Buffalo @ Indianapolis
Initially this has the look of one of the tighter games on Thanksgiving weekend...but looks can be deceptive. Everything was looking pretty rosy for the Colts until they ran into the steam train that is Tom Brady and friends. Colts fans should not despair as they can bounce back from that against a mentally weak Bills outfit. Even a dreadful Dolphins team got within 5 points of a team that is held together by the superb C.J Spiller. Luck and Reggie Wayne will have a field day and put last week's debacle behind them.
Recommended Bet: Colts -3
Pittsburgh @ Cleveland
The big story here is surprise surprise another Steelers injury nightmare. Losing Big Ben is a blow but to have Leftwich ruled out as well is going to test even them. Third choice QB may be 37 years old Charlie Batch but you have to wonder whether it will affect the Steelers as much as the situation would do so to any other unit. Helping their cause is the fact they are up against a poor Browns. They blew a decent fourth quarter lead against the Cowboys last week and that is typical of their season. Running back Trent Richardson has the looks of a man who could punch some holes in the Steelers defence but it won't be enough for the W.
Recommended Bet: Steelers -0.5
Minnesota @ Chicago
Both the Bears and Vikings are in the middle of the race for the NFC North crown. The Bears are tied for the division with the Packers at 7-3, while the Vikings are just one game behind at 6-4. Chicago looked poor on Monday against the 49ers. The offensive line play has been beyond awful and led to backup Jason Campbell throwing for just 107 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Campbell was sacked six times and pressured in 11 other instances. This just goes to show how important Jay Cutler is to the offence. Cutler still needs to be cleared by an independent neurologist before being able to play in Sunday's game but whether it's Campbell or Cutler, Chicago need to put the lopsided result on Monday night behind them and move on. The Vikings went into their Week 11 bye on a high after beating the Lions. Adrian Peterson has looked amazing this season in his return from knee surgery and currently leads the league in rushing. This game has huge playoff implications: if the Bears can contain Peterson and get out to an early lead, the Vikings would likely become one-dimensional and stop feeding their most explosive weapon.
Recommended Bet: Bears
Oakland @ Cincinnati
So, it is the return of Carson Palmer to the place where he made his name...exciting?...probably not to many people I'm afraid. These are two average teams that will not attract much in the way of the neutral attention. There isn't much between the QB's and I think this one may hinge on the success of the running game. There is no guarantee from a team as inconsistent as the Bengals but you have to fancy that in Green-Ellis they have the one game winner on the park. A game winner probably but by enough to beat the spread I'm not so sure.
Recommended Bet: Raiders +8.5
Denver @ Kansas City
If anything the Broncos are getting better week on week. Peyton continues to defy his critics and seems to feel no pressure whatsoever. The Chiefs on the other hand are having a shocker and Matt Cassel looks like a man who is not enjoying his time at the Arrowhead. It doesn't help when they are giving up so many points on the pass defence. Chiefs only bright light is that the rushing game continues to produce rewards and they should put some points up at home. This is going to be tight on the spread but 10.5pts might just be enough for the Chiefs to hold on to.
Recommended Bet: Chiefs +10.5
Tennessee @ Jacksonville
At first glance this would appear to be the type of match-up that you pass over and look for something more intriguing. To do so however would be doing the Titans a disservice. Quarterback Jake Locker is back and he means business. With the Jags shipping points for fun you can't help but think that a Titans unit drinking in last chance saloon will be far too hungry for their hosts. The Jags, and Chad Henne especially, will fancy they will get something done on offence so expect them to rack up a few points themselves. It will be a high scoring affair but at the same time not that close.
Recommended Bet: Titans -3
Seattle @ Miami
I like this match-up a lot. The Dolphins disappoint on a regular basis but on occasions things click and they can mix it with the best. The Seahawks most certainly aren't the best but they are good enough to smash the Dolphins up if they are not on their game. Lynch will relish going up against a potentially fragile rush defence and he is not one to take his foot off the pedal. The Dolphins hopes rest entirely on getting off to a fast start and building some confidence. As that doesn't look likely I would be looking to back the Seahawks with the full stake this week.
Recommended Bet: Seahawks -3
Atlanta @ Tampa Bay
Last month this would not really be a game worth getting excited about. But now we have the Bucs sitting at 6-4, and they are back in playoff conversation after winning four on the trot. The hot-as-hell Bucs are taking on the best team in their division, the 9-1 Falcons. This is a home game for the Bucs and yet they still haven't sold enough tickets to meet the requirement for being shown on local television so at the moment it looks like it is going to be a blackout. The Falcons haven't been very consistent in the running game, which has led to a heavy dependence on QB Matt Ryan. Tampa has the worst pass defence in the league, allowing 312.6 yards per game. Ryan should be able to find Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez for big plays. The Bucs are hot so it is hard to bet against them. They are a decent team but I don't like them enough to pick them to beat the Falcons.
Recommended Bet: Atlanta +1.5
Baltimore @ San Diego
This game should be a banker for the Ravens. Baltimore's offence wasn't too impressive when they were up against the Steelers, but they still managed to pull out the victory. The Chargers do have history on their side though. Last season, Baltimore were torn apart by Philip Rivers and his huge receivers, but now Vincent Jackson is at Tampa Bay and Rivers is in a major rut. Ed Reed's suspension has been lifted, so the veteran safety will be on the field Sunday to harass the struggling Rivers who has been awful this season, but it has mostly been down to bad protection from his offensive line. That protection will not get any better against Terrell Suggs and the Ravens defence this week. I think the Ravens should run away with this one.
Recommended Bet: Ravens -0.5
San Francisco @ New Orleans
The 49ers made the Bears look like little teddies on Monday crushing them 32-7, but the Saints are a different beast altogether. The Saints continue to push forward after their poor 0-4 start to the season. They now seem to be firing on all cylinders and should be a handful for the 49ers. It is going to be one hell of a showdown watching the Saints second ranked passing attack going up against the 49ers' second ranked pass defence. The other big talking point surrounding this game is the big decision for San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh to make this week. Which quarterback does he go with? Given a chance to shine, Colin Kaepernick mauled the Bears and should get another chance this week but that doesn't mean he will because Harbaugh could just as easily go with regular Alex Smith. The Saints are at home in the boisterous Superdome, which should give them the slight edge.
Recommended Bet: Saints +0.5
St Louis @ Arizona
Arizona has not won a game since beating Miami way back in Week 4. The Rams have had an irregular season, but have played well against divisional opponents. The Rams have beaten the Seahawks and Cardinals and tied the 49ers. The Cardinals have the worst offensive line in football. It doesn't matter if it is Kevin Kolb, John Skelton or Ryan Lindley under center, whoever it is will be running for his life. The Cardinals have one of the top 10 defences, but the offence is only scoring 16.3 points per game, which is the third-worst in the NFL. Expect big performances from Chris Long and Robert Quinn rushing the passer and agitating the incompetent Cardinals offence. St Louis has too much and will hand Arizona their seventh straight loss on Sunday afternoon.
Recommended Bet: Rams +0.5
Green Bay @ NY Giants
New York and Green Bay square off in a rematch of one of last year's playoff games. The Packers hit the road to face the team who upended them in the postseason last year on their way to the Super Bowl. The Packers are on a roll and are back in first place in the NFC North. They left it late against the Lions to get a win last week, but Aaron Rodgers utilized his stable of weapons, even with Greg Jennings out injured. It's hard to pick against the Giants coming off a bye week, but the team have been historically bad in November and the Packers are on a five-game winning streak. During that streak, Aaron Rodgers has 17 touchdowns to two interceptions. Rodgers and his weapons on the outside will overwhelm the Giants secondary, even if Eli Manning's arm has recovered from fatigue. I fancy the Packers to exact some revenge on the Giants.
Recommended Bet: Packers +2.5
Carolina @ Philadelphia
Two months ago you may have thought that this was going to be a great game. Cam Newton going up against Michael Vick, two exciting offences and two playoff contenders. Then the Eagles go 3-7 and the Panthers 2-8. The Eagles are in free fall and the Panthers are toothless. Now neither team has anything to play for. Cam Newton is caught up in a sophomore slump but is trying to silence the critics and should be the most explosive player on the field and the Eagles are playing with a rookie quarterback Nick Foles under center who should get a few turnovers. Realistically this game will only be interesting to see who manages to be the bigger train wreck and is a contender for the worst Monday night game of the year. I'd put my money on Cam Newton and the Panthers to win this one.
Recommended Bet: Panthers -3.0