Picking The Winners
New England at Baltimore
Miami at Buffalo
Dallas at Washington
Cleveland at NY Jets
NY Giants at Detroit
Pittsburgh at Green Bay
Denver at Houston
Minnesota at Cincinnati
Tampa Bay at St. Louis
Indianapolis at Kansas City
Tennessee at Jacksonville
New Orleans at Carolina
Oakland at San Diego
Arizona at Seattle
Chicago at Philadelphia
Atlanta at San Francisco
*winners in bold
Picking Against The Spread
New England at Baltimore -2.5
The Patriots have had their hands full with Ravens even when they were the more elite team. Now, neither of these teams is elite, but the Ravens have a head of steam, and the Patriots' defense is not up to snuff. You have to like the home team, which needs the win.
Prediction: Baltimore 24, New England 18
Dallas -2.5 at Washington
Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins could be a nightmare for a bumbling, stumbling Cowboys defense. But the Redskins' defense is not likely to dial up a top-notch performance during the 15th game of the season. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo should put up a bunch of points here, and his defense should be able to get enough stops here. Rivalry game? What rivalry.
Prediction: Dallas 29, Washington 20
Miami -3 at Buffalo
I did a late about-face this week for this game. I thought the Dolphins might have celebrated their Dec. 15 victory against the Patriots a little too hard. Also, I felt the frigid Buffalo weather might stun Miami. But it's not supposed to be bone-chillingly cold, with the forecast calling for temperatures in the 40s Dec. 22.
Prediction: Miami 27, Buffalo 17
Tennessee -5 at Jacksonville
By all appearances, the Jaguars have stepped up their game since their first win of the season, when they sent Titans into a 1-5 spiral in Nashville, Tenn. But, remember, these Titans have played a tough schedule, and may relish the chance to beat up on one of the only teams they can dominate. Revenge may also play a part in the visitors' motivation.
Prediction: Tennessee 30, Jacksonville 16
New Orleans at Carolina -3
Earlier this season, I felt the Saints were the best team in the NFL. But, in order for that to have been the case, they had to have been a better team on the road. As road warriors, coach Sean Payton's team has been a toothless bunch, with a loss to the NY Jets and squeaking wins against Tampa Bay and Atlanta. Meanwhile, the Panthers are tough at home and feature a defense that is relentless and will be fed by a rabid fan base.
Prediction: Carolina 29, New Orleans 23
139-84-1 picking winners (11-5 last week)
45-46-1 picking against the spread (4-3 last week)