THE CREAM is rising to the top now as the playoff race hots up.
A winning week last week… so let’s look forward to five more selections from a shortened docket (Yay, Saturday games!).
(2021 Predictions W-L-D: 34-35-1 49%)
Panthers @ Bills (-10.5) – 18:00
The old rule is that when a good team gets embarrassed, they react the following week.
It certainly was a monumental effort from Josh Allen in the second half to bring Buffalo back from the dead against the Bucs, but their play in the first half was abysmal.
They gave up any semblance of running the Football, instead deciding to let Allen carry the team on his back.
You might baulk at the line due to the Panthers (somehow) giving up the fewest passing yards per game, but they allow a 92 QB rating and their offense is approaching broken territory.
Not only that, but the Bills are the second best passing defense, allowing a 67 QB rating on average.
Brady might have bested them, but don’t expect Cam Newton or PJ Walker to do the same. Buffalo cover and start to feel better about themselves.
Prediction: Panthers 13 Bills 27 (Bills -10.5)
Texans @ Jaguars (-3) – 18:00
I cannot, for the life of me, understand how Jacksonville are three point favourites here.
They are the most dysfunctional team in the league, on a massive losing streak, with a Head Coach halfway out the door.
Trevor Lawrence had his worst game of the season last time out, throwing four interceptions.
He might not be the future for the franchise, but Davis Mills looked more than competent against an admittedly awful Seahawks defense.
He put up 331 yards, went 33/49 and one TD, no picks.
The Jags are one of seven teams allowing a 100+ passer rating on average this season and haven’t scored more than 20 points since their win over the Dolphins in London two months ago.
This might be my bet of the season.
Prediction: Texans 24 Jaguars 17 (Texans +3)
Washington @ Eagles (-5) – 18:00
Washington came up short against Dallas to end their winning run but they kept it close in the end.
They’re not a bad team, just a level below the Cowboys which to be fair is most of the league. Divisional games are usually close and I can see nothing that would suggest any difference here.
The Football team have been allowing 18 points on average over the last five games, so expect Jalen Hurts (if fit) to be severely tested.
The Eagles will be coming off a bye but have only won once at home this season. If Taylor Heinicke can make enough plays to keep them in it, then Washington will be able to cover in a low scoring game.
Prediction: Washington 17 Eagles 20 (Washington +5)
Packers (-5) @ Ravens – 21:25
The Packers control their own destiny when it comes to securing the #1 seed in the NFC and next up is a Ravens team that might well be without Lamar Jackson.
Jim Harbaugh said that he expects Jackson to play on Sunday but if he does, he probably won’t be at full fitness. If he gets ruled out, this line will most certainly move.
Green Bay are arguably the most balanced team in the league and showed their attacking flair by putting 45 against a spirited Chicago on Sunday night.
The Packers defense has been quietly playing at a top ten level this season and when you combine all that together, I see a healthy road win to put them one game nearer to a bye.
Prediction: Packers 31 Ravens 24 (Packers -5)
Seahawks @ Rams (-7) – 21:25
The Seahawks season remains on life support after wins against the 49ers and Texans but this is a big test on the road against a Rams team who are suddenly right in contention for the NFC West after beating the Cardinals.
Russell Wilson has looked much better now he is fully fit again (who knew?) but this Rams defense held Kyler Murray to no touchdowns and two interceptions. They are more than capable of doing the same to Wilson.
With all sides of the Football looking strong, the Rams look formidable now the losing streak in the distance. Shout out as well to Matt Gay, who has only missed one FG all year and went 3/3 on Monday night.
It’s time to consider LA a Super Bowl team again and a big win here will continue to put the rest of the league on notice.
Prediction: Seahawks 24 Rams 36 (Rams -7)
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