National Football League

Fading Kevin Wheeler Part XII: The ‘A Push is a Win’ Edition

Anthony Stalter Featured-2

I pushed Kevin Wheeler last week, which might as well constitute a win for me this season. The Bears and Colts were losers, while the Chiefs and Cowboys were winners.

Odell Beckham Jr. has 96 receptions for 1,323 total receiving yards this season.

That runs my season record to 23-37-1 against Wheels.

There’s still time to mount an epic comeback if I can just go 14-0 from now until the Super Bowl.

– Giants @ Redskins

Ben McAdoo intends to play his starters against the Redskins but there seems to be some gamesmanship going on here. With the Giants locked into the fifth seed in the NFC, does anyone believe McAdoo will risk injury to one of his starters by playing them in a meaningless game?

The most likely scenario is that Eli Manning and the starters play for a quarter or an entire half, then the backups take over. Once the Giants’ backups are in, the Redskins, who are fighting for their playoff lives, take off and give me a cover.

Wheeler: Giants +7.5
Stalter: Redskins -7.5

– Patriots @ Dolphins

The Dolphins still have an opportunity to move to the fifth seed in the AFC with a win over the Patriots and a Chiefs loss to the Chargers. That means Jay Ajayi and the rest of Miami’s starters will play throughout. For one reason or another, Tom Brady and Co. have struggled in Miami.

The Patriots are 0-4 against the spread in their last four road games against the Dolphins while the home team is a remarkable 9-0 at the betting window in the last nine meetings between these two teams. With this being a divisional matchup where both teams are familiar with each other, I’ll take the home dog.

Wheeler: Patriots -9.5
Stalter: Dolphins +9.5

– Saints @ Falcons

Drew Brees and the Saints are just going to hand over the No. 2 seed in the NFC to their biggest rival. The Falcons have played well defensively of late but they’ve also looked good against the Rams, 49ers and inconsistent Panthers. New Orleans-Atlanta games tend to be a coin flip so I’ll gladly take the touchdown with the underdog Saints in a spoiler role.

Wheeler: Falcons -7
Stalter: Saints +7

– Raiders @ Broncos

The Broncos seemingly checked out two weeks ago after the Patriots throttled them at Mile High. Their performance on Christmas night against the Chiefs was abysmal and I can’t see them getting up for Sunday’s game against the Raiders.

Granted, Matt McGloin makes the Raiders a total wild card, but they can rely on their running game for a week, especially against a leaky Denver run defense. Khalil Mack should make Paxton Lynch’s life hell as well.

Wheeler: Broncos -1.5
Stalter: Raiders +1.5

– Bills @ Jets

I’m not fired up to lay points on the road with a team that is starting EJ Manuel but I’m hoping LeSean McCoy takes this game over. The Jets are a mess, with teammates taking swipes at each other in the media and reportedly fighting in the locker room during halftime of last week’s loss to the Patriots.

The Jets checked out weeks ago and the Bills have owned them at the betting window, covering in five of the last six meetings, and going 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 road games versus New York.

Wheeler: Jets +3.5
Stalter: Bills -3.5


– Cowboys @ Eagles

Even if the Cowboys decide to rest Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, their backups are Tony Romo and Darren McFadden. Romo treats this game like it’s his Super Bowl and pulls off the upset for the Cowboys, who are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games in Philadelphia and 5-2 against the number in their last seven games overall versus the Eagles.

Wheeler: Eagles -5
Stalter: Cowboys +5

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