(32-40-3 against the spread in 2022)
CINCINNATI BENGALS (-3) over New England Patriots
Joe Burrow and Mac Jones are two quarterbacks going in different directions. The 10-4 Bengals have won six straight. The 7-7 Patriots have lost three of their last four. Cincinnati is battling for the No. 1 seed in the AFC, while New England is just trying to get back into the playoff picture. Top to bottom, I hate this matchup for the Pats. Even after a disastrous loss in Vegas last Sunday, “On to Cincinnati” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Bengals win by 10 at Gillette.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-10) over Seattle Seahawks
The 11-3 Chiefs already clinched their division, and enter Week 16 as the No. 2 seed in the AFC. They’re still playing for the top spot in the conference, so every game remains important. The 7-7 Seahawks are one game out of the final Wild Card spot in the NFC, which makes this a must-win for Geno Smith. As good as Smith has been this season, I don’t see him going into Arrowhead in late December and pulling out a win. Patrick Mahomes is due for a never-in-question victory. Chiefs win by two touchdowns.
DALLAS COWBOYS (-4) over Philadelphia Eagles
Gardner Minshew takes over for the injured Jalen Hurts, as the 13-1 Eagles can clinch the NFC’s No. 1 seed with a win over the 10-4 Cowboys in Dallas. But the last start Minshew made was against the Cowboys last season. Dallas won that game, 51-26, with Dak Prescott throwing five touchdown passes. The 10-4 Cowboys have clinched a playoff berth, and need a win to at least secure the top Wild Card spot in the NFC. Dallas covers at home.
GREEN BAY PACKERS (+3.5) over Miami Dolphins
Even at 6-8, Green Bay is still very much alive for a Wild Card spot in the NFC. The Packers have won two straight, while the 8-6 Dolphins have fallen to the final Wild Card spot in the AFC by losing their last three. Miami has one of the league’s worst pass defenses, and Green Bay has one of the best. Give Aaron Rodgers some nice weather this time of year in a must-win situation against a porous defense, and I’ll be sure to put my money on that. Packers stay alive with a win on South Beach.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-8) over Arizona Cardinals
It feels like the 6-8 Buccaneers are trying to not make the playoffs. But here they are, still in first place in the NFC South after losing two straight. Now they head to Arizona for Sunday Night Football against a 4-10 Cardinals team that’s already been eliminated from playoff contention. Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy are injured, which means Trace McSorley makes his first NFL start. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers couldn’t ask for a better bounce-back opportunity. Tampa wins big in prime time.
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