Home team in CAPS:

JAGUARS (+15.5) over Colts

It’s worth noting that the last really close call the Jags staged against a vastly superior was against this divisional foe — in Indianapolis. The lowly home pup has a long way to go, but strange doings are a regular happening in the regular season’s final week, so what’s new?

It has been argued that Big Blue may be marginally inferior to the Jags, because the Giants’ offense as currently constituted leaves virtually no room for error, with 19 points in their previous three outings — and now start Jake Fromm at QB. The Washington attack should generate a relatively comfortable margin.

JETS (+16.5) over Bills

Recent positive appearances by key Jets offensive skill people offer reasonable hope for the near-term future. Buffalo has scant interest in unduly risking their most talented skill people, and should do enough to win safely and comfortably.

Trevor Lawrence

Bears (+5.5) over VIKINGS

You have to be interested to discern it, but Chicago is finishing the season respectably. Minnesota has a sustained a recent history of winding up in narrow finishes (the vast majority of this year’s games were decided by single digits).

Steelers (+5.5) over RAVENS

Both sides need a Jacksonville win over the Colts to make the playoffs. You have to respect Baltimore for continuing to come back for more (with QB Tyler Huntley), after a harrowing stretch of narrow defeats.

BROWNS (-6) over Bengals

Cincinnati has turned in a yeoman-like seasonal finish to cop the AFC Central crown, which will likely result in key pieces (the Joes — Burrow and Mixon) catching a break here prior to further serious action. Anticipate QB Case Keenum will be calling the signals for the Browns.

Case Keenum
Case Keenum

Packers (-4) over LIONS

With the Pack assured the top seed in the NFC, their primary needs are to stay sharp and avoid injury. No doubt, the Lions (with QB Jared Goff) would like to beat Green Bay as a payback installment for multiple previous indignities.

Titans (-10.5) over TEXANS

Houston shocked Tennessee with a smart upset effort in November. Don’t think it would be prudent of the lesser divisional entity to strain for the sweep, in terms of letting sleeping dogs lie. No doubt, the Titans would like to be in optimum health for postseason doings.

FALCONS (+3.5) over Saints

These two NFC South sides are startlingly similar in terms of their relative offensive limitations — and increasingly stingy defenses. Atlanta is seeking out a rare season sweep over their Louisiana neighbors. Looking for the Falcons to stack up enough of a sufficient lead to tuck inside the number.

Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan
Getty Images

DOLPHINS (+6.5) over Patriots

You can put the knock on Miami’s modest second-half schedule, which allowed the Dolphins to rip off seven straight, but they did it, for what it’s worth. Divisional foe Patriots are far more effective versus Miami in Foxborough than toiling in the warm sun and frequent rain of South Florida.

BUCCANEERS (-8.5) over Panthers

Carolina’s form has headed solidly in the wrong direction during the holiday season. With a deteriorated offensive line and the sustained absence of key RB Christian McCaffrey, the Panthers have slipped over the edge, with scant hope for a 2022 recovery. The Bucs appear headed in the right direction.

49ers (+4.5) over RAMS

The Scarlet Red and Gold are gunning for their sixth straight win over the Rams. At this writing, we remain optimistic Jimmy Garoppolo will be fit to return under center for this visiting underdogs, looking to maintain the superiority of the Northern California entry.

Seahawks (+6.5) over CARDINALS

This is an edge — not quite a conviction. Seattle has almost certainly seen its best days since its Super Bowl glory, but this cagey, veteran group is capable of keeping close against a Cards outfit that continues to appear as if it peaked a tad too early this season.

RAIDERS (+3) over Chargers

Shapes up a whole lot, as the winner makes the playoffs and the loser heads home, eh, what? Bolts do a lot of things right on the offensive end, but they seem to have a hard time putting comparable foes away.

Last week: 7-9
2021 season: 118-112-2


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