It’s the last week of the NFL season, and most teams postseason fate is predetermined. That’s a nightmare for gamblers.Some teams have nothing to play for, and others will find themselves in a meaningless game as results become final across the country. Worse, if teams lock up a victory they could pull starters and open the door for their opponent to unexpectedly cover.
All those factors skew lines and present problems for gamblers.
With that in mind, we looked to games where both teams’ motivations are clear. Read on for our best bets in the last week of the 2010 season.
The Line: 49ers -5.5 (5Dimes.com)
The Pick: In 2010 teams have responded very well to interim coaches, and we expect the Niners to do the same for Jim Tomsula. He only needs to get the squad up for one game, and that's against a Cardinals team that San Francisco blew out in Arizona earlier this year.
The Line: Giants -3.5 (5Dimes.com)
The Pick: Tom Coughlin's job status has been the hot-button issue all week in New York sports talk, and the consensus is the Giants need a convincing win to save his job -- and keep their slim playoff hopes alive. The Redskins' season has long been over and they don't matchup well with a motivated Giants squad. New York plays better on the road, so take Big Blue.
Over/Under: 41.5 (Sportsbook.com)
The Pick: The Bears don't have anything to play for but Lovie Smith promised they're travelling to Green Bay to win the game. Whether or not his players follow through, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will light up the scoreboard with their playoff hopes on the line. They'll take this game to the over.
The Line: Lions -3 (Sportsbook.com)
The Pick: It's impossible to imagine the Lions winning four straight, and that's reason enough to take the Vikings and the points. Minnesota has also played well under Leslie Frazier, and the weekly uncertainty surrounding the Vikings quarterback situation actually works in their favour, as opponents struggle to prepare for very different style players.
The Line: Steelers -5.5 (5Dimes.com)
The Pick: The Steelers are playing for a first round bye, and their league best run defence will stifle the Browns' best weapon. Cleveland has been sneaky good this year, and at home against a division rival they might keep it close for a while, but the Steelers will pull away, eventually.
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