From the best NFL games to bet, to the ones you should steer clear of, check out our guide to get you through the week a winner.
JETS at BUCS
1 p.m., Ch. 2, Jets by 2½, 43
HANK’S HONEYS: Bucs have been playing losing football and are headed for another certain year out of the playoffs. Jets get the chance to face old teammate Ryan Fitzpatrick but he’s hardly been the QB who played decently in his time here, INT-prone in his two relief appearances. Plus, he’ll be without the Bucs’ top weapon in the suspended WR Mike Evans and the running game has been non-existent. Josh McCown, too, is playing against a former team but as steady as he’s been, the key to the Jets has been their running game and that has been a perfect approach against the Bucs this year. Only question is whether they can win the turnover battle. Look for the scrappy Jets to get back to .500 and Dirk Koetter another step closer to the firing squad.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Jets and the under.
GIANTS at 49ERS
4:25 p.m., Ch. 5, Giants by 2½, 42½
HANK’S HONEYS: The Giants, or the team that used to be the Giants, have the personnel to keep the Niners winless. Kyle Shanahan is pass-happy and they have the pass rush to harass C.J. Beathard, who keeps chucking it while getting sacked 14 times in last three games, or Jimmy Garoppolo, on the off-chance that he makes his 49er debut. In Orleans Darkwa, Giants have an emerging back who can pick off where Adrian Peterson left off. But, with confirmation that Ben McAdoo has “lost the team,” it’s impossible to put any hard-earned cash on them. At least the Niners are still putting in the effort. They’re trying to become a good team while the Giants are determined to remain a bad one.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: 49ers and the over.
BROWNS at LIONS
1 p.m., Lions by 11½, 43½
HANK’S HONEYS: Lions have favorable schedule as they chase a playoff spot and it begins here with potential for a blowout as the Browns reach the tipping point. It can’t be easy being a Brown with all this losing going on for so long. Now the coaching staff and front office are a mess. Matt Stafford should keep it going against this defense, which has allowed the second-highest passer rating in the league, especially since he’s established great chemistry with breakout WR Marvin Jones. Browns don’t have the offense to keep pace and the road (3-12-1 in last 16 ATS), especially on turf, hasn’t been good to them. Makes sense to keep piling on against the Brownies the rest of the year.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Lions and the over.
BENGALS at TITANS
1 p.m. Titans by 5, 40½
HANK’S HONEYS: Titans are 5-3 with a three-game winning streak but something about this team doesn’t inspire confidence. Maybe it’s because of their minus-12 point differential on the year. They should beat the bumbling Bengals, dead last in total offense and rushing offense but are they really five points better? One bright spot for Bengals has been their pass defense and they should be able to achieve a standoff against Marcus Mariota, who has thrown just six TDs against five INTs. Bengals have a veteran group that knows this could be their last chance to salvage the season. Thinking they can keep this to a FG game.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Bengals and the over.
STEELERS at COLTS
1 p.m., Steelers by 10, 44½
HANK’S HONEYS: Looking for a repeat of last Thanksgiving night when the Steelers lit up the Colts. Indy D is allowing a league-worst 28.9 ppg and allowing multiple big plays down field so up and down the Steeler offense should flourish with Ben Roethlisberger resuming his role as a Colt-killer, especially with Martavis Bryant back on field. Colt wins have come over the winless Browns and Niners and the Deshaun Watson-less Texans. They have lost all five games against teams with winning records by an average of 21.2 points, while Steelers have won three straight road games by an average of 9.3 points. One note of caution: Steelers are 1-5 in last six coming off bye.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Steelers and the over.
TEXANS at RAMS
4:05 p.m., Rams by 12, 46½
HANK’S HONEYS: No reason Rams can’t keep it going against a Texans team that has been dead in the water since the Deshaun Watson injury. At least Watson was able to compensate for the Texans’ dreadful defense. But the dropoff to Tom Savage is cavernous. He’s just plain bad and there’s no way he’ll keep pace with Jared Goff. We know the Rams are going to score plenty. They even have the guy to slow down Jadeveon Clowney in Andrew Whitworth and with time to throw, Goff is going to continue to complete the deep ball against these vulnerable corners. Rams have flourished three away from Coliseum for three straight weeks, outscoring teams, 111-34. Now it’s time for some home cooking.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Rams and the over.
VIKINGS at WASH
1 p.m. Vikings by 1½, 42½
HANK’S HONEYS: That was how a team responds with a season on the line last week in Seattle with Kirk Cousins showing some real guts and in spite of being one of the NFL’s most predictable teams, we like Washington to keep the good vibes going against a good defense just as good as the Seahawks’. Washington has been getting great play from its corners on the opposition’s top receivers so Case Keenum will have to look elsewhere. Washington could get three starters back on its offensive line, which should bolster the running attack in what looks like a defensive game. Washington is 1-5 ATS in last six home games while Minny is 1-7 in last eight road games.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Washington and the under.
PATS at BRONCOS
8:30 p.m., Patriots by 9, 46½
HANK’S HONEYS: Since 2003 the Patriots are 20-4 SU after a bye. They visit a Denver team that has lost four straight with serious issues at QB. Even with a shaky defense and some grumbling about some QB/Coach friction, the GOATs won’t allow Brock Osweiler to show them up on Sunday night football. This game has blowout written all over it. You might say it’s a prime-time game at home but we all know what happened the last time they had one of those against the otherwise winless Giants. It’s the second half of the season when the Patriots always get going and they’ll have time to address their issues. Besides, their defense was playing better in the last few games.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Patriots and the under.
SAINTS at BILLS
1 p.m., Ch. 5, Saints by 3, 46½
HANK’S HONEYS: We’re figuring the Bills’ stinker against the Jets was an anomaly and with the extra rest and home field, they’ll bounce back with pride and stop Drew Brees and the Saints’ six-game win streak. It won’t be easy. Saints’ offense has been extremely efficient and D has improved over year. But Tyrod Taylor has been improving with each week and he’ll get to unwrap new toy WR Kelvin Benjamin this week. Then there is the matter of the Saints, who have won three games on the road, playing in uncomfortable Orchard Park. The temperature at gametime is supposed to be 43 degrees with rain. That’s not too chilly but the Saints’ magic thermometer reading is 45 degrees. So, chilly enough to take the home dog.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Bills and the under.
COWBOYS at FALCONS
4:25 p.m., Falcons by 3, 50½
HANK’S HONEYS: Ezekiel Elliott ran out of reprieves but surely the Cowboys have been preparing for this eventuality every week. It can’t have taken them by surprise. The Cowboys still have Dak Prescott playing his best football and an offensive line that can still open holes. Since David Irving returned from his suspension, the Dallas pass rush has been third-best in the league. We’re also tired of waiting for the Falcons to start looking like last year’s NFC champs. Matt Ryan has been off all year and Julio Jones is nursing an ankle injury. Even a return home after three straight road games doesn’t inspire confidence. Cowboys have won their last three road games by a combined 55 points. Falcons have already lost at home to the Bills and Dolphins.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Cowboys and the over.
BEST OF THE REST
PACKERS at BEARS
1 p.m. Bears by 5½, 38½
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Packers and the under.
DOLPHINS at PANTHERS
Monday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN, Panthers by 9, 40
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Dolphins and the under
LOOK DON’T TOUCH
CHARGERS at JAGS
1 p.m., Jaguars by 3½, 41½
HANK’S HONEYS: Strength of the Chargers is their passing game and against a Jacksonville team with its fierce pass rush and great cover DBs, that could spell trouble for Philip Rivers, who has historically picked apart the Jags. Chargers, though, are coming off bye and Melvin Gordon can be productive as both a ball carrier and outlet receiver. Plus, L.A. has the edge rushers to force Blake Bortles into mistakes if returning Leonard Fournette and the running game gets bottled up. That hasn’t happened lately. Bortles has been taking better care of the football. Chargers are 1-1 ATS in East Coast trips to play Giants and Pats and have played better on road than at home.
CAN’T HELP YOURSELF?: Chargers and the over.
WEEK’S BEST BET
Lions: Brown-out conditions with Stafford on fire.
LAST WEEK: 7-5-1
BEST BETS: 2-6-1
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