There are five weeks left in the NFL regular season. Funny how that statement will elicit different reactions depending on whom you say it to. Eagles fans will probably groan and mumble some sort of expletive under their breath about Chip Kelly. Raiders fans will probably show some sort of optimism considering their team is in the thick of a playoff race. Finally, say this statement to a Redskins fan and they will probably break into a cold sweat with the thought that they have to hold off the rest of the NFC East in order to make the playoffs.
I took a little break for Thanksgiving, but ready to get back into the swing of things and finish the season strong!
Record: 27-18-1 (4-1 two weeks ago)
Houston Texans (6-5) at Buffalo Bills (5-6)
Houston has won four straight entering this one in Buffalo. The Texans have done so with great defense, allowing just 35 points total over that span. Brian Hoyer is managing the game well and Alfred Blue et al are getting the job done in the backfield. It's concerning that Houston managed just 24 points at home against a porous New Orleans Saints defense. The Bills are just a bit better on that side of the ball. Buffalo's offense has been a bit inconsistent, which is probably status quo with Rex Ryan teams. The Bills have gone under in 12 of their last 19 home games and 24 of their last 43 overall. SELECTION: Under 41.5
Baltimore Ravens (4-7) at Miami Dolphins (4-7)
Baltimore is flying high after an improbable victory in Cleveland on Monday night. It's a quick turnaround for the Ravens, as they hit the road again this week to Miami. The Dolphins are wallowing once again, and fired offensive coordinator Bill Lazor earlier this week. Miami has run the ball just 23 times in its last two contests, which is not a recipe for success. The Fins have talent, they just haven’t been able to put it together over any extended period of time. This really is a situational play because Baltimore's season is over and the Ravens expended a lot to win in Cleveland. SELECTION: Dolphins Moneyline
Arizona Cardinals (9-2) at St. Louis Rams (4-7)
The Rams’ offense is... well... quite offensive. St. Louis has scored just 51 points in its last four games as they begin a three-game home stand. The good thing for the Rams is that their defense has been playing well for the most part. They'll need to against a potent Arizona team that actually struggled at San Francisco. Arizona's streak of three straight games with 30 points or more ended with the 19-point effort on the road. Last year this game was a 12-6 contest. These two teams have played 18 unders in their last 32 meetings, including nine of 16 in St. Louis. SELECTION: Under 42.5
Philadelphia Eagles (4-7) at New England Patriots (10-1)
The Patriots are coming off their first loss of the season and are staring at an Eagles team that has been gashed by lesser offenses in Tampa Bay and Detroit. Danny Amendola could return from injury, which means Tom Brady has at least one weapon at his disposal. Philly may have Sam Bradford back, which means the offense could provide a couple of points in this one. The Pats have gone over in eight of their last 10 games against teams with a losing record. SELECTION: Over 49
- The Packers have lost four of their last five while the Lions have won three straight. Despite these recent results, I truly want to take the Packers. I understand that Detroit is hot and the Lions have turned it over just once during this streak, but it's Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay is a heavy lean, but I couldn't make it official. Maybe if it dips below three.
- This Vikings game is very intriguing as they see-saw ahead in the NFC Central standings. In comes a Seahawks team that got fat and happy during a three-game home stand. Upon closer inspection, their secondary was crushed by Arizona and Pittsburgh. The question for this one is if Teddy Bridgewater can make enough plays to win the game. I'd like to think Minnesota's defense makes enough plays to win, but who knows?
- Your spot play of the weekend is the San Diego Chargers. They welcome Denver to town after the Broncos won their home game against the Patriots. The last time Denver won a huge game was the Week 8 home contest versus the Packers after its bye week. The next week, Denver laid an egg and lost outright in Indianapolis. San Diego has no run game to speak of and a lack of good receiving options, but the Chargers may get an unfocused Broncos team.
— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.