LAST WEEK: 3-1 (10-6 overall)
We are cruising into the holiday season with wallets overflowing like a well-stuffed stocking on Christmas morning. Last week got off to a blazing start with the Dallas Cowboys not only covering, but winning outright against the league’s top team. Our success in Jerry World chugged along as Oklahoma scored a late touchdown to put away the Longhorns and advance to the College Football Playoff. On Sunday, Tampa Bay followed the Cowboys’ lead by winning outright as a home dog and cashing our tickets along the way. The week’s only slip up was caused by Green Bay and their inexcusable loss to the Cardinals to crush our four-team parlay. This week will be slightly different than the previous editions due to a lack of college football on the Saturday slate. Instead I will simply pick five NFL games and since there won’t be any articles for a while during the holiday break, I will give a few bowl game best bets.
MIAMI +8.5 vs New England
South Beach has been a house of horrors for New England over the last five years as Tom Brady and the gang are a mere 1-4 SU and 1-4 ATS over that time frame. The Dolphins are playing well since the return of veteran quarterback Ryan Tannehill and are simply getting too many points at home against a divisional foe. Look for the Patriots to sneak out of Miami with a close and ugly victory as the Dolphins remain on the outside of the AFC playoff race.
SAN FRANCISCO +6 vs Denver
Denver has played very well over the past two weeks following up a Steelers home victory with an easy blowout win over the Bengals. On the other side, the 49ers have limped down the stretch failing to hang in their game in Seattle and ultimately getting blown out. Although these two teams are trending in the opposite direction, I expect this to be a lower scoring, grind-it-out type of game. San Francisco has a slightly above average rush defense that will be able to hold Phillip Lindsey in check just enough to slow down the Broncos’ offense and keep them at bay. Look for a tight, low scoring affair in a game that no one with a life should watch for a single second.
DALLAS -3.5 vs Philadelphia
This line makes very little sense to me. According to the spread, Vegas has the Cowboys as only a half a point better than the defending Super Bowl champs. As we saw just a few weeks ago in Philly, this is simply not the case. The decimated Philadelphia defense was taken advantage of in their Sunday night matchup as Ezekiel Elliot ran through them like cheap batteries. Even when the Eagles dominate the stats like they did against Washington, they fail to score due to a massive step back in offensive creativity. Look for the Cowboys to embarrass their division rivals and take firm control of the NFC East.
CHICAGO +3.5 vs LA Rams
Assuming Mitch Trubisky will be back and available for this game, the Bears will make a statement about their presence in the NFC playoff race. Arguably, the league’s best defense will be facing the league’s best offense in a matchup in which one of the two has to give. Matt Nagy and the Bears’ newfound creativity will go toe-to-toe with the NFL’s ultimate play-caller, Sean McVay. Look for a tight affair in which Khalil Mack slows down Jared Goff just enough as Chicago delivers in the Windy City by a field goal.
GREEN BAY -6 vs Atlanta
The Wicked Witch is dead, or at least Aaron Rodgers thinks so. Rodgers had been upset with former head coach Mike McCarthy for ages and the Packers have finally gotten rid of the Super Bowl winning head man. Green Bay is mostly dead but Rodgers should have plenty of motivation to prove that it was McCarthy holding back the team and not his own horrendous play. Look for the Pack to take advantage of a poor Falcons’ defense and give the bird to ol’ Mike McCarthy.
NCAAF BOWL BETS
OHIO STATE -4.5 vs Washington
TEXAS A&M -5.5 vs NC State
WASHINGTON ST -3.5 vs Iowa State
OKLAHOMA +14 vs Alabama (and OVER 79)
Wake Forest vs Memphis OVER 74