Locks of the Week
Inner division games featuring teams in must-win (or must-lose) mode are ripe for the picking in the regular-season finale.
Colts (-11) vs. Jaguars
Indy stampeded J-Ville, 37–3, in Week 4. The Colts are fresh off of big wins over the Texans (25–3) and Chiefs (23–7).
Patriots (-8.5) vs. Bills
EJ Manuel’s season is over, leaving Thad Lewis in charge of staggering Buffalo. Take Tom Brady at home in December.
Titans (-7) vs. Texans
Houston is a loss away from locking up the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Tennessee needs a win to save Mike Munchak’s job (maybe).
Panthers (-6.5) at Falcons
Cam Newton returns to his hometown of Atlanta with a chance to clinch the NFC South crown and a first-round bye in the playoffs.
49ers (-1) at Cardinals
Essentially a pick ‘em, San Francisco dusted Zona 32–20 in Week 6. But the red-hot Redbirds have won seven of their last eight games.
The Crescent and Queen Cities have been nearly unstoppable at home lately. Ride the hot hands in N’Awlins and Cincy.
Saints (-12.5) vs. Buccaneers
New Orleans is 7–0 at home, where Drew Brees has thrown 23 TDs and just three INTs under the lights at the Superdome.
Bengals (-6.5) vs. Ravens
Cincinnati is 7–0 at home and has scored 40 or more points in each of its last four games at Paul Brown Stadium.
These games may not be straight up upsets, but the numbers are big enough to bank on tight fights in these inner division games.
Cowboys (+6.5) vs. Eagles
Dallas will lose in the most painful way possible, it’s nearly guaranteed. That means there will be hope — false hope — in the fourth quarter.
Jets (+6) at Dolphins
The J-E-T-S are fighting to save the job of R-E-X Ryan and should be able to hang tough with a Fins club off a 19–0 loss at Buffalo.
Stay away from these games unless you’re a degenerate or a hometown homer who has to have action on all the action.
Broncos (-12.5) at Raiders
This number seems high, but Denver has won eight of its games by two touchdowns. So there’s that.
Seahawks (-11.5) vs. Rams
All Seattle has to do is win or tie and the “12th Man” will be rocking the Pacific Northwest with home field advantage.
Chargers (-9.5) vs. Chiefs
Kansas City is 2–4 following a 9–0 start to the season. What’s up, Andy Reid?
Steelers (-7) vs. Browns
Pittsburgh needs to win and have the Dolphins, Ravens and Chargers all lose in order to make the playoffs. Is that all?
Giants (-3.5) vs. Redskins
Finally. The end is here. If there’s a way for both of these teams to lose, they’ll make it happen.
Vikings (-3) vs. Lions
Detroit has five losses in its last six games and has been eliminated from the playoffs. But don’t boo Jim Schwartz.
Packers (-3) at Bears
Be careful out there, Aaron Rodgers. Watch your collarbone, buddy.
Locks of the Week