This week the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins are battling for the NFC North lead. With a loss the Packers are officially out of the playoffs and the Vikings and Bears couldn’t be any closer to a playoff spot. Everyone is so focused on the second Wild Card spot, I wanted to throw the west and east pennants into the mix this week. Don’t worry, we still keep our eyes on the division lead.
Best Bet: Cincinnati Bengals (-10) over Cleveland Browns
Cincinnati is at home, which makes them a tough underdog. However, the Bengals are coming off a loss to the Bears and while they are missing Andy Dalton, the Browns have done no better against the run this season. The defense will also try to force Cleveland into turning the ball over. The Browns are also proving to be less talented than last year and it is paying off as they are still a mediocre team.
Players to Watch: A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati; Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis
Brissett faces the Browns this week, but that is going to be no easy task. What I really like about this defense is that they can bring more than one level to the table in a pinch. If the Browns go to a run-heavy offense, the Bengals can shut down Le’Veon Bell and keep a passing game shut down. If they think the Packers will come out a little bigger for their upcoming game, Brissett can take advantage of that.
Best Bet: New York Giants (-9) over Chicago Bears
If you are a Giants fan, I hope you are wearing your BLACK & GIANTS Gear. As for the Bears, they needed to ride the hot hand of Chase Daniel against the Packers, but he couldn’t keep that up this week. That being said, the Giants have a backup quarterback in Davis Webb and he’s coming off a game with a high completion percentage.
Given that Chicago has traded two of their last three starters for picks, their loss to the Cowboys has not boosted their confidence. The Bears have played some stout defense and their roster may still be intact, but they are certainly not a playoff team right now.
Trying to make sense of what might happen on Sunday. I am not in the Vegas business so I have no idea if this is a trap game or a must-win for them. I just think they should be able to figure it out.
Players to Watch: Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago; Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Jeffery has not been playing the best football and he faces a secondary that has allowed the second-most touchdowns. Cooper, on the other hand, has been having a breakout season for the Cowboys and he is making everyone forget about Jason Witten. He is not likely to face Romo, as his first foray into the bay with the Cowboys was not good. I just know he could be in for an epic game.
Best Bet: Houston Texans (-7) over Tennessee Titans
The Texans have won six straight while the Titans are 4-4 at home. The Titans just had their worst loss to the Colts and they look vulnerable on offense. On the other hand, the Texans have been playing good enough football to win and they are playing at home. This is a game to take the Texans at home in a dominant performance.
To finish out Week 12, the New York Jets (-7) over Miami Dolphins.