NFL football - Saints at Panthers and more - 01-03-09

Jan 3, 2010 7:24 PM

by GT Staff |

NFL football:

The NFL features a full slate of games on the final day of the regular season, but picking winners can be tricky as teams shuffle their rosters in anticipation of the playoffs. Many of the games, in fact, should be viewed like pre-season games, so proceed with caution.

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers -7: The reason the point spread looks so out of whack is because the Saints have already announced they’re going to rest key players. Plus, the Panthers have started to play better football as they try to end the season on a high note. Specifically, New Orleans will rest Drew Brees, safety Darren Sharper and tight end David Thomas, to name a few. They’ve already secured the No. 1 seed in the NFC and have secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs. This game means absolutely nothing to them, and it will show on the scoreboard. Carolina -7

New England Patriots at Houston Texans -7: See the write-up above. Even though New England hasn’t said they will rest Tom Brady and his talented playmakers, the consensus is he will. The Pats have nothing to gain by winning this game (as far as playoff positioning is concerned), and they have plenty to lose if Brady is knocked around. They certainly can’t forget what happened to him – and them – last season. Houston has an outside shot at making the playoffs, but they would need help (two of three other teams would have to lose). Beyond that, they’re playing better football and are currently 8-7 for the first time in the 8-year history of the franchise. They will be pushing hard to make it an unprecedented 9-7. Houston -7

Other NFL selections:

Cleveland Browns -1 over Jacksonville

Dallas Cowboys -3 over the Eagles

Oakland Raiders +10 over Baltimore Ravens

Washington Redskins +3 over San Diego Chargers