The late games are few, but the lines may provide a bountiful return for bettors this week.
With the season winding down, one of the things that changes while picking against the spread is picking for trap games. Teams are going to be inserting more backup players depending on if they are going to make the playoffs or are too far out of reach. With that said, there will be some surprise victories from lesser teams in the next few weeks.
Let's jump right in to the picks. As always, the lines come to you courtesy of Bovada.
While I do not see this as a trap game quite yet, it is close. The 49ers are looking to lock up the NFC West, as the Seahawks are still on their tails. Colin Kaepernick has played well since being inserted into the starting quarterback position and the defense is otherworldly as usual. However, the Dolphins still have an outside shot at grabbing an AFC Wild Card behind rookie QB Ryan Tannehill. I like the 49ers to win this game, but this is a pretty steep margin against a good defense. Take the 'Fins and the points.
The Saints are not likely to make the playoffs at this point, but that does not mean they are not one of the most dangerous teams for opponents to gameplan for right now. Drew Brees is always a handful and this should be an interesting quarterback matchup to keep an eye on. Still, I think the Giants' front four get after Brees and win New York this game. Take the G-Men minus the points at home.
The Cardinals have decided to put John Skelton back at quarterback, but is that really an upgrade over Ryan Lindley at this point? Both quarterbacks have played awful this season and I am sure the team is begging for Kevin Kolb to get healthy soon so that they can win a game again. Even worse, they have to travel to the always difficult CenturyLink Field to play the Seahawks. With the lack of offense the Cardinals are able to generate, I think the Seahawks win in blowout fashion. Take Russell Wilson's squad minus the points.
The last game of the day features two very explosive offenses in what is sure to be a shootout. The Lions have not lived up to expectations this season, but that does not mean they won't be trying as hard as they can in a divisional game. Aaron Rodgers has been en fuego as of late, so I definitely don't plan on betting against him. Take the Packers minus the points. With Greg Jennings back as another weapon for this team, I fully expect them to make a strong push for the playoffs.