What a season so far in the NFL with so many upsets and shockers. It’s safe to say everyone gambling this year has already lost their 401K, just like half the teams lost their quarterback. We have the Rams leading their division, The Packers in shambles and Ezekiel Elliott’s playing status is still up in the air. Here are the three big games that will make or break these teams’ seasons.
Chicago Bears vs. New Orleans Saints
Mitch Trubisky threw the ball all over the field… going 4-of-7 to lead the Bears to a clutch victory over the Panthers. The defense for the Bears shut down Cam Newton and the Panthers offense holding, them to only three points.
The Saints are marching with a four-game win streak with wins over the Panthers, Dolphins, Lions and Packers. The Saints have been a high-scoring team all season, averaging 28.5 points per game.
This game is extremely important for both teams. Now with Aaron Rogers out for the year, the Bears have a legitimate shot to win the division depending on how well the Vikings play. The Saints need this to stay at least tied for the NFC South division if the Panthers manage to win as well.
The spread is currently at Saints -9, which I think is way too high after we saw what the Chicago defense is capable of last week. I still think the Saints will take this one home, but if your betting the spread, I’m taking the Bears +9 easy.
Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cam Newton vs. Jameis Winston will be a must-see game this weekend. Both teams are coming off consecutive losses that should have been wins. These two teams need to bounce back if they hope to make the playoffs. With the Buccaneers down to 2-4, this is essentially a must-win game.
The Buccaneers had so much momentum going into the season with what seemed like one of the most potent offenses in the NFL. However, the ship sunk early with devastating losses to the Bills, Patriots and Cardinals with victory in grasp, but came up short. All of these games were one-score games where the Bucs seemed to hand the game away in the last quarter.
The Panthers are in the tightest divisional race in all of football between the Saints and Falcons. With the offense struggling and no solution in sight, the Carolina defense needs to step up and take control of the game. The Panthers only managed to score three points last week against the Bears, so we will see if they can get something going in Tampa this week.
Right now, Tampa is favored -2.5, and I really want to believe they beat the Panthers at home this week. After all these close games, I think they finally figure out how to close one out. I’m picking Tampa 21-17
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions seemed to be on track this season, starting 2-0, but in recent weeks, the Lions have fallen back into mediocrity once again. They have lost back-to-back games heading into this week despite high scoring by the offense in both games. The defense couldn’t stop anything.
On the other hand, the Steelers are on a massive hot streak, taking out the Chiefs and Bengals in their last two games. The world was coming down on Big Ben after his five interceptions against the Jaguars. Too many people were hopping off the Steelers bandwagon much too early.
This may be the last chance for Detroit to make a move now that Aaron Rodgers is out with a shoulder injury. The Lions have never won the NFC North since it changed its name from the Central in 2002. The last time the Lions won a division was 1993. Will 2017 be the year???
The Steelers are the road favorite at -3 as they head into Ford Field on Sunday night. I don’t see the Steelers dropping this one and should take it handily. I’ll pick Pitt 35-17.
Featured Photo by USA Today
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