The NFL is just a few weeks away from the end of the regular season. On Tuesday, the league made a controversial change, halving the number of days that a player has to quarantine themselves after a positive test for coronavirus. Unvaccinated players who tested positive, like Mike Williams for the Los Angeles Chargers and Carson Wentz of the Indianapolis Colts, may be cleared to play this week. This aligns with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and their team’s playoff push.
This week's NFL preview includes a choice scene involving the high stakes A.F.C., with seven teams still within contention for the playoff spot.
Kansas City at Cincinnati Bengals
The Kansas City Chiefs will play in Cincinnati against the Bengals. Last week, Joe Burrow threw for 525 yards and has Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Joe Mixon all posting over 100 yards from scrimmage. Cincinnati needs to keep winning big games, but they are challenged against the best offense in the conference.
At bet365 Sports this week, the Chiefs are listed at 1.43, while the Bengals are at 2.90.
LA Rams vs Baltimore Ravens
With injuries to starters decimating their playoff chances, ratings for the Ravens are down. Therefore, the team must win against LA in order to stay in playoff contention. The Ravens' QB situation is still a mystery, and it is unclear if Lamar Jackson (ankle) or his backup, Tyler Huntley, (Covid list) will get the green light. The Rams' pass rush is tied for fourth in the N.F.L. in sacks with 42.
Odds for this game go in favor of the Rams at 1.55, while the Ravens are at 2.60.
Minnesota Vikings vs Green Bay Packers
The Vikings have been on the losing end of too many close games this season. 14. That's how many games have been decided by one score vs. the Vikings this season. The Vikings beat the Packers earlier this year and while doing so, exposed the Packers' one weakness, their run defense. This is one of the biggest rivalries in the league and it is always a spectacle, especially when the weather gets colder.
The Vikings are very far back in the odds at bet365 Sports at 3.40. This is my call for an underdog win, as it does or die for Minnesota. The Packers are at 1.33 for the win.
The odds in this article at the bookmaker mentioned above were accurate at the time of writing on December 30 at 11:30 GMT.