NFL Weekend Preview

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As this NFL regular season comes to a climax it’s still got a little bit of everything; a team chasing perfection, a battle for home-field advantage, some still-to-be-settled divisional races, and an eight-team free-for-all for two Wild Card spots on the AFC side of the bracket.

Here’s a quick look at some of this weekend’s NFL action, and the lines that go with it.

The NFL doesn’t always schedule games for Christmas Day, but this year they offer up a good tiding in the form of an AFC showdown when the streaking San Diego Chargers visit the surging Tennessee Titans on Friday night (7:30 pm Eastern, NFL Network). San Diego has won nine games in a row and can clinch the remaining AFC first-round playoff bye with one more win. Tennessee, meanwhile, has reached 7-7 after an 0-6 start, and is looking to make the playoffs as a Cinderella story.

As of Tuesday night is listing the Titans as three-point favorites over the Bolts, with a total of 47.5.

The action moves to Sunday when the top-seeded team in the NFC, the 13-1 New Orleans Saints, look to lock up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs when they host the 2-12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1 pm Eastern, Fox). New Orleans is listed at -14 over Tampa, with a total of 50.

In the NFC East, the 10-4 and first-place Philadelphia Eagles host the owners of the six seed in the AFC, the 8-6 Denver Broncos (4:15 E, CBS); the second-place 9-5 Dallas Cowboys visit the 4-10 Washington Redskins (8:20 E, NBC); and the 8-6 and third-place New York Giants host the 6-8 Carolina Panthers (1 E, Fox). is listing Philly at -7 over Denver, with an OVER/UNDER of 41.5; Dallas is -7 over woeful Washington, with a total of 42; and the G-Men are -7 over the Panthers, with an O/U of 42.5.

And the 9-5 Green Bay Packers, who own the five seed in the NFC at the moment, can solidify their playoff possibilities when they host the 5-9 Seattle Seahawks (1 E, Fox). is chalking Green Bay at -14 over Seattle, with a total of 42.

The AFC playoff situation is a big mess, so let’s just say this; Indianapolis and San Diego have clinched their divisions, Cincinnati and New England lead theirs, and eight teams either at 8-6 or 7-7 are battling for the two AFC Wild Card spots.

In Foxboro Sunday, the 9-5 Patriots are 7.5-point home favorites at over the 7-7 Jacksonville Jaguars (1 E, CBS); the 7-7 Houston Texans are +3 at the 7-7 Miami Dolphins (1 E, CBS); the 7-7 Pittsburgh Steelers are two-point home chalk over the 7-7 Baltimore Ravens in a rematch of last season’s AFC championship game (1 E, CBS); and the 7-7 New York Jets are getting six points at the amazing 14-0 Colts (4:15, CBS).

And Monday night in Chicago the 11-3 Minnesota Vikings, in search of a first-round playoff bye, are listed as 7-point road favorites over the 5-9 Bears at Soldier Field (8:30 E, ESPN).

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