Many of this weekend’s games are extremely important in sorting out the playoff picture. Eagles oc this week’s three game have playoff ramifications, including today’s game between the Cowboys and the Bucanneers.
DALLAS at TAMPA BAY – THE PICK, TAMPA +7
The Cowboys have managed to lose the last two weeks, and they have done it in dramatic fashion. After missing a field goal at the end of regulation, the Cowboys lost in overtime to the Arizona Cardinals, then they found a way to blow a two score lead late in the fourth quarter to the New York Giants. Dallas received more bad news when they had to place their star running back Demarco Murray on Injured Reserve earlier this week.
I am not a fan of laying points with Dallas on the road. The Cowboys are just 2-8-2 to the spread as a road favorite over the last three seasons. Dallas has also failed to cover their last four dating back to the Washington game where they also failed to get the cover as a road favorite. The way the Cowboys have lost the last two weeks is alarming, and given their recent history with December struggles I quite frankly don’t trust them here.
Don’t get me wrong the Bucs are far from a good football team, but after being embarrassed last week against the woeful Jags, I believe Tampa will play with some emotion in a nationally televised game at home. If Tampa can run the football, I think they can stay close and maybe even win it in the fourth quarter. Take the Bucs getting seven at home.
BALTIMORE at SAN DIEGO – THE PICK, SAN DIEGO +2.5
The much maligned San Diego Chargers find themselves with a glimmer of hope to make the playoffs as they stand at 6-7. The Chargers have taken care of business the last two weeks by blowing out Jacksonville and Buffalo, and look to be back on track for their annual December stretch run. Since 2008 the Chargers are 12-2 straight up in the month of December, and 6-1 straight up in December when playing at home.
They will have a huge test as the 10-3 Ravens look to stay atop the AFC North. The Ravens haven’t been all that impressive away from home. They lost outright to the Seahawks, Titans, and Jaguars on the road. I don’t trust the Ravens in this spot.
They’re being asked to lay points away from home, in prime time, on a Sunday Night, against a Chargers Team that looks to be playing really well. December has been a great month for the Bolts in recent years and I expect that to continue. Take San Diego as a home dog.
DETROIT at OAKLAND – THE PICK, OAKLAND +1
The Lions and Raiders have both struggled of late. Oakland has gotten their doors blown off the last two weeks on the road, while the Lions have posted a 3-5 record after their impressive 5-0 start. These are two teams that have also been snake bitten by the injury bug. Oakland has been playing without their starting quarterback Jason Campbell, and star tailback Darren McFadden.
The Lions have had more than their fair share of injuries to deal with as well. The Jahvid Best injury has slowed down their offense considerably. Since the injury the Lions offense has been held to under twenty points four times and has looked much more pedestrian of late. Matthew Stafford is being asked to do a lot rite now, and he has taken a pounding behind an offensive line that the Raiders should be able to take advantage of. You won’t confuse this Raiders defense with the ’85 Bears, but they can rush the passer very well.
They have sacked the quarterback thirty seven times this year which is good enough to be the fourth best in football. Oakland has been embarrassed on the road the last couple of weeks and returning home should do them some good. This is a big game for both football teams, but it’s a game the Raiders need. The Lions have given me very little reason to believe in them in a spot like this one. They barely beat a bad Vikings team at home, and were out gained by well over 100 yards. Take the Raiders to bounce back at home this week.