Finishing above .500 would be perfect gift

TREVOR BUNKE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

All I want for Christmas is back-to-back 12-4 weeks. That would allow me to finish the season two games over .500 -- or better than nearly every team that will make the playoffs in the NFC.

Green Bay (+3) at Minnesota: While neither team is worthy of your trust, the winner clinches the NFC North. The Vikings are the more desperate of the teams, as next week they go to Washington -- an outdoor game. Minnesota hasn't won outside in December since 1998. It's now or never. VIKINGS

Oakland (+8) at Kansas City: The Chiefs might have done some damage if they had made the playoffs. They'll have to settle for clobbering the Raiders. CHIEFS

Denver (-4) at Tennessee: I have little to no faith in Broncos, thanks mostly to erratic QB Jake Plummer. At least the Titans' combo of QB Billy Volek and WR Drew Bennett is fun to watch. TITANS

Baltimore (+5) at Pittsburgh: The Ravens are the only team to have beaten the Steelers this season. While Pittsburgh will likely gets its revenge, Baltimore is fighting for its playoff life and will claw to the bitter end. RAVENS

Chicago (+6) at Detroit: The best thing about this game? The loser is officially eliminated from the NFC playoff race. LIONS

NY Giants (+6.5) at Cincinnati: Giants QB Eli Manning finally had a decent game last week. But can he do it on the road? Against the deflated Bengals, who saw their playoffs hopes go out the window last week, it could be close. GIANTS

San Diego (+7) at Indianapolis: The Chargers' eight-game winning streak is about to come to a crashing end, but I'm not about to bet against QB Drew Brees and RB LaDainian Tomlinson just yet. CHARGERS

Houston (+7) at Jacksonville: If the Jaguars keep winning, the final AFC playoff spot is theirs. And they'll turn it up a notch against the Texans. JAGUARS

Carolina (+3) at Tampa Bay: Despite a 6-8 record, the Panthers still hold the last NFC playoff spot. The Buccaneers couldn't win at home last week vs. the Saints. Enough said. PANTHERS

Atlanta (+4) at New Orleans: The Falcons are the underdog because starting QB Michael Vick will probably sit this one out to mend a shoulder injury. But trusting the Saints to win by more than four points? Not me. FALCONS

New England (-2) at NY Jets: It's been a long, long time since the Patriots lost two straight games and the Jets have fared poorly against teams over .500 (2-4). As a bonus, the Pats get CB Ty Law back this week. PATRIOTS

Buffalo (-11) at San Francisco: The Bills know they may well miss the playoffs, but before the numbers say they are officially eliminated, they'll put up some big ones against the miserable 49ers. BILLS

Washington (-2) at Dallas: This old rivalry brings out the best (whatever that is with these teams this year) in the Redskins and Cowboys. Dallas getting two points vs. its most fierce foe is too good to pass on. COWBOYS

Arizona (+7) at Seattle: Since their 3-0 start, the Seahawks have only won by more than seven points once, and that was against the 49ers. The impossible dream might end for the Cardinals, but not without a fight. CARDINALS

Cleveland (+7.5) at Miami: The Browns have lost eight in a row. And most of them have been double-digit losses. DOLPHINS

Philadelphia (+3) at St. Louis: Don't let the fact that the Eagles have clinched home-field advantage in NFC playoffs fool you. If the Rams -- who are a terrible 2-6 in their past eight games -- win the NFC West, there is a good chance they'd face Philly if they made it to the second round of the playoffs. The Eagles don't want to boost the confidence of any opponent they may face down the line. Getting the field goal is a nice bonus. EAGLES

Last Week: 7-8-1.

Season: 102-116-6.

Best Bet: Kansas City.

Best Bets: 9-6 after the 6.5-point favourite NY Jets beat Seattle 34-17.

Suicide Pick: Buffalo.

Suicide Picks: 12-3 after Philadelphia beat Dallas 12-7.


Videos

Photos