The NFL playoff race is heating up, and this week, the major contenders try to add victories to their ledgers against seemingly overmatched foes.
You can feel the chill in the air. You can also feel the desperation starting to set in for some of the teams around the NFL. After weeks of jockeying for position, the time has come for the mad dash towards the playoffs, with only eight weeks remaining on the docket.
So who makes their move and who falls off the pace? Let’s find out.
As always, all lines are courtesy of OddsShark.
Carolina Panthers at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4)
Finally, a really interesting Thursday night matchup. Carolina (6-2) is playing terrific ball, and is only a game behind the Saints for first place in the NFC North. Meanwhile, the Steelers (5-2-1) have won four straight and are starting to separate in their division. This comes down to Ben Roethlisberger being at home, and not on the road.
Pick: Pittsburgh 27, Carolina 24
Arizona Cardinals at Kansas City Chiefs (-16.5)
There’s no argument for the Cardinals (2-6). Arizona is overmatched across the board and on the road in one of the league’s toughest venues. It would be shocking if the Chiefs (8-1) don’t have this game sealed up by the end of the first half.
Pick: Kansas City 44, Arizona 19
Atlanta Falcons (-4) at Cleveland Browns
The Browns (2-6-1) need divine intervention at this point. Gregg Williams isn’t saving this ship from sinking, especially against a Falcons (4-4) team that is finding itself after myriad injuries. Atlanta should have no problem on the banks of Lake Erie.
Pick: Atlanta 35, Cleveland 24
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (-7.5)
This game will break my will to live. How are the Bills (2-6) this bad offensively? It’s borderline impossible in 2018. New York (3-6) is also terrible, but the Jets are more talented and at home, so they get the W.
Pick: New York 16, Buffalo 9