NFL capsules for weekend games

NFL capsules for weekend games
Dec 28, 2013

 

 

PANTHERS AT FALCONS

Line: Panthers by 6½

Synopsis: A Carolina victory gives it the NFC South title, but the Panthers will be without key WR Steve Smith (knee injury). CAR likes the ground game anyway, and faces the No. 31 run “D.”.

PANTHERS 23, FALCONS 16

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PACKERS AT BEARS

Line: Packers by 3

Synopsis: In showdown for NFC North crown, Pack gets QB Aaron Rodgers (broken collarbone) back and he’d be wise to hand the ball often to Eddie Lacy because CHI has the NFL’s worst run defense.

PACKERS 30, BEARS 26

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TEXANS AT TITANS

Line: Titans by 7

Synopsis: HOU has lost 13 in a row despite having the NFL’s No. 7 defense, which shows stats can be misleading. The Texans’ last win came over the Titans. Why not again in a meaningless contest?

TEXANS 20, TITANS 17

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BROWNS AT STEELERS

Line: Steelers by 7

Synopsis: PIT still has remote chance of making the playoffs and must win to stay alive. QB Ben Roethlisberger has thrown 14 TD passes with just two interceptions in his last six outings. He’s 16-1 vs. CLEV.

STEELERS 31, BROWNS 23

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REDSKINS AT GIANTS

Line: Giants by 3

Synopsis: These clubs play out the string in massively disappointing seasons for both. WASH has lost seven in a row; NY has won six of nine since starting 0-6 but are beat up at wide receiver and running back.

GIANTS 24, REDSKINS 17

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RAVENS AT BENGALS

Line: Bengals by 6

Synopsis: BALT still has a shot at the playoffs but CIN doesn’t figure to be resting its starters because it still has an outside chance for a first-round bye. CIN is unbeaten at home and the Ravens are 2-5 on the road.

BENGALS 27, RAVENS 20

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JAGUARS AT COLTS

Line: Colts by 11

Synopsis: Indy seems to be back on track after an up-and-down stretch and gets a lowly foe as it tries to improve its playoff seeding. JAX is last in scoring and its defense ranks 27th. Indy cashes in early.

COLTS 31, JAGUARS 13

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EAGLES AT COWBOYS

Line: Eagles by 6

Synopsis: With Tony Romo out (back surgery), Kyle Orton gets the call at QB for Dallas in this winner-take all battle for the NFC East title and a playoff spot. But Dallas’ bigger problem is its NFL-worst defense.

EAGLES 33, COWBOYS 26

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JETS AT DOLPHINS

Line: Dolphins by 5

Synopsis: MIA could make the playoffs if it wins and gets help, and faces a foe that has been playing hard for possible out-going coach Rex Ryan, and rookie QB Geno Smith has been showing signs of improving.

DOLPHINS 20, JETS 17

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LIONS AT VIKINGS

Line: Vikings by 3

Synopsis: Biggest story here other than Vikes RB Adrian Peterson being unlikely to play is that it’s the finale in the Metrodome. It will be torn down and a new stadium built on the site, opening in 2016.

VIKINGS 27, LIONS 23

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BILLS AT PATRIOTS

Line: Patriots by 8

Synopsis: NE gets no worse than the No. 2 seed for the AFC playoffs if it wins, and the Patriots have won the last 12 times these teams have played in Foxborough. But BUF leads the AFC in rushing (142.5 yards a game).

PATRIOTS 30, BILLS 23

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BUCCANEERS AT SAINTS

Line: Saints by 12

Synopsis: If the Saints win, they’re in the playoffs — it they lose, they could miss out. NO has lost two in a row, but those were on the road and not at home — where it is dominant. Tampa Bay is playing out the string.

SAINTS 37, BUCS 20

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BRONCOS AT RAIDERS

Line: Broncos by 12

Synopsis: DEN wraps up the top seed for the AFC playoffs if it wins, and unleashes its best-in-the-NFL attack on a team that has given up an average of 37.5 points in its last four outings. Terrelle Pryor is back at QB for OAK.

BRONCOS 38, RAIDERS 23

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49ERS at CARDINALS

Line: Even

Synopsis: SF already in the playoffs but AZ, which has won seven of eight, must win and have Tampa Bay win at New Orleans in a game that starts at the same time. This should be a hard-fought affair among defensive-oriented clubs.

CARDINALS 20, 49ers 16

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CHIEFS AT CHARGERS

Line: Chargers by 9

Synopsis: KC gets No. 5 seed in AFC playoffs no matter what happens here, so key players will be rested a lot. For SD to make the playoffs, it must have Baltimore and Miami lose in earlier-starting games then win this one.

CHARGERS 24, CHIEFS 20

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RAMS AT SEAHAWKS

Line: Seahawks by 11

Synopsis: SEA’s 14-game home win streak was broken last week by ARIZ, but look for a focused performance from the Seahawks as they gain the top seed for the NFC playoffs if they beat a foe that is out of playoff contention.

SEAHAWKS 27, RAMS 13

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CAESAR’S RECORD, TOP SELECTIONS

STRAIGHT UP: Last week: 9-7. Season: 157-83. STRAIGHT UP PICK OF THE WEEK: SEAHAWKS. Last week: Wrong (Seahawks). Season: 11-5.

Vs. POINT SPREAD: Last week: 9-7. Season: 113-116-11. PICK OF WEEK VS. SPREAD: SEAHAWKS (-11). Last week: Wrong (Seahawks -10). Season: 4-12.

 

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