NFL: Early Sunday Kickoffs (1:05 PM ET, CBS & FOX)

NFL: Early Sunday Kickoffs (1:05 PM ET, CBS & FOX)

The early afternoon betting card in the NFL offers a huge 10-game board, loaded with numerous wagering opportunities. Among the highlight games, both remaining undefeated teams will be in action, while intra-conference division leaders will square off in


The early afternoon betting card in the NFL offers a huge 10-game board, loaded with numerous wagering opportunities. Among the highlight games, both remaining undefeated teams will be in action, while intra-conference division leaders will square off in Minnesota, and AFC wildcard contenders will go head-to-head in Jacksonville. Read on for a look at these games plus a Best Bet selection from the StatFox Platinum Sheet. Get more on all of the Sunday games by visiting the LIVE ODDS, BETTING TRENDS, and TEAM STATISTICS pages at

Indianapolis remains unbeaten and is already in the uncomfortable position of wondering whether or not to rest starters in its remaining games. The rest of the AFC is hoping that the Colts don’t, as Denver is in the thick of a wildcard logjam at 8-4. For HC Jim Caldwell’s team, the Broncos represent the foe on their remaining schedule with the best record, thus potentially the greatest chance for getting knocked off. For the Broncos, this is the first of two tough remaining road games, but they are 4-2 SU & ATS away in ’09. These teams have become somewhat regular combatants in recent years, and Indy owns a 6-2 SU & ATS record in the series since ’02. In the L3 games in Indianapolis, the Colts are 3-0 SU & ATS with an average victory margin of 24.7 PPG.

Intra-conference division leaders collide in Minnesota, with each hoping to get closer to locking down their titles. The Vikings are 10-2 after losing at Arizona. The other loss was of course, at the hands of Cincinnati’s rival, the Steelers. The Bengals are 9-3, embarking on a road trip that features stops at the Metrodome and at San Diego. They will be the underdog in both, which may be a welcomed sign for Marvin Lewis, whose team is a perfect 6-0 SU & ATS in the dog role this season. They are also 3-0 vs. the NFC and have gone 6-1 ATS in their L7 overall vs. the opposite conference. Minnesota is 0-6 ATS at home under Brad Childress in the L4 weeks of the regular season. The host has swept the L3 h2h meetings between these teams, winning by 17.7 PPG.

(115) NEW ORLEANS at (116) ATLANTA
Some experts have circled this game on the Saints calendar as the largest remaining obstacle in the quest to finish 16-0 in 2009. New Orleans has been at its best in the road favorite role of late, going 10-3 ATS under Sean Payton, including the failed cover at Washington this past week. The Saints are also 7-3 ATS on the divisional road in his tenure. Having already wrapped up the NFC South title, they’ll be looking to spoil the season of one of their rivals here. Atlanta is 6-6 after dropping one to Philadelphia last week and facing an uncertain immediate future with the injury status of QB Matt Ryan. The Falcons are now 3-1 ATS as a home dog under Mike Smith. Favorites are on a run of 11-1 SU & 9-3 ATS in the L12 meetings between these teams in Atlanta.

Both from Florida, Miami and Jacksonville aren’t exactly rivals, as they meet more in the preseason than they do when it matters. In fact, this will be just the fifth all-time meeting, as each team looks to hang on in the AFC wildcard hunt. The Dolphins are still breathing after upsetting New England, but at 6-6 would need to win out vs. four other fellow contenders to even have a shot. The Jaguars are 7-5, and although their chances are better, their stats (-4.0 PPG margin) and upcoming schedule (Indy, at NE) suggest a postseason berth isn’t in their future either. Jacksonville moved to 2-4 ATS in ’09 at home after the loss to Houston and is 3-11 ATS in its L14 as host. In the h2h series, the Jaguars own a 3-1 SU & ATS edge, most recently in ’06 in Miami.

StatFox Steve sees some value on the Miami-Jacksonville tilt: This to me is an interesting FoxSheets’ system when you really sit down and analyze what it means: Play Against - Any team (JACKSONVILLE) - off an upset win over a division rival as a home underdog, with a winning record on the season. (60-27 since 1983.) (69%, +30.3 units. Rating = 2*). The average line of the games in the system team -0.2. How I read it is that our fade team (Jacksonville in this case) has a winning record but played as a home dog last week and is only favored by a small amount this week. In other words, it seems to be a team not worthy of its winning record. I concur, since Jacksonville, despite its 7-5 record, is being outscored by 4.0 PPG. They have been horrible in the favorite role as well. At the same time, Miami has been a gritty team, particularly on the road under Tony Sparano: MIAMI is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons. I can’t tell you which team is the better team here, and with the way Jacksonville has played at home of late, I wouldn’t assign them much home field advantage. Therefore, the value lies with the Dolphins. Play: Miami +2.5

NFL: Late Afternoon Games (4:05 PM ET, CBS & FOX)
There are only three NFL games scheduled for late afternoon on Sunday, and only one of them means anything in the grand scope of the playoff picture, that being San Diego visiting Dallas. Still, for all three, has of course offered up a pointspread and total among other wagering possibilities, so they are all worthy of your attention. Here is a quick look at all three, with some key betting tidbits to consider.

(125) ST LOUIS at (126) TENNESSEE
Tennessee will look to start a new winning streak after its loss at Indianapolis snapped its string of five straight. The setback might have been the nail in the coffin of the Titans’ postseason hopes as well, as at 5-7, their chances are remote. Here, they’ll start a 3-game homestand against a St. Louis team that still has just one win in ’09 after falling in Chicago. The Rams have at least been competitive on the road, boasting a 4-2 ATS mark. St Louis is also on a 6-0 ATS run in road games vs. poor defensive teams allowing >=5.65 yards/play over the L3 seasons. The Titans yield 6.0 YPP. They are 32-14 ATS vs. NFC under Jeff Fisher though. St. Louis has won the L2 meetings between these teams, including the Super Bowl in’00, but didn’t win ATS in either.

Washington and Oakland play one of the uglier matchups of Week 14, and fittingly, the game has plenty of trends to match. Oakland is 0-6 ATS vs. teams with a losing record over the last 2 seasons, with an average loss of 26.8-9.5. Washington is 15-29 ATS vs. bad teams (Win Pct. 25% to 40%) since 1992. The Raiders counter that by going 20-40 ATS in December games since 1992. Not to be outdone, Washington brings a 1-8 ATS record vs. AFC foes over the L3 seasons into this scintillating contest. The Redskins are hoping to extend a stretch of 3-0 SU & ATS by the visitor in the head-to-head series between these teams. In fairness to both franchises, the teams have been more competitive of late, Oakland 3-2 ATS in its L5, Washington has covered its L4.

(129) SAN DIEGO at (130) DALLAS
Dallas continues its most difficult stretch of the season when it hosts the red hot Chargers. San Diego has won seven straight games to reach 9-3 and has its sights set on a first round bye. Under Norv Turner, this has been the time of the year where the Chargers have played their best football, boasting an 8-2 ATS December mark. They are also 8-1 ATS in the second half of the season vs. good offensive teams gaining >=5.65 yards per play in his tenure. Dallas averages a lofty 6.7 YPP but finds itself in a tight NFC East race after losing to New York. Since dropping the new stadium opener, the Cowboys have won five straight at home, holding three teams to a TD or less while going 4-1 ATS. They are on a 3-7 ATS slide vs. the AFC, including 2-3 ATS at home.

This Best Bet writeup can be found in the NFL TIPSHEET this week: It happened again on Sunday, Dallas melted down under the mounting playoff pressures of December. San Diego meanwhile, got it done for Norv Turner once again and has proven to be one of the best late season teams in the league. At this point, San Diego is actually one of the top teams overall in the NFL, and to get points with a club playing so well is a gift. What reason is there to think that the Cowboys are better than a team that has won seven straight games? After all, they couldn’t even beat a team that was ready to be left for dead in the Giants. Take a look at this trend on how San Diego snuffs out good offenses late in the year: SAN DIEGO is 8-1 ATS (+6.9 Units) versus good offensive teams - averaging >=5.65 yards/play in the second half of the season over the last 3 seasons. The average score was SAN DIEGO 28.6, OPPONENT 18.8 - (Rating = 1*). Dallas will be fortunate to get those 19 points, in which case, I can’t see any way they beat the number. Play: San Diego +3

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