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Falcons @ Saints (-5.5)

This game sees the second ranked by overall DVOA New Orleans Saints host the Atlanta Falcons who rank sixteenth. This should be a great game as both teams are fighting for a playoff spot and the Falcons won the reverse fixture two weeks ago. It also pits the Saints’ number one rush offence by DVOA against the Falcons’ thirtieth rush defence. I do fancy the Saints to win, but it is a question if they can cover this line and whilst I think they definitely can the line does worry me. However, with Alvin Kamara fit and healthy and with a point to prove I’m going to nervously back the Saints.

Gee’s Pick:          Saints
Dan’s Pick:          Falcons

Bills @ Patriots (-12.5)

The New England Patriots are coming off another comeback win, but having beaten the Steelers they now host the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are still in the playoff hunt and have been playing most teams tough. I would expect the Patriots to win, but given that they are coming off a physical road game I do not expect them to find this division game easy.

Gee’s Pick:          Bills
Dan’s Pick:          Patriots

Browns @ Bears (-6.5)

The Cleveland Browns have been failing to even cover games yet alone win them, and it is hard to see them turning this around on the road in Chicago even if the Bears are hardly setting the league alight. The Browns’ defence ranks a respectable sixteenth in the league but their thirty-second rank offence does not inspire confidence. Nor does the fact that the Browns are 1-5 against the spread on the road and so by default I’m going back the Bears to cover.

Gee’s Pick:          Bears
Dan’s Pick:          Browns

Lions @ Bengals (+4.5)

The Cincinnati Bengals are struggling with injury and stuck in limbo with a head coach that is likely leaving so it hard to see them having much luck against the Detroit Lions who still have an outside chance of making the playoffs. The injuries at tackle will not help the struggling Bengal’s offence and whilst having linebacker Vontaze Burfict back may help the defence, I’m not prepared to suggest that this will help the Bengals keep this game close.

Gee’s Pick:          Lions
Dan’s Pick:          Lions

Broncos @ Washington (-3.5)

Washington are limping towards the end of the season whilst the Denver Broncos have won two straight. The Broncos will want to take another look at Paxton Lynch, but with the oft injured young quarterback still struggling with an ankle sprain it looks like Brock Osweiler will get the start in Washington. I don’t have much faith in the home team despite their win against the Cardinals last week but nor do I have much faith in the Broncos and yet with the Broncos coming into this game with a little extra rest and getting an extra half point on the road I’m going to back them to stay within four points in this one.

Gee’s Pick:          Broncos
Dan’s Pick:          Washington

Rams @ Titans (+6.5)

With the LA Rams on the road as they travel to face the Tennessee Titans the points should tempt me except the Titans have not been playing well for a while now and the Rams are peaking at the right time. I am sure I should be taking the points for a home underdog but with the scores the Rams have been running up this season I can’t bring myself to do it.

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

Dolphins @ Chiefs (-10.5)

The Miami Dolphins have been so up and down that it is hard to predict what they are going to do, but on the road facing a Kansas City Chiefs team who have rediscovered some of their early season form and who have one of the best home field advantages in the league it is hard to say the Dolphins will have a good performance. However, it is a lot to ask for any team to win by eleven points. I don’t think the Dolphins will win this game, but this number is too rich for me.

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

Chargers @ Jets (+6.5)

The LA Chargers rand into a buzz saw last week and are on the road for a second week. They travel to face a New York Jets team who have lost two games by double digits since quarterback Josh McCown was lost for the season to a hand injury in Denver. The points do worry me, but the Chargers are still only a game back from the wildcard spots and are the better team.

Gee’s Pick:          Chargers
Dan’s Pick:          Chargers

Buccaneers @ Panthers (-9.5)

The Carolina Panthers have won two straight and seem to have found themselves on offence. They welcome a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team who got a strong performance from Jameis Winston last week but the third year quarterback has struggled a lot this season as has the team. This is a lot of points but not enough to persuade me to pick against the favourite.

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

Jaguars @ 49ers (+4.5)

The San Francisco 49ers have had an incredible run since starting Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback but those three wins have come against the Bears, Texans, and Titans whereas this week they face the Jacksonville Jaguars and their league leading by DVOA pass defence. This should be a fascinating game but it feels like this is the game that Garappolo finally loses. The points are tempting, but in the end I’m going to trust the superior talent across the board for the Jaguars and who would have predicted that before the start of the season?

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

Seahawks @ Cowboys (-4.5)

This feels like a trap game as the Seattle Seahawks are a team who constantly challenge what you think they can do and the Dallas Cowboys have been up and down this season. However, the Seahawks were battered at home last week and are facing a Cowboys team who can rush the passer and who are also get running back Ezekiel Elliott back from suspension. I could regret this but with the Cowboys coming into this game on a three game winning streak I’m going to back them to win at home.

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

Giants @ Cardinals (-4.5)

This is a strange game to pick with both teams’ seasons going badly and neither team having much to play for. The Arizona Cardinals have not scored a touchdown in two games whilst the New York Giants are marking time until the end of the season when the overhaul of their roster can begin. I think the Cardinals are the more likely team to win but the Giants are a surprising 4-3 against the spread on the road and this is just too many points for me.

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

Steelers @ Texans (+9.5)

The Pittsburgh Steelers should have won last week and now travel to face a poor Houston Texans team who just want the season to be over. The Texans have lost their last four games and the last three by double digits so whilst the Steelers’ loss of receiver Antonio Brown does worry me, as does their  propensity of playing down to their opponent, the Steelers need to keep winning to get a bye week and I think they should get right in this game. Particularly with the Christmas day record of 17-2 to road teams, which Dan made me aware of in this week’s podcast.

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

Raiders @ Eagles (-8.5)

The Oakland Raiders are the other team on the road this Christmas, but if last year was the first to feature home wins in the Christmas day games I expect another home victory this year. The Raiders have been struggling all season and this week they travel across the country to face an Eagles team in Philadelphia who demonstrated that they can move the ball with their backup quarterback Nick Foles. It was the Eagles’ defence that struggled last week despite their top ten ranking by DVOA and they will want to look better this week and going against a Raiders offence that ranks a surprising eleventh by DVOA despite their problem, I think they will.

Gee’s Pick:          Eagles
Dan’s Pick:          Raiders

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