We get a Saturday game today and this is a huge week for the NFL, as playoff berths and seeding are on the line in many games. Plus, with only two weeks left to choose from all games, get your wagers in. Last week, in my against the spread picks, I did very well, finishing 11-4-1. I am now 115-105-5 on the season picking all games.
However, I did lost the first pick of the week on Thursday.
Here are my picks for the rest of the week. Any trends come from the Trend Machine.
Redskins at Eagles (-3): The trends say take Washington. Philly is 7-12-1 ATS facing division opponents. Washington is 7-3 ATS in Philly over their last 10 games and has won five of those games straight up. Kirk Cousins, though, is a different player on the road. His passer rating is 40 points lower on the road. But Philly will struggle against an offense that can produce. At the same time, if Washington wins, they wrap up the division. This mess of a division has to go all the way to Week 17. I think the Eagles win, but they're not going to cover. Redskins +3.
Panthers (-7) at Falcons: The trends say take the Falcons. Home underdogs by at least a touchdown cover 57 percent of the time. Atlanta has lost 11 straight a a home dog, but they covered six of those games. However, their abysmal defense against a Carolina team that just steamrolls opponents isn't enough to keep it close, while the Atlanta offense won't match up well against the defense. Carolina -7.
49ers at Lions (-9): Matt Stafford has not been a good payoff when favored at home by more than a touchdown. He has won eight of those 11 games, but is 4-7 ATS. Detroit isn't good and San Fran isn't either, but I don't see a blowout. Niners +9.
Browns at Chiefs (-12.5): Oh, boy. A huge spread. The trends are even. Cleveland is 13-13 as home dogs by double digits. They are 1-25 straight up. KC is 10-9 in December ATS when favored by a touchdown or more. The Chiefs are also rolling and playing at home. I hesitantly will give up those points. Chiefs -12.5.
Steelers (-10) at Ravens: If you like trends, then this is a lock. Take the points, as Ben Roethlisberger has never covered a game in which he was a double-digit road favorite. Here's the thing, though. The Ravens are dead. They have Jimmy Clausen at quarterback. Their defense can't keep up with the hottest offense in the league. Steelers -10.
Jaguars at Saints (-3.5): The Saints confuse me. The Jags intrigue me. The Saints are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 home games. Jacksonville is 19-19 ATS as road dogs. That extra half point is enough. It will stay within three. Jags +3.5.
Packers at Cardinals (-4.5): Two things tell me go Cardinals. One, they have been unstoppable on offense. Two, the last 10 home favorites against the Packers have gone 8-2 ATS. The Packers have offensive flaws and face a very balanced team. Cardinals -4.5.
Bengals at Broncos (-3.5): Oof. Two backup quarterbacks against very good defenses. The difference? Cincy's offensive line. This game will be close either way and that extra half a point is key. I think this game stays within a field goal either way. Bengals +3.5.