Bigger than Texas
The penultimate round is ideal for NFL fans with a plethora of games on Christmas Eve most impacting playoff bound and those in the hunt for them.
Two matches that will have a say in what happens in the post season are perhaps not the most high profile match ups but they are as important.
Houston Texans at Philadelphia Eagles – Monday 7am NZ time
The Texans have flown under the radar this season. After a 0-3 start most would have given up on their fortunes however now with a 10-4 record, they currently hold onto the second seed spot in the AFC. Coach Bill O’Brien has managed to win the close ones however pre season the Texans were ranked as having the easiest of schedule strength game wise. Still this has been quite an achievement is a reasonable competitive AFC South division. Meanwhile the Eagles caused quite an upset last week in beating the Los Angeles Rams at home, who were double digit point favourites going into the game. Surely the Eagles cannot go on another post season run ? The Eagles are 1.5 point home favourites and both teams have huge motivation to win. Nick Foles at the helm of the Eagles seems to work and are valid favourites here. Pick Philadelphia -1.5
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots – Monday 7am NZ time
The Buffalo Bills cannot make the playoffs however the New England Patriots will. Its just a matter of where they finish. Perennial AFC favourites and historically seeded 1 or 2 in most seasons the Patriots will be playing as a wild card team in 2018 unless there is a massive meltdown by a number of teams ahead of them. Currently with a 9-5 record this has been a very average season by this NFL dynasty. Not only hampered by injuries the great Tom Brady is starting to wane as a player – understandable for a 40 year old – and last week in a low scoring match versus the Steelers, in that final drive with the ball, Brady looked more like Jay Cutler. Maybe their time is done – then again maybe write them off at your peril. Home favourites by 13.5 maybe a bit too high. The Patriots will win however divisional games are never easy. Pick Buffalo Bills +13.5
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