You need to appreciate what you have before it’s gone. For the past 17 weeks there have been between 13 and 16 NFL games per week. Starting next week, that number goes down to six, then four, then two, then one, then football goes away for seven months. So, let’s get our bets in now while we still have a full slate to choose from.
For the past month, we have been advising you to take the under in every Giants game and we’re ending the regular season with one more Giants under bet against the Cowboys. The Giants have gone under in 12 of their 15 games. The numbers are still staggering: the Giants have only played in three games all season that have hit 45 points. No team has scored more than 27 points in a game since Week Five. The one piece of bad news is that the highest scoring game of the Giants season, by a wide margin, is their first game with Dallas, which ended 37-34. That was the game where Dak Prescott left with a season-ending injury, but while Andy Dalton did move the ball on the Giants, Dak was the Cowboys primary QB that day. Both teams are playing to win the division and we aren’t picking a winner here, we’re just predicting that the Giants will make history by going 3-13 in over/unders.
The Steelers vs Browns has already happened once this season, and the Steelers beat the Browns 38-7. Now, Pittsburgh is giving 10(!) points because a few Steeelers, notably Ben Roethlisberger, are sitting out. First of all, Ben Roethlisberger has been one of the worst QB’s in the NFL for over a month, who knows how big of a downgrade Mason Rudolph is right now? Mike Tomlin is also still going to be coaching to win this game, there is a finite number of players an NFL team can sit anyway, and are you really confident that the Cleveland Browns are going to easily win a must-win game, one week after being pushed around by the New York Jets? The Browns also have more COVID concerns than any other team this week, so grab this line at +10 or +9.5 before the number becomes much more reasonable later in the week.
You can get the 49ers at +6 if you want, but the play here is to take San Francisco outright against Seattle. The 49ers might be in last place in the NFC West, but they have been excellent in divisional play. The Niners have already swept the Rams, beating them 24-16 in October and then 23-20 in late November. The Niners split with Arizona, losing 24-20 in Week 1, but returning the favor last week 20-12. Seattle did win the first matchup with the Niners, 37-27 in October, but that was when the Seahawks offense was humming. In the past five games, Seattle has scored 23 points, 12 points and 20 points twice (and 40 against the Jets, to be fair). Russell Wilson tossed exactly one TD in all four of those games where Seattle scored 23 or less. Meanwhile, San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Salah has one of the most injury plagued units in the league playing above its talent level. If you feel more comfortable you can get SF +6 at -110, but +225 seems too good to pass up.
The Packers have plenty to play for against the Bears: a bye, home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, and Aaron Rodgers will likely secure the MVP award with a decent performance against the Bears. Green Bay also beat Chicago 41-25 earlier this season, in a game that was not nearly as close as it sounds. Since that game, Mitch Trubisky has put together the best month of his career, throwing 7 touchdowns against 2 interceptions while throwing the ball as accurately as anyone in the league. In that span, the Bears lost a close game to the Lions, then hammered the Texans, scored 33 against the Vikings in a do-or-die divisional game, and then blew out the Jaguars 41-17. Chicago’s worst home loss of the season was 8 points, and in order to take a team at +5.5 you should feel like they have a chance to win outright, and it says here that the Bears, playing for a spot in the postseason, have more than a puncher’s chance to beat the Packers here.
This line tells you that the oddsmakers think new Rams QB John Wolford is semi-competent. These teams played less than a month ago, with Jared Goff leading the Rams to a 38-28 win. Since then, Arizona has handled a pair of NFC East teams, before looking lifeless against the 49ers last week. The difference between the Niners and the Rams is that C.J. Beathard is a proven NFL backup, while John Wolford’s last meaningful pass was thrown in the AAF in the spring of 2019. Here’s the formula if you are betting the Cardinals: If John Wolford looks terrible early, everyone will wonder why this line wasn’t 7, and if Wolford looks decent, you have still bet on the significantly better QB in a game each team desperately needs to win. At the end of the day, this is still Kyler Murray giving only 3.5 points to John Wolford in the Cardinals vs Rams.