Falcons @ Rams
Falcons are the biggest public bet at William Hill sportsbook but Julio Jones is a game-time decision and it’s reported that if he plays it will mainly be as a decoy. He has a turf-toe injury. Mohammed Sanu is also OUT.
Chargers @ Panthers
The Chargers have gone OVER 4 out of 6 times on the road this season and the Panthers are still without Luke Kuechly. The Panthers gave up 40 points last week to the Seahawks and seemed to be disinterested at times. This game sets up to be pretty high scoring.
Steelers @ Bills
Steelers are the better team but they historically just don’t travel as well. Everyone’s all of a sudden buying into them big again after a 3 game win streak – they beat Scott Tolzien and Josh McCown in 2 of those 3 games. They’ve also lost by 15 on the road at Miami, by 7 at Baltimore, and by 31 at Philadelphia. I’d like to say the Steelers have matured and can put together a big win on the road late in the season but I’ve gotta see it first. The Bills get their best CB Ronald Darby back and Rex Ryan has faced Big Ben 5 times in his career and has held him to 5 TDs & 4 INTs. Tyrod Taylor is getting a ton of flack for his performance this year but he’s been without Sammy Watkins and most of his WRs this year. Now, Watkins, Woods, and Goodwin are all back. The Bills were up 24-9 in Oakland last week and blew it. Lesean McCoy went down with cramps in the middle of that big lead though and you can make the argument that they lost momentum at that point and just couldn’t regain any steam from that point forward. I have a feeling they will compete and bounce back but I also can see Pittsburgh putting together a solid road game against a quality opponent for once. This is a make or break game for the Bills’ playoff chances and a make or break game for the Steelers if they’re going to be considered contenders in the AFC.
Seahawks at Packers
Aaron Rodgers hasn’t lost a home game in Lambeau Field since 2008. While that stat is impressive it has to be noted that his defenses were much better in years’ past than it is this season. The 2 game win streak that the Packers are on came against anemic offenses (Eagles and Texans) and the Seahawks are heating up and are starting to have Tyler Lockette on track. This is a game that will be affected by the snow and the Packers’ defense will need all the help they can get to slow down the Seahawks’ offense. Earl Thomas is OUT and the Seahawks lost to the Bucs 14-6 last time he was out.
Cardinals at Dolphins
Kiko Alonso and Jelani Jenkins are both OUT for the Dolphins and that’s big, especially the week after giving up 38 to the Ravens. The public is pounding Arizona in this game but it should be noted that Arizona has struggled on the road all season long, giving up 33 @ Buffalo, 30 @ Minnesota, 30 @ Carolina, and 38 @ Atlanta. This is a 1 PM ET tip which means a true 10 AM start time for the Cardinals. I don’t see how the public backs the Cards so strongly in this spot.