Home team in CAPS
Chiefs (-3) over SAINTS
Given that there was +5 available on the Saints earlier in the week, the only way we can go given the prevailing market is with the defending champs, laying the (now-adjusted) trey, given the likelihood of Drew Brees starting for the home side. Faves have skated long in their most-recent five wins (all close), waiting for the real racing to begin.
Browns (-5.5) over GIANTS
With Colt McCoy starting for Big Blue, since Daniel Jones is sidelined by lingering injuries, forced to justify lean to visiting Brownies. The home side has been better ATS performers on the road than at MetLife this season.
RAMS (-17.5) over Jets
With Trevor Lawrence so close to their eventual grasp, it’s hard to believe the J-E-T-S won’t be able to wrap up their seasonal reverse-perfecto, here. Don’t expect the Rams will let themselves look ahead here (to the Seahawks and Cardinals) until this assignment is secured.
Texans (+7.5) over COLTS
Despite their aches and pains, at least the Texans have quick revenge from just two weeks back in this AFC South divisional clash. The Colts appear the be the genuine article, especially defensively, but are anything but cheap.
TITANS (-10.5) over Lions
As regulars know, we’re not enamored of laying double digits in this league, barring extreme circumstances. QB Matthew Stafford (ribs) may make it back under center for the visitors, though if he doesn’t go, and already without Kenny Golladay, Detroit rates as a distinct reach. The Titans are looking ahead to Packers and Texans on the road, but the January question for the home side is seeding.
Falcons (+5.5) over Buccaneers
You wish Matt Ryan could still be counted upon to come up with the kind of downfield passing magic that was once standard operating procedure, but we’re not quite as impressed with the Bucs’ defense as so many seem to be, and insist on granting the no-pressure Falcons a puncher’s chance.
Patriots (-2.5) over DOLPHINS
Bill Belichick’s team hasn’t come this cheap against Miami in December for eons, so am compelled to walk this way, despite previous New England issues versus this foe in South Florida at this stage of a season. Tough to trust young Tua Tagovailoa up against the savvy Billy B.
Seahawks (-5.5) over WASHINGTON
Going with Football Team without Alex Smith and his new physical issues, over and above his long-standing calf troubles, leaves us with Dwayne Haskins as Smith’s stand-in. So Seattle it is, with its sustained edge in instincts and experience.
Bears (+3.5) over VIKINGS
Both fringe playoff sides are literally fighting for their lives here. Will go to the markedly superior defense, plus points, against a Purple crew that was left with a secondary inferior to the unit that patrolled the defensive backfield in 2019. Mitch Trubisky is now looking to take greater advantage of his mobility, as demonstrated against the Texans. The Vikings’ kicking game is wretched.
Jaguars (+12.5) over RAVENS
The only side the Jags have beaten? Indianapolis, in the season opener at Jacksonville, but they’ve just missed against the Titans, Texans, Packers and Vikings. The Ravens are better than their 8-5 record and boast the savvy to handle this confidently, with an eye to January seeding.
Eagles (+6.5) over CARDINALS
Philadelphia finally gave Jalen Hurts a start last Sunday against the Saints, and the result was electric. Even if Hurts recedes somewhat this week, still like Philly’s chances at the price as a side that shouldn’t be intimidated by a Cards bunch that has a good deal to prove under this kind of fourth-quarter seasonal pressures. The Birds are potentially dangerous, playing keep-away on the ground.
COWBOYS (+3) over 49ers
San Francisco is enduring a brutal injury stretch, making last year’s Super Bowl visit a dim memory. Ex-Bengal Andy Dalton had his fun last week, sticking it to his long-time Cincinnati mates in a pleasant visit for an (infrequent) Dallas win. Close call. Clock the hospital roster.
Monday Night Football
BENGALS (+12.5) over Steelers
The visitors destroyed the hosts at Heinz at short lay price (-6.5!!?!) earlier. Steel Men come in here now off two straight losses, after their 11 consecutive victories off the top of the deck. A bigger game for the visitors is just ahead.
Last Week: 4-11.