The stage is set, and the four college football playoff teams are known: Georgia, Michigan, TCU, and Ohio State. These semi-final games look amazing and will offer a fun way to ring in the New Year on December 31st. We preview these games and look forward to bowl season including the Granddaddy of them all: The Rose Bowl with Penn State taking on the Utes of Utah. College football does take a backseat for a few weeks, however, as the NFL gears up for its final stretch of games. We pick some great divisional games this week and discuss who are the bubble teams that might be in or might be left out. And it may be December, but the Phillies are making moves! While most of the chatter this week is still about football, we dabble a bit with baseball’s offseason and look forward to Spring. Now onto the column and our picks of the week!

Jets at Bills, Sunday @ 1:00PM, Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY, Bills -9.5, O/U 44

The Jets let one get away last week against Minnesota, but they held their own and just look like a much better team this season. They have a winning record and are competing in one heck of an AFC East this year. Unfortunately, they now must head to Buffalo to take on this year’s pre-season media darlings. Listen, the Bills are the better team. But the Jets already beat them once this season. I haven’t been all that impressed with the Bills thus far. Are they good? Yes. Are they great? I’m not so sure. The Jets are trying Mike White at QB and are hoping for some magic to get them over the finish line and into the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Bills are on a three-game win streak and hope to continue that and take control of this tough division. I think Josh Allen and the Bills get it done at home, but does 9.5 seem like a big number to anybody else? Maybe? I think it’s a close one here. I’ll take the Jets to make this one a nail biter in Orchard Park. Jets +9.5.

Eagles at Giants, Sunday @ 1:00PM, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, Eagles -7, O/U 45.5

I love what Brian Daboll has done with the Giants and changing their culture. They just look more sound and competitive. That being said, I don’t think they are perfect, and I don’t think they are ready for the Eagles. Saquon has over 1,000 yards and continues to be dominant, but the Eagles don’t give up many rushing yards and I think they can contain him in spots during this one. I also don’t think the Giants defense will be able to stop the Eagles attack either. The Eagles are touchdown favorites here and I think that seems about right. I could see a 24-14 type of game here. I’ll lay the points with the Eagles even though they have to travel. Eagles -7.

Ravens at Steelers, Sunday @ 1:00PM, Acrisure Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA, Steelers -3, O/U 37

Talk about another great divisional matchup this weekend, huh? With Lamar Jackson being injured and the Ravens playing in Pittsburgh, I’ll take the Steelers here. The Ravens could barely escape from a lowly Broncos team last Sunday at home. How in the world can they limp into Pittsburgh and come up with a win? I know the Steelers aren’t great, but they are fighting and have a shot to make a run in the next few weeks. That’s what Mike Tomlin does: he finds ways to fit square pegs in round holes. I’ll take him at home against his rival here. Steelers -3.

Navy @ Army, Saturday @ 3:00pm, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA, PICK, O/U 33

The annual tradition of the Army/Navy game is like no other. However, both teams stink this year. That doesn’t matter to them as these rivals square off at the Linc and hope to take home victory and bragging rights. It’s also a PICK and that means while they both stink, there is no clear advantage here. I think Army is slightly tougher up front and likely more physical. I love Jeff Monken and while he didn’t have a great season this year, he is always finding ways to win and has been a tough out for Power 5 teams in the past. Give me Army to win here. Go Army! Beat Navy!

Panthers @ Seahawks, Sunday @ 4:25pm, Lumen Field, Seattle, WA, Seahawks -3.5, O/U 43.5

The Seahawks can take control of the NFC West with Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury. What better way to do that than at home against an awful team from the other side of the country? Pete Carroll’s team has over performed this season and has a chance to really impress by finishing strong down the stretch. The Seahawks offense should be able to dominate this one. Geno Smith has over 3,000 yards on the season with only 6 interceptions. I like him and I like what Seattle has going. Sorry Carolina, but the 12th man will end you. Dead on arrival. Actually, probably long past dead on the season. Give me Seattle, at home, to roll. Seahawks -3.5.

Here’s a summary of my picks for the week.

Games of the Week

Jets +9.5

Eagles -7

Steelers -3

Under the Radar Game

Army PK

Brett’s Best Bets

Seahawks -3.5

You simply cannot go wrong with all the divisional games in the NFL this weekend. Enjoy tracking these games. Tomaso and I are within a game of each other on the season and I want to roll to avoid that pie in the face. I think these picks are the ticket. Have a great weekend everybody. Enjoy the holiday season, it’s such a great time of year.

-Brett Thackara

It has been a season to remember in college football! I am sad to see it end, but we still have plenty to look forward with bowl games and playoff games. The NFL is heating up with playoff seeding becoming more and more clear with divisional matchups. Without further rambling let’s talk ball!

Jets at Bills, Sunday @ 1:00PM, Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY, Bills -9.5, O/U 44

The Jets have grown leaps and bounds this year, but they let me down last week when they had a chance to pull the upset against the Vikings. The Bills are on top of the division and are hot coming into this matchup. As I just stated in my introduction, this weekend plays a lot into seeding and future games in the playoffs. If the Jets and their now better offense under Mike White won last weekend, I would give them more of a chance in this one. Instead I think the Bills make a statement at home in a likely damp wintry mix weather environment. Bills -9.5.

Eagles at Giants, Sunday @ 1:00PM, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ, Eagles -7, O/U 45.5

I made the mistake last week of favoring the run game and tough run defense of Tennessee against the Eagles. I though that type of play would slow the Eagles down. Instead, the Eagles once again proved they are for real easily dispatching the Titans. The Giants are on a losing streak, plus I am not sure they can keep with the Eagles offense if it has a repeat performance from last week. I see the Eagles continuing to make a statement against everyone in the league with their offensive mojo now back in full gear: Eagles -7.

Ravens at Steelers, Sunday @ 1:00PM, Acrisure Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA, Steelers -3, O/U 37

Could the Steelers be playing their best football at the right time to be making an improbable playoff push? Perhaps that is going too far, but either way they are making things more interesting in the AFC north. The Ravens may also be facing a challenge of not having Lamar Jackson in a game where offense may be slowed by a cold rain or wet snow. Mike Tomlin seems to extract the best out of the talent he is handed. If Jackson stays on the sideline as has been reported this week, I like the home team Steelers -3.

Navy @ Army, Saturday @ 3:00pm, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA, PICK, O/U 33

The is a great traditional game, but I wish I could get more excited about this matchup. Neither team has had a consistent season, however Navy has played better as of late. Either way this is a straight coin flip and I do not expect much offense. I’ll take Army, but I do not feel good about.

Buccaneers at 49ers, Sunday @ 4:25PM, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA, 49ers -3.5, O/U 37

The 49ers for the near future will be led by rookie quarterback Brock Purdy, and he had a nice showing last week stepping in for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers should be able to lean on their strength- their defense against a Bucs team that struggles to score. Tom Brady and company were lucky to win at home against the lowly New Orleans Saints. I think they lose a close game this week as they travel to the west coast: 49ers -3.5.

Games of the Week

Bills -9.5

Eagles -7

Steelers -3

Under the Radar Game

Army PK

Doppler Dandies

49ers -3.5

-Dan Tomaso

**All odds from Caesars Sportsbook as 12/6/22**