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Spread to bet now
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (+3)
Has someone kidnapped the Packers and if so, will you return them in time for the December playoff run? Four losses in five games, with only a bizarre Week 11 out-of-body-experience victory over the Vikings in Minnesota spliced in, have the Packers scratching their heads and trying to figure out exactly who they are. Which is never a good place to be when the winds of December start to howl in the NFC North.
Doubts start to creep in when you do crazy things like lose to the Bears at home. Is Aaron Rodgers OK? If you think so, you have to believe that Green Bay can put a stop to this. It’s not possible that the Packers could lose back-to-back division games to the Bears and Lions. Is it? Fans don’t think so, because early money melted an opening 5.5-point line down to three almost immediately.
Spread to wait on
Houston Texans at Buffalo Bills (-3)
The worm has turned in Houston, where the buzzards had been circling the Texans. Four straight victories, including a signature win at (previously undefeated) Cincinnati, has raised both hope and expectations. But be careful here. Most of Houston’s damage of late has been done at home, and now the Texans are embarking on a road-centric home stretch.
After this one, the Texans have a home game against the Patriots, who will no doubt be in a foul mood. Then comes a game at Indianapolis that could determine whether this recent run has been a mirage. This line has already moved down half a point, and it might be worthwhile to see if it changes anymore in what figures to be a low-scoring game.
Total to watch
New York Jets at New York Giants (45)
It’s not often that these teams play a game that matters to both, but here we are. The Jets could go to 7-5 and remain in the thick of the AFC wild card scrum with a win, and the Giants need a victory to stay at the top of the NFC East as they hope to launch another improbable Super Bowl march.
Forty-five is attainable in any game in today’s flag-happy NFL, but both teams should be emphasizing ball control in this one in an attempt to avoid any mistake that might cost a playoff spot. Under has a good chance of cashing Sunday in East Rutherford.