Texans (9-6) @ Titans (8-7)— Battle of backup QB’s; will Houston sit Savage/starters with a playoff game next week? Tennessee’s season unraveled LW with loss to Jaguars and Mariota’s broken leg. Texans (-4.5) beat Titans 27-20 way back in Week 4, running punt back for a TD in game where total yardage was 359-320. Houston is 2-5 on road, winning by 3-5 in its other AFC South road games (Colts/Jags)- they’re 0-1 as road favorites this year but Texans have won four of last five visits here. Underdogs are 6-3-1 vs spread in AFC South divisional games this season. Under is 4-1 in last five Houston, games, 3-9 in last dozen Titan tilts. Savage won his first NFL start 12-10 over Bengals LW; Cassel is 35-44 as an NFL starter; he started eight games LY, 7 for Dallas, one for Buffalo. Again, Houston has a home playoff game next week.
Bills (7-8) @ Jets (3-12)— Rex Ryan was fired Tuesday; OC Anthony Lynn is interim coach. EJ Manuel is expected to play QB instead of starter Taylor. Tickets for this game were going for $8 on StubHub on Monday; no home field edge for Jets. Buffalo is 3-4 on road, 1-1 as road favorite; they lost three of last four games. Gang Green lost six of last seven games with win in OT over 49ers when they trailed 17-3 at half- they’re 1-6 at home this season. Jets (+1) won first matchup 37-31 in a Week 2 Thursday game in Buffalo- Jets passed for 370 yards, outgained Bills 493-393- they had TD’s of 84-71 yards. Buffalo won its last two visits here; series has been swept in six of last nine years. Over is 12-2 in last 14 Buffalo games, 3-7-1 in Jets’ last 11 games. Favorites are 5-5 vs spread in AFC East divisional games.
Ravens (8-7) @ Bengals (5-9-1)— Baltimore’s season ended on goal line in last 0:10 Sunday night in Pittsburgh; Ravens beat Bengals 19-14 (-4) at home in Week 12, leading 16-3 at half, they were outgained 325-311, but Dalton fumbled on Ravens’ 21 with 1:04 left to seal win. Baltimore lost last four visits here, by 6-17-3-8 points; this series ended in sweeps in six of last nine years. Bengals lost five of last seven games, losing in Houston LW when they missed 43-yard FG wide right at gun; Cincy is 3-3 at home, 3-2 as home favorite. Ravens lost their last five road games; they beat Browns/Jaguars on road back in Weeks 2-3- they’re 1-4 as a road underdog. Over is 4-0 in Ravens’ last four games, 1-6 in Bengals’ last seven. Favorites are 8-2 vs spread in AFC North divisional games this season.
Giants (10-5) @ Redskins (8-6-1)— Big Blue is locked into road playoff game next week while Redskins still have shot at making playoffs; why would Manning/starters play here? It would make no sense. Washington (+4.5) won 29-27 in Swamp Stadium in Week 3; they were +2 in turnovers after trailing 21-16 at half. Giants are 7-3 in last 10 visits here; series has been swept in 7 of last 10 years. New Jersey is 2-4 in true road games, beating Dallas/Browns; they’re 1-3-1 as road underdogs. Redskins won four of last five home games, are 3-2 vs spread as home favorites; they’ve trailed at half in five of their last seven games. Underdogs are 6-4 vs spread in NFC East divisional games. Under is 6-1 in last seven Giant games, 1-7 in last eight Washington games.
Packers (9-6) @ Lions (9-6)— Winner takes NFC North; if game ends in a tie, they both get in, with Packers winning division. Green Bay (-7.5) won first meeting 34-27; they led 31-10 at half, but Stafford threw for 368 yards as Lions got back-door cover. Teams split last six visits here, with wins by 12-4-4 points, including Hail Mary in LY’s game. Packers won last five games (4-1 vs spread), are 3-4 on road, losing both their games in domes by total of 4 points. Detroit has short week after getting thumped in Dallas; they lost last two games on road, but won last six home games, with five of six wins by 3 or less points. Lions trailed in 4th quarter in 14 of 15 games this season. Over is 7-2 in Green Bay’s last nine games, 1-8 in Detroit’s last nine. Home underdogs are 4-0 vs spread in NFC North divisional games this season.
Jaguars (3-12) @ Colts (7-8)— Indianapolis is 6-1 vs spread in game following a loss this year; they lost three of last four home games, are 3-2 as a home favorite. One of Jags’ three wins this year was 30-27 (-1) over Colts in London back in Week 4; they led 23-6 in 4th quarter, held on for win. Jags lost last three visits to Indy, by 20-20-3 points. Jaguars snapped 9-game skid LW in first game after Bradley was fired; they averaged 8.5 yards/pass attempt, their best game of year. Jaguars are 1-6 in true road games, 4-3 as road underdogs. As bad as Jax has been, they’ve trailed at halftime in only one of last six games. In their last five games, Colts are 31-61 on third down. Over is 4-1 in last five Jaguar games, 0-4 in Colts’ last four home games. Favorites are 7-3 vs spread in AFC South divisional games this year.
Cowboys (13-2) @ Eagles (6-9)—Rumors Thursday say Cowboys will rest lot of regulars with nothing to gain here. Short week for Dallas after they pounded Lions Monday nite at home; with bye on deck and then playoffs. Philly snapped five-game skid by beating Giants LW; they’ve had four extra days to prep after playing on Thursday. Eagles are 3-9 in last 12 games after a 3-0 start; they’re 5-2 at home, losing to Packers, Redskins. Dallas won 29-23 in OT in first meeting (-4.5), running ball for 187 yards- they outgained Eagles 460-291 in game they trailed 13-10 at half. Cowboys won last four visits here, by 15-14-11-10 points. Home favorites are 3-4 vs spread in NFC East divisional games this season. Last four Philly games went over total; three of last four Dallas games stayed under. Cowboys are 6-1 on road; they’re 0-2 vs Giants, 13-0 vs everyone else.
Bears (3-12) @ Vikings (7-8)— Minnesota is 2-8 in its last ten games after a 5-0 start; when DB’s ignore the gameplan and go rogue, in same season where OC quit midseason, you know team has serious issues. Bears (+5.5) won first meeting 20-10 at home in Week 8, running ball for 158 yards, outgunning Vikings 403-258. Barkley threw eight INT’s in last two games; Bears are -9 in turnovers last two weeks, -16 for season. Chicago is 2-4 as a road underdog this year; they covered four of last six games overall. Minnesota lost three of last four home games, scoring one TD on 20 drives in last two; they’ve got only two takeaways (-6) in last five games. Under is 5-2 in Viking home games, 3-1 in Chicago’s last four road tilts. Underdogs are 7-3 vs spread in NFC North games this season.
Panthers (6-9) @ Buccaneers (8-7)— This series has been swept the last seven years; Bucs (+6) won first meeting 17-14 in Week 6, thanks to +4 turnover ratio- Carolina outgained them 414-315 but was 1-8 on 3rd down in game Bucs led 6-0 at half. Panthers are 2-5 on road, 2-1 as road underdogs; they’re 2-6 vs spread week after a loss this season. Tampa Bay still has an outside shot at making playoffs (they need win and ton of help), but they lost last two games (-5 TO ratio), allowing 26-31 points- they.won last three home games, allowing total of 26 points. Carolina won last three visits here by 18-6-14 points. Underdogs are 6-4 vs spread in NFC South divisional games this season. Under is 4-1-1 in Tampa’s last six games, 3-0 in last three Carolina games.
Browns (1-14) @ Steelers (10-5)— Big Ben/Bell/Brown are sitting here to get ready for playoffs next week. Monkey is off Cleveland’s back after they beat Chargers LW; Browns are 2-5 as road underdogs this year; LW was just third time all year they had positive turnover ratio. Not sure if RGIII (concussion) can play here. Pittsburgh won its last six games (5-1 vs spread); they are 4-2 as home favorites- this game means very little to them. Steelers won first meeting 24-9 (-8) at home six weeks ago, scoring defensive TD and sacking Brown QB’s 8 times in game they led 14-0 at half. Pitt is 22-3 in last 25 series games, winning last 12 meetings here. Under is 6-1 in last seven Cleveland games, 11-3 in Steelers’ last 14 games. Favorites are 8-2 vs spread in AFC North divisional games this season.
Saints (7-8) @ Falcons (10-5)— Atlanta gets #2 seed in NFC with win here; they scored 38.7 pts/game in winning last three games with +7 turnover ratio, they’re 2-4 as a home favorite this year. New Orleans scored 79 points in winning last couple games; they’re 9-3 vs spread in last 12 games. NO is 3-4 on road, 4-1 as a road underdog; they scored 24-18 second half points in last two games. Saints won 10 of last 12 visits here; this series has been swept seven of last ten years. Falcons (+3) won first meeting 45-32 in Superdome back in Week 3- Atlanta scored five TD’s on 8 drives and also scored a defensive TD. Underdogs are 6-4 vs spread in NFC South divisional games this season. Under is 6-4 in Saints’ last ten games, 3-12 in Atlanta games this season.
Patriots (13-2) @ Dolphins (10-5)— New England is playing for top seed in AFC; Miami has a road playoff game next week. This series has split 8 of last 12 years; Patriots lost last three trips to Miami, by 4-13-10 points. NE won its last six games overall, covered its last four; they’re 10-1 with Brady at QB, 5-1 as a road favorite- they beat Miami 31-24 (-6.5) in Week 2 when Garoppolo was NE’s QB. Dolphins won nine of last ten games, covered last three; they’ve won five in row at home since losing here to Tennessee in Week 5. Miami covered five of last six tries as an underdog. Home side/favorites are 5-5 vs spread in AFC East divisional games this season. Under is 4-1-1 in last six Patriot games; last five Miami games went over the total.
Cardinals (6-8-1) @ Rams (4-11)- Carson Palmer returns to his home field from his college days at USC for first time since 2002. Arizona lost four of last six games; they’re 2-5 on road, winning 33-21 at SF, 34-31 LW at Seattle. Arizona is 4-7 as a favorite this year. Rams lost 10 of last 11 games, are 0-6 with Goff at QB; they lost last five home games after winning home opener 9-3 over Seattle. LA was outscored 50-21 in second half of last three games. This series has been swept six of last nine years; Rams won first meeting 17-13 back in Week 4, even though Redbirds outgained them 420-288 (LA was +4 in turnovers). Cardinals went 9-2 in last 11 games vs Rams in St Louis. Divisional home underdogs are 10-4 vs spread in NFC games. Last six Arizona games went over total; under is 6-3 in Rams’ last nine games.
Chiefs (11-4) @ Chargers (5-10)— Will likely be sad day here, Chargers’ last game in Qualcomm before they bolt for LA. Chiefs need win here and Raider loss in Denver to win AFC West. KC won four of last five games; they won last five road games, are 2-0 as road favorites this year. Chargers lost last four games (0-4 vs spread, -6 turnovers); they lost last three home games, by 7-7-3 points. San Diego is 2-5 in last seven games despite being favored in five of the seven games. This series has been swept in six of last eight years; San Diego blew 21-3 halftime lead in season opener, lost 33-27 in OT at Arrowhead. Chiefs won 23-20/33-3 in last two visits here. Favorites are 7-3 vs spread in AFC West games this season. Under is 4-0-1 in last five Charger games, 10-4 in last 14 Chief games.
Seahawks (9-5-1) @ 49ers (2-13)— Seattle needs win here and Atlanta loss to get #2 seed in NFC and next week off, but Seahawks have been struggling, going 2-3 in last five games, with losses to Bucs/Cardinals. Seattle is 2-4-1 on road, winning 27-17 at Jets, 31-24 in Foxboro, tying Arizona. 49ers are 2-0 vs Rams, 0-13 vs everyone else; they’re 1-6 at home, 1-5 as a home underdog- they blew 17-3 halftime lead in last home game, an OT loss to Jets. This series was split five of last eight years; Seattle (-9.5) won 37-18 at home in first meeting back in Week 3, averaging 8.6 yds/pass attempt in game they led 24-3 at half. Seattle was outscored 38-16 in first half of last three games. Divisional home underdogs are 10-4 vs spread in NFC games. Over is 9-5 in 49ers’ last 14 games, 3-1 in last four Seattle games.
Raiders (12-3) @ Broncos (8-7)— McGloin (1-5 as NFL starter, with starts in ’13) replaces injured Carr at QB for Oakland, which needs win for AFC West title (if NE also loses, Raiders would get #1 seed in AFC). This series has been swept four of last six years; Oakland (-1) beat Denver 30-20 at home back in Week 9, outgaining Denver by 98 yards- two of their three TDs in game were on drives of less than 60 yards. Denver lost its last three games, is 5-3 as a favorite this year; Broncos turned ball over eight times (-6) in last three games- they were outscored 18-0 in second half of last two games. Raiders lost three of last four visits here, with all three losses by 16+ points. Over is 11-4 in Oakland games, 1-3 in last four Denver games. Home favorites are 5-2 vs spread in AFC West divisional games this season.