With only two weeks left in the regular season, there are some playoff battles that are coming to a close. There are still some divisions up for grabs.
The NFC North could be all tied up after Christmas if the Packers beat the Vikings and the Lions lose to the Cowboys, both of which are very possible. Green Bay if favored by 6.5 at home in this divisional match up against a Vikings squad that decided to take last week off, on both sides of the ball. Minnesota pulled off the upset at home back in September by beating the Packers 17-14, but that was when Rodgers was off his game, and the Viking defense was looking like the Purple People Eaters. Since then, the switch has flipped for both teams, just the wrong switch was flipped for the Vikings. I’ll take the Packers to take care of the Vikings and cover the points 27-17.
The Cowboys seem to have the NFC East locked up, but a loss this week to the Lions and a Giants win Thursday Night could make the last regular season weekend very interesting. The Lions are getting desperate after the loss last week to the Giants, if they lose again, it will be heads up with the Packers for the NFC North and the playoffs. The Cowboys will, most definitely be leaning heavily on Elliot, who ran all over a defense that is at lease equal to Detroit’s. They will also need Dak to have another game like he did against the Bucs, because Stafford will be looking to make up for his performance against the Giants. With Dallas favored by 7, I like the Lions to cover in a close loss, Dallas wins 28-31.
With a Cowboys win, they will lock up the NFC East, but the Giants will still have something to play for. They have to take on their divisional rival Eagles, who torched one of the best defenses in the league last week in a loss at Baltimore. Now they travel to New York with only pride to play for. The Giants defense may not be ranked as high as Baltimore’s, but I don’t think any team wants to face them in the first round of the playoffs. Look for Eli and Odell find each other on a regular basis in this one. I like the Giants defense to hold Matthews in check and have no problem covering the 2.5 points. New York wins 21-14.
With Seattle having no chance of losing the NFC West, the last race we have in the NFC is the Falcons leading the Buccaneers by one game. The Panthers coming off an impressive showing against the Redskins, but they have a much bigger challenge coming to town this week. The Falcons, having the top ranked offense, are poised to continue against an improved, but young secondary in Carolina. The test is going to be the Carolina offense. Can the Falcons defense hold them to few enough points to pull of the win? If Cam and company look like they did last week it’ll be tough. Regardless, I think that Matt Ryan has this team rolling and with them only favored by 2.5, that makes this pick even easier, give me the Falcons to keep rolling in Carolina and cover 35-27.
Tampa took a hit last week in their loss to Dallas and need a win to keep pace with the Falcons. After bragging on the Bucs defense, they fell on their face, letting Zeke Elliot run all over them. The question is, Can they stop a better offensive power in Drew Brees? Tampa just seems to be one more year away and their season officially ends this weekend. New Orleans has no problem covering the 3 points and Tampa will need a lot of help to make the playoffs in the final week. 36-24 Saints at home.
Those are the NFC picks of the week. Leave a comment let me know your opinions. AFC picks coming tomorrow. I’m looking to improve on the 10-4 straight up last week, but more importantly, the 8-6 against the spread. Stay Tuned.