Where to place your money in the final week of the NFL regular season.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-12)
At a glance, this looks like a lot of points to give up in a divisional game with a betting total of 39.5. But upon further examination, the Vikings look like a solid wager.
The Bears have given up 10 PPG over their last three but faced the likes of the Bengals and Browns in that span. Chicago is in for a dose of reality as they travel to Minnesota, as they’re only 17th in PPG allowed on the road this year. That’s contributed to the Bears’ 5-10 ATS record in their last 15 games outside Soldier Field.
The Vikings have also trended favorably for the majority of this season; they’ve covered in seven of their last eight home games and have rewarded their backers in nine of their last 10 overall. Expect Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon to rack up yardage out of the backfield and secure a franchise-best 13-3 season.
The pick: Vikings -12
Washington Redskins (-3.5) at New York Giants
The Redskins could’ve packed it in after falling to 5-8 earlier this month, but instead they’ve reeled off two straight wins and look to make it three in their season finale against the woeful Giants.
New York is probably more interested in ensuring their status as the second team on the clock in this year’s NFL draft; they control their own destiny in that regard. As a result, Kirk Cousins and company should face little resistance from the NFL’s least effective defense (32nd in YPG allowed). The Giants’ offense isn’t much better, as they’re ranked 31st by PPG.
The Redskins have been a good bet on the road of late (12-6 ATS), so lay the points with them in what could be Eli Manning’s New York finale.
The pick: Redskins -3.5
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-2)
Unless the Bears pull off a stunning upset against the Vikings, the Rams are locked into playing on Wild Card weekend. With their Week 17 motivation in question after clinching their first division title since 2003 last week, L.A. looks like a shaky proposition against the surging 49ers.
San Francisco has won four straight and five of their last six. Their offense has run like a well-oiled machine since switching to Jimmy Garropolo at quarterback, averaging 396 YPG over those four games. And prior to their shootout with the Jaguars last week, the 49ers’ defense had allowed an average of just 262 YPG over the span of three games.
The Niners have owned the Rams of late, covering in four of their last five tilts, and are 5-2 ATS on the road this season. They have a good chance to win outright, so take the points with San Francisco.
The pick: 49ers +2
Best of the rest (picks in bold)
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-13.5)
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (-7.5)
New York Jets at New England Patriots (-15.5)
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-3.5)
Buffalo Bills (-3) at Miami Dolphins
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5)
New Orleans Saints (-7) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-9.5)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-3.5)
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (-3.5)
Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (-8)
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (-9)