Pick 1: Denver vs. Oakland and Houston vs. Jacksonville

Pick 1: Denver vs. Oakland and Houston vs. Jacksonville

The Teaser: Pair Denver and Houston

Game 1: Denver vs. Oakland

The Initial Line:

Denver -14 home vs. Oakland

The Take:

Add 7.5 points to Denver line

The Final Line:

Denver -6.5

The Breakdown:

Denver was handed its 4th road loss of the season on Monday Night Football, falling to Cincinnati 37-28. Cincinnati clinched a playoff berth largely due to one of Peyton Manning’s worst games of the year, as he threw for 311 yds, 2 TDs, and 4 INTs (1 returned for a TD). CJ Anderson was able to contribute 83 yds on the ground with a TD, and Aqib Talib returned an early INT for a TD. Oakland was able to get a win in their final home game of the season, knocking off Buffalo 26-24. The 2 INTs by the Oakland D made the difference, as both teams had under 350 yds of total offense. Derek Carr had another solid game, as he has now averaged 2 TD passes the last 3 games.

Denver is currently seated in the #2 position in the AFC playoff picture, while Oakland has been out of the mix for a while. If Denver can secure a victory this weekend, they will secure the #2 seed and lock down a first-round bye which is crucial time for some hobbled players to get some rest. Denver is 7-0 at home this year, with an average win margin of 12 PPG. They also haven’t lost back-to-back games since Manning’s 3rd game in a Denver uniform (9/23/12). Expect a big bounce-back game from a potent Denver offense, as they will lock up the #2 seed this weekend.

Game 2: Houston vs. Jacksonville

The Initial Line:

Houston -10 home vs. Jacksonville

The Take:

Add 7.5 points to Houston’s line

The Final Line:

Houston -2.5

The Breakdown:

Houston had a big upset win at home vs Baltimore, with a final of 25-13. Their defense has come up huge all season, and it was no different here as they forced 3 INTs against Joe Flacco. Case Keenum did as good as they could have hoped after not starting a game since last season, as he went 20-42 for 185 yds and an INT. Randy Bullock knocked in 6 FGs in the game, and Arian Foster had another great game with 96 rush yds and a 5 yd passing TD. Jacksonville got the home victory on Thursday Night Football, as they defeated the miserable Tennessee team 21-13. The running game got going for Jacksonville, as they had rushing TDs from Jordan Todman and Toby Gerhart.

Houston is still a long shot from the #6 seed in the AFC playoffs, but their only fleeting hope starts with a home victory this Sunday. They are playing a Jacksonville squad with one of the worst records in football at 3-12 (all victories at home) and who ranks 26th with a -8 turnover differential. Houston meanwhile ranks 2nd with a +14 differential, and has the most total defensive turnovers with 34 on the season. Their running game should also find success, as Arian Foster ranks 4th with 1,223 rush yds and the Jacksonville D ranks 27th in rush yds allowed. Houston needs a win here to have any shot at the playoffs, and should do so against a weak Jacksonville squad.

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