<u>THE 10 BEST GAMES TO BET</u>
GIANTS at VIKINGS
Saturday, 1 p.m., Vikings by 3 ½, 48
HANK’S HONEYS: Many kudos to Brian Daboll and Wink Martindale but each of the Giants’ impressive victories have been won the same way and this isn’t it. The Giants have yet to prove they can win a shootout. They have faced three explosive offenses (Eagles, Lions, Cowboys) and lost them all. In all likelihood, they are not going to be able to grind it out against this offense on this indoor carpet, especially with no one to match up with Justin Jefferson. Yes, the Vikings’ defense has been rather putrid but again, the Giants’ offense, with a subpar receiving corps, isn’t built to take full advantage of it. Love the over as well.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Vikings and the over.
LIONS at PANTHERS
Saturday, 1 p.m., Lions by 2 ½, 44 ½
HANK’S HONEYS: The Lions, SU winners of six out of seven, are just better … by a mile. Carolina can’t possibly trade points with Detroit’s offense. While the Panthers match up well against the Lions’ run defense, the Lions have been drawing the opposition into their type of fast-paced game. Jared Goff, who has thrown 219 straight passes without an interception, will be able to pick on CB Keith Taylor Jr., who was overmatched against Mitch Trubisky and the Steelers receivers last week. Good luck with Detroit’s big play trio of Amon-Ra St. Brown, D.J. Chark and Josh Reynolds.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Lions and the over.
BILLS at BEARS
Saturday, 1 p.m., Bills by 8 ½, 40 ½
HANK’S HONEYS: The Bills have been a bad bet all year, consistently overvalued, spotting big numbers they never cover. Now they’re in the middle of a Dolphins-Bengals sandwich against an overlookable foe. It also looks like a possible snow game in frigid conditions and while that won’t bother Buffalo, it would keep the score down and turn it into a run-first game, where Justin Fields can certainly keep up with Josh Allen. Chicago was also a nine-point underdog last week against the Eagles and they weren’t totally out-matched. If there’s one trend this year, it’s that blowouts just don’t seem to be happening anywhere in the league.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Bears and the under.
TEXANS at TITANS
Saturday, 1 p.m., Titans by 5 ½, 35 ½
HANK’S HONEYS: The Titans are extremely banged up and that’s not good for a team that relies on physical football. QB Ryan Tannehill is done for the season along with OL Dillon Radunz, leaving rookie Malik Willis’ blind side protected by the unsteady Dennis Daley. Mike Vrabel is going to have to play even more conservatively to eek out a win but Derrick Henry isn’t seeing many holes lately. The Texans have nothing to lose and are playing that way. They are trying to win games and change the culture. Spoiling their rivals’ playoff chances would be a big step toward that.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Texans and the under.
BENGALS at PATRIOTS
Saturday, 1 p.m., Bengals by 3 ½, 41
HANK’S HONEYS: It could not have been a pleasant week of practice for the Patriots after literally throwing that game away in the most un-Belichickian way imaginable. Now it’s on to Cincinnati again for the HC of the NEP and there’s no doubt they will come out razor sharp. The Patriots can get after the QB and Joe Burrow’s protection isn’t always good. While there’s much to like about the red-hot Bengals, including a 7-2 ATS record when favored by 3 ½ points or more, this is their fourth road game in six weeks and it will be played in the elements with a showdown with the Bills on tap the following week.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Patriots and the over.
SEAHAWKS at CHIEFS
Saturday, 1 p.m., Chiefs by 9 ½, 49
HANK’S HONEYS: Here’s a stat for you. Favorites of seven or more points are 14-36-2 ATS on the year. The Chiefs are always overvalued but they don’t always bring their best in non-big game situations. The Seahawks’ defense can be awful but are they any worse than the Texans’ defense the Chiefs played last week? Not expecting fireworks from Patrick Mahomes because Andy Reid will likely try to test Seattle’s run defense. Tyler Lockett is out but the Chiefs face a difficult matchup against D.K. Metcalf. It’s all enough to keep the visitors hanging around.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Seahawks and the over.
COMMANDERS at 49ERS
Saturday, 4:05 p.m., Niners by 7 ½, 38 ½
HANK’S HONEYS: It’s not a good idea to spot more than a full TD against a team currently in the playoffs with the total so low. It’s true the 49ers have the best defense in the league but the Commanders, now desperate, have a pretty stout defense too (fourth best in the league in yards allowed), as well as enough playmakers on offense to keep this close. The 49ers have already clinched the NFC West and have but a slim chance to grab the No. 1 seed so it’s likely that Deebo Samuel sits this one out. Both Brock Purdy and Christian McCaffrey are working through injuries as well while Washington could see the long-awaited return of Chase Young to the pass rush mix. The hook settles it.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Commanders and the under.
EAGLES at COWBOYS
Saturday, 4:25 p.m., Cowboys by 5 ½, 46 ½
HANK’S HONEYS: Are the Eagles that much worse off if Gardner Minshew replaces Jalen Hurts? Minshew has a very good football IQ and has already won games in the NFL surrounded by far less talent than he has on the Eagles. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have been torched for 63 points by the Texans and Jaguars the last two weeks. They have holes in the secondary for A.J. Brown to exploit and must face a physical offensive line that can win the battle up front to spark that running game. Then there’s Dak Prescott’s inevitable interceptions against a good pass rush and the secondary that leads the league in them. This many points to the best team in football? Really?
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Eagles and the over.
PACKERS at DOLPHINS
1 p.m., Dolphins by 4 ½, 49 ½
HANK’S HONEYS: Tua Tagovailoa’s recent struggles began against the 49ers, who jammed his receivers at the line, negated their speed and messed up Tua’s rhythm. It’s a blueprint that has led to three straight defeats. In comes Aaron Rodgers with a reprieve to what once looked like a long season. He’ll be primed to show the kid a thing or two. The Packers’ soft run defense is a concern but the Dolphins’ running game is inconsistent. It’s more likely that Rodgers will coax Miami into a shootout.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Packers and the over.
CHARGERS at COLTS
Monday, 8:15 p.m., Chargers by 3 ½, 46
HANK’S HONEYS: There’s no telling how the Colts are going to react to their historic collapse. But with the season already going south and with Jonathan Taylor, their best player, gone for the year, things are leaning toward “not well.” With Keenan Allen and Mike Williams on the field together, Justin Herbert is playing his best football of the season with an eye on the playoffs. The Colts’ defense, pretty stout all season, has surrendered 93 points over the past two weeks and has been collapsing under its own weight late in games. At this point, Nick Foles isn’t going to kick-start the Indy offense.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Chargers and the over.
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<u>LOOK BUT DON’T TOUCH</u>
RAIDERS at STEELERS
Saturday, 8:15 p.m., Steelers by 2 ½, 39
HANK’S HONEYS: It’s just a game to avoid. Franco Harris’ passing is going to take so much away from the celebration of the Immaculate Reception, which probably would have given the Steelers a boost. Now there’s so much unknown. Both teams have been unpredictable and untrustworthy. Then throw the weather on top of it and you don’t know how the ball is going to bounce. The under is probably the way to go. If we must, we’ll count on Mike Tomlin’s ability to pull things together while fading the dome team and counting on the Raiders to throw away any momentum they gained from last week’s crazy win. Far from immaculate.
CAN’T HELP YOURSELF? Steelers and the under.
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<u>BEST OF THE REST</u>
FALCONS at RAVENS
Saturday, 1 p.m., Ravens by 7 ½, 35 ½
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Falcons and the under.
SAINTS at BROWNS
Saturday, 1 p.m., Browns by 2 ½, 32 ½
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Browns and the over.
BRONCOS at RAMS
4:05 p.m., Broncos by 1 ½, 36 ½
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Broncos and the under.
BUCS at CARDINALS
8:20 p.m., Bucs by 6, 40 ½
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Bucs and the over.
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WEEK’S BEST BET: Chargers. Bolts beat Colts.
LAST WEEK: 5-10-1 ATS, 9-7 OVER/UNDER
OVERALL: 101-118-5 ATS, 117-105-2 OVER/UNDER
BEST BETS: 9-6
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