Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons
Niko: Carson Palmer stinks. “Anchors for feet” doesn’t even look capable of leading this uber talented team to the playoffs. Matty Ice and the Falcons get the job done at home.
Jordan: The Cardinals are super inconsistent. Crazy to think that I thought they'd be the NFC's participant in the Super Bowl. You have to blame the quarterback, Carson Palmer, because he's been really bad at times. Matt Ryan leads the Falcons to a win over the Cards.
Pete: Are the Falcons legit? Probably not. Are they better than the horrendous Cardinals? Yup.
New York Giants (-7) @ Cleveland Browns
Niko: Call me crazy, but I’ll actually go with the points and take Cleveland here. I don’t think they beat the G-men, but I think it’ll be closer than the spread depicts. Browns with the points.
Jordan: I'll agree with Niko here. Not a chance the Giants and their surprisingly 7-3 record will lose to the 0-11 Browns. NO WAY. But I still think it will be close, however it won't seem like that. Browns cover.
Pete: As much as I want to, I cant pick the Browns. The Giants are not as good as they have showcased this season, but they are better than the freakin' Browns.
Los Angeles Rams (+7) @ New Orleans Saints
Niko: In his second career start, I just can’t see Jared Goff keeping pace with the potent Drew Brees led Saints’ offense. This, however, won’t be the beat down the Rams will get next weekend at, you guessed it, Gillette Stadium. Saints big.
Jordan: I almost feel bad for Jared Goff. While I believe he will sustain more success against a crappy Saints defense than he did last week against Miami, he won't be nearly as good as Drew Brees. Saints cover the spread and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Pete: I have said this from the beginning of time; the better quarterback almost always wins. Saints and Drew Brees get it done at home.
San Francisco 49ers (+8) @ Miami Dolphins
Niko: I’m shocked the Pats’ defense couldn’t force a turnover against Kaepernick. He’s just not a cerebral or accurate passer as it stands today. A streaking Miami team should win big.
Jordan: If it isn't raining in Miami, You have to expect the Dolphins to win easily. If you don't understand my reasoning, Kaepernick looked like an elite QB in the first half last week against the Pats in the pouring rain. The fowl weather made him better. When the rain stopped, so did the Niners offense. Dolphins should cover.
Pete: The Dolphins struggled last week and the 49ers surprisingly hung tough with the Patriots for three quarters. However, these teams are trending in the wrong direction. Dolphins big.
San Diego Chargers (-1.5) @ Houston Texans
Niko: This probably doesn’t constitute as a bold take, but San Diego is a damn good 4-win ball club. This will be tight, but given the way Houston hung tough vs. Oakland Monday night, I’m going to go with them at home. The Texans are capitalizing on a bad division and have won the games they are supposed to.
Jordan: This is a game where you could flip a coin and feel comfortable taking either of these teams to win by within a touchdown. That being said, I'm more comfortable with the home team in this one. But it'll take a stones effort by Brock Osweiler. Texans should win.
Pete: The Texans have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs, and it helps they play in a crappy division. They were able to hang tough with the Raiders on Monday night and should beat up the Chargers.
Seattle Seahawks (-5.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Niko: Seattle is cooking. Yes, Tampa has rattled off a couple, looking strong in recent weeks, but the ‘Hawks are hitting their stride. Seahawks on the road by a touchdown.
Jordan: Seahawks are healthy now, as demonstrated by their offensive outbreak against the Pats two weeks ago. They appear to be ready to take the NFC by storm. Winston and the Bucs have been pretty good, looking like a team on the cusp of being a playoff contender in a couple years, but they just don't have the star power to beat Seattle. I'll take Seahawks by 10.
Pete: I want to pick the Bucs, as they have been reeling as of late, but I just can't do it. The Seahawks are the best team in all of football and are one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now.
Carolina Panthers (+3.5) @ Oakland Raiders
Niko: Much more interesting than their respective records may indicate. I’ll go with the Raiders at home. Going to need them to drop a couple down the stretch so the Pats can lock up home field, though.
Jordan: I like this matchup. Do I think the Panthers can make a run to the playoffs? No, not a chance. However, I see this being a potential upset. The Raiders have looked better on defense in recent weeks, but let's see how they handle a guy like Cam Newton. Upset of the week, Panthers win at the O.co, where the Raiders have lost their only 2 games.
Pete: I agree with Jordan. The Panthers can hang with the Raiders and neither team is particularly good on defense. I will go with the upset as well.
Kansas City Chiefs (+3) @ Denver Broncos
Niko: Massive AFC west showdown, with equally massive playoff implications. This is going to be physical slugfest. Have to begrudgingly roll with the home team Broncos.
Jordan: This game will take on a playoff atmosphere, no doubt. How will Trevor Siemien respond to that? We'll see. I don't think he will play particularly well. It'll be a defensive showdown, and could be a first team to 20, wins the game.
Pete: Game of the Week. These are the types of games that are a win-win for the Patriots. I expect the Broncos to win, as they simply cannot be beaten at Mile High.
New England Patriots (-8) @ New York Jets
Niko: Expect a surgical Brady performance in this one. Jets’ D line doesn’t leave a lot of running room. Pats cover at the Meadowlands. More on this one coming in the roundtable this weekend.
Jordan: Gronk isn't expected to play this week either, that'll be tough to come back from against a team that always hangs tough with the Pats. With Fitzy at QB, Pats defense might regain some swag. Pats cover. Check out the Roundtable this weekend for more.
Pete: I just can't see the Patriots losing to the Jets this year. More thoughts in the Roundtable this weekend.
Green Bay Packers (+3.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles
Niko: Philly is a different team at home (4-0, 1-5 on the road for comparison), and Green Bay looks completely lost on defense. Something seems fundamentally wrong with the Packers, and until they prove otherwise I’m fine rolling with their opponent. Birds get the job done at Lincoln Financial.
Jordan: Geez the Packers suck this year. Many saw them winning the Super Bowl, especially with Jordy Nelson back. That hasn't been the case. Both the QB and the coach are questioning the manhood of this team. Combine that with the Eagles being undefeated at home? Recipe for disaster for the Pack. Eagles win at home, and cover the spread.
Pete: What. Has. Happened. To. Green. Bay? I just don't get it. I thought they were going to threaten the Patriots for the best record in football and maybe even win the Super Bowl. Eagles at home. My, oh my, how the mighty have fallen.