Further making things tilt in the Eagles' favor is that not even the Cowboys backup QB will be used. The team already announced Tony Romo will stay sidelined, so it will be a third-stringer out there. The Eagles might not seem to have much reason to go hard, but they still need to give QB Carson Wentz as many reps as possible, so they'll be looking to close the season strong while Dallas rests.
Matt Barkley was looking like an against the spread monster as he led Bears backers to a number of cashed tickets, but the train came off the tracks in a big way last week against Washington with five picks. The interceptions have been a major problem recently as he also threw three the week before that. When it comes to defenses that hawk the ball, the matchups don't come much rougher than the Vikings, with their shutdown corners, elite safety, and aggressive defensive ends.
Expect Barkley to give it away a few more times en route to a Vikings cover. Short of Cam Newton taking a seat this week, this line doesn't make too much sense, especially considering the attrition the Bucs are dealing with on their offense.
It's pretty much down to Jameis Winston and Mike Evans, and while that's a solid combination indeed, the Panthers figure to at least keep this close against a Bucs team that might be deflated with playoff hopes all but dead. The Steelers are another team with nothing to gain and everything to lose by playing their starters, especially considering the injuries guys like Ben Roethlisberger and Le'Veon Bell have sustained in the past.
They're expected to rest most of the key players on offense, meaning this should be close to a wash talent-wise with Browns starters facing off against Steelers backups.
If anything, the Browns might have the edge. Landry Jones has been really unimpressive when he has filled in for Roethlisberger, and Cody Kessler might be able to get something moving with some decent weapons against the Steelers D.
The highest total we can remember seeing all year is on the board this week with the Saints and Falcons matching up in the dome. There should definitely be some points in this one with high-flying offenses facing less-than-stellar defenses, but all that needs to happen for a total to go under 56 is for teams to settle for a few field goals here and there. Both teams also figure to mix in solid doses of the run here, and we like under in a game everyone will be firing over.
The Patriots need to win to clinch home field advantage, and the Dolphins have some potential seeding at stake here. Miami is getting zero respect from the books here as double-digit home favorites, and that's a spot that we automatically look for in most cases. The Patriots certainly have played efficient football lately, but it's come against mostly putrid competition. The Dolphins won't be a walkover in the way teams like the Jets have been, and they can at least backdoor this one if they fall behind big.
The Rams secondary has been completely torched in recent weeks, giving up piles through the air ever since their ill-fated meeting with the Saints where Brees and Co. Bye weeks usually give NFL teams much needed rest, boosting energy reserves while giving coaches the opportunity to spend time adjusting team strategy and improving performance during practice.
Hard to say what happened during the Broncos bye week, because they look like one of the worst teams in the NFL after returning from vacation.
Denver was shut out by the Los Angeles Chargers, and they returned to action by giving the New York Giants their first win of the season — at Mile High Stadium, of all places. Even worse, the Chiefs have lost two in a row after winning five straight, creating a strong hunger for victory. Kansas needs a win to rise to , which will place them in a three-way tie for top spot in the AFC. The Broncos need to win to improve worsening odds of making the playoffs.
After a point outburst against the Dallas Cowboys, the Broncos have averaged a mere This stretch revealed severe problems with QB Trevor Siemian, who has a Defenses have adjusted to the lack of an air threat, making life difficult for RB C. Denver will need to be near-perfect to win tonight, an unlikely scenario given the past two weeks.
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