Maybe home-field advantage in the NFL isn't the incredible force it once was, but it still matters.
There are only two teams in the NFL whose road record is a full game or more better than its home record. Jacksonville is 3-4 on the road and 1-5 at home, and Philadelphia is 3-4 at home and 5-1 on the road. Everyone else is either better or roughly the same at home. That's not too surprising.
That's also why this weekend could be very interesting.
There are nine home underdogs in the remaining 15 games this week, and the Browns at home are a pick 'em against Chicago. We know that just about every team in the NFL plays better at home, so it could get a little wild on Sunday.
We've already seen perhaps the biggest upset in the NFL this season on Thursday night, when the Chargers won as double-digit underdogs at Denver. Are we in for one of those NFL weeks? We'll see how crazy the playoff picture looks by Tuesday morning.
Here are this week's picks:
Denver (-10.5) over San Diego (picked yesterday): Shocker. And get ready for a full week of "the sky is falling in Denver!"
Washington (+7) over Atlanta: I know the Redskins are a mess. The Falcons stink too.
Cleveland (pick 'em) over Chicago: I don't like the Bears' defense, and I think the quarterback change away from red-hot Josh McCown is suspect too.
Houston (+5.5) over Indianapolis: Tough to pick the Colts as a significant favorite over anyone right now.
Philadelphia (-4.5) over Minnesota: No Adrian Peterson, and the Eagles have been better off on the road anyway.
N.Y. Giants (+7) over Seattle: Reluctant pick, because the Giants are not even as good as their 5-8 record. But the Seahawks aren't as dominant on the road.
Tampa Bay (+5.5) over San Francisco: The Bucs have been playing better, and this has the feel of a very low-scoring game.
Jacksonville (+2) over Buffalo: I don't understand why the Bills (1-4 in their last five games) are favored on the road against the Jaguars (4-1 in their last five games).
Kansas City (-4.5) over Oakland: The Chiefs beat bad teams.
Carolina (-11) over N.Y. Jets: The Panthers beat sub-par teams too, and usually beat them by a wide margin.
Dallas (OFF) over Green Bay: The Packers are incompetent with Matt Flynn at quarterback, and it's hard to believe Aaron Rodgers plays.
Tennessee (+2.5) over Arizona: Home dog alert.
St. Louis (+6) over New Orleans: This game will be tough for New Orleans.
Cincinnati (-2.5) over Pittsburgh: If Miami can come in and win at Pittsburgh with the Steelers' playoff lives on the line, the Bengals can come in and win now that the Steelers are all but eliminated.
Baltimore (+6) over Detroit: Do you trust the Lions laying all those points? I could see them losing this game, even though it's at home.
Last week: 9-7
Season to date: 86-118-6
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