GAME OF THE WEEK

Patriots (8-4) at Bills (7-4), 8:15 p.m. Monday (ESPN)

Spread: Bills by 2 1/2

Outlook: Bill Belichick’s scorching-hot Pats (six wins in a row) face a Bills team at home and with extra prep time after playing on Thanksgiving. They are the NFL’s two top-ranked defenses, and heck, the two best teams, based on points-differential. Games of the Week have rarely been easier calls. The Pats are 5-0 on the road while Bills are in a 3-3 lull and haven’t won consecutive games since Oct. 10. Plus the Bills are now without injured star CB Tre’Davious White, which is an XXL-big loss. And you’re going to give Belichick points!?

Prediction: Patriots, 27-24

UPSET OF THE WEEK

49ers (6-5) at Seahawks (3-8), 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Spread: 49ers by 3

Outlook: Sometimes I expect teams I’m used to being good (like Seattle) to magically be good again. And Russell Wilson to be who I’m used to. And the Seahawks’ major home-field edge to return. So here we go again as I risk my four-game winning steak of Upset of the Week bull’s-eyes on 3-8 Seattle – on a 9-1 run at home over the Niners and 14-2 streak overall in this division series.

Prediction: Seahawks, 23-20

OTHER GAMES

@Dolphins (5-7, -4) over Giants (4-7), 23-18: Miami has won four straight while the Giants have quietly won three of five games and get top safety Logan Ryan back from the COVID-19 list. Bottom line: Miami wins if we get the defense and the Tua Tagovailoa we have seen during this streak.

Buccaneers (8-3, -11) over @Falcons (5-6), 31-23: The Bucs have won by more than a touchdown only once in their past 13 trips to Atlanta. Matt Ryan should do enough against Tampa’s battered secondary to keep this inside the bet-line.

Cardinals (9-2, -7 1/2) over @Bears (4-7), 27-16: Arizona is 6-0 on the road, all by 10-plus points. Presuming Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins both return from injuries off a bye week, expect more of the same.

@Bengals (7-4, -3) over Chargers (6-5), 30-24: Cincinnati can’t afford a letdown after a big division win over Steelers, and L.A. brings some desperation after four losses in six games. Look for a ton of Joe Mixon against the Chargers league-worst run defense.

Vikings (5-6, -7) over @Lions (0-10-1), 24-21: Both teams are missing their top backs in Dalvin Cook and D’Andre Swift, respectively, but Kirk Cousins has a lot more weapons left than Jared Goff, but the Lions keep it close.

Eagles (5-7, -7) over @Jets (3-8), 26-20: The Eagles have 200-plus rushing yards the past three games; no team has done that in four straight since the 1978 Patriots. And run defense is not the Jets’ forte. Come to think of it the Jets have no forte.

Colts (6-6, -9 1/2) over @Texans (2-9), 30-13: The Colts won the first meeting, 31-3, and should roll again. Jonathan Taylor will hit the fantasy jackpot again and be first running back since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2004 with a TD run in 10 straight games.

Washington (5-6, +2 1/2) over @Raiders (6-5), 25-23: Washington has won three straight, all as betting underdogs. Let’s make it four. It has beaten the Raiders four of the past five, and Washington’ s defense has gone from really bad to quite great in past four games.

@Rams (7-4, -13) over Jaguars (2-9), 38-10: Both teams here have lost three games in a row. The Jags are bad generally and worse (0-4) on the road. The Rams defense has sagged, but the perfect cure for that is the Jags’ 31st-ranked offense.

Ravens (8-3, -4) over @Steelers (5-5-1), 23-20: Ben Roethlisberger is banged-up, fading fast and now facing Baltimore’s NFL-high blitz rate, but a ton of Najee Harris limits Lamar Jackson’s impact. I’m riding Pitt’s 3-0-1 run at home to a cover, at least.

@Chiefs (7-4, -9 1/2) over Broncos (6-5), 28-17: With four wins in a row, Patrick Mahomes is back. Denver has won three of four, but the Chiefs have beaten the Broncos 11 times in a row. Andy Reid is 19-3 after byes, and Mahomes is 7-1.

Bye weeks: Browns (6-6), Packers (9-3), Panthers (5-7), Titans (8-4)

Last week: 10-5 overall, 9-6 vs. spread

Season: 109-70-1, 89-89-2


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