NFL Weekend Preview

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Two teams are still undefeated as this NFL regular season approaches the finish line, but only three teams have clinched playoff spots. The rest is a mess, and should make for good spirited play throughout the remaining three weeks.

The Week 15 action begins Thursday night as the Indianapolis Colts go for their 23rd consecutive regular-season victory when they visit a Jacksonville Jaguars team that owns its playoff destiny (8:20 pm Eastern, NFL).

The Colts, though, have already clinched the top AFC playoff seeding, and will likely rest starters over their last three games. The Jags, meanwhile, at 7-6, own the six seed in the AFC at the moment, and can make the playoffs if they win out.

As of Thursday morning Oddsmaker.com is listing Indy at -3 over J-Ville, with a total of 42.5. The Jags are also getting +155 on the Oddsmaker.com moneyline.

The NFL also gives its other undefeated team its own night this week when the New Orleans Saints host the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday (8:20 pm Eastern, NFL). New Orleans has already clinched a first-round playoff bye, but still needs to win to nail down home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Dallas, meanwhile, at 8-5, owns the six seed in the NFC at the moment, but has lost two straight. And they’ve still got to play a rivalry game at Washington, and host Philadelphia.

Oddsmaker.com is offering the Saints at -7 over the Cowboys, with a total of 53. The Pokes are also getting +250 on the moneyline.

In the only other game this weekend that matches teams with winning records, the streaking San Diego Chargers, the leaders in the AFC West, host the Cincinnati Bengals, leaders of the AFC North (Sunday, 4pm Eastern, CBS). At the moment, the Chargers are the two seed in the AFC, the Bengals the three seed. So this game could determine who gets the other AFC first-round playoff bye.

The Cincy team and staff will have more on their minds than football Sunday, after the death of injured WR Chris Henry on Thursday morning.

The Bolts are listed at -6.5 over Cincy at Oddsmaker.com, with a total of 43.5.

Elsewhere around the NFL on Sunday, the fading defending Super Bowl champion Steelers are 1-point home favorites over the 9-4 Packers (1pm Eastern, Fox); the 9-4 Eagles are 8.5-point home chalk over the 6-7 49ers (1pm Eastern, Fox); and the 11-2 Vikings are 9-point road faves at 5-8 Carolina (8:20pm Eastern, NBC).

Through the first 10 weeks of this season, the totals had trended slightly toward the OVER. But over the last four weeks, with some colder weather, injuries, and tight games, the totals have gone 21-42. On the season, the totals are 94-110.

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