DOLPHINS (+3) over JAGUARS
This is almost like a “mirror match,” isn’t it? Both teams call Florida home, run the ball very well, struggle to defend the pass and are just OK against the run. A closer look, however, shows that Miami has some key advantages. First of all, Jacksonville has the league’s most embarrassingly bad pass rush. The Jags have a pathetic 12 sacks in 12 games – five fewer than any other team in football. Young Miami quarterback Chad Henne can make plays with his rocket arm if given time to throw. He could light up a Jacksonville secondary missing Rashean Mathis. The Dolphins, who rank third in the league with 35 sacks, should quiet the already-quiet Jacksonville crowd. Go with the Fish’s NFL odds.
VIKINGS (-6.5) over BENGALS
The Bengals embody that Venus flytrap discussed earlier. We didn’t trust them against Green Bay, Pittsburgh (twice) and Baltimore (twice) and they scorched our NFL picks with upset wins. It’s true that Cincy is a force in the AFC, already 9-3, allowing a league-low 15.6 points per game and boasting the NFL’s No. 1 run defense. It’s also true that the Vikings weren’t themselves last week, as Brett Favre threw three picks, Adrian Peterson ran for 19 yards and Jared Allen went sackless. But the Bengals’ senses may be dulled from consecutive games against Oakland, Cleveland and Detroit. The Vikings are also undefeated at home. Favre in particular loves the Metrodome in 2009, throwing 16 touchdown passes versus one pick there. Look for Minnesota to show some resolve and bounce back.
COWBOYS (-3) over CHARGERS
I’m I crazy enough to pick Diego Sanchez in UFC 107 betting plus pick the Cowboys even though the Chargers have won 15 straight December games? Yes. Despite their December dominance and seven straight victories this season, I’m not convinced the Chargers are legit yet. Five of their nine wins came against Cleveland, Oakland (twice) and Kansas City (twice). Suddenly, their No. 8 pass defense looks pretty inflated, doesn’t it? It’s especially alarming that Brady Quinn threw for three touchdowns on them last week. Tony Romo’s late-season choke jobs have been well documented over the years but he really showed something last week at the Meadowlands, throwing for a career-high 392 yards and three scores. Maybe he’s over the hump. I’d pick the home team here.