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Dolphins @ Bills (-2.5)

The Buffalo Bills are one of four teams in the AFC with a 7-6 record and do have a shot at a wildcard spot but they also have to play the Miami Dolphins twice and face the Patriots next week. As such, they have to win at least two of those and hope to get into the playoffs. The Dolphins are one of the hardest teams to predict given that their plays is incredibly up and down, they are ranked twenty-eight overall by DVOA, and yet they have a 6-7 record. The Dolphins impressive win against the Patriots on Monday would give me pause, except that I have no faith in their ability to play consistently from week to week and for whatever reason they do give the Patriots problems at home. As such, I’m backing the Bills to win out in this one and they only need a field goal to cover.

Gee’s Pick:          Bills
Dan’s Pick:          Dolphins

Bengals @ Vikings (-10.5)

This could be a really painful game for me as the Bengals leave Cincinnati after a bad loss to the Bears and head off to face the Vikings in Minnesota. The Vikings are coming off three straight road games and only lost to the Panthers last week, but they are a much more balanced team than the Bengals not to mention a better one. The Vikings’ defence is going to cause the anaemic Bengals offence problems and with the injuries at linebacker mounting up I don’t see the Bengals covering this line in a tough stadium to play in.

Gee’s Pick:          Vikings
Dan’s Pick:          Vikings

Ravens @ Browns (+7.5)

The Baltimore Ravens are travelling to face the Cleveland Browns and I do wonder about picking the Browns to cover this one, but it feels like every time I do that I lose and so with the Ravens in the playoff hunt and still possessing the best defence and special teams in the league by DVOA I am backing them to cover. Although I will be interested to see what the Browns’ vocal new GM John Dorsey gets up to in the offseason.

Gee’s Pick:          Ravens
Dan’s Pick:          Browns

Packers @ Panthers (+0.5)

The Carolina Panthers got the win last week against the Vikings and are part of a tight three way race in the NFC South. This week they face an excited Green Bay Packers who have their talisman back in Aaron Rodgers. The Packers have a slim hope of making the playoffs but they will need to win their final three games and Rodgers will have to hit the ground running in his first game back since breaking his collar bone. I can understand the excitement as the Packers had to win out last season to make the playoffs and they did, but it is a tough three games and the Packers did not look at all convincing without Rodgers as their quarterback. It wouldn’t surprise me if Rodgers gets the win on the road, but I’m not sure I can pick it.

Gee’s Pick:          Panthers
Dan’s Pick:          Panthers

Jets @ Saints (-15.5)

This is an awful lot of points, but with the New York Jets losing starting quarterback Josh McCown for the rest of the season to a broken hand and the New Orleans Saints getting rookie sensation Marshon Lattimore back at corner as well as rookie running back Alvin Kamara clearing concussion protocol it doesn’t feel like the Jets will keep it close. I could regret it, but with the Saints having extra rest and being at home I think they are going to have a big game.

Gee’s Pick:          Saints
Dan’s Pick:          Jets

Eagles @ Giants (+7.5)

It is so frustrating that Carson Wentz is done for the year, but the Philadelphia Eagles will still be a tough team to face. The New York Giants continue to argue amongst themselves and I suspect that the end of the season can’t come soon enough. I think the Eagles will still win this game, but with a backup quarterback I can’t pick them to win by eight without seeing some evidence first.

Gee’s Pick:          Giants
Dan’s Pick:          Giants

Cardinals @ Washington (-4.5)

The Arizona Cardinals have remained competitive in a lot of games despite the injuries and this week they travel to face a Washington team who have been equally beset by injury. The Cardinals defence is fifth in the league by DVOA and I think they will be competitive so whilst I think Washington are more likely to win, I’m not going to pick them to win by five.

Gee’s Pick:          Cardinals
Dan’s Pick:          Cardinals

Texans @ Jaguars (-11.5)

The Houston Texans have won one game in their last seven and travel to face the Jacksonville Jaguars with an offence that ranks twentieth in the league by DVOA. This is a problem when you are facing the number two defence in the league by DVOA and the number one pass defence. The Texans rush attack doesn’t look to stack up that great against the comparatively weak Jaguars run defence either. The points give me some pause, and it still feels strange to see the Jaguars giving this number of points, but I don’t think anyone is going to fancy playing the Jaguars in the playoffs and this is going to be a tough game for the Texans.

Gee’s Pick:          Jaguars
Dan’s Pick:          Jaguars

Rams @ Seahawks (-2.5)

The Seattle Seahawks lost a bad tempered game to the Jaguars last week and are increasingly reliant on Russell Wilson to do the impossible as the injuries continue to mount on defence. The LA Rams lost to the Eagles last week and this game can be seen as something of a measuring stick on whether they are going to be a dangerous team in the playoffs. The Rams have made tremendous progress from last season, but do seem to have struggled against tough defences and this is a bad time to have some injury niggles on the offensive line. Still, with Bobby Wagner not having practised all week, the Seahawks must be worried even if it looks like the linebacker is going to try to play with his hamstring injury. The Rams have beaten the Seahawks in recent years and I think this is the time we find out how good they are going to be and I think they edge this one.

Gee’s Pick:          Rams
Dan’s Pick:          Seahawks

Titans @ 49ers (-1.5)

It is not often that you see a 3-10 team favoured over an 8-5 team but the Tennessee Titans are coming off an ugly loss to the Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers have won two straight since Jimmy Garoppolo became their starting quarterback. The Titans have been winning ugly this year, and really need this one to stay in the playoff hunt but Marcus Mariota has not looked great in his third season. I’m going to back the team with the momentum in this game and just hope that Garoppolo keeps his winning streak going for another week as he has to lose at some point.

Gee’s Pick:          49ers
Dan’s Pick:          49ers

Patriots @ Steelers (+2.5)

In a game that many see as deciding who will come out of the AFC to be in the Super Bowl by determining who will have home field advantage in the playoffs, the Pittsburgh Steelers welcome the New England Patriots who are coming off a tough loss to the Dolphins. The Patriots will have Rob Gronkowski back from suspension and in recent years have shredded the Steelers’ cover two defence, which is worrying given the injury to Ryan Shazier. However, the Steelers’ offence feel like it has more than enough to keep up with the Patriots offence, particularly with there being injury problems for the Patriots at right tackle. The Patriots almost never lose two straight under Bill Belichick but getting points at home is too much for me to pass up in this cracking game.

Gee’s Pick:          Steelers
Dan’s Pick:          Steelers

Cowboys @ Raiders (+2.5)

The Oakland Raiders have really struggled this season and with the league’s worst defence by DVOA I see them struggling against a Dallas Cowboys team that has won two straight and seem to have got themselves back on track.

Gee’s Pick:          Cowboys
Dan’s Pick:          Cowboys

Falcons @ Buccaneers (+6.5)

This week’s Monday night game see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Atlanta Falcons. The Bucs have really struggled and losing Gerald McCoy will really hurt a defence already ranked thirty-first in the league by DVOA. The Falcons offence may not have reached the heights of last season, but having found a way to win against the Saints despite Matt Ryan throwing three interceptions last week I expect them to win again this week. I’m just not sure they will win by a touchdown on the road given that they haven’t managed it all season.

Gee’s Pick:          Buccaneers
Dan’s Pick:          Falcons

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