The margin for error is basically down to zero for a number of teams with playoff aspirations heading into the first Sunday in December. This is the time of the season when a win or loss can make all the difference in the world when it comes to the actual playoff picture in each conference.
Closing out the month of November with a Thursday night road trip to Dallas, the 10-1 New Orleans Saints are dialed in on earning the top seed in the NFC as 7.5-point road favorites for this key conference matchup. The Saints have won their last 10 games straight-up and they are about as hot as you can get with nine covers against the spread in a row. Game time on NFL Network from AT&T Stadium is set for 8:20 p.m. and Intertops online sportsbook has set the total line for this game at 52.5 points.
New Orleans has won its last five contests by a double-digit spread and it has won nine of its last 11 games against Dallas SU. The Saints also have a 9-3 edge ATS in the last 12 games.
Sunday’s 1 p.m. games on FOX feature an NFC South clash between the 6-5 Carolina Panthers and the 4-7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. With the Saints running away with this division, Carolina needs to snap a three-game losing streak (SU and ATS) to stay in the hunt for a wild-card playoff spot.
The Panthers have been opened as 3.5-point road favorites against their division rivals with the total set at 56 points. Carolina is 4-1 SU in its last five road games against the Buccaneers with a perfect 5-0 record ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in four of the last six meetings in Tampa Bay.
The top matchup on FOX in the four late afternoon games is an inter-conference tilt between the 6-4-1 Minnesota Viking and the 8-3 New England Patriots. New England opened as a five-point home favorite and the total has been set at 48.5 points.
The Vikings are a game and a half behind 8-3 Chicago in the NFC North while the Patriots hold a comfortable three-game lead in the AFC East. Minnesota has a 2-3-1 record ATS in its last six road games and the total has gone OVER in five of those six contests. New England is a perfect 5-0 SU at home this season with a 4-1 record ATS.
Sunday night’s AFC showdown on NBC between the 8-3 Los Angeles Chargers and the 7-3-1 Pittsburgh Steelers features a pair of veteran quarterbacks playing at a very high level. Philip Rivers has the Chargers just one game off the pace in the AFC West and Ben Roethlisberger has guided the Steelers to a game and a half lead in the AFC North title race.
Pittsburgh is favored by 3.5 points at home and the total for this 8:20 p.m. kickoff from Heinz Field has been set at 51.5 points. The Steelers are 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games against the Chargers.
Two teams fighting for their postseason lives highlight Monday Night Football with a crucial NFC East battle between the 6-5 Washington Redskins and the 5-6 Philadelphia Eagles in at 8:15 p.m. start on ESPN from Lincoln Financial Field.
The Redskins will look to snap a two-game skid as 6.5-point road underdogs and the total has been set at 44 points. This will be the first meeting this season with Washington holding a 5-2 SU edge in the last seven meetings. It has been able to cover in eight of its last 11 road games against the Eagles. The total has gone OVER in five of the last six meetings in Philadelphia.