So how about some pro picks to try and get us all through what remains of our weekend?
Raiders (-6.5) over Jaguars
This is the last game the Raiders will ever play in Oakland. They haven’t been playing well lately, after a surprisingly decent start, but the Jags have been even worse. Two teams going in the wrong direction. But I’ll take a chance that the place will be going just a little nuts and the players will play up to the occasion and send them out the proper way.
Seahawks (-5.5) over Panthers
Seahawks are coming off a disappointing loss at the Rams. I’m thinking they can bounce back in a big way, even though they’re on the road, against a Carolina team that has lost its coach and looks as if it’s lost its motivation to show up.
Rams (-1.5) over Cowboys
Hey, I had the Rams last week against the Seahawks and I went against the Cowboys in Chicago and both worked out for me. So why change? The Rams look like they’re finally finding their way, even though it might be too late to save their playoff life, and the Boys just look lost. Whatever happens to them here they’re going to be playing for the NFC East title anyway next week in South Philly. I think the Rams can go to Big D and get it done, somehow. This line opened with the Boys giving points, by the way, for whatever that’s telling you.
Bears (+3.5) over Packers
I know the Pack won the first meeting right out of the gate. In a low-scoring game in Chicago. But Mitch Trubisky has been playing better, and so have the Bears. I think the Packers are good, but maybe not as good as we thought. Same with Aaron Rodgers. I know that kind of thinking can get me in trouble, but I’m going to take a shot anyway that the Bears at least keep it close if not take it outright.
Dolphins (+3) over Giants
Why not? Dolphins should have won last week in New York against the Jets, if not for a bad call, a week after beating the Eagles in Miami as a double-digit underdog. I know it’s probably Eli Manning’s last game at home, but the Giants pretty much stink. The Fish are still playing hard for their first-year coach, despite the fact that they’re supposed to be tanking. That might be enough.
Browns (-3) over Cardinals
I’m not in love with the Browns, but they have been winning games. I’m not sure what to make of the Cards any more, except it’s mostly a work in progress. Taking the Browns on the road can be hazardous to your health, but I’m living dangerously. Just think they’ll find a way, and I’m hoping by more than a field goal.
Steelers (-1) over Bills
I like what both teams have done, but I’m going to go with the home side just because. Bills haven’t beaten a lot of good teams, and Steelers are on a pretty good roll.
Vikings (-1.5) over Chargers
Chargers looked really good last week, and we had them. Now it’s a tougher assignment. Maybe even much tougher. The Vikes and their much-maligned quarterback have looked good the second half, so I’ll give them another shot, even though they’re on the road, to keep it going.
Patriots (-1.5) over Bengals, with 49ers (-1.5) over Falcons and Saints (-.5) over Colts
Just think all three will win, although if you want to tell me you would rather tease the Falcons up I wouldn’t argue too much. I know the Niners are a little beat up coming off that huge win in New Orleans, but they are home. I wouldn’t touch the 10.5, but all I’m asking them to do is basically get a W. Same with the Pats, who are on the road against a one-win team. I know not all is right with the six-time champs, but I have to believe they can at least get through this without the roof falling completely on top of them. And the Saints are coming off a loss that could cost them the homefield in the NFC playoffs, so they should be in no mood and might take it out on the slumping Colts.
See you next week when the bowl games get started. Until then, good luck with that Christmas shopping. Unless of course you’ve become an online ordering gifter. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
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