NFL Playoff Picks: Conference Championship Round

Picking this weekend's conference championship round playoff games against the spread

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NFL Playoff Picks: Conference Championship Round

Green Bay Packers (-3) At Chicago Bears - These two teams split this year, with each winning at home. The Packers are playing their third straight road game in the playoffs and yet they're favored here. That should tell you what an impression they've made nationally. They blew out the #1 seed Falcons in Atlanta last week putting up 48 points, but they managed just 27 points in two games against the Bears. The Bears don't just have a better defense than the Falcons, they probably have a more valuable homefield advantage as well. The Packers, who are a team with speedy receivers that built to throw the ball, thrives in a dome. They won't have the same fast track in Chicago, in fact they'll be playing on the worst surface in the NFL at Solider Field. That should help slow down the Pack.

That said, any time you're picking a playoff a game you have to take a look at the Quarterbacks. Jay Cutler has played well as of late, but there were shaky moments last week against Seattle. Most notably when he threw a pass in the end zone directly into the gut of Seahawks safety Jordan Babineaux. Babineaux dropped it, which isn't something Packers DBs have done much of this postseason. They've got 3 picks in 2 games. Meanwhile, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers has been playing off the charts with 6 TDs and no picks in the playoffs. I've picked against the Packers twice now and gotten burned, I'm not going to make that mistake again. Pick: Packers

New York Jets At Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) - The Jets didn't have a particularly impressive end to their season and for most of the year they really lacked quality wins. They were only 2-3 over the last month of the season and heading into December they had just one win over a team with a winning record. Then they rolled into Pittsburgh with everyone assuming the Steelers would take care of business and deal the Jets their 3rd straight loss. However, the Jets did what they've done this whole postseason... they surprised and won 22-17. The Jets really seem to thrive as an underdog and really could not have played better against the Patriots. They hit Brady early and often and clearly that threw him off his game. While generally that's a good plan against any QB, it probably won't affect Ben Roethlisberger the same. The difference between Ben and Brady is that Roethlisberger is used to getting hit on a weekly basis. The Steelers offensive line is bad and has been all year. He thrives when plays break down and he has to make plays. Brady thrives when he's protected and controlling the offense.

The other major difference is that the Steelers have a vertical passing game that the Patriots lack. How many times did the Jets drop a ton of DBs back in coverage and rush three while the Patriots receivers tried to run quick little slants or in patterns? The entire Patriots offense was essentially bottled up in a 10 yard box. With guys like Mike Wallace, the Steelers can stretch the field and the Jets defense. When they played in December, Wallace over a hundred yards receiving while Emmanuel Sanders had nearly 80. They ran on the Jets as well, with Rashard Mendenhall gaining a hundred yards on just 17 carries.

Plus, the Pittsburgh defense is a much tougher test than the Patriots. The Steelers finished with the top defense in football and Troy Polamalu is more of a ballhawk than anyone on New England. Plus, Pittsburgh is a blitzing defense and Mark Sanchez's QB rating drops against the blitz more than almost any starting quarterback in football. Pick: Steelers


NFL Playoff Picks: Divisional Round

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) – Can I say how much more excited I am to see the AFC playoff games than the NFC? We’ve got two heated divisional rivals and none are likely to be as physical as Steelers vs Ravens. The extra half point makes this game tricky considering that the teams split their two meetings this year and both games were decided by a FG. In fact, the last 7 meetings between these teams have been decided by single digits. I could see this being a FG game. Pick: Ravens

Green Bay Packers At Atlanta Falcons (-1) - There’s an incredible amount of respect being shown to the Packers here and I’m trying to figure out why. They played a sloppy game in Philadelphia and now they’re traveling for the second week in a row into a dome where Atlanta has lost just once this year.The Falcons aren’t even getting the requisite three points here. The line is almost telling you that the Packers are the better team. I don’t buy it. Pick: Falcons

Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears (-9.5) – This line is already at 10 in a few places, which is interesting considering that Seattle has already beaten the Bears in Chicago earlier this season. Still, as big as the Seattle win last week was they won’t have that Qwest field crowd nor a shaky New Orleans defense this week. It’s hard to imagine Matt Hasselbeck turning in the same performance he did last week. At 9.5 I like the Bears, at 10 it’s a little more shaky. Pick: Bears

New York Jets at New England Patriots (-9) – Considering what happened the last time these teams met, it’s somewhat surprising that this line isn’t higher. The Patriots put the Jets to the sword to the tune of 45-3… And yet, the Jets and Rex Ryan are acting like their usual blustery selves trying to get under the Patriots skin this week. All it did last time was make them made and you won’t like the Patriots when they’re mad. Pick: Patriots


NFL Playoff Picks: Wildcard Round

New Orleans Saints (-10.5) at Seahawks - The Saints are just a better team by a good margin. I don’t really think there’s a lot of analysis needed for this game. Seattle has no business in this tournament of the best NFC teams, while the Saints arguably one of the top 2-3 teams in the conference. That said, 10.5 is a big number for any road team in the postseason. New Orleans will win this game, but can they do it by three scores? I think so. Pick: Saints.

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts (-3)
– Two teams that have been a bit disappointing this year, yet here they are in the postseason. I actually think in some ways the Jets are little bit better road team than they are a home team, so I don’t think this game being in Indy is that bad for them. It’s a fairly close matchup as the the 3 point line for the Colts suggests. That said, in a close matchup I look at QBs and this isn’t even close. With the line you basically just pick the winner here and I say… Pick: Colts

Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Kansas City Chiefs - Despite losing just once at home this season, KS is a home dog to the Ravens. Now part of that has to do with the fact that they looked liked crap the final week of the season at home against the Raiders in a game they needed to win to improve playoff seeding. I just think that Arrowhead crowd lifts them to a good performance against the Ravens. I have the Chiefs in an upset. Pick: Chiefs

Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5) – I really think this is the most even matchup of the wildcard round. It’s actually kind of a shame this game is so early in the playoffs. I do like the Eagles though. They’re the more rested team, they’ve got home-field and I think they win a close but high scoring affair. At 2.5 this again basically a pick em game. Pick: Eagles


Week 17 NFL Picks

Here we are at the end of the NFL regular season and we’re faced with the toughest week to make picks. Despite the NFL’s best efforts to dissuade teams from resting players in the final week, a number of teams already have their seeding locked in and therefore have nothing to play for. Even teams that might have something to play for now, might not by the time their game time comes up. You really have to try and decipher what coaches say and decide whether you think they’ll rest guys. Unfortunately, there’s probably nothing less worthwhile than what an NFL coach says to the media.

So, with that in mind we take a shot deciphering the week 17 NFL lines.

Carolina Panthers At Atlanta Falcons (-14.5) – This is a huge line, but you’d have to say it’s well deserved. Atlanta is the top team in the NFC and Carolina is probably the worst. Atlanta needs a win to ensure the No. 1 seed and a first round bye. Since the game is at one, they won’t know the outcome of the Bears or Saints games so they’ll have everything to play for. It’s a scary big number, but Atlanta should blow them out here. Pick: Falcons

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-9.5)
– The Ravens are still playing for a shot at the AFC North and a first round bye. They play at the same time as Pittsburgh so they’ll have to go all out. Cincy played well last week in an upset against the Chargers, but it’s not likely that they have that same effort in them again. The Ravens should feast on Carson Palmer. Pick: Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers (-6) at Cleveland Browns - The Steelers are a good bet here. The line isn’t crazy, they have everything to play for and the Browns looked awful last week. Pick: Steelers

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (-3) – The Vikings impressed a lot of people with their upset of the Eagles on Tuesday night, but Detroit has won three straight and are playing better. Pick: Lions

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-4) - The Chiefs would lock up the No. 3 seed if they win this weekend but could only fall to the No. 4 seed if they lose. It would mean the difference between facing the Jets or the Ravens/Steelers. Probably not a great matchup either way for KC, but you would think they’d much prefer the Jets. This should be a solid game, but I think KC takes care of business. Pick: Chiefs

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-2.5) - The line obviously tells you that Vegas thinks that the Pats will rest starters since they have nothing to play for in week 17. However, Belichick hasn’t sounded like he’s going to rest guys and the Patriots starters are all saying they plan to play. If they get a good lead at the half, I would bet that a few guys would come out… but it’ll probably be good enough to beat the Dolphins by a FG. Pick: Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-8) - Finally a game where both teams have something to play for. New Orleans still has a shot at the NFC South and Tampa needs a win to give themselves a shot at a wild card. Still, you have to think the Saints are going to take care of the Bucs in a big way in New Orleans. The Bucs aren’t ready to compete in game like this. Pick: Saints

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (-1)
– Rex Ryan already admitted this week that he plans to rest starters against the Bills this week. So even in New Jersey, you have to like the scrappy Bills team. Pick: Bills

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-11) - Obviously the line here says that Vegas thinks Chicago will rest starters. It’s very likely that by gametime they’ll have nothing to play for. They’ve already clinched a bye and if Atlanta beats Carolina, they’ll be locked into the #2 seed. Will they want to play Cutler against a ferocious Packers pass rush? Lovie Smith swears they will play their starters and try to win this game. If they go all out you would have to think they can keep it within two TDs. Pick: Bears

Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5) at Houston Texans – Jags still have a shot at the AFC South, but they won’t have their starting QB. David Garrard won’t play this week and couldn’t even play in the playoffs if they got there. That means Trent Edwards gets the start against the NFL’s worst defense, but I don’t suspect that will be enough to get the Jags a road win here. Pick: Texans

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-8.5) - Indy will win this game but I’d be wary of the line getting really high. I’m ok with Indy at around 8, but it’s jumped to 11 in some places. I’d stay away from the Colts in that case. Pick: Colts

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles - There is no line on this game because no one is sure whether the Eagles will rest starters or whether either team will have their starting QB.

New York Giants (-3) at Washington Redskins - Giants have to win to keep their playoff hopes alive and I think their defense will end Rex Grossman’s mini hot streak. This one might be my lock of the week. Pick: Giants

San Diego Chargers (3.5) at Denver Broncos
– Both teams are eliminated from the playoffs so it’s all about pride. I don’t think Tim Tebow can beat the Chargers defense throwing screens and running bootlegs like he did against Texans and their worst defense in football. Plus, what Phillip Rivers could do to this awful Broncos defense could be ugly. Pick: Chargers

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-6.5) – Awful game, who cares? I’d just take the home team. Pick: 49ers

St. Louis Rams (-1.5) at Seattle Seahawks – This is a game for all the NFC Worst marbles. Winner gets the division title and a playoff spot. Both teams are pretty bad and won’t even have a winning record. Matt Hasselbeck won’t play, but does that really matter? They’ve lost seven of their last nine games. How can you trust either team in this spot? Pick: Rams


NFL Week 16 Picks

We went 8-5 against the spread last week, with the Eagles covering with no time left being the crowning jewel of the picks. With the Giants being three point favorites, bettors had likely turned that game off by the 4th quarter… but the Eagles would roar back to win and cover for the big road upset. The Jets also had a big road cover against the Steelers last week, but we whiffed on that one. So who is likely to be the big road winner this week? Let’s find out in our week 16 NFL picks.

Carolina Panthers at Pittsburgh Steelers (-13)
– This game has even gone as high as 15 in some books. That’s a huge line for an NFL game and I’d stay away from it. That said, this game does have blowout written all over it. The Panthers are arguably the worst team in the NFL going up to Pittsburgh on a short week to face an angry Steelers team who were upset by the Jets last week. They’re going to come out looking to hurt people in powder blue. Pick: Steelers

Dallas Cowboys (-6) at Arizona Cardinals – It’s odd to see a five-win team as a 6-point road favorite, but the Cowboys are playing better and the Cardinals may have sealed the title of the NFL’s worst team after their loss to Carolina last week. One caution here is that Dallas has rarely played well in Arizona for whatever reason. I doubt it’ll matter this week though. Pick: Cowboys

New England Patriots (-8) at Buffalo Bills – I’m actually pleasantly surprised that they didn’t go crazy with this line. I was sure it would be at least ten. Pats struggled a bit last week and the Bills got a win, which probably helped this from going crazy. Pick: Patriots

New York Jets at Chicago Bears (-2) - This is one of the tougher games to pick this week. The line suggests that the Jets are the team to take here because you’d really think this should be Bears by three. Still I like the Bears defense against Mark Sanchez in what should be a frigid Soldier Field. Pick: Bears

Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Cleveland Browns
- The Art Modell bowl. Lest you forget, the Baltimore Ravens are the old Cleveland Browns teams that Art Modell took out of Cleveland and brought to Baltimore. So there’s a lot of hatred for him and that team in Cleveland which should make for a pretty crazy atmosphere. Still, the Browns haven’t shown over the last couple weeks that they have the talent to play up to a team like the Ravens. Pick: Ravens

Washington Redskins at Jacksonville Jaguars (-6.5) – I like the Jags by a TD, but if this goes up past 7 I actually like the Skins. Pick: Jaguars, but watch that line.

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5) - The Titans are one of those annoying teams for bettors that you can never rely on from week to week. They’re a total Jekyll & Hyde. They played well last week, but they’re on the road against a really solid home team this time around. Pick Chiefs

Detroit Lions at Miami Dolphins (-4)
– Can you believe Miami has only won once at home this season? Almost all their victories have come on the road. They may be the only team in the league with a home field disadvantage. So this is a tricky game. Still, I don’t see the Lions being really competitive in two straight road games. Pick: Dolphins

San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams (-2) - The nine-loss 49ers could actually pull into a lead in the NFC Worst in this game. These are both poor teams who got blown out last weekend, so I say just go with the home team. Pick: Rams

Houston Texans (-2) at Denver Broncos - A battle of two of the worst defenses in the NFL. Anything could happen in this game, but I’ll take Matt Schaub to outscore Tim Tebow. Pick: Texans

Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) at Oakland Raiders - These teams are much closer matched than you might think. I would not at all be surprised to see the Raiders knock off the Colts. Still can you take Jason Campbell over Peyton Manning? This is a tough game. Pick: Colts

San Diego Chargers (-7) at Cincinnati Bengals - The Bengals are a bad team and the Chargers appear to be on a mission here. They should roll. Pick: Chargers

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers
- No line yet as they wait to get official word that Aaron Rodgers comes back

Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles – Also no line here as we again wait on Brett Favre.

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (-2)
– This game means more to the Saints than the Falcons. Atlanta has the Panthers coming to town the following week and only need one win to lock up home field. I see the Saints pulling off the upset here. Pick: Saints


Week 15 NFL Picks

Last week, we were hoping to see some teams start to fall out of the playoff race and see some separation at the top of the conferences. What we got was even muddier playoff picture than we started with. So we head into week 15 with a lot of teams in the race and therefore teams with a lot to play for. So here are your NFL picks for week 15.

San Francisco 49ers at San Diego Chargers (-9) - The 49ers actually still have a shot at a division title thanks to the awful NFC West, but the Chargers are in the hunt in the AFC West now as well. They're playing really well and if the Chiefs are without Matt Cassell again this week the Bolts will feel like the division is within their grasp. Nine points are a lot, but San Diego is a better team and at home. Pick - Chargers

New Orleans Saints at Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) - It feels like this line should be Ravens -3, but it seems like money is going on the Saints here. Baltimore is on a short week and didn't look all that impressive against Houston. That said, in week 13 New Orleans went on the road to Cincy and barely escaped with a win. Do we trust them to go outside against a good team and get a win? This should be a good game, but I think Baltimore wins by a FG. Pick: Ravens

Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers (-2) - First, you'd probably have to be out of your mind to bet this game because there's literally no way to predict what's going to happen when two of the three or four worst teams in the NFL meet one another. The Cards did play better last week, but can we trust them on the road? I'll just take the home team. Pick: Panthers

Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-1) - The Browns have burned me the last few weeks. I got on their bandwagon, but without Colt McCoy they just don't look like they're going to beat anyone. I think Cincy breaks the NFL's longest losing streak this week. Pick: Bengals

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-6) - The Cowboys played the Eagles tough last week, they'll have a much easier opponent this week when the Skins go down to Dallas. I think they win easy. Pick: Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-5) - The Colts at home can beat the Jags by a touchdown can't they? They're fighting for their playoff lives. Pick: Colts

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (-6) - The Dolphins are one of those teams that are completely unpredictable from week to week. They're coming off a big win against the Jets where they really played well, especially on defense. Pick: Dolphins

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (-3) - The Eagles have now beaten the Giants five straight times. So do they just have the Giants number or are they due for a loss? This game is in New York, but the Giants are coming off an unexpectedly short week. What I keep coming back to though, is whether the Giants defense can play any better than they did last time against the Eagles when they still lost and gave up 27 points? Pick: Eagles

Kansas City Chiefs at St. Louis Rams - There's no line on this game yet because we don't know whether Matt Cassell will play. These are both good home and bad road teams, so I'd probably favor the Rams either way...

Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5) - The Bucs got a lucky win on the road last week at Washington, but they've been a good home team. They kept themselves in the playoff hunt last week and should take care of the Lions at home. Pick: Bucs

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-1) - I really don't have a lot of confidence in the Titans. The Texans are due to finally win one of these where they stage these great comebacks. Even on the road, I still like the Texans here. Pick: Texans

Atlanta Falcons (-6) at Seattle Seahawks - This is a trickier game than it looks. Seattle has only lost twice at home this season, but then again they did just get blown out by the 49ers last week... I just can't in good conscience put money on the Seahawks to do anything. Pick: Falcons

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (-6) - Last time these teams played, Oakland won 59-14 in Denver. The Broncos are actually a worse team now and they're playing a back to back road game. I love Oakland here. Pick: Raiders

New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6) - The Jets are a mess right now and the last thing a team in their state wants to do is go on the road to Pittsburgh. Pick: Steelers

Green Bay Packers at New England Patriots - No line on this one yet because we don't know whether Rodgers will play.

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings - No line yet because we don't even know where the game will be...


Week 14 NFL Picks

Last week I went 9-6 against the spread, which is a pretty solid week if I do say so. You made money if you followed the picks. I'll pat myself on the back for the Raiders and Cowboys road covers, but I gotta express some regret for going against my better judgment and taking the Chiefs +10 at home. Yes I like the Chiefs at home and yes I think the Broncos stink, but 10 is a big number for a team like KC. Also, what was I thinking betting on Donovan McNabb to carry on his recent dominance over the Giants?

So with those lessons in mind, here are the week 14 picks.

Indianapolis Colts (-2) at Tennessee Titans - Right off the bat I'm going to go against my better judgment here. The way they're playing, the Colts have no business being a road favorite against anyone. Clearly this line is just saying that people are so used to betting the Colts, that that's where the money is going. So, it's telling me to go against Indy here, but I'm not going to listen. I say they take it by a field goal. Pick: Colts

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills (-1.5) - This game is basically a pick and I actually like that people are showing the Bills some respect here. They got blown out by the Vikings last week, but that's really the first time that's happened all season. The Browns on the other hand, have actually won 3 of 5 since their bye. They're kinda like the Bills in that they're in every game, but unlike the Bills they've actually learned to win.  Pick: Browns

Atlanta Falcons (-7) at Carolina Panthers - To be honest, I don't know why this line is so low. This is the best team in the NFC against the worst team in the NFL.  The Falcons aren't quite as good on the road as they are at home, but they're good enough to top the Panthers by more than a TD. Pick: Falcons

Green Bay Packers (-6) at Detroit Lions - The Lions are a lot like the Bills. They keep losing, but they're always in games. They kept it close against the Bears last week in Detroit. I suspect they'll keep this one close for most of the game, but the Green Bay offense should be able to beat them by a TD. Pick: Packers

Oakland Raiders at Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5) - It would be just like the Raiders this year to go into Jacksonville and stomp all over everything the Jags have built up over the past few weeks. That said, I don't like them in the second of back to back road games. Pick: Jaguars

New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings - No line yet

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-9) - A little while ago, I called the Carolina Panthers the worst team in the NFL. Bengals fans would probably take issue with that. The Steelers will be riding high off their Sunday night victory at the Ravens. They'll return home focused and dominate Cincy. Pick: Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1) at Washington Redskins - Tampa is probably going to walk into Washington and blow out the Skins. Also it's almost certain that Ronde Barber will pick off Donovan McNabb. Pick: Buccaneers

St. Louis Rams at New Orleans Saints (-9.5) - The Rams have to step out of the friendly confines of the NFC West and face a real NFL team on the road. Unfortunately that team is the defending champs. I like the Saints laying 9.5, if it nudged up 10 I might stay away. Pick: Saints

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-4) - Ugh. Why would anyone bet this game? I don't know how you could predict what's going to happen. Mike Singletary is going back to Alex Smith as his starter for this one. I'm going to say it won't this time either. Pick: Seahawks

New England Patriots (-3) at Chicago bears - I keep asking, "Is this the week Chicago gets exposed?" and they keep winning. Then again, they haven't played a team like the Patriots yet. I think the Pats go into Soldier Field and take it to the Bears. it is kind of nuts to a see a 9-3 team as a home dog though isn't it? Vegas is begging you to bet the Bears here. Pick: Patriots

Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals - No line yet

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (-6) - I really feel like the Jets got exposed this week. They've been only one team with a winning record this season and that was the Patriots, who proceeded to smoke them in the return fixture. The Jets have really skated by beating bad teams. That said, they get a bad team at home this week. Pick: Jets

Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers (-7) - This is a bizarre line to me. KC is a 10 point favorite against Denver last week, the Chargers get worked by the Raiders and yet they're a touchdown pick over the Chiefs? Just seems off to me. I really don't like this game at all. The Chiefs aren't very good on the road, but the Chargers are crazy inconsistent. Pick: Chargers

[Update by JasonB, 12/08/10 5:51 PM EST ] Matt Cassel just underwent an appendectomy and is expected to miss between 2-4 weeks. Obviously that completely changes this game and in fact most sports books likely won't even take action on it anymore. If you got your Chargers bet in early, good for you!

Philadelphia Eagles (-3) at Dallas Cowboys - The double revenge rivalry game. Dallas is playing better as of late, but they're really playing for pride. The Eagles have absolutely everything on the line and Michael Vick has put on a show every time he's been in prime time this year. I suspect he'll play well against Dallas on Sunday night. The Eagles also get Asante Samuel back for this game, which changes their secondary. On the other side of the coin, the Cowboys lose Dez Bryant, probably their best WR this year, for the season. I say Eagles by a TD. Pick: Eagles

Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Houston Texans - The Houston Texans facing a team with a great defense and a capable offense is kind of a nightmare for them. I think the Ravens win and cover. Pick: Ravens


Week 13 NFL Picks

We've got some heavyweight matchups in the NFL this week like Jets at Patriots and Steelers at Ravens, but we've also got some big favorites too. The Eagles are a nine-point favorite while the Packers and Chiefs are double-digit favorites. Yes, we live in an NFL era where the Kansas Chiefs are now laying double-digit points. Parity! Without further ado, here's the Week 13 picks.

Houston Texans at Philadelphia Eagles (-9) - This game actually opened with the Eagles laying seven and has grown to nine, so clearly there's a lot of money going to Philadelphia here and with good reason. These teams are playing on three days' rest which clearly favors the home team. Plus, the Eagles bring the NFC's 3rd best passing attack against the NFL's second worst pass defense in this game.

Considering the Eagles put up a combined 53 points on two of the best defenses in the NFL the past two weeks, Michael Vick and co have the potential to light it up this week. That said, the Texans offense can score and the Eagles D has been shaky. More often than not though, the Eagles D has played well at home. This is a lot of points, but I still like the Eagles here. Pick: Eagles

New Orleans Saints (-7) at Cincinnati Bengals - The Bengals might actually be the worst team in the NFL. This game opened with the Saints laying 6.5, which would have been a steal. The line has crept up to 7, which makes this a little dicey. A full touchdown on the road is always rough, but the Saints are playing well and the Bengals are just awful. Plus, the Saints are working on extra rest having played on Thanksgiving. Pick: Saints

Chicago Bears (-3) at Detroit Lions - Got to be the pick of the week here, especially given the news that the Lions will start 3rd string QB Drew Stanton. The Bears are brimming with confidence after their win against the Eagles last week and have the toughest remaining schedule of any NFC playoff contender. So this game is really a must win for them. I'm really surprised the line isn't higher. Pick: Bears

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (-11) - This is a big number, but that said the game looks like a pretty big mismatch. The 49ers just won their first road game this week against the lowly Cardinals and now they've got the second half of back to back road games. That's always a bad sign. Couple that with the fact that they lost Frank Gore for the year and this game could be very ugly. Brian Westbrook found a fountain of youth against the Cardinals, but I wouldn't bet on a repeat performance against the league's stingiest defense. I don't really like this game, but I'd take the Pack. Pick: Green Bay

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-10) - The line has rocketed up after opening at 6.5, which actually sounds much more reasonable to me. That said, the Chiefs are a great home team and Broncos have a propensity for getting blown out. Plus, I'm not sure if there's a coach I have less faith in than Josh McDaniels. Denver has one road win this year and that was two months ago. Okay, I've talked myself into it. I'm taking KC and this ridiculous line. Don't like the game though. Pick: Chiefs

Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins (-4) - This is a tough game to pick because of the Browns injuries. We don't yet know whether they'll get Colt McCoy or Josh Cribbs back. Miami's got a good defense and should make for a nice matchup with Peyton Hillis. Then again, Miami stinks at home. Going on the assumption that Jake Delhomme starts for Cleveland... Pick: Dolphins

Buffalo Bills at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) - Interesting that this line as come down from -6.5, it looks like money is going Buffalo's way. They played the Steelers tough last week and have really been the victim of a ton of close or fluky losses all year. I think this game is close. I would have loved the Bills getting 6.5, but I still like them getting the 5.5 Pick: Bills

Washington Redskins at New York Giants (-8.5) - The Giants are still beat up, turnover prone and inconsistent. Of course, so are the Redskins. I don't trust the Skins to go on the road and beat NY, but I just have a feeling that this won't be a blowout. Donovan McNabb has always played well against the Giants and I could really see him keeping this within a touchdown. Pick: Redskins

Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers (-13.5) - Are people on the Chargers bandwagon or what? This line has moved up a point this week making San Diego the biggest favorite of the week. Just three weeks ago the Raiders were riding a three game win streak and their offense was on fire. The past two weeks they've been blown out. They really burned me when I picked them as 9.5 point dogs to the Steelers. I suppose I haven't learned my lesson, but I'd love if this line nudged up to 14. Pick: Raiders

Atlanta Falcons (-1.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Gut check time for Tampa here. They get to prove whether they're contenders or pretenders this week. They're the only 7-4 home dog this week, so maybe that provides a little extra motivation against the NFC south rival Falcons. Tampa has actually not been a particularly good home team and they've yet to beat a team with a winning record. It's interesting that this line has actually gone down a point during the week, which means money has gone to Tampa... I still don't buy the Bucs. Pick: Falcons

Dallas Cowboys at Indianapolis Colts (-5) - This line hasn't moved an inch this week, which is indicative of how tough this game is to pick. I don't think Peyton Manning is going to let that Colts team lose three in a row. The Cowboys are playing better though and I could really see this being a FG game. The fact that the Colts aren't double-digit favorites at home against a three-win team shows just how far they've fallen in people's eyes this year. I'd stay away from this game. Pick: Cowboys

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks (-7) - I'd say Seattle doesn't deserve to be 7 point favorites over anyone, but of course the Panthers exist... I don't know why anyone would bet on this game. How could you trust either team to do anything? Pick: Seahawks

Pittsburgh Steelers At Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) - Pittsburgh is 3-2 in its last five games with two of its wins coming against a pair of two-win teams. Their other win was the Raiders. I think their reputation is preceding them a bit with this line being less than 3. I love the Ravens in this game. Pick: Ravens

NY Jets at New England Patriots (-3) - I can't wait to watch this game. This is just going to be fun. Two good teams, they hate each other, the No. 1 seed in the AFC and the AFC East is probably on the line... Maybe the best Monday Night Football matchup of the year. I say the Jets' luck runs out. Pick: Patriots

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