The end of the regular season is the best time to bet on the NFL.
By Week 15, you know what each team brings to the table, or as Dennis Green would put, you know who the Chicago Bears are.
Moreover, with the playoff picture starting to clear up, you have an idea of what teams will be giving 110 percent and what teams will be, um, working hard for a draft pick.
So, as the most wonderful (betting) time of the year approaches, let's take a look at what underdogs are in line to make you some major moolah.
Note: All "Underdogs" are according to ESPN.com's lines.
I'm never a fan of relying on a road team—especially in December—to pull off an upset, but the Minnesota Vikings make for an excellent pick against the St. Louis Rams.
First of all, the Vikes, who are still in the NFC North and NFC wild-card races and will be playing hard for a win, have a little weapon I like to call Adrian Peterson.
You know, because that's his name.
Peterson, who is clearly a man among boys, has been painfully (at least for his opponents) unstoppable the last month (actually, pretty much his entire career), and I have learned that it's silly to bet against him.
Even against a solid Rams defense that is giving up just 4.0 yards per carry on the year. Stopping regular running backs is one thing. Stopping a truck is another.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This matchup with the New Orleans Saints is hard to get a handle on.
Not only are both teams pretty much out of the playoff picture, but both secondaries resemble colanders, and shootouts equal toss-ups.
Nonetheless, while Drew Brees and Josh Freeman will likely make their fantasy owners very happy, there is more to the game of football than passing.
Even in 2012.
Both squads will move the ball through the air with ease, but being able to run it will still be key. That's why you have to go with the Bucs, who have been dominant on the ground on both sides of the ball this season.
Teach me how to Dougie.
Call me crazy, but I'm a believer in the magic of Chuck Pagano and the Indianapolis Colts this season.
It hasn't always been pretty for Andrew Luck (18 touchdowns to 18 interceptions), but if you find a way to give him the ball in a close game in the fourth quarter, the impressive rookie will win. He's led a game-winning drive in six of Indy's nine wins this year.
That may not be so easy against the Houston Texans, who are 11-2, but Gary Kubiak's squad has quietly struggled over the past month.
Yes, they got demolished by the New England Patriots on national TV, but before that, they beat the Tennessee Titans and needed overtime to get past both the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jagaurs. It hasn't been the most glamorous 3-1 ever.
The Texans are favored by 10, but don't be surprised if this one turns into a hard-nosed, low-scoring division dogfight. Should that happen, I'm going with Luck.
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