Upsets by the Bears and Chargers triggered Ernesto the Prediction Iguana’s worst week in three years – a 2-4, 1-2 performance that left the season totals at 12-6 overall, 5-4 in teasers. That makes three big wins by the bears over quality opponents, as they beat both the Ravens and Steelers, making them and the Rams the season’s most remarkable surprises.
Ernesto will rebound this weekend, or he’ll get replaced by the cats for a few weeks. As always, we do teasers here, so you get to move the line six points in either direction, using lines from Vegas Insider and the HOME TEAM IN CAPS.
PATRIOTS (-1) vs. Chargers
SEAHAWKS (+0.5) at Texans
Home teams went 9-5 last week, a big improvement over the first third of the season. Both home favorites in this pick are rounding into shape nicely. The Chargers and Texans are overmatched going into perhaps the two toughest environments in their respective conferences.
PANTHERS (+8.5) AT Buccaneers
Eagles (-4.5) at 49ERS
Don’t be surprised if Panthers vs. Eagles is the NFC Championship match-up. The Bucs have been up and down at best, and the winless 49ers have no hope of moving the ball consistently against the Eagles’ stingy defense.
BENGALS-Colts UNDER 49.5
Steelers (+3) at LIONS
Six or seven touchdowns is too many for the punchless Colts and inefficient Bengals. When are they going to get rid of Marvin Lewis? Or is it one of those situations where if they do, they’ll never see the north side of seven wins? Pittsburgh finally found their mojo on both offense and defense, but they have to be careful not to look past Matt Stafford and a Lions offense that can light it up.