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We are down to the final four teams, with this weekend’s winners heading to the Super Bowl. One week after three of the four home teams lost outright, all four home teams (and the top two seeds in each conference) were able to win outright this past weekend.
Those results set up a pair of high-profile matchups, including the latest chapter in the epic Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady rivalry in the early game when New England visits Denver. The online sportsbooks list the visiting Patriots as a solid three-point favorite, which appears to be somewhat of a trap line. The early action (which is usually the sharp action), has come in big on the visiting Patriots.
These teams met once in the regular season, also in Denver, with the Broncos handing New England their first loss of the season in late November. Peyton Manning did not play in that game, and the Broncos were able to overcome a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to force overtime and eventually win on a 48-yard rushing touchdown.
With three weeks left in the NFL Regular Season, only three teams have guaranteed their ticket to the postseason, and only one team has guaranteed themselves a first-round bye. But with all the uncertainly surrounding the NFL Playoffs, the sportsbooks have pegged two teams as overwhelming favorites to win their respective conferences.
The New England Patriots regained command of the AFC with a big win in Houston last weekend, and coupled with outright losses by both Denver and Cincinnati, the Patriots are now a commanding +110 favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
The two closest teams to the Patriots in terms of AFC Future Odds are Denver and Pittsburgh, who are each returning a 4:1 payout.
It’s the middle of November, and it’s time to start paying attention to playoff standings in the NFL. Thursday night’s AFC East matchup between the Bills and Jets has playoff implications as New York currently is slotted for one of the Wild Card entries, while Buffalo is right behind them.
New York is a small 2.5-point home favorite thanks to home field advantage, but lost both games vs. the Bills last season. Buffalo is a rush-heavy offense that may struggle against a Jets defense that is only allowing 81 rushing yards per game.
The biggest favorite on the board this weekend is Green Bay, who enters this home game against the Detroit Lions after suffering back-to-back road losses against Denver and Carolina.
There are only a few weeks left in the NFL Regular Season, and there are still a number of teams that can play their way into the playoffs. Playoff positioning is also up for grabs in the next few weeks, with a number of games this weekend having big consequences on the NFL postseason. We’ll have an NFL Playoff Update article later this week, but for now we’ll break down some of the key NFL games this weekend from a betting perspective.
The Thursday game is a great matchup as 8-4 Minnesota travels to Arizona to face the Cardinals who won their tenth game of the season on Sunday. That was a big revenge spot for the Cardinals, who avenged their lone home loss of the season in a blowout win vs. St. Louis.
Arizona faces a similar type of foe this week, as like the Rams Minnesota is a rush-heavy offense without much of a passing threat. Vikings have been held to under 200 yards passing eight times this season – including a 94-yard passing effort last week in a blowout loss vs. Seattle. This top online sportsbook looks for Arizona to win big again, listing the host as a big 7.5-point favorite.
For the second week in a row, the NFL weekend kicks off with a dud as the 1-3 Houston Texans host the 2-2 Indianapolis Colts. The online sports betting websites have not release an opening line as Colts QB playing status remains in doubt.
Houston was blown out last Sunday in Atlanta, and while Brian Hoyer came in after the Texans fell behind 42-0 to lead his team into the end zone three times, Houston will start Ryan Mallet at quarterback again this week. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Hoyer come in if Mallet struggles again.
Speaking of duds, Jacksonville takes on Tampa Bay this week in a “someone has to win” matchup between two 1-3 clubs.
The online sportsbooks list the Buccaneers as a 2.5-point favorite, almost entirely because of home field advantage.
While there are only two games on this weekend’s NFL schedule featuring a pair of team with winning records, this is a very important week for some of the NFL Playoff contenders to break out of slumps and start building momentum towards a postseason run.
Green Bay is in a huge revenge spot this Thursday in Detroit after the Lions pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the entire NFL season when they won outright in Lambeau Field a few weeks ago. Detroit was a big 11.5-point road underdog in that matchup and came through with an 18-16 victory. That win propelled the Lions to a current three-game winning streak heading into this Thursday matchup.
While the Lions are gaining momentum, Green Bay is looking for confidence. After a perfect 6-0 start to the season, the Packers have since lost four of their last five games, with all four losses coming in the role of the favorite.
The third week of the NFL regular season kicks off Thursday night when the New York Giants host the Washington Redskins. New York is still searching for their first win of the season, but despite that 0-2 record they have played pretty well so far and had the lead late in their games at Dallas and at home vs. the Falcons.
This online sportsbook likes the Giants' chances of earning that first “W”, having them listed as a 3.5 point favorite. It should be noted that this is Washington’s first road game of the season, and they were just 1-7 straight up on the road last year.
For the NFL Football betting enthusiast, there are a pair of huge favorites this weekend, with New England a big 13.5-point favorite at home against Jacksonville while Seattle is a monster 14.5-point choice at home against Chicago. The Patriots are off to a fast 2-0 start while the Seahawks are winless in two tries.