Gridiron Guide: Jets and Giants will cover and win

Tom Coughlin reacts after the Giants score in

Tom Coughlin reacts after the Giants score in the second quarter of a game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. (Dec. 3, 2012) (Credit: Getty)

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Newsday sports writer John Boell John Boell

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JETS (5-7) at JAGUARS (2-10)

Jets by 2 1/2; O/U: 38 1/2

TV: Ch. 2; Radio: ESPN (98.7)

We all figured there would be a QB controversy with the Jets, just not one involving Mark Sanchez and Greg McElroy! I'm guessing that behind closed doors this week, it sounded a lot like the last round of a fantasy football draft: "OK, who should we go with, Sanchez or McElroy?" The funny thing is, this would've been the perfect week for the other QB -- you remember Tim Tebow, right? -- to start in his hometown. The Jaguars removed a tarp on the upper deck because of increased ticket sales. The Jets are 1-4 against the spread (ATS) in their last five games, but Jacksonville is 1-5 ATS at home.

THE PICK: Jets

 

SAINTS (5-7)

at GIANTS (7-5), 4:25 p.m.

Giants by 5; O/U: 53

TV: Ch. 5

Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)

Well, things took an interesting turn down in D.C. Monday night, didn't they? I expected a close game, but not a Redskins' win. Now, the G-Men find themselves in the familiar position of having to come up big in their final four games. Tom Coughlin thinks his team has to win out. Drew Brees, Marques Colston and the high-powered Saints offense will be eager to erase last Thursday's game, but I believe this will be one of those home games when the Giants dominate vs. a talented opponent (see: Packers).

THE PICK: Giants

 

RAVENS (9-3)

at REDSKINS (6-6)

Redskins by 2 1/2; O/U: 47 1/2

It's been some week for RG3: Wins his Monday Night Football debut and sets the NFL single-season rushing record for a rookie QB. Then, his jersey and cleats from the game were requested by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Later, he heard "RG3" chants at Tuesday's Heat-Wizards game (surprisingly won by Washington). Beating Baltimore (5-2-1 ATS in its past eight road games) would be some encore, but I don't see it.

THE PICK: Ravens

 

FALCONS (11-1)

at PANTHERS (3-9)

Falcons by 3 1/2; O/U: 47 1/2

Has there ever been a more maligned 11-1 team in NFL history than Atlanta? Panthers DE Greg Hardy said Carolina is a "better team" than the NFC South champ Falcons. Really, Greg? Atlanta is 6-1-1 ATS in its last eight games as favorites of four or less points.

THE PICK: Falcons

 

BEARS (8-4)

at VIKINGS (6-6)

Bears by 3; O/U: 39

Both have struggled in their last seven games: (Bears 2-5 ATS; Vikings 1-5-1). Da Bears have won -- and covered -- six straight vs. Minnesota, which will be without Percy Harvin for the rest of the season.

THE PICK: Bears

 

COWBOYS (6-6)

at BENGALS (7-5)

Bengals by 3; O/U: 45 1/2

TV: Ch. 5

This could be a sneaky good game between two teams on the outside looking in at their conference's final playoff spot. Dallas is 4-2 ATS on the road. Cincinnati is 3-7-1 ATS in its last 11 at home. THE PICK: Cowboys

 

CHARGERS (4-8)

at STEELERS (7-5)

OFF (Pittsburgh QB

questionable); O/U: OFF

Ben Roethlisberger (shoulder, ribs) is questionable, so there's no line. I've seen the Steelers favored by a touchdown. They're 14-0 all-time at home during the regular season vs. the Chargers -- the best home record vs. an opponent in NFL history. The Bolts will keep it close against a rusty Big Ben, or Charlie Batch.

THE PICK: Chargers

 

TITANS (4-8) at COLTS (8-4)

Colts by 5 1/2; O/U: 48

Since losing to the Jets, the Colts have reeled off six wins -- and covers -- in their next seven games and find themselves in the No. 5 spot in the AFC playoffs? The Titans are 1-4 ATS in their last five games.

THE PICK: Colts

 

RAMS (5-6-1) at BILLS (5-7)

Bills by 3; O/U: 42

The Bills are 3-1 ATS in their last four games. Worth a shot.

THE PICK: Bills

 

CHIEFS (2-10)

at BROWNS (4-8)

Browns by 6 1/2; O/U: 37 1/2

I can't imagine how Romeo Crennel and the Chiefs have kept their focus on football. A week after playing their best game of the season, I think the emotional toll finally catches up to them. The Browns (7-4-1 ATS in '12) have been one of the NFL's best plays this season.

THE PICK: Browns

 

EAGLES (3-9) at BUCS (6-6)

Bucs by 7 1/2; O/U: 47 1/2

Tampa (7-3-2 ATS) is playing for its postseason lives. The Iggles (2-9-1 ATS) got a rare cover last week but still lost eighth straight. THE PICK: Bucs

 

CARDINALS (4-8)

at SEAHAWKS (7-5), 4:25 p.m.

Seahawks by 10; O/U: 35 1/2

If the season ended today, Seattle would be the NFC's sixth seed. You can be sure to hear grumbling in Dallas, D.C., and Tampa if that holds true after Week 17 considering the Seagulls' "Fail Mary" win vs. Green Bay. Seattle is 8-4 ATS, including 5-0 ATS at home. The Cards, who will start Fordham alum John Skelton at QB, have lost eight straight. They're 2-5 ATS in their last seven games in Seattle. Fade the trends and take the points.

THE PICK: Cardinals

 

DOLPHINS (5-7) at 49ERS (8-3-1), 4:05 p.m.

49ers by 10; O/U: 39

The 'Fins are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games vs. teams with a winning record. The Niners are 0-4 in their last four games vs. teams with a losing record. Too big of a spread for me.

THE PICK: Dolphins

 

LIONS (4-8)

at PACKERS (8-4), 8:20 p.m.

Packers by 7; O/U: 51

TV: Ch. 4;

Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9).

Green Bay has won 10 straight NFC North games, and is 21-8 ATS in their last 29 vs. NFC North opponents.

THE PICK: Packers

 

TEXANS (11-1)

at PATRIOTS (9-3), 8:30 p.m.

Patriots by 3 1/2; O/U: 51 1/2

TV: ESPN; Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)

This could be a preview of the AFC title game. The Pats have won 11 of their last 12 Monday-night games and are 19-1 overall in their final four games of the season since 2007. The Texans, 8-4 ATS in '12 and 17-5-2 ATS in their last 24 vs. the AFC, keep it a field-goal game.

THE PICK: Texans