The penultimate week of the NFL season is with us and there's still half the league who have a chance of making the post-season as things close up at the end of the season. Conferences and divisions can be tied up in a bow and wild-card spots can be secured just as the Browns did on Thursday Night Football with their win over the Jets.
There's no Monday Night Football this week so there's a very busy early slate on the go this week finishing nicely before the NYE celebrations get going over here and just the three from 9 o'clock onwards (annoyingly my team will be in the 4th quarter when we inevitably have to turn off to watch drunk southerners celebrating on the banks of the Thames!).
The Ravens and Dolphins should be a beauty to start the evening while the schedule makers wouldn't have expected Jake Browning vs. a poor Chiefs offense in the 925 TV game but that should be interesting too even not as explosive as we'd have expected at the start of the season.
Straight into things this weekend then.
Best Spread; Ravens -3 vs. Dolphins – 5/6 (WilliamHill)
Sure the Ravens had the game of their season last week, mainly due to turnovers as they did actually allow a ton of points against the 49ers before their defense tightened, they managed to get pressure on Brock Purdy throughout the game and Kyle Hamilton was all over the place creating the interceptions, but this Dolphins team struggles against good teams, especially on the road and I think the Ravens showed themselves as the class of the conference last weekend.
The loss of Raheem Mostert is potentially big for the Dolphins as they rest him with knne and ankle injuries knowing that the big game for them is against the Bills next weekend, it means De'Von Achane and Jeff Wilson will get the work on the ground and without Jaylen Waddle in the passing game they're even more reliant on Tyreek Hill, a player the Ravens should be able to slow down enough to get the job done. The offensive line for the Dolphins is worse than the 49ers so I'm confident the Ravens get pressure on Tua through the game as well.
Lamar Jackson is now favourite for the MVP at 4/7 and he'll move the ball well enough here to cover a field goal, this was the spread all over but you may have to go to alt. lines now, something I'm fine with at 5/6 on Hills.
Best Total; Cardinals vs. Eagles u48
This is a high total for a Cardinals team who don't want to win and an Eagles team which has been spluttering through the season. I think it will be closer than the spread suggests and I don't see the Eagles hitting more than 30 points. The Cardinals are a very shallow team on offense, it's James Conner and Trey McBride, and nothing much else, add to that the news that Kyler Murray has missed practise through the week with illness means I'm even lower on their limited offense. I don't think they'll top 14 points, Eagles a max of 30… that's 44 so I'm fine taking the under here.
Best TD Scorer; AJ Dillon – 11/4 (PaddyPower/Betfair)
A little leftfield here given his lack of production through the year, but AJ Dillon gets going when the going gets cold and he bashed one in from the 2 yard line last week against the Panthers. The Vikings defense is meant to be very good but I think they'll be trailing for most of the game here, Dillon will get a little more of the ball now he's another week away from his thumb fracture and he'll find the endzone at a tasty price.
I don't know if I've missed something in Denver with Adam Trautman being 14/1 anytime at Skybet – They've made a change at QB but they're banged up at WR with their main man Courtland Sutton missing and Jerry Jeudy and Marvin Mims both on the injury report to close out the week. He's a big price at that book, down at 6/1 elsewhere so I'll have a punt on one at 14s and two at 150/1 for the Traut.
Best Player Prop; Khalil Herbert o27.5 rush yards – 10/11 (Bet365)
I was tempted to go with AJ Dillon o22.5 rush yards, that's a very low line, but I can't double down on him just because it's the end of the year!
So I'll plump for Herbert in Chicago to go over a low rushing total. He topped 100 yards on the ground and rushed in a TD last week agiasnst the Cardinals but the books are obviously worried about Dont'a Foreman coming back and taking the workload, I think they'll split carries at worst and with 10 carries I'd back Herbert to top this line for them. It should be a tight game which helps the ground attack so I'll take a slight risk on the workload here.
If Jeff Wilson receiving yards pops up in single figures then take the over on him for Miami, he'll get a lot more of the snaps with Mostert out of the game, but there's nothing on him at the moment.
Good Luck with your bets tonight, some very important games taking place, hopefully we'll finish the year with a sweep!