With just four weeks remaining in the NFL regular season, there's no better time to start letting it ride.
That is, if you haven't—like me—already blown all your money on a wacky, unpredictable opening 13 weeks.
But if you do in fact still have some hard-earned cash that you want to—legally, of course—gamble on the gridiron, now is the week to do it.
Why? This is why.
Teams are who we think they are. We know who's gunning for that No. 1 draft pick. We know who's dismantled by injuries. We know the Philadelphia Eagles will lose. We know what to expect, and as a result, there's no better time to lay down some bets.
Let's take a look at what early spreads you should take advantage of for next weekend.
Note: All lines come via ESPN
Minnesota Vikings (+3) vs. Chicago Bears
In case you haven't noticed already, Adrian Peterson is a machine. Sorry, Albert Pujols.
In what was supposed to be a mediocre year as he was recovering from tearing his ACL and MCL just eight months before the start of the season, Peterson has taken 234 carries (19.5 per game) for 1,446 yards (120.5 per game) and eight touchdowns.
The Bears have a stout defense, but Peterson is the type of guy you would take against a front seven full of Hulks.
A conservative game plan will limit Chicago's play-making defense and earn Minnesota a win at home.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+1) vs. New York Jets
That the New York Jets are favored on the road against any team, whether it be the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Alabama Crimson Tide or the Abraham Lincoln Middle School Pee-Wee team, is truly astounding.
When Mark Sanchez is out there throwing an interception on every other play, it's just hard to win games. Even if he remains on the sideline, it will be difficult to put much trust in Greg McElroy, who now has just seven career pass attempts in his NFL career.
No matter who lines up under the center, Rex Ryan's squad is going to have to rely on defense to win games.
Normally that would be an easy task against the hopeless Jacksonville Jaguars, but with Chad Henne running the show, this offense has gone from dreadful to, well, mediocre.
Before an ugly Week 13 performance in a loss at Buffalo, Henne looked fantastic in an overtime loss against the Super Bowl contender Houston Texans and in a win at home against the Tennessee Titans.
You would probably be better served not watching this one, but I like the Jags straight up at EverBank Field.
Atlanta Falcons (-4) at Carolina Panthers
Am I missing something here?
I realize the Falcons have trouble blowing teams out. I also realize Cam Newton is once again playing like the rookie Cam Newton as of late.
But come on!
An 11-1 team only has to beat a 3-9 team by more than four points?