Vikings at Falcons (-1, 45 ½) – 1:00 PM EST
The NFC Wild Card race is heating up as two teams in the mix meet up at the Georgia Dome. Minnesota (7-3 SU, 8-2 ATS) had its five-game winning streak snapped in last Sunday’s 30-13 blowout home loss to Green Bay, as running back Adrian Peterson was limited to 45 yards rushing following three consecutive 100-yard performances. The Vikings have covered in all three opportunities as a road underdog this season, while Mike Zimmer’s team is 7-1 ATS in its last eight chances as an away ‘dog since last October. Minnesota ripped Atlanta last season at home as five-point underdogs, 41-28 as the Vikings amassed 558 yards of offense.
It’s been a rough go for the Falcons (6-4 SU, 4-6 ATS) since a 5-0 start, losing four of the past five games, with each defeat coming to teams currently at .500 or worse. The most recent setback was a heartbreaker as Atlanta squandered a 14-0 lead in a 24-21 loss to Indianapolis last Sunday, failing to cover as a favorite for the sixth consecutive game. The offense has suffered during this cold stretch, as Atlanta hasn’t busted the 21-point mark in the last five contests, while eclipsing the 24-point barrier in each of the first five victories. The Falcons are nearly an automatic ‘under’ at the Georgia Dome, cashing in four of five games.
Buccaneers at Colts (-3, 46 ½) – 1:00 PM EST
Six months ago, Tampa Bay (5-5 SU, 6-4 ATS) owned the top pick in the NFL Draft following a miserable 2-14 record. The Buccaneers may fall short of a playoff berth in the NFC this season, but have made plenty of strides, while winning three times away from Raymond James Stadium in five tries. The latest victory came in last Sunday’s 45-17 rout of the reeling Eagles as seven-point road underdogs, led by five touchdown passes fromJameis Winston. Tampa Bay has covered four of five times on the road this season, but has lost two of three times to AFC South competition.
Indianapolis (5-5 SU, 5-5 ATS) began the season as pointspread poison, failing to cover its first four games. Since that cold start, the Colts have put together a 4-1 ATS record with all four covers coming in the underdog role.Chuck Pagano’s team has yet to cash as a favorite, posting an 0-5 ATS record, while the only two straight-up wins in this situation have come by a total of five points. Andrew Luck remains sidelined with a lacerated kidney, but veteran Matt Hasselbeck has yet to lose this season by winning all three of starts, including a 24-21 triumph at Atlanta last Sunday as 3 ½-point underdogs.
Bills at Chiefs (-6, 41 ½) – 1:00 PM EST
The AFC Wild Card race is tightening up with six teams owning records between 6-4 and 5-5, as two of those .500 squads meet in Kansas City. The Bills (5-5 SU, 5-4-1 ATS) had their two-game winning streak snapped at undefeated New England last Monday night in a 20-13 setback as seven-point underdogs. Buffalo suffered its first true road loss of the season in three tries as quarterback Tyrod Taylor failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in 2015. Rex Ryan’s team has been successful in the underdog role, posting a 4-1-1 ATS record when receiving points, while going ‘under’ the total in their last three road games (excluding the Jacksonville loss in London).
Following a dreadful 1-5 start, things are looking up in Kansas City (5-5 SU, 5-5 ATS) afterAndy Reid’s squad won its fourth straight game last Sunday at San Diego. The Chiefs remain three games behind the Broncos in the AFC West, but Kansas City picked up consecutive road divisional victories over Denver and San Diego to reach the .500 mark for the first time since Week 2. In all four wins, the Chiefs have cashed each time, including three times in the favorite role, while laying their second-highest total of the season after giving up 10 points to the Bears in a Week 5 loss. Kansas City has beaten Buffalo each of the past two seasons on the road, but has lost three of the past four meetings with the Bills since 2008.
Dolphins at Jets (-3 ½, 42 ½) – 1:00 PM EST
The Dan Campbell era started with consecutive blowouts of the Titans and Texans to even Miami’s mark at 3-3. Since that mini-winning streak, the Dolphins (4-6 SU, 4-6 ATS) have lost three of their past four games to fall below the .500 mark, capped off by a 24-14 setback to the Cowboys last week. Miami’s offense hasn’t helped the cause during this cold stretch, scoring 17 points or less in each of the past three losses, while getting outgained by nearly 200 yards in a Week 4 defeat in London to the Jets, 27-14.
New York (5-5 SU, 4-5-1 ATS) cashed plenty of tickets through the first five weeks, posting a 4-1 ATS record. However, Todd Bowles’ team has failed to cover in each of the past four games, while winning only one time in the past five contests, a 28-23 home victory over the Jaguars in Week 9. The Jets will be without cornerback Darrelle Revis on Sunday due to a concussion, which won’t help a defense that has allowed 22 points or more in each of the past five games (4-1 to the ‘over’).
Steelers at Seahawks (-3 ½, 46) – 4:25 PM EST
It’s unfair to say Pittsburgh (6-4 SU, 6-3-1 ATS) is running away with a Wild Card spot in the AFC, but the Steelers are in control of the first Wild Card position. Mike Tomlin’s club looks for its first three-game winning streak of the season following consecutive victories over the Raiders and Browns at home. Pittsburgh is fresh off the bye week, giving Ben Roethlisbergeran extra week of rest after he relieved Landry Jones in the 30-9 blowout of Cleveland, throwing for 379 yards and three touchdowns. The Steelers have covered in three of four opportunities as a road underdog, including an outright win at San Diego in their only trip to the West Coast.
When will the two-time defending NFC champions break through? The Seahawks (5-5 SU, 3-6-1 ATS) have underachieved this season, but are in the mix for a playoff spot with six weeks left after winning three of their past four games. Seattle whipped San Francisco for the second time this season in a 29-13 rout as 14-point favorites last Sunday, but will be without running back Marshawn Lynch, who underwent sports hernia surgery. Since last season, the Seahawks have lost four of six games to AFC opponents, including a 27-24 overtime loss at Cincinnati in Week 5.