Tricky time to be an NFL bettor as teams locking up postseason berths and injury situations worth monitoring mean you never know what to expect as the regular season comes to a close. We'll get you on the right side of those worries, however.
Note: All times are ET and all games are on Sunday, Dec. 22 unless otherwise noted.
Here are this week's best NFL picks against the spread:
Buffalo Bills (10-4) at New England Patriots (11-3), 4:30 p.m. (Sat.)
The Bills' recent surge has allowed them to clinch a playoff berth with time to spare but for as good as they have been defensively, they've barely gotten by when forced to rely on Josh Allen's passing. Bill Belichick is likely to do everything in his power to take away the run and underneath routes so this will be on Allen to try to pass downfield on the best defense in the AFC. The Patriots still have issues of their own on the other side of the ball but they can wrap up the division by a touchdown or more. The Pick: Patriots -6.5
Oakland Raiders (6-8) at Los Angeles Chargers (5-9), 4:05 p.m. ET
The Raiders had an epic meltdown last week to close out their time in Oakland, somewhat perfectly capping off this horrendous slide after midseason flirtations with a potential postseason run. As bad as Jon Gruden's team is though, they're far from a touchdown worse than the Chargers, who have been thumped repeatedly in recent weeks and can't seem to hold onto the ball. These division games are rarely blowouts and Oakland still has some fight left in them. The Pick: Raiders +7
Dallas Cowboys (7-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (7-7), 4:25 p.m. ET
Everybody has been pumping up the Cowboys after that blowout of the Rams but over the course of this season, they haven't been all that much better than Philadelphia. Both of these teams are the cream of a mediocre NFC East crop but that's not exactly saying much and it's hard to pass up a (very) motivated home dog taking on a closely matched division rival. The Pick: Eagles +2.5
Kansas City Chiefs (10-4) at Chicago Bears (7-7), 8:20 p.m. ET
The Bears are just 4-10 against the number this season and are not the kind of team built to get into a shootout that the Chiefs are all too comfortable playing in. Patrick Mahomes has been overshadowed this season by Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson but he's still a reigning MVP with a 23:4 TD-to-INT ratio who loves to put up numbers in big games. All the draft comparisons between him and Mitchell Trubisky are ad nauseam at this point but will underscore how the visitors to Solider Field should have no issues notching a comfortable victory on the road. The Pick: Chiefs -6
Last Week: 3-1
— 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.