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NFL Playoff Picture and the Final week of the Season
Parlays and Teasers and More!
Well, the NFL certainly got what it wanted. This weekend there will be 10 games that have meaning in determining the playoff picture which figures to keep most NFL fans interested until the very last game goes off at 815 pm est when the Chargers and Broncos play what is basically an elimination game. From a betting standpoint, BE CAREFUL! Remember, just because a team that has to win is playing a team with nothing to play for, doesn't mean they will in fact win. Teams needing to win to get in, lose every year. Also remember that some lines will be inflated this week for the very same reason. So let's take a quick look at this weeks meaningful games.
Raiders at Bucs - The Bucs can get in with a win and a Dallas loss. Certainly a possibility. But the Bucs certainly don't deserve a playoff spot. They haven't been able to step up to the plate ever since the Panthers loss on that Monday Night a few weeks ago. They have had 3 cracks at a win starting with the Panthers and lost each time. I'd be very careful getting involved with the Bucs this week. While not likely, a loss wouldn't surprise me. I certainly wouldn't be laying 13 points here.
Cowboys at Eagles - This game starts at 415 pm est. and by that time there's a chance the Eagles will be eliminated. They need Tampa Bay to lose to have a shot. Either way, I would suspect the same effort from the Eagles. They'd obviously love to get it, but they'd also love to prevent their NFC East Rival from getting in. In a perfect world, the Bucs would lose and we'd have ourselves a playoff game between two teams deserving of a spot. I'd consider using the Cowboys as part of a teaser this week. You'd be able to get the Cowboys at +7.5 and would pick up the very so important key numbers of 3 and 7 along the way. I'd expect this one to go down to the wire regardless of what's on the line.
Giants at Vikings - This one is meaningless for the Giants who will likely rest everyone that needs it. The Vikings can improve their position here which explains the inflated line on this one. The Vikings look to be a good teaser candidate in this sport, brining them down to pk.
Bears at Texans - Bears need to win and have the Vikings lose, which in my opinion is very unlikely. Not so sure I'd trust the Bears in this spot against the improving Texans looking to go out on a winning note. We're going to steer clear of any recommendations on this one.
Panthers at Saints - The Panthers can clinch a first round bye with a win over the Saints. If they don't let the emotion of last weeks overtime loss to the Giants affect them this week, the Panthers look like a decent play here at a field goal or less. With a first round bye and possibly another crack at the Giants on the horizon the Panthers look like a team that can make it to the Super Bowl this year.
Rams at Falcons - Hats of to these Falcons. With a win here and a Panthers loss, the Falcons would win the division and get a first round bye. Not out of the question. But we're not ready to lay -14 in this spot. It's just too big of a number not just for this game but for any NFL game. The Falcons may be worth using in a 13 point teaser or as part of a money line parlay as the straight up win is very likely.
Jaguars at Ravens - Ditto for the Ravens. Perhaps useful as part of a money line parlay or teaser. We really like this Ravens team and their chances to beat any current playoff team on any given day. They need to win to get in so expect a huge effort here from the Ravens. A loss by the Pats would also get the Ravens in.
Dolphins at Jets - Lots of sub plots in this one. Pennington. Favre. The playoffs. There would seem to be plenty of value in backing the Dolphins here. They have won down the stretch when they needed to, unlike the Jets. They have been the better team most of the year and play a style of football that can serve them well in the playoffs. Specifically, mistake free football, again, unlike the Jets. The Dolphins are in with a win while the Jets need to win and have either the Pats or Ravens lose. Miami is our play in this one and they'd also be attractive as part of a 7 point teaser bringing them up to +10.
Patriots at Bills - The Pats could win and finish 11-5 and still not make the playoffs which would be a shame and which also is a great argument for why the current system needs to be changed. The Pats could be a very dangerous team if they get into the playoffs. They can do so by winning here, and having the Jets or Ravens lose. So it looks like their hoped ride with the Jets. The Pats have beaten the Bills 10 straight, but we really have no interest in playing this one, straight up or in teasers. A Pats win is likely but no lock.
Broncos at Chargers - The Grand Finale of the day. This one is for all the marbles in the AFC West. This one is a playoff game. An elimination game. Whatever you want to call it, it's a big one. From where I sit, the line is simply too high. Yeah, the Chargers are playing better ball right now and the Broncos have fallen flat on their face blowing a 3 game lead in the division, but it doesn't change the fact that these two are nothing more than .500 teams here with either one capable of beating the other outright. The Chargers are no bargain folks. They have won 3 in a row, but barely. They just got by the Chiefs by one point and almost lost. The Chargers are the better team here but we'd lean towards the 8 points in what has the potential to be an exciting game.
So there you have it. An exciting finish is in store for the NFL this week. No shortage of drama, that's for sure. Just be careful from a betting standpoint. There looks to be some good opportunities, especially when using teasers wisely with some of the teams we have mentioned. The "2nd season" starts next week with the Wild Card Playoffs and this year promises to be one of the best in years for the NFL playoffs. So many teams capable of beating any of the other teams, there's sure to be a big surprise or two.
Bettorsworld will have predictions and analysis on every NFL playoff game right through to the Super Bowl so be sure to check in with us each week!
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