NFL 2019 Season - Off
 

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GAME REPORTS

 
SEASON:

     
 
Spoiler Season
by Dennis Ranahan

The weather throughout the NFL game sites today defies the calendar. Sunny skies meet this late December weekend with temperatures in a comfortable 40 degree range at the colder sites, Foxboro, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Cleveland. The warmest weather will be in Miami, as the Dolphins will host the Jacksonville Jaguars in 73 degree weather. The only rain in the forecast at an NFL game site is in Seattle, where the Seahawks entertain the Kansas City Chiefs in the primetime Sunday night contest.

The Baltimore Ravens win last night offers John Harbaugh’s team an opportunity to recapture first place in the AFC North Division if the New Orleans Saints beat the Pittsburgh Steelers tonight. The Steelers would be in a lot better position to win this game if the Saints didn’t need it, but the Saints have something to play for too, with a win they would clinch the top seed in the NFC playoffs.

The motivation for Pittsburgh offers them an edge in this game, as the need to survive always results in a motivational edge over a team looking to improve their playoff position.

In Indianapolis, Andrew Luck continues his quest to overcome a horrible start of the season, only one win in their first six games, and drive Indianapolis to the playoffs. With victories in seven of their most recent eight games, the Colts have earned a spot among the serious Wild Card contenders.

Today, Indianapolis hosts the New York Giants, who also got off to a horrible start and didn’t begin their resurgence as soon as the Colts. The Giants have been mostly competitive over the past six weeks while winning three of their six games straight-up and compiling a 4-1-1 point spread record.

In this contest, the Colts need it, but the Giants are in that enviable motivational spot of having only an opportunity to affect the playoffs by denting the hopes of an opponent.

The Detroit Lions are also in a spoiler role today when they host the Minnesota Vikings. Detroit can derail the Minnesota Vikings hopes for a postseason berth when Mike Zimmer’s team visits Ford Field. Minnesota is currently slotted in the sixth seed for the NFC Playoffs, and while they can’t catch Chicago for their division title, they could move into the fifth slot with a win over the Lions and a Seattle Seahawks loss tonight when they host the Kansas City Chiefs.

The public has checked in with their three favorite plays, and they like the Vikings (-6½) to beat the Lions for the second time this season as their top choice. Following their Vikings selection, based on volume of dollars wagered on teams, the next two most bet squads are the Chicago Bears (-4½) over the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints (-6½) over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As for our selections today, they are now posted on this site, and if a Bullet Play develops in the final hour leading up to the day’s first kickoff, that contest will be added to the list of recommendations at 9:45 a.m. Pacific Time.