Picking against the spread in the NFL is one of the more challenging spreads to call. The league has so many great teams and so few poor teams that any game is really up for grabs.
And when the favorites are road teams, it makes it even more difficult. Here are three road teams that will cover the spread.
Note: Spread information is according to Bovada.
New York Giants (-4) at Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati has so much talent but can't defeat the big guns of the NFL for one reason or another. They simply aren't on the level of some of the best teams in the league.
Cleveland, Jacksonville, Washington—three victories Cincinnati has posted this season. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Denver—three of the five losses for Cincinnati this season.
Six combined wins for the teams Cincinnati has defeated this year. They simply can't get it done against top-tier teams in the NFL.
Eli Manning and the New York Giants are a top-tier team. The defending Super Bowl champions got punched in the mouth last week by the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the better teams in the AFC. It wasn't the best performance from the Giants, but you can bet it won't happen two weeks in a row.
Dalton has been sacked 22 times this season. New York has sacked opposing quarterbacks 25 times this season. With the talented front four led by Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, the Giants should have a tremendous day against Cincinnati because the Bengals can't offer something to offset the rush.
Cincinnati is 26th in the league in rushing with 95.9 yards per game, and they aren't clicking on all cylinders like the Steelers were last week.
With nothing to offset the rush, expect the Giants to have a field day on the line of scrimmage.
Prediction: Giants 28, Bengals 20
Denver Broncos (-4.5) at Carolina Panthers
Peyton Manning has recorded five straight three-touchdown performances this season. He's also clicking on nearly an 80-percent completion-percentage clip in those games.
On the season, Manning is clicking on 69.5 percent of his passes, a number that is better than any year of his career. We are talking about a four-time NFL MVP. Unbelievable.
Denver is a 4.5-point favorite on the road against Carolina, and Manning is one of many reasons why. The Panthers are a 2-6 football team with an average defense. Manning should be able to have a great day.
Denver's defense has been very good at times this season, as they rank in the top third of the NFL in passing yards and 12th in rushing yards allowed.
Given the solid defense and the MVP-caliber season Manning is having, the Broncos should be able to escape with a touchdown victory.
Prediction: Broncos 31, Panthers 24
Dallas Cowboys (-2) at Philadelphia Eagles
What's a playoff stretch without a Dallas team blowing their chance? For that to happen, the Cowboys would need to do some work in November to set them up with another December failure.
Pretty harsh, but all too true.
This game will come down to which QB makes the fewest mistakes. I can't believe I'm out to write this, but I have to say Tony Romo will make the fewest mistakes.
Michael Vick has no time with his horrendous offensive line, and the offensive schemes don't do him any favors to offset the oncoming rush. Vick has been sacked 27 times this season and has been constantly hit when dropping back in his five- and seven-step drops.
At least Dallas has lost to good teams in this tough stretch: Atlanta, New York Giants, Seattle (away), Baltimore, Chicago—at least their losses are explainable.
Philadelphia's losses are not. They were blown out at Arizona, lost at New Orleans and allowed Detroit to get them at home.
I trust Dallas more—and I never thought I would say that. It just goes to show how porous Philadelphia has been this season.
Prediction: Cowboys 24, Eagles 21