Our staff, led by handicapper Vegas Vic, picks this week’s NFL games. Home teams are in CAPS.
EAGLES (-13.5) Bears (O/U: 44), 1 p.m. (Fox)
Quick hit: The Bears are 3-1-1 against the spread as an underdog with Mitchell Trubisky as their starting quarterback.
Bears vs. spread: 5-4-1
Eagles vs. spread: 8-2
Vegas Vic’s take: Don’t get nervous. Double V ain’t dropping any cash on the money line and calling for an upset. But, 13.5 points is a huge bundle in the NFL. Of course, if you have a chance to buy the hook, and make it +14, please do. These green Birds are all puffed up. All the talking heads are already making plans for a trip to Super Bowl LII in February, and Vegas has Carson Wentz leading the MVP odds at even money (Brady is the second choice at +$110). Wentzsylvania even had his own blow-up balloon on ESPN. Time for a letdown? Maybe. Just beat the hated Cowboys down in Dallas, and the 3-7 team visiting from Chicago is not in the same convo as the Green machine. So would not be surprised if the Eagles take their foot off the gas, and allow Da Bears to sneak back to the Windy City with a back-door cover. Gonna keep this play on the light side, and after looking into my crystal ball, floating a 27-17 win for the hometown heroes.
|Ed Barkowitz||Eagles (Best Bet)|
BENGALS (-8) Browns (O/U: 38), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: The Bengals have won six in a row in this series, covering comfortably in five of those games.
Browns vs. spread: 2-8
Bengals vs. spread: 5-5
Vegas Vic’s take: This selection was so close to a best bet. How close? Thisclose. Why? Lemme run some numbers for you. Cincy (-3) busted the Browns in the first meeting at Cleveland, 31-7. Last season, it was the Bengals (-11) at home dropping a 31-17 hammer. At Cleveland, Cincy (-4.5) rolled with a 23-10 W. Back to 2015 and another sweep for the Bengals, 31-10 at home (-13), and 37-3 at Cleveland (-7.5). And the final reason is, the Brownies are 0-13 on the road the last two seasons.
PATRIOTS (-16.5) Dolphins (O/U: 47.5), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: New England has outscored its opponents by 74-24 in the two games since their bye. They won at Denver, 41-16, and beat the Raiders in Mexico City, 33-8.
Dolphins vs. spread: 3-5-2
Patriots vs. spread: 6-4
Vegas Vic’s take: Check on Tom Brady’s Achilles before you throw down. Fish could be a small take if Tom Terrific is hobbling.
|Les Bowen||Patriots (Best Bet)|
CHIEFS (-10) Bills (O/U: 45.5), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka has made 13 consecutive 50+-yard field goals, an NFL record.
Bills vs. spread: 4-4-2
Chiefs vs. spread: 6-4
Vegas Vic’s take: Totally get that there were winds howling at more than 40 mph last week at MetLife Stadium, but scoring only nine points against the 2-8 Giants is embarrassing. Actually, KC’s losing four of the last five is kinda embarrassing, too. Think that the Chiefs will squeeze out a W here, but with Tyrod Taylor back at QB, it will be competitive. Before being benched, he was hitting on 63.8% of his passes with 11 TDs and only 3 picks. This is a live double-digit dog.
FALCONS (-10) Buccaneers (O/U: 48.5), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: The Buccaneers have won in Atlanta each of the last two years.
Buccaneers vs. spread: 3-6-1
Falcons vs. spread: 4-6
Vegas Vic’s take: Must have a +10 if you’re gonna take a taste. If it drops below 10, you gotta think about washing the selection.
Panthers (-4.5) JETS (O/U: 40.5), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: The last time Carolina played at the Jets was in 2009. Cam Newton was winning the JUCO national championship for Blinn (Texas) College. He went to Auburn the following season.
Panthers vs. spread: 6-3-1
Jets vs. spread: 6-3-1
Vegas Vic’s take: Not sure if Cam Newton dresses himself or if he has a stylist, but right now, it’s all working. And I’m a fan. Also a fan of Carolina’s 4-1 record on the road, straight up and against the spread.
|Zach Berman||Panthers (Best Bet)|
|Paul Domowitch||Panthers (Best Bet)|
Titans (-3) COLTS (O/U: 45.5), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: Ever seen the Twitter account Capt. Andrew Luck? It can be pretty humorous.
Titans vs. spread: 3-6-1
Colts vs. spread: 6-4
Vegas Vic’s take: My man Double M — Marcus Mariota — totally gets the nod over Indy with Jacoby Brissett.
Dearest mother —
I write you from Europe. It is larger than the woods behind our farm, which I feared may be the case, so I am lost. I seek and hope to find a neckbeard treatment only a foreign land can offer. Sanguine.
— Capt. Andrew Luck (@CaptAndrewLuck) November 13, 2017
Seahawks (-6.5) 49ERS (O/U: 44.5), 4:05
Quick hit: Seattle won last year’s Week 17 meeting with San Fran, 25-23. In Week 2, they beat ’em, 12-9. Watch that 6.5.
Seahawks vs. spread: 3-6-1
49ers vs. spread: 5-5
Vegas Vic’s take: The “Legion of Boom” is history, but Russell Wilson is still slinging, and that’s enough for an easy W.
RAMS (-2.5) Saints (O/U: 53.5), 4:05 p.m. (CBS)
Quick hit: The Saints beat the Rams last season, 49-21. But that game was in New Orleans when the Jeff Fisher era was just about over as Rams coach.
Saints vs. spread: 7-3
Rams vs. spread: 6-4
Vegas Vic’s take: Superb young QB Jared Goff against future Hall of Famer Drew Brees. We’ll go young, but also go light.
|Marcus Hayes||Saints (Best Bet)|
|Jeff McLane||Saints (Best Bet)|
Jaguars (-5.5) CARDINALS (O/U: 38.5), 4:25 p.m.
Quick hit: Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald needs 136 yards to climb into third place on the all-time receiving-yardage list. The top five are Jerry Rice (22,895), Terrell Owens (15,934), Randy Moss (15,292), Isaac Bruce (15,208) and Fitzgerald (15,157). Antonio Brown (157 in Week 5) is the only wide receiver to have 100 yards against the Jags this year.
Jaguars vs. spread: 6-4
Cardinals vs. spread: 2-7-1
Vegas Vic’s take: You might not believe this, but Jax has covered 11 of the last 15 on the road. Pinky swear.
RAIDERS (-5) Broncos (O/U: 43.5), 4:25 p.m.
Quick hit: Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack, who had 15 and 11 sacks, respectively, in 2015 and 2016, has just 5.5 this season. He was the defensive player of the year in 2016.
Broncos vs. spread: 2-7-1
Raiders vs. spread: 3-6-1
Vegas Vic’s take: Oakland fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. Denver fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. Not sure if there’s an edge there, but there certainly is an edge with Oakland’s Derek Carr over Denver’s Paxton Lynch.
STEELERS (-14) Packers (O/U: 42.5), 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Quick hit: Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are trying to become the third set of teammates to lead the league in rushing yards and receiving yards in the same season. Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin (1991), and Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison (1999) are the others.
Packers vs. spread: 4-6
Steelers vs. spread: 6-4
Vegas Vic’s take: Not gonna bite on this wounded double-digit dog, not with Brett Hundley at QB; he ranks 34th in passer rating, with 2 TDs and 7 interceptions. Not the way Pittsburgh is rolling, with five straight wins, and a gorgeous 14-3 record at home the last 17. Not with Le’Veon Bell leading the NFL in rushing yardage. Not with Antonio Brown leading the NFL in receptions. Not with the Steel Curtain that is second in overall scoring D at 16.5 points per game.
RAVENS (-7) Texans (O/U: 38), 8:30 (ESPN)
Quick hit: Baltimore was on a run of five consecutive “overs” until last week when they beat the Packers, 23-0.
Texans vs. spread: 6-4
Ravens vs. spread: 5-4-1
Vegas Vic’s take: Black out, baby! Baltimore is gonna wear its all-black unis and is asking the crowd to come in all black. Of course, we have stats for that. The Ravens are 13-4 under John Harbaugh in the black jerseys, including 8-2 in the all-blacks. This will be Baltimore’s first home Monday Night Football game since 2012. That was the season opener against the Bengals, and it was a blowout for the home team at M&T Bank Stadium, 44-13, as, guess what, yup, a seven-point favorite. Houston is sitting at 4-6 and still kinda in the wild-card hunt, but with Tom Savage at QB, the light is starting to get dimmer. Why? Savage has completed only 66 of 125 (52.8%) since taking over for Deshaun Watson, with 4 TDs, 3 interceptions and an ugly 71.2 QB rating. Baltimore’s defense is starting to really heat up, allowing only 23 points the last three times out, and that is more than enough to make this the Best Bet.
|Vegas Vic||Ravens (Best Bet)|
Appeared in Wednesday’s Daily News
Vikings (-3) LIONS (O/U: 44.5)
Vikings 30, Lions 23: Case Keenum (three TDs) had another efficient outing as Minnesota moved to 9-2 to keep nipping at the Eagles’ heels for the NFC’s No. 1 overall seed.
Chargers (-1) COWBOYS (O/U: 48)
Chargers 28, Cowboys 6: Philip Rivers threw for 434 yards and Jerry Jones just threw up. Cowboys, 13-3 last year, are 5-6.
Jerry Jones was blunt after the Cowboys loss to the Chargers: "We're not a good team right now," he said.
— Lindsay Jones (@bylindsayhjones) November 24, 2017
REDSKINS (-7) Giants (O/U: 44.5)
Redskins 20, Giants 10: New York’s only touchdown came from its defense. Yuck.
Entering Week 12