*Lines accurate as of Wednesday 10AM Eastern Timing*
Tampa Bay (+1) @ St. Louis
Niko: Oddly looking forward to this, mainly to get a comprehensive look at Jameis Winston and Todd Gurley. I’m a big fan of both. I’ll take the road team Bucs in this one.
Pete: Like Niko, I think that it will be interesting to see James Winston and Todd Gurley, who I haven't seen much of this year. Both were highly touted out of college and have question marks/concerns in the draft. Just because of position alone, I will go with Jameis Winston and the Bucs. In my opinion, running backs just can't win games.
New York Jets (-3) @ Dallas Cowboys
Niko: The Cowboys won’t be able to run as well as they’d like against a stout Jets’ defensive front. They won’t be able to throw either. Jets cover.
Pete: It's actually sad how much the Cowboys have underperformed this year. In such a weak division, even without Tony Romo, with one of the best offensive lines/wide receiver in football, this team should be .500. Another week, another loss. Jets.
Houston (off) @ Indianapolis
Niko: Indy just gave up 51 points to Jacksonville. Read that again, and again, and again. Now one more time. Yeah, Houston wins in Indy.
Pete: Indy is a mess. First they say that Andrew Luck may play Sunday, but, in the same report, say that he could be out for the rest of the season. What? Such a poorly run operation. Houston will blow their doors off, if the Pats "Murder Curse" doesn't claim it's next victim.
Chicago (+5.5) @ Minnesota
Niko: If Minnesota is halfway legit, they’ll cover this number at home against the Bears. I’ll give them that much credit. Vikings cover.
Pete: Minnesota has had some trouble here as they try to close out the regular season. They are still in the playoff picture, but appear to be limping to the finish line. Like Niko said, if they want to be taken seriously. Fortunately, I think they put their big boy pants on and win this game.
Tennessee (+14) @ New England
Niko: I don’t think the points matter much here. Mariota’s future is bright, but that doesn’t mean anything this Sunday. Pats cover. Extended thoughts coming in the Roundtable this weekend.
Pete: Pats. More thoughts in Roundtable.
Carolina (-5) @ New York Giants
Niko: Carolina is starting to get hit with the injury bug. CB Charles Tillman missed his fourth straight game last weekend; his replacement Bene Benwikere is lost for the season, and key offensive contributors Greg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart missed time as well. I’ll go with the G-men at home to end Carolina’s bid for a perfect season. OBJ will have his way with Josh Norman.
Pete: I am going to continue to pick against the Panthers until they lose. I just hate them. However, I would like it if they were 18-0 and got their asses kicked by the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The ultimate revenge game. Giants.
Buffalo (-1) @ Washington
Niko: The one thing about Rex Ryan coached teams is that they always play hard (albeit dumb), no matter what their record is. I’ll take the Bills in an ugly one.
Pete: This is a pretty big game for Washington. If they win, they will continue to be right in the thick of things in the TERRIBLE NFC East. I think I will go with the Redskins in this one. They have more to lose and should play desperate.
Atlanta (+3) @ Jacksonville
Niko: The Falcons are a train wreck. I’m going with the Jags here, who are making it an extremely interesting December for the AFC South.
Pete: The Falcons should just pack it up and think about next year. What a terrible team. Jags.
Kansas City (-7) @ Baltimore
Niko: The Ravens just signed Ryan Mallett. Kansas City covers on the road.
Pete: Baltimore has had a tough season. A lot of injuries, a lot of close games. Kansas City, who has been on fire lately, should win easily.
Green Bay (-3) @ Oakland
Niko: Khalil Mack is rapidly becoming one of the most dominant defensive players in football. There are not enough complimentary things to say about his 5 (!!!) sack performance last Sunday. The Packers better throw the kitchen sink at him to slow him down, or they could be in trouble. I’ll go with Green Bay in what should be a competitive game.
Pete: Sneaky Great Game of the Week? Oakland is fresh off of a win against the Broncos, and, at home, should have a supreme amount of confidence. Khalil Mack, Amari Cooper, Derek Carr, this team has some serious playmakers. I will take them in the upset.
Cleveland (+14.5) @ Seattle
Niko: Jeez, the fourteen and a half is no joke, but I just don’t see it. Johnny Football playing well or not, Seattle looks like they are ready to threaten Carolina/Zona in the NFC. Seahawks cover.
Pete: Unfortunately, Seattle got hot at the right time. This team, who many, myself included, wrote off early in the season, is on fire and looks to be poised to make a deep run in the playoffs. Big point spread, but I think Seattle gets it done.
Denver (+6) @ Pittsburgh
Niko: Pittsburgh should handle Denver at home. These teams are going in different directions. The Broncos should worry about winning their division and forget about the #1 seed.
Pete: This is the Game of the Week. Both teams are desperate for a win, with the Broncos looking to get back in the #1 seed, and Pittsburgh sneaking into the playoffs as a dangerous wildcard team. I hope the Broncos win, just because if Pittsburgh gets into the playoffs, then they will be the most difficult opponent for the Patriots. Lets go Osweiler!
Miami (+2) @ San Diego
Niko: I genuinely want to take San Diego here, and I would take Philip Rivers over Tannehill 100 times out of 100. However, from 2-53 the Dolphins are just flat out better than San Diego. Dolphins win on the road.
Pete: Tough year for San Diego. I hope to see them bounce back next year. Dolphins win with relative ease.
Cincinnati (-4.5) @ San Francisco
Niko: After getting blown out by the Browns last weekend, I can’t see San Fran competing with the Bengals, no matter who is quarterbacking Cincinnati. The AJ McCarron led Bengals cover on the road.
Pete: Oh how the mighty have fallen. The 49ers were once one of the best teams in the NFL, but are now bottom dwellers in the league. Even without Dalton, the Bengals should beat them easily.
Arizona (-3.5) @ Philadelphia
Niko: Philly’s hitting their stride at the right time. I’ll go with the Eagles in the upset. They’ll pick off Palmer twice.
Pete: Bold pick by Niko. Personally, I just don't see it. Arizona has been rolling as of late, and, even though the Eagles are hot, are just flat out the better football team. Carson Palmer is in my Top 3 for MVP voting and should should that against a terrible Philly secondary.
Detroit (+3) @ New Orleans
Niko: Flip a coin here. I’ll take the points and go with Detroit.
Pete: New Orleans. Niko and I have to be somewhat different, right?