There is just one week of regular-season NFL football left. It’s hard to believe how fast it’s flown by. Before we get into a few games to watch, who are teams favored to win each conference?
The Kansas City Chiefs still top the betting odds boards as the team that will not only win the AFC but to win it all.
But at -145 to win the AFC, are they overvalued in Vegas and at trusted online sportsbooks? I wouldn’t say that they are overvalued, but I will say that it’s not a great idea to lay chalk on a futures pick. The Kansas City Chiefs have managed to just do enough to win all season long. They barely got past the Chargers earlier in the season, and now they have cemented themselves as the first team in NFL history to win 7 straight games, all by 6 points or fewer. I mean, it’s been close. They got beaten by the Raiders earlier this year and barely escaped the jaws of defeat in their latest matchup with Las Vegas. They were a hair’s breadth away from losing to an atrocious Panthers squad (sorry, Carolina fans) and most recently, the Falcons held them to 17 points, losing by just three.
On the flip side, the Green Bay Packers lead the pack in the NFC. And around +190, the Packers are a more valuable futures pick to win the American Football Conference. I like this more after the way the completely decimated a tough as nails Tennesee Titans team.
I would stay away from betting on games involving the Chiefs or Packers, or any other clinched division winner, for that matter. It tough to gauge how many impact players will sit. Furthermore, it might not be a good idea to lay cash on teams that are completely eliminated as well. Will they try to lose to hop up a position in the next draft, or simply not have their hearts in the game?
Atlanta @ Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is in the playoffs, and the Falcons are out. But Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are still trying to solidify the best seed they can. I see most of their starting guys out on the field, at least until they garner a significant lead. On the flip, I’m not sure if guys like Matt Ryan will be on the field. Why risk injuries to guys like Matty Ice, Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley in a game that means nothing to them.
At -6.5, I really like the Bucs to cover the number.
Washington @ Philadelphia
This one is a great line on Washington. They are favored by just 1 point, and the Washington defense got the blueprint on how to shut down Jalen Hurts completely and this new Eagles offense from the Dallas Cowboys. The biggest difference is the Washington defense is much better than that of Dallas.
Another factor to think about is the fact that Rivera and upper management let Dwyane Haskins go. Normally, this makes a wake-up call related to performance, and the team tends to rally around each other and work better together, at least temporarily. I believe Washington can beat the Eagles without Alex Smith, but if Smith plays, they’ll trounce Philly and lock in their first-round bye as the winners of the NFC East.
Miami @ Buffalo
The Buffalo Bills looked great on Monday Night Football when they hammered the Pats 38-9 in Foxboro. Now they’ll host the Dolphins, who are looking to solidify their wild-card berth. 3-points isn’t a lot to give, and I would take the Fins if the line were set a tad higher. However, Miami really struggled against the Raiders last week, and now they have to go up and play an outdoor game in Buffalo. The forecast is calling for miserable weather. It will be in the mid-thirties with rain and snow showers. So, take the home team if you are going to bet this one – even though I said to be wary of teams with their clinched. I believe that the Bills will start Josh Allen and will be looking to upset their division rivals and maintain that No. 2 seed to get two home games during the playoffs and not meet the Chiefs until the AFC Championship game.