BENGALS (+3) over Lions
I know, I know. The Bengals have given us no reason whatsoever to bet on them. They have been a trainwreck all season, but there is a method to my clear madness. This is Marvin Lewis’ final game at Paul Brown Stadium. That may not seem like anything until you remember just how long Lewis has been there. He may not be the greatest when it came to playoff success but people forget the clown show the Bengals were when he got there. This is a necessary divorce but if the team were to show up for one game this would be it.
If you want more of a football answer here, the Lions suck on the road. They are 1-5-1 against the spread over their last seven. That lone cover came against a Bucs team that has been even more of a disappointment than these two teams. I expect a strong game from the home squad and at the bare minimum a cover for their coach’s home finale.
Prediction: Lions 23, Bengals 24
PATRIOTS (-11.5) over Bills
Coming off a win at Pittsburgh in what was easily the game of the year the Patriots must keep their foot on the gas. Two losses (however unlikely that is) and they can find themselves at the three seed. The AFC has been atrocious but the Steelers and Jaguars have kept pace with the class of the conference. Given the comfort of knowing Tom Brady has something to play for picking the Pats to cover this spread feels a whole lot easier.
The Bills have something to play for too for what it’s worth. They’re in the thick of the Wild Card race and clinging to the sixth seed. A loss coupled with a Ravens win (which will happen barring a miracle game from the Colts in Baltimore on Saturday night) and the Bills miss the playoffs again. I’ve seen this movie before and it ends with the Bills missing the playoffs. Ride with Brady and the Pats as they look to wrap up the top seed in the AFC once again.
Prediction: Bills 17, Patriots 34
49ERS (+4) over Jaguars
Am I too late to the Jimmy G party? Who cares, this guy is legit. Before arriving to the Bay this 49ers team was garbage. Since Jimmy has taken over the team has not lost and energy that was missing since the Harbaugh Era has been brought back. Sunday we find out just how good Jimmy is. The Jaguars should have the Niners offense in a straitjacket.
The reason I say should is that Jimmy G should not have won any games with this supporting cast yet here he is at 3-0 as the starter. The Jags can still grab a two seed if the Pats or Steelers lose so it’s not like they will be showing up for this. Blake Bortles has been on a hot streak as of late which only adds interest to this tilt. I believe the Jags defense does enough to win this game but I just think Bortles is due for an average showing and the 49ers have been feisty.
Prediction: Jaguars 20, 49ers 17
EAGLES (-9) over Raiders
If this is not the most painful way for your season to effectively end I don’t know what is.
— Ronnie Laybold (@CoyotesGlendale) December 18, 2017
There is nothing left for the Raiders to play for. This game is Christmas night all the way across the country in Philly. I would have no interest in this game if I was a Raiders fan let alone a player. The Eagles wrapped up a first round bye but can also clinch homefield throughout which they are battling the Vikings for. I expect a Christmas night massacre and just hope you are making the wise decision of grabbing the money and watching basketball instead.
Prediction: Raiders 14, Eagles 27
The Other Guys
RAVENS (-13) over Colts
Vikings (-8.5) over PACKERS
JETS (+6.5) over Chargers
Buccaneers (+10.5) over PANTHERS
Browns (+6.5) over BEARS
CHIEFS (-10.5) over Dolphins
SAINTS (-5.5) over Falcons
TITANS (+6.5) over Rams
REDSKINS (-3) over Broncos
CARDINALS (-3) over Giants
Seahawks (+4.5) over COWBOYS
Steelers (-9) over TEXANS
Last Week: 6-10