(27-31-2 against the spread in 2022)
NEW YORK GIANTS (+1.5) over Washington Commanders
If the playoffs began today, both the 7-4 Giants and 7-5 Commanders would be in as the final two NFC Wild Card teams. The Giants have lost two straight and have had extra time to prepare, after losing in Dallas on Thanksgiving. Washington has won three straight, and seems to be fully committed to Taylor Heinicke at quarterback. I expect this to be an ugly divisional dog fight. New York shouldn’t be the underdog here at home. Give me the points.
MIAMI DOLPHINS (+3.5) over San Francisco 49ers
At 7-4, the 49ers have won four straight. Their defense shut out the Saints last week, and ranks No. 1 in the NFL, allowing just 15.7 points per game. But as much as San Francisco is rolling right now, Miami’s offense is doing something extra special this season with Tua Tagovailoa under center. The 8-3 Dolphins have won five straight and are averaging 34 points per game in their last four games. I don’t think it’s crazy to think Miami will keep it close in San Fran. So I’ll take the points.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-2.5) over Cincinnati Bengals
The Chiefs lost to the Bengals twice last year: once in the regular season, and again in the AFC Championship. But it’s a new season, and I expect Patrick Mahomes to one-up Joe Burrow in this projected shootout in Cincinnati. The Chiefs are 9-2 and have won five straight, while the Bengals are 7-4 and have won three straight. This is a gut pick. And my gut tells me Mahomes finds a way to score last for a win and a cover on the road.
DALLAS COWBOYS (-10.5) over Indianapolis Colts
Talk about a bad matchup for Matt Ryan. The 8-3 Cowboys lead the league in sacks, with 45. That type of pressure should force Ryan to throw a couple interceptions in Dallas on Sunday night. The Colts are 4-7-1 and are coming off an uninspiring loss to the Steelers on Monday. A short week against a good Dallas team that’s won two straight and is bound to put up points at home? Not the best situation for Indianapolis to be in at the moment. Give me the Cowboys by two touchdowns.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-3.5) over New Orleans Saints
On paper, the NFC South is up for grabs. But anybody who watches the NFL knows this is still Tampa Bay’s division to lose. The 5-6 Buccaneers and 4-8 Saints are each coming off a loss. Tampa Bay already beat the Saints, 20-10, back in Week 2 in New Orleans. Tom Brady is 19-8 with 55 touchdown passes on Monday nights, and his defense allows less than 20 points per game. I can’t bet against that. I’m taking the first-place Bucs to win and cover at home.
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