Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton
Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) can't make the catch as Washington Football Team cornerback Kendall Fuller defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


Mike Shara

Now we’re really getting down to the nitty gritty…I think. We have to be, don’t we? I mean, there are only four more games left in the NFL regular season and approximately 45 teams are still in contention for playoff spots. I believe the only two teams currently eliminated from postseason contention at this point are the Jacksonville Jaguars and the London Monarchs.

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What I can be sure of is that last week saw a lot of close games that ended up notably altering the current playoff landscape. The 49ers saved their tenuous, one game lead in the race for the final NFC spot by edging out Cincinnati in overtime; the Browns took advantage of an injured Lamar Jackson to eke out a win at home over the Ravens and Tampa Bay did everything they could to blow a huge lead late in their game vs. Buffalo, winning in overtime on a 58 yard touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman, who was the only NFL player not to catch a touchdown pass from Tom Brady until then. Dallas stayed ahead in their attempt to win the NFC East by defeating Washington, but Dak Prescott has continued to struggle, casting serious doubt on any chance of them winning in January.

Last week was a good one for the favorites, as 11 of them covered, with just two underdogs winning their games outright and just one lonely underdog beating the spread but not winning the game.

With college football’s regular season over, this week sees the NFL playing games on Saturday as well, which means there is now pro football being played on four different days of the week!! The Raiders will travel to Cleveland to battle the Browns (who were ravaged by a Covid-19 outbreak this week) in the afternoon game, with the loser likely all but eliminated from the playoffs and then the resurgent Patriots will head to Indianapolis to take on the Colts, who desperately need a win to stay afloat.

Elsewhere, the Saints will need an upset win in Tampa to save their mediocre season from going belly up, Baltimore will have to try to upset the visiting Packers despite Lamar Jackson’s injury and the Bengals will have to recover quickly from last week’s heartbreaking overtime home loss and venture into the thin air of Mile High Stadium for an important clash with the Broncos. Plus, the Jaguars will play their first game of the season without Urban Meyer as their Head Coach as they (quite literally) welcome the Houston Texans to Jacksonville. NFL relegation rules dictate that if they can’t beat the Texans at home in their first game without Meyer, the Jags will have to play in the Canadian Football League next season. (The early betting has Jacksonville finishing out of the playoffs up north, too.)

All games listed below are at Eastern Standard Time. Please consult your local listings to find out which games are available in your area.


Kansas CityLA Chargers (+3.5 on DraftKings)8:20 pmNFL/FOX


Las VegasCleveland (+4.5 on BetMGM)4:15 pmNFL
New EnglandIndianapolis (-2.5 on FanDuel)8:15 pmNFL


CarolinaBuffalo (-11 on DraftKings)1 pmFOX
ArizonaDetroit (+13 on FanDuel)1 pmFOX
NY JetsMiami (-9.5 on BetMGM)1 pmCBS
DallasNY Giants (+11 on DraftKings)1 pmFOX
WashingtonPhiladelphia (-9.5 on FanDuel)1 pmFOX
TennesseePittsburgh (+1 on BetMGM)1 pmCBS
HoustonJacksonville (-5 on FanDuel)1 pmCBS
CincinnatiDenver (-2.5 on FanDuel)4:05 pmCBS
AtlantaSan Francisco (-9.5 on DraftKings)4:05 pmCBS
SeattleLA Rams (-4.5 on BetMGM)4:25 pmFOX
Green BayBaltimore (+5.5 on FanDuel)4:25 pmFOX
New OrleansTampa Bay (-11 on DraftKings)8:20 pmNBC


MinnesotaChicago (+4.5 on BetMGM)8:15 pmESPN

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