So we’re down to the final regular season week of the NFL. A lot of tough games to predict this week because you don’t know what teams will do. Will they rest their starters? For how long? If a team has a chance for the playoffs, but is playing at 4 p.m., and becomes eliminated before they play, will they come out flat? For teams eliminated, do they try dressing second-line players to get an idea if they deserve a starting job next season? And so on.
Throw in the fact there are six games where the spread is more than a touchdown, and it makes for a difficult week in predictions.
Anyways, on to the picks:
|St.Louis at Atlanta||Line: Falcons by 14 1/2||Falcons|
|Chicago at Houston||Line: Texans by 2 1/2||Bears|
|New York at Minnesota||Line: Vikings by 6 1/2||Giants|
|Carolina at New Orleans||Line: Panthers by 2 1/2||Panthers|
|Cleveland at Pittsburgh||Line: Steelers by 10 1/2||Steelers|
|Oakland at Tampa Bay||Line: Buccaneers by 12 1/2||Raiders|
|Tennessee at Indianapolis||Line: Titans by 2 1/2||Titans|
|Detroit at Green Bay||Line: Packers by 9 1/2||Packers|
|New England at Buffalo||Line: Patriots by 6 1/2||Patriots|
|Kansas City at Cincinnati||Line: Bengals by 2 1/2||Bengals|
|Jacksonville at Baltimore||Line: Ravens by 12 1/2||Ravens|
|Miami at New York||Line: Jets by 2 1/2||Dolphins|
|Seattle at Arizona||Line: Cardinals by 5 1/2||Cardinals|
|Washington at San Francisco||Line: 49ers by 2 1/2||Redskins|
|Dallas at Philadelphia||Line: Eagles by 1 1/2||Cowboys|
|Denver at San Diego||Line: Chargers by 8 1/2||Broncos|
Some thoughts on some of the games:
New York Giants against Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota by 6 1/2: This is way too big a spread. I know the Vikings are going for a playoff spot, and they’ve won four of their last five, but I think the Giants are too difficult a team for them to beat. Remember week 17 last year, the Giants kept all their starters in against the 15-0 New England Patriots. They didn’t win, but they kept it close, and gave them momentum for the playoffs. It wouldn’t surprise me if they do the same thing, as they haven’t looked good the last few weeks. My pick: Giants.
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee by 2 1/2: Both teams are in the playoffs, both are sitting comfortably where they are, and can’t move up or down. So it will be interesting to see how fired up this game is. Peyton Manning will play probably the first quarter, and that would be it. I think the Titans starters will play longer, giving them the slight advantage in this matchup. My pick: Titans.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers, Green Bay by 9 1/2: Green Bay is 5-10 this season, but one of those wins was a 48-25 thumping of the Lions in Detroit. The Lions will have a lot to play for: pride, and ummmm….. I guess that’s about it. But the Packers have nothing to play for, except for the distinction of not getting beat by the worst team in the history of football. I still don’t think the Lions can pull it off, and will finish the season 0-16. My pick: Packers.
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets, Jets favoured by 2 1/2: A lot on the line in this game. The Jets have looked ugly the last four weeks, their only win coming because of a bad Buffalo Bills team screwing things up in a game they had won. Brett Favre is getting worse as the season wears on. The Dolphins though, have been more impressive, winning eight of their last nine games. I think a game like this, you have to go with the team with the confidence and momentum. My pick: Dolphins.
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers, San Diego favoured by 8 1/2: First off, this spread is way too big for a game with such huge implications (the winning team makes the playoffs, the losing team is out). The Broncos are 5-1 in games decided by four points or less, whereas the Chargers are 2-4 (and those two wins are both one-point victories against the Kansas City Chiefs where they had no business winning). I think this stays a close game because both teams have so much to play for, and since it’s the Sunday night national game, it’s on an even bigger stage. I think not only does Denver cover, but they win the game outright. My pick: Broncos.