Originally found on Fox Sports:
National Football League
Dec. 27, 2023 11:08 a.m. ET
There are two weeks left in the regular season, and we’re getting down to crunch time for plenty of NFL teams.
Some need to win for seeding, some need to win to get in, and others need to win, plus hope for miracles.
All that makes these games fun to handicap.
Let’s dive into my best bets for this weekend.
I’m going with the underthink express on this one.
They are 12th in total DVOA, led by their defense, which is ranked 13th. Baker Mayfield is playing some of his best football and just appears locked in.
The Saints are the most middling team in the NFL. They are 7-8 with a beat-up quarterback and lots of wins against bad teams.
Also, when you have a chance to fade Derek Carr playing on the road against a good defense, you must take that opportunity.
PICK: Buccaneers (-3) to win by more than 3 points
Philadelphia’s offense finally had a get-right game against an ineffective Giants defense, and I’m wagering on the Eagles to continue scoring points against Arizona.
The Eagles average 26.1 points per game, including point totals of 19, 13 and 17 during their three-game losing streak earlier this month.
They were back above 30 against the Giants (33) on Christmas and the Cardinals are 32nd in defensive DVOA. Arizona allows 26.9 points per game, 31st in the NFL.
I don’t see the Eagles having much trouble putting up points against the Cardinals, who have nothing to play for.
PICK: Eagles team total Over 29.5 points scored
I’m surprised this number (46.5) is so high. Kansas City’s offense has not been good this season and it appears to be getting worse as the postseason approaches.
The Chiefs just scored 14 points against the Las Vegas Raiders and are now at 22.3 points per game. Kansas City is facing a Cincinnati defense that has played the Chiefs the best of any squad over the past few seasons.
The Chiefs will not score much in this game. It’s just time to admit they aren’t good on offense this season.
Kansas City has nine wins because its defense has been outstanding. The Chiefs allowed only six offensive points to the Raiders and Vegas quarterback Aiden O’Connell did not complete a pass for the final three quarters of the game.
The Chiefs allow only 17.7 points per game, and they are facing a Bengals offense without Joe Burrow.
Cincinnati’s Jake Browning is following the typical pattern for a competent backup quarterback: Start fast but once opponents get film on them, they tend to regress.
Against the Chiefs, Browning and Cincinnati will struggle to score points.
PICK: Under 46.5 points scored by both teams combined
Geoff Schwartz is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. He played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz
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