Thursday, Dec. 15
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-14.5)
NB: Seattle Seahawks. If not now, when Seattle? You laid a stinker last week, but you get an early Christmas present later today. You get to play the hapless Rams on a short week at home days after they fired their coach. Don’t screw this one up.
RH: Seattle Seahawks. Stay away from this one. Most years you would just take this many points and not think twice, but this year dogs are not covering at the rate they normally do.
Saturday, Dec. 17
Miami Dolphins (-2.5) at New York Jets
NB: Miami Dolphins. Matt Moore vs Bryce Petty! Get excited! The Dolphins are still fighting for the playoffs and the Jets are the Jets. Don’t get fooled by a win over the Niners.
RH: New York Jets. I love Saturday games, but not when they are a matchup of two backup quarterbacks. Hold your nose and take the homedog.
Sunday, Dec. 18
Detroit Lions at New York Giants (-4.5)
NB: New York Giants. On one hand, I think the G Men are a bit of fool’s gold right now and overrated. On the other, it seems like the perfect week for a Lions loss, which will put the Packers right back in the NFC North race. Detroit can’t have nice things.
RH: Detroit Lions. Two teams that probably aren’t as good as their records in what should be good and possibly turnover filled game. A Giants loss would really jumble up the playoff picture going forward.
Philadelphia Eagles at Baltimore Ravens (-6)
NB: Baltimore Ravens. A must win game for the Ravens. It is as simple as that. I trust them to show up this week.
RH: Baltimore Ravens. This line feels a little high, but the Eagles will likely be without Darren Sproles and will be using their fifth different right tackle this season.
Green Bay Packers (-6.5) at Chicago Bears
NB: Green Bay Packers. As you can see from my Detroit vs NYG pick, I think the Packers win big this week to get right back into the NFC North race.
RH: Chicago Bears. The fighting Matt Barkley’s have been super frisky as of late and with the temperatures expected be below zero on Sunday I’m taking the points here.
Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)
NB: Minnesota Vikings. I kept wanting to believe that the Colts would find a way back into the playoffs, but last’s weeks loss really hurts that. The Colts are not a good team and Andrew Luck can’t do everything. The Vikings are just better all around.
RH: Minnesota Vikings. I feel like everytime we count the Colts out it comes back to bite us with a win on the road. That could be in play here, but I think the Vikings are slowly getting their mojo back.
Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills (-10)
NB: Buffalo Bills. The Browns haven’t covered the spread (or won a game of course) in a few months. You just can’t bet on them right now.
RH: Buffalo Bills. My reason for taking Seattle also applies here.
Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5)
NB: Tennessee Titans. I am riding the Titans’ bandwagon. Kansas City is due for a letdown after a big win over Oakland (in which they got a little bit lucky). Tennessee has been playing great and has a style of play that works well on the road.
RH: Kansas City Chiefs. The Titans have not been the same team on the road this season with losses by 7 or more against Houston, San Diego and Indy plus a tight one against a bad Bears team.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-6)
NB: Houston Texans. I’m done with the Jaguars. They fooled me again last week.
RH: Houston Texans. A fun subplot to this game is who will get benched first between Blake Bortles and Brock Osweiler.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Cincinnati Bengals
NB: Cincinnati Bengals. I am going to regret making this pick, but the Bengals can salvage some of their season by playing spoiler to their biggest rival. I think they will be up for this game and play the Steelers tight this week.
RH: Pittsburgh Steelers. Am I allowed to change my pick if Vontaze Burfict knocks anyone out in the first half?
New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals (-2.5)
NB: New Orleans Saints. The Saints need to bounce back after two bad weeks. Both of these teams are toast this year, so it’s nice to also get 2.5 points.
RH: Arizona Cardinals. It’s always hard to predict who still cares in a matchup of two teams out of contention. I’ve been foolishly betting on Arizona all year, I’ll go back to the well once more.
San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons (-13.5)
NB: Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons will stomp on the Niners this week as they make their run to the playoffs.
RH: Atlanta Falcons. One of the three double digit road dogs (Rams, Browns, Niners) will cover this weekend and I’m tempted to say it’s San Fran, but I just cannot bring myself to do it.
New England Patriots (-3) at Denver Broncos
NB: Denver Broncos. I know this is a revenge game for the Pats. However, you can’t fool me twice. The Broncos defense knows how to get to Brady and the cold weather/home field advantage really helps Denver. I see an AFC Championship replay here.
RH: Denver Broncos. I hate going against New England, but you have to take Denver here. A home team getting three points in a pretty even matchup is an automatic play.
Oakland Raiders (-3) at San Diego Chargers
NB: Oakland Raiders. This is a tough game to pick. I’m going a little soft on the Raiders as they show their true selves later in the season. The Bolts are just too banged up though and don’t have the bodies to keep up with the Raiders offense right now.
RH: Oakland Raiders. I can’t pick the Chargers correctly at all this season. The injuries may have finally taken their toll on San Diego last week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (-7)
NB: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I can see the Bucs winning this game outright. Followed by a hot take hurricane of Dak vs Romo arguments. I hope that doesn’t happen, but it just seems like it has to happen.
RH: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. There may finally be some chinks in Dak’s armor and the Bucs defense is hot enough to take advantage of them.
Monday, Dec. 19
Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins (-4.5)
NB: Washington Redskins. I want to go Panthers here, but I think the Skins are rolling right now. Also, Kirk Cousins should have a field day against the Panthers’ secondary.
RH: Washington Redskins. The Panthers will be saving up their last good game of 2016 for one of their final two division games against Atlanta and Tampa. Washington rolls in this one.
NB: 105-98-5 (7-8-1 last week)
RH: 86-117-5 (6-9-1 last week)
-Nick Bair & Randy Haines
Odds according to Westgate Las Vegas
Photo credit: Milwaukee Journal Sentinal