A lot of big spreads out there this week, thanks to injuries accumulating throughout the league and the simple economics of betting against the several flat-out terrible teams in the NFL. From the looks of the remainder of Week 12, the best football of the weekend likely took place on Thursday. Home teams in CAPS.
NY JETS (-9.5) over Buffalo
Wait, both of these teams are 5-5? Could have fooled me. Ordinarily it would be insane to give up this many points with the Jets, but Buffalo is in an all-out free fall and now will be playing without Fred Jackson for the rest of the season. If Darrelle Revis locks up on Stevie Johnson, how will the Bills score at all? This is purely a bet against Buffalo, for whom the clock struck midnight three weeks ago.
ATLANTA (-9.5) over Minnesota
All you need to know about this game is that Adrian Peterson is doubtful with the high ankle sprain suffered in last week's loss to Oakland. I still don't think Atlanta is a very good team, but they are arguably an ill-advised 4th down call in overtime away from being on a 5-game winning streak, and their strong run defense figures to be even stronger without AP on the field for the Vikings. Fun fact? This is the seventh straight game that the Falcons have played in a dome.
Carolina (-3.5) over INDIANAPOLIS
It really says something when a 2-8 team is a 3.5 point favorite on the road, but that is the point that the 2011 Indianapolis Colts have reached. The Panthers jumped out to a big early lead on Detroit last week, only to blow it in giving up a total of 49 points. Should Carolina put up anything resembling the first half they played against the Lions, then you can turn the lights out on Indy once again. The Colts have not scored more than 10 points in a game since October 16.
Denver (+6) over SAN DIEGO
NEW ORLEANS (-7) over NY Giants (Monday Night)
I guess nobody ever woke the Giants up and told them how important their game against the Eagles was last week. Their offense was never in sync, their defense let Vince Young go on an 18-play drive to win the game, and Brandon Jacobs thought the result was a good opportunity to bad-mouth his team's fans. The Saints will have had 15 days of rest coming into this Monday Nighter in the Superdome, where they are 4-0 (straight up as well as ATS) this year. Should Ahmad Bradshaw miss yet another game for the Giants, their running game woes will only get worse.
Last Week: 1-3-1