BEST GAME – New England at Buffalo (-3)
New England 8-4 SU, 8-4 ATS
Buffalo 7-4 SU, 6-4-1 ATS
After a year of calm, petrified townsfolk are seeing lights on again in Dracula’s castle. The Patriots head to western New York having taken over first place in an AFC East that they have owned for most of the past two decades. Can Buffalo, which has a top 5 offense and the best defense in the NFL, derail a Patriot train that has won all five of its road games? The Bills seem trapped in win-one, lose-one mode, but they have a little momentum of their own after a solid T-Day win over New Orleans. This could be the biggest – and most interesting – AFC East game since NE started dominating at the turn of the century. Bills opened as a -3.5 favorite, but the half-point was dropped soon after the Patriots’ dominating victory over Tennessee. If you never bet on a streak to end, consider that the Pats have six straight wins and six straight covers.
WORST GAME – Philadelphia at New York Jets (+7)
Philadelphia 5-7 SU, 6-6 ATS
New York 3-8 SU, 3-8 ATS
Second straight game in New Jersey for the Eagles, who are probably one loss away from playing out the string. Philly will spend this week trying to fix whatever is wrong with Jalen Hurts, who tossed three interceptions this past Sunday in a devastating loss to the Giants. They hope he’ll find the spark against the woeful Jets, who have been as godawful SU (3-8) as they have been ATS (also 3-8) this season. The rest of the year will be devoted to the development of rookie QB Zach Wilson. Bettors will be keeping an eye on the 7-point spread to see if it moves a half-point either way.
LARGEST POINT SPREAD – Jacksonville at Los Angeles Rams (-13.5)
Jacksonville 2-9 SU, 4-7 ATS
Los Angeles 7-4 SU, 4-7 ATS
Three straight defeats have sobered up Rams fans in a hurry, and the last thing they need at this point is an upset loss to the Jaguars heading into their showdown with NFC West-leading Arizona on Dec. 13. The Rams offense completely collapsed in the third period of this past Sunday’s game at Green Bay, and LA needs to just keep things simple and avoid mistakes against the nothing-to-lose Jaguars. Despite the heavy line, early bettors are all over the Rams.
SMALLEST POINT SPREAD – Washington at Las Vegas (-2.5)
Washington 4-6 SU, 3-7 ATS
Las Vegas 6-5 SU, 5-6 ATS
Beating the Cowboys in Dallas on Thanksgiving has breathed life into the Raiders, who went into the game with consecutive losses to the Giants, Chiefs and Bengals. A loss wouldn’t terminate LV’s playoff chances in a tight AFC, but it would probably force them to win four of their last five (including road games at Kansas City, Cleveland and Indianapolis) to earn the right to play into mid-January. Washington deserves some credit for not laying down after a 2-6 start.
LARGEST TOTAL – Tampa Bay at Atlanta (50.5)
Tampa Bay 8-3 SU, 5-6 ATS, 6-5 O/U
Atlanta 5-6 SU, 5-6 ATS, 5-6 O/U
The Buccaneers have scored 30 or more in six games this season, and assuming they can keep Tom Brady upright this coming Sunday, the odds are decent that they’ll go 30+ again. The real question here is whether Atlanta’s offense has recovered from a Week 10/11 stretch in which it put up a grand total of three points in eight quarters. The Falcons did find the end zone three times this past Sunday against the Jaguars, so there’s that.
SMALLEST TOTAL – New York Giants at Miami (42)
New York 4-7 SU, 6-5 ATS, 3-7-1 O/U
Miami 5-7 SU, 6-5-1 ATS, 5-7 O/U
A four-game winning streak may not have salvaged their season, but the Dolphins have to like their offense after a solid win over Carolina. The Miami defense did score once (blocked punt return), but Tua Tagovailoa at least temporarily tamped down the DeSean Watson-to-South Beach talk with a decent effort – 27 of 31 passing. No such luck in the Meadowlands, where the Giants struggle to score almost every week.