Motivation shouldn't be an issue for Baker Mayfield this week when the Browns take on the Cardinals
The countdown is on to the NFL playoffs and just three games remain for teams to get into the postseason — and for the betting public to get on the right side of the ledger before the New Year too.
Note: All times are ET and all games are on Sunday, Dec. 15.
Here are this week's best NFL picks against the spread:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) at Detroit Lions (3-9-1), 1 p.m. ET
The Lions are not in a good state right now, with injuries all over the place and the pressure ratcheting up on the coaching staff. Two of their three wins have come at home but this figures to be a high-scoring game as most Tampa Bay games have been, not exactly Detroit's forte right now. Jameis Winston is bound to have a bad turnover regardless but even with the loss of Mike Evans, he can still sneak out a comfortable win to get back to .500 on the year. The Pick: Bucs -3.5
Seattle Seahawks (10-3) at Carolina Panthers (5-8), 1 p.m. ET
Pete Carroll's team has had some strange games and their loss to the Rams certainly qualifies. That said, they're bound to be fired up to go out and get a victory to wash away the taste and while the travel is tough going out east, they've actually been more focused and played better on the road. Carolina is rudderless following staff turnover so Carroll's defense comes up with some turnovers to help the Seahawks breeze to a win to keep pace with the 49ers in the division. The Pick: Seahawks -6
Cleveland Browns (6-7) at Arizona Cardinals (3-9), 4:05 p.m. ET
The Browns are going through a ton of issues on and off the field but the one thing that is unquestioned about the organization is that you don't want to cross their quarterback. Well, Baker Mayfield has a little history with the head coach of the Cardinals and he will be plenty motivated to get a win in this one. Arizona does play better at home but this one should be a fun back-and-forth before Cleveland notches a win by at least a field goal. The Pick: Browns -2.5
Minnesota Vikings (9-4) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-8), 4:05 p.m. ET
The Chargers' thumping the Jaguars has led a lot of folks to believe in this team again, somehow forgetting how their season has transpired. The big area of concern is that Vikings pass rush, which should have a field day against a weak offensive line. Kirk Cousins and the offense will be a bit methodical but wind up with a victory by double digits in the end. The Pick: Vikings -2.5
Last Week: 2-2
— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.