will be out for revenge for their only loss of the season, and get it.

Prediction: Cowboys 27, Giants 20
Cowboys -3½ (one unit) . . . . . over 46½ . . . . . Dallas -190

Final Score: Giants 10, Cowboys 7 x
Cowboys -3½ x . . . . . over 46½ x . . . . . Cowboys -190 x

 

★★★★★ 7-5 Baltimore Ravens at 10-2 New England Patriots
Sunday December 11 at 8:30 pm ET on BSPN; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters
Patriots -7 . . . . over/under 45½ . . . . NWE -300, BAL +250

Joe Flacco and the Baltimore offense had a breakout game against Miami last week. That was an anomaly though, don’t expect a repeat of that performance. The Ravens rank 30th on third down (34.1%), 24th in yards per play (5.1) and 21st in scoring (21.3 points per game). Baltimore does have an excellent defense though, allowing just 17.2 points per game (2nd in the NFL). OT Nate Solder will need some help slowing down OLB Terrell Suggs. The Ravens excel against the run, so the Patriots will once again rely on quick short passes to a variety of targets.

Baltimore’s recent winning streak (four out of five) has caught people’s attention. However, all four of those wins were at home; their only road victories were at Cleveland and Jacksonville. Those two teams are a combined 2-22. They beat an injured Steeler team and then won against Cleveland again and Cincinnati. While the win over Miami was impressive I just cannot picture Baltimore winning this game. What will John Harbaugh whine about this time?

Prediction: Patriots 24, Ravens 20
Ravens +7 . . . . . under 45½ . . . . . New England -300

Final Score: Patriots 30, Ravens 23 ✓
Ravens +7 -push- . . . . . under 45½ x . . . . . Patriots -300 ✓

 

★★★★★ 10-2 Oakland Raiders at 9-3 Kansas City Chiefs
Thursday December 7 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya.
Chiefs -3½ . . . . over/under 46 . . . . KAN -175, OAK +155

I felt the combination of Oakland’s inferior defense, Derek Carr’s injury and the home field advantage delivered by an underrated Arrowhead Stadium crowd would result in a Kansas City win. I didn’t anticipate Tyreek Hill having such an impact. To me Spencer Ware and KC running the ball would be the decisive factor, but the Chiefs ran for just 65 yards. Alex Smith was able to pass the ball downfield for 264 yards while Carr went just 17-41 for a paltry 117 yards.

Prediction: Chiefs 31, Raiders 20
Chiefs -3½ (two units) . . . . . over 46 . . . . . Kansas City -175

Final Score: Chiefs 21, Raiders 13 ✓
Chiefs -3½ ✓✓ . . . . . over 46 x . . . . . Chiefs -175 ✓

 

NFL Week 14 Parlays and Teasers

3-Game Parlay (one unit): x
Jaguars vs Vikings -3½ ✓
Giants vs Cowboys -3½ x
Cardinals at Dolphins +1½ ✓

5-Team 6-Point Teaser (two units): xx
Falcons at Rams +12½ x
Buccaneers vs Saints +8½ ✓
Cardinals at Dolphins +7½ ✓
Colts vs Texans +12½ ✓
Jets at 49ers under 49½ ✓

 

Tale of the Tape

For the second week in a row my teaser and parlay were blown up by a low scoring game. Two weeks ago I anticipated the Packers-Eagles game to be high scoring based upon those two defenses. Philly only managed to score 13 points and the total was under by 7½ points. Last week was more of the same. I expected Detroit-New Orleans to be a high scoring affair. The Detroit defense had its best game of the season, limiting the Saints – at home no less – to 13 points as well. In retrospect I should not have been surprised; that was the sixth straight game that Detroit has held an opponent to 20 or fewer points.

Week 13 Results:
10-5 Straight Up
7-8 Against the Spread
9-6 Over/Under
2-unit plays: 3-3, -60
1-unit plays: 3-0, +300
3-Game Parlay: 1u, -110
5-Game Teaser: 2u, -220
18 units invested
6-5, -90 on $1980 risk.
-4.5% ROI

Year to Date Results:
114-76-2 Straight Up
102-85-5 Against the Spread
106-86 Over/Under
5-unit plays: 1-0, +500
4-unit plays: 1-0, +400
3-unit plays: 6-5-1, +120
2-unit plays: 35-19-1, +2800
1-unit plays: 39-26-1, +1030
Parlays: 3-8, +1410
Teasers: 6-5, +2610
91-63-3, +8870 on original $2310 risk.
384.0% ROI on original $2310 bankroll.
31.5% ROI on $28,160 (256 units) of total weekly investments.

6-5, -90 on 18 units (-4.5%) in Week 13.
6-9-1, -360 on 28 units (-11.7%) in Week 12.
9-2, +2380 on 16 units (+135.2%) in Week 11.
4-9, -510 on 18 units (-25.8%) in Week 10.
7-4, +850 on 17 units (+45.5%) in Week 9.
11-2, +3470 on 27 units (+116.8%) in Week 8.
3-6, -480 on 12 units (-36.4%) in Week 7.
9-3-1, +1300 on 17 units (+69.5%) in Week 6.
7-7, +50 on 22 units (+2.1%) in Week 5.
9-2, +1910 on 18 units (+96.5%) in Week 4.
3-9-1, -1280 on 22 units (-58.2%) in Week 3.
9-3, +950 on 20 units (+43.2%) in Week 2.
9-2, +840 on 21 units (+36.4%) in Week 1.

 

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