It is getting to the end of the NFL season, and if your fantasy team is out of the playoffs, it's time for you to turn your focus to your favorite (real) team.
So, in honor of everyone whose fantasy season is spoiled, here are my predictions for every game this week against the spread.
(Does not include Thursday's game.)
The Cowboys have dropped two straight in gut-wrenching fashion, first by icing their own kicker and then blowing a 34-22 late game lead a week later. However, the Buccaneers have been even worse lately. Since their upset win over the Saints in Week 6, the Bucs have dropped seven straight, including a 41-14 blowout against Jacksonville last Sunday.
I would not touch Tampa Bay in pick 'em, even with a 6.5-point spread
The Seahawks are a hard team to predict this year. They have beaten the Giants and the Ravens, but have lost to the Redskins and the Browns. However, Seattle has been on a tear lately, winning four out of their last five, with Marshawn Lynch leading the way.
Packers games are always difficult to pick. They will most likely win this game, but sometimes the Packers blow out opponents while, at other times, they keep their opponents in the game.
However, after the Packers' 46-16 win over the Raiders, the Packers should be able to win by 14. I like the Packers here, but it's a bit more difficult than one might think.
The Colts successfully covered the spread the past two weeks, but this week will be more difficult.
The past two weeks, the Colts were given very large spreads that were easy to cover. This week, the Colts have only been given a 6.5-point spread. However, with Jim Caldwell's job on the line, an upset could be in store here.
The Vikings keep coming up just short. They nearly beat Denver, but Denver was spared by a Tim Tebow rally. They nearly beat Detroit, but Detroit was spared by the referees missing a facemask call that resulted in the game-ending fumble.
This game will be close as well, but with the Saints fighting for a first-round bye, the spread will be covered. Barely.
The Giants have been a good team this year, but most of their success has come in the fourthth quarter. If everything goes well, the Giants will put away the Redskins early, but the Giants will probably need another comeback from Eli Manning to win and maintain first place in the NFC East.
The Texans have had a tough road to get to where they are, but they keep winning. Behind TJ Yates, their third-string quarterback at the start of the season, the Texans have won both of his starts, with both coming against strong teams.
Cam Newton and the Panthers should make this interesting, but Houston should be able to cover.
Ndamukong Suh returns for Detroit after missing two games due to a suspension. Detroit is coming off of a 34-28 controversial victory against the Vikings, while the Raiders are coming off of a 30-point loss to the Packers. Suh will get to Raiders QB Carson Palmer early and often to help Detroit inch close to a playoff berth.
Arizona has won five of their last six games thanks to Beanie Wells, Larry Fitzgerald and others. Wells has proven that he can be an elite runner when healthy, and Fitzgerald has proven that he can be productive regardless of who is under center. If Fitzgerald had Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady throwing him the ball, he'd be the best receiver in the NFL. It's hard to pick against Arizona lately.
In the week's most anticipated matchup, Tim Tebow and the Broncos battle against Tom Brady and the Patriots. The Patriots, led by Brady and Rob Gronkowski, have won five straight, while the Broncos, led by Tebow and a strong defense, keep finding ways to win. This game will be a good one, but it will be Brady pulling off the go ahead winning drive and leading the Pats to a seven-point win.
The Eagles are coming off of an impressive 26-10 win over the Dolphins, but the Eagles followed their last win (November 20 against the Giants) with back-to-back losses. The Eagles are too inconsistent to expect back-to-back great games, and the Jets, even without Jim Leonhard, will head into their showdown against the Giants with a 9-5 record.
It's always hard to pick the Ravens with confidence, even in games they should win. While they beat the Steelers twice this season, Baltimore has head-scratching losses against Jacksonville and Seattle.
The Chargers, on the other hand, have consistently lost this season, but they've had two straight strong outings where Philip Rivers has not thrown an interception. However, Baltimore is better than Jacksonville and Buffalo, and they should win handily.
In this excellent Monday night matchup, the 10-3 49ers will face a 10-3 Steelers team that is missing OLB James Harrison.
While the loss of Harrison will most likely hurt the Steelers, the 49ers have struggles of their own. San Francisco's offense did not score a touchdown in their three trips to the end zone.
Even without Harrison, Pittsburgh's defense is stronger than Arizona's, and if San Francisco can't find the end zone again, Pittsburgh will come back to Heinz Field happy.