PATRIOTS (-13) over Panthers
As long as Bill Belichick doesn't bench the players he sent home from practice (Randy Moss, Adalius Thomas, Gary Guyton and Derrick Burgess) New England will be just fine. Actually, this could be the spark that lights the fire under the Patriots for the run to the AFC East title. Now that Tom Brady's wife, Gisele Bundchen, has delivered a healthy baby boy, Mr. Perfect can get back to the business of being Mr. Perfect. He is perfect at home this season, with a spotless 6-0 mark, and has a run of 18-0 in Foxborough since 2006. This Carolina team is the perfect opponent for the Pats and their lackluster pass defense. The Panthers have newbie Matt Moore at quarterback and will rely more on the run than the pass. With New England outscoring the opposition, 117-31, the last three at home (an average margin of 28.7 points per game), covering the double-digit spot should be a best-bet breeze.
Packers (-3) over BEARS
Let's just look for the better team, and that is clearly Green Bay. The Packers are coming off a sloppy, but strong win over the Ravens (27-14), and are smack-dab in the middle of the wild-card mix. The Pack, which has the best defense in the NFL, has covered six of the last eight overall and eight of the last 10 at Chicago. The Bears are pathetic against the spread (covering only one of the last eight), so we're all over the Packers.
TITANS (-13) over Rams
Nothing wrong with ending a five-game winning streak at Indy, where many winning streaks have gone to to die. Now Tennessee can jump back on track against the rotten Rams. St. Louis has one stinkin' win in the last 22 games, so we know that a W is out of the question. Covering the 13 should come easy with Chris Johnson, the NFL's leading rusher, against a Rams defense that ranks among the worst, allowing 146.2 yards per game on the ground.
Saints (-10) over FALCONS
New Orleans almost blew its perfect season by putting it on cruise control against Washington Sunday, but escaped with a 33-30 OT win. That will not happen again. Saints by at least two dozen.
Cardinals (-3) over 49ERS
With weapons like Larry Fitzgerald (eight catches, 143 yards and one TD Sunday against theVikings) and Anquan Boldin (seven catches, 98 yards and two TDs) running wild, Kurt Warner's life is really not that complicated. Arizona has covered six of the last eight overall, with one push, and six of the last seven on the road. And since San Francisco has abandoned the running game (53 yards Sunday), the Cards will pound the one-dimensional Niners for an easy win.
JAGUARS (-2) over Dolphins
Without much fanfare, Jacksonville is holding down the second wild-card spot, and it's because the Jags have ripped off a 5-0 run at home since the beginning of October.
Broncos (+7) over COLTS
Indy goes to 13-0, but Denver should be able to stay competitive to the final gun.
Bengals (+7) over VIKINGS
Cincy's biggest loss on the road this season was by only three points. Grab the 'dog, or the Cats in this case.
Jets (-3) over BUCCANEERS
New Yorkers are 5-0 against the spread vs. Tampa, while the Bucs have covered only one of the last nine at home.
CHIEFS (Pick) over Bills
It's hard to like either of these teams, which have come up way short this season, so we'll go with the home club on our "Monopoly Money Only" game.
RAVENS (-13) over Lions
Baltimore has three cupcakes and Pittsburgh left. The Ravens need to devour the cupcakes.
TEXANS (-6) over Seahawks
Seattle has covered only one of its last seven on the road, so Houston becomes a tasty little play.
RAIDERS (+1) over Redskins
Washington is on an 0-9 roll on the road, so look for the Silver & Black to steal their fifth win.
COWBOYS (-3) over Chargers
Tony Romo looked very capable against New York, and Dallas is always tough at home (11-3 last 2 years).