As the NFL season nears its end, some teams are already looking forward to the offseason while others are still in the hunt for the playoffs. Teams like the Bengals and Jets have been decimated by injuries, particularly to their quarterbacks, while others like the Colts and Seahawks are taking full advantage of their late-season surges. As all bettors know, playoff implications or not, there is trash or treasure to be found in every game so we take a look at some of the best and worst ones to place your money on.
Games To Go For
Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Colts -4.5, O/U 47
Leonard Fournette lost his appeal of a one-game suspension earlier this week following a fight against the Bills. This means the star back will sit against Indianapolis leaving the Jaguars’ offense to be led by T.J. Yeldon and quarterback Cody Kessler. That’s not promising given the fact the Colts are on a five-game winning streak with no signs of slowing down. Over that span, Andrew Luck has thrown 16 touchdowns with just three interceptions. The Colts would likely be a bigger favorite if this game was being played at home so take advantage of what will likely be a win by at least a touchdown on the way to their sixth straight win.
Call: Colts -4.5, under 47
Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Panthers -3.5, O/U 54.5
The Panthers again fell short last weekend against the Seahawks to extend their losing streak to three games so it’s understandable to be antsy about betting on them. Their previous two losses came against the Lions and Steelers on the road, pushing their away record to 1-4. That shouldn’t be an issue on the road against the Buccaneers, however. Their other two road losses came against the Falcons and Redskins with both of those games and the Lions game being by one score. Tampa Bay is a lesser team than all the previously mentioned ones. Not to mention receiver DeSean Jackson will be out for the Bucs, who also have lost tight end O.J. Howard for the season. It’s understandable why the Panthers are small favorites this weekend but expect them to cover comfortably.
Call: Panthers -3.5, over 54.5
Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles, Eagles -6, O/U 45
The NFC East has been one of the more surprising divisions this year with Washington constantly contending for first place while the defending Super Bowl champions have been struggling all season. While the loss of Alex Smith has put a major dent in Washington’s chances of further success, the Eagles’ chances don’t fare much better. Their secondary is finally returning to healthy form but they haven’t won comfortably since week seven against the Giants. That 34-13 win was their largest one on the season and other than a blowout to the Saints, all of their games have been decided by one score. Colt McCoy proved to be a competent backup for Washington against Dallas last week throwing for two touchdowns and 268 yards. His three interceptions proved to be costly but they still only lost by eight points. Philadelphia will likely win this game but the game will probably be closer than most think.
Call: Redskins +6, under 45
Games To Avoid
Baltimore Ravens vs. Atlanta Falcons, Falcons -1.5, O/U 49
The line for this game started out with the Falcons three-point favorites and has obviously and rightfully shrunk as the week has progressed. Lamar Jackson will be making his third straight start for the Ravens with this being his first on the road. The Falcons defense is ranked 22ndin the league signaling they might not fare much better against the rookie than the Bengals and Raiders did. However, the Falcons’ offense has the potential to go off on any team, even the Ravens, who boast one of the best defenses in the league. Should the Falcons climb to a two-score lead, the Ravens will be forced to throw the ball to catch up. That is absolutely what the Ravens do not want to happen. As a passer, Jackson has thrown for just 328 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions since being named the starter. The Ravens have a good chance at the upset but it is also possible they find themselves in a tough spot if they are down early.
Call: Stay away but if you must, take the Ravens pulling off the upset.
Chicago Bears vs. New York Giants, Bears -4, O/U 44.5
At 3-8, the Giants have one of the worst records in the NFL but looking at their schedule, they play most opponents close. Their last three losses against the Eagles, Redskins, and Falcons were all by one score with their only big losses coming against Philadelphia and New Orleans in the first half of the season. Normally, this would be a no-brainer but Mitchell Trubisky hasn’t thrown in practice all week so it is looking like Chase Daniel is going to be under center again. While he did lead the Bears to a win against Detroit, it’s important to remember the Lions almost, and likely should’ve, won that game. The Giants have real potential for an upset here or at least a close three-point loss.
Call: Simply stay away, it’s not worth the risk.