It’s Week 15 and the finish line is in sight.
Chris doesn’t feel like doing the maths to figure out what our records are, but rest assured, after enough pestering, I’ll get him to do it eventually. There must be a winner. There must be a loser. We don’t push.
On to the bets.
Miami at NYG -3.5
Chris: Really I just wanted to pick this because it can improve Lions draft order. But also, it falls into our favorite category of sad-sack teams with a betting line.
The Giants are trash. They couldn’t put away Philadelphia, and they ruined things, ruined them, for the Lions to get Chase Young. Mercifully, it’s win-win in this game here. A Dolphins win immediately puts the Lions in a better position, while a Giants win places them closer to knockout.
Personally though, I’m happy that the “Eli returns” narrative got ruined. It’s setting the stage for the Giants to keep trying to give him a chance to get to a .500 winning percentage, which means that the Dolphins are going to nail this coffin shut, or at least cover the spread. Miami +3.5.
Ryan: As you mentioned already, this game is intriguing because it improves the Lions draft spot... unless it ends in a tie.
How cruel would those supernatural hands that hover over the field each week be if they were to saddle the Lions with another tie this season? As far as gut punches go, I’d say only the Green Bay game would rank as more punishing.
Cover me in flames. New York Giants -3.5.
Atlanta at San Francisco -11
Ryan: The San Francisco 49ers went into New Orleans last week and beat the Saints. I’m changing my tune: they’re good, folks. The Niners got into a track meet with one of the best offensive units in football, on the road, and beat them in a game where 94 points were scored. There’s no way I could have seen that coming. No way, no how.
This is totally going to backfire on me, but whatever. San Francisco -11.
Chris: The Falcons are an unspeakable weapon of mass destruction. Unfortunately, that weapon takes a long time to charge up, but once it’s at full power it starts to blow teams away. Last time this weapon reached full power it lasted two games against divisional opponents. Now it seems to have recharged and annihilated the Panthers.
Three questions now remain: One, can this weapon last for a second game once again? Two, does this weapon work against teams outside the Falcons’ division? Third and final: does Kyle Shanahan’s familiarity with Matt Ryan give him the secret blueprints necessary for a trench run to bomb the exhaust port?
I don’t know the answers, but like my guy Ryan, I’m scared for this game. Gonna take another dog. Atlanta +11.
Denver at Kansas City -9.5
Chris: This line opened all the way at 13. What gives? Well, the Broncos have been showing an eerie sort of progress this season into something resembling “competence.” They’ve won their last two games, including a thrashing of the Texans in their own building.
While the Chiefs are one of the strongest teams in the AFC and just trashed the Patriots, they are a meager 3-3 at home. Coming off a strong showing in New England, I think there’s a good chance to start a little flat against the Broncos, especially when the playoffs are in sight. Do the Chiefs win? You bet. Is it close? Well...
Call me crazy, Mr. Mathews, but I hear the dogs barking this weekend and I don’t think it’s your good boy. Denver +9.5.
Ryan: I’m not going to call you crazy because I’m on the record in print and on the PODcast as being a believer in the Denver Broncos. So I guess I’m the crazy one?
I think the early concern with the betting populace was the health of Patrick Mahomes’ hand after he bruised it choking the life out of the New England Patriots. Since he practiced in full on Wednesday, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if the line gets back to double digits. Kansas City -9.5.
LA Rams at Dallas +1
Ryan: How we ended up betting on two NFC East teams this week is beyond me, but whatever. We’re here now; let’s see where it takes us.
Cool, we’re in hell, exactly where I was anticipating venturing into after having to watch the Eagles on Monday night and the Cowboys on Thursday night. Let this be a reminder: GET RID OF THURSDAY FOOTBALL AND PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF WHOMEVER’S IN CHARGE, FLEX MORE PRIMETIME GAMES.
While the Cowboys are playing for their playoff lives, so are the Los Angeles Rams, and they’re the better football team. It’s that easy. LA Rams -1.
Chris: The Cowboys are sorry as hell and they’re not going to be less sorry just because they’re playing another sorry team. The Cowboys will out-sorry the Rams. They are just awful, and no additional rants from Jerry Jones about glory holes and no time to jack with folks and “settle down” is going to change that. LA Rams -1.
Indianapolis at New Orleans OVER 46
Minnesota -2.5 at LA Chargers
Cleveland at Arizona UNDER 48
Tampa Bay at Detroit UNDER 47
Seattle -6 at Carolina
Jacksonville +7 at Oakland