We are in the nitty gritty of the NFL season, and with teams looking to solidify their spot in the postseason, it should make for some very good bets this week.
Every week, it seems like more and more fringe contenders show their true colors and show they cannot get it done when it matters most. The Indianapolis Colts had chance after chance to put away the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but they lost a game that could cost them an improbably playoff run without Andrew Luck. The Oakland Raiders tried to put together their own playoff push, but they’ve lost their last three games by a combined score of 116-33. You can probably write both these teams off.
Two teams you can’t write off, but you probably want to are the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. They are both just really bad. The Cowboys lost to the Chicago Bears on Thursday night, and the Eagles should have lost to the Giants on Monday night. Unfortunately, one of those teams has to make the playoffs.
This week is not as star studded as last week. However, 11 of the 16 matchups this week are under a touchdown on the point spread. That means in more cases than not, you can pick the team you think will win.
Let’s get into this week’s picks. As usual, we will get our weekly lines from The Action Network.
Thursday Night Football
New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens (-14.5)
The Baltimore Ravens have been the best team in the NFL for two months now. They’ve faced some of the best teams in the NFL, and they dominated. Last week, they went into Buffalo and came out with their ninth-straight win. There’s one major issue here. Lamar Jackson, the likely MVP candidate, is dealing with a quad injury. He says he’s playing on Thursday night, but quads can really slow down a quarterback with his skill set.
Luckily, they are playing the increasingly inconsistent New York Jets. One week, they can stay in it with anyone. The next week, they lose to the worst teams in the NFL. It doesn’t help that Le’Veon Bell caused a controversy by bowling. He missed last week’s game, but was seen in the alley the day before. We don’t like those kinds of controversies, but with it being a Thursday night game, it doesn’t have a lot of time to fester.
This game comes down to the point spread. This is telling the Ravens to beat the Jets by more than two touchdowns. They’ve won four of the last six games by at least two touchdowns, so they are more than capable. Baltimore is hitting their stride with no looking back. We cannot trust the Jets to stay in this game, even with Lamar’s injury.
Pick: Baltimore (-14.5)