New Orleans Saints alive! Atlanta Falcons last one to lose

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There are no more unbeaten teams after Atlanta lost at New Orleans this past Sunday. The Falcons still are in control of the top seed in the NFC with an 8-1 record, the same as Houston in the AFC following the Texans’ 13-6 win in the rain at Chicago on Sunday night.

As a result of the first tie game in four seasons, 6-2-1 San Francisco is a half- game behind the 7-2 Bears for the second seed which, along with the top seed, carries a first round bye in the playoffs.

Houston holds the top seed in the AFC with Baltimore currently seeded second at 7-2. Keep an eye on a pair of 6-3 teams – New England and Denver.

An expected Pittsburgh victory in the Monday night game with Kansas City would also have the Steelers 6-3 and riding a 4 game winning streak headed into this weekend.

Pittsburgh would hold one of the two AFC wild cards along with perhaps the biggest surprise team of the season, Indianapolis. The Colts have won 4 in a row, including road victories at division rivals Tennessee and Jacksonville. 

The New York Giants lost a second straight game as they head into their bye with questions concerning the poor recent play of QB Eli Manning. Of course the Giants have shown an ability to play their best football in December and January.

Weather increasingly becomes a factor and will be reflected largely as we see totals bet down late in the week for games at venues likely to be affected by the cold, precipitation and high wind conditions.

After going 3-17 ATS prior to having byes, the four teams with byes this week went 3-1 ATS this past Sunday.

The byes conclude this week with Minnesota, the New York Giants, Seattle and Tennessee getting their week off following 10 straight regular season games plus four from the preseason.

Here’s a look at the 14 games to be played this week.

Thursday, Nov. 15

Dolphins +1 at Bills (45½): The Bills rank last in the NFL in allowing 31.7 points per game and second to last in allowing 410 yards per game. Miami is much better defensively although the Dolphin offense is bottom third. This would seem to be a favorable spot for the Bills but the low line suggests the lines makers think otherwise. MIAMI.

Sunday, Nov. 18

Eagles (+1½) at Redskins (NT):- Rookie QB Nick Foles is expected to get his first start as Michael Vick was concussed in Philly’s loss to Dallas. Both teams have struggled on defense but Washington has a huge edge on offense in the rushing game. The Redskins are fresher, healthier and facing an Eagles team that is just 1-7-1 ATS. REDSKINS.

Packers -3½ at Lions (51½): The Packers still have some injury concerns on offense but QB Aaron Rodgers is not among them. They have overcome a sluggish start to the season and over the past month have looked like the team that went 15-1 last season. PACKERS.

Cards +10 at Falcons (45): The Cardinals have been competitive defensively, but it’s been the lack of offense that’s led to the 5 straight losses, averaging under 11 points per game in this stretch. Atlanta has won all 4 of its home games, but the largest margin of victory has been by just 6 points. CARDINALS.

Bucs -1½ at Panthers (48): Carolina is just 2-7 but 5 of the losses have been by a TD or less. Their defense has played much better over the past month, holding 4 of the last 5 foes to less than 100 rushing yards while also holding 4 of the 5 foes to below 230 passing yards. Yet they’ve gone from a 3-point road favorite to a home underdog in just two months? PANTHERS.

Browns +7½ at Cowboys (43½): At 4-5 the Cowboys enter a favorable part of their schedule, which features 5 of the next 6 games at home. Dallas has more talent and will face a challenged Cleveland offense that has topped 17 points just 3 times. The defense has kept the Browns competitive by forcing turnovers, a facet of the game that has plagued the Dallas offense. UNDER.

Jets +3 at Rams (38):St. Louis is 3-1 both SU and ATS at home. However, this will be the first time they’ve been favored in any game this season. Still, they are playing hard for first year coach Jeff Fisher whereas the level of intensity for the Jets has to be questioned. RAMS.

Colts +9½ at Patriots (53½): New England coach Bill Belichick has had success devising game plans against rookie QB’s and gets the chance to so against Indy’s Andrew Luck. The Pats’ 3 losses have been by a combined 4 points. The Colts have won 4 in a row, but all have been against losing teams with a combined record of 11-26. PATRIOTS.

Jaguars +16 at Texans (42½): Houston is a perfect 3-0 laying doubles with all 3 games at home. Jacksonville’s impotent offense has failed to rush for 70 yards in 6 straight games. Five of their 8 losses have been by at least 17 points although each of those came at home. Their three road losses were by 3, 3, and 9 points. JAGUARS.

Bengals +3½ at Chiefs (44): Kansas City played at Pittsburgh on Monday night and 6 of their 7 losses had been by double digits. The Bengals have the edge at QB and at 4-5 still are capable of making a run and repeat last season’s playoff appearance. They’ve already won twice on the road this season. BENGALS.

Saints -4½ at Raiders (54½): New Orleans has won 4 of 5 to get back into position to make a run at a Wild Card. Their defense is a concern but they made strides in recent weeks. The Raiders’ defense will be challenged by a Saints’ offense that is gaining over 300 passing yards per game. OVER.

Chargers +7½ at Broncos (49½): In their earlier meeting the Broncos overcame a 24-0 halftime deficit to win 35-24. The Chargers are a mess but they still have plenty of talent. They will be motivated to make amends for blowing that earlier lead and can certainly keep this close. CHARGERS.

Ravens +3½ at Steelers (46): Both offenses have shown an inclination to play at an up tempo pace. With both defenses less than 100 percent healthy there could be plenty of big plays and lots of points scored as a result. OVER.

Monday, Nov. 19

Bears +4½ at 49ers (NT): Both starting quarterbacks were knocked out of their games last week and each is questionable. Both teams’ success is predicated on outstanding defense. Regardless of whose hands are behind center this game shapes up as a low scoring, field position defensive duel. UNDER.

Record

Last Week

6-7

NFL

73-71-1

PCT

50.7

Andy Iskoe, and his Logical Approach, provides his popular and unique handicapping statistics to Gaming Today readers and online visitors. He has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football. Contact Andy at [email protected]

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About the Author

Andy Iskoe

Owner and author of “The Logical Approach,” Andy Iskoe has been a long time GT columnist, contributing weekly in-season columns on baseball, pro basketball and pro football.

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