Underdog Cowboys visit Redskins to settle NFC East
The college football bowl season really gets rolling this weekend and the NFL is down to its final Sunday before the playoffs start. Let's take a quick look at some of the marquee betting action, with pointspreads to ponder (as of Friday morning).
Friday's football betting slate is comprised of three bowl games; in Shreveport, 8-4 Louisiana-Monroe is favored by seven points over 8-4 Ohio in the Independence Bowl (2 pm ET, ESPN); in Orlando 6-6 Virginia Tech is favored by two points over 9-3 Rutgers for the Russell Athletic Bowl (5:30 pm ET, ESPN); and in Houston 7-5 Texas Tech is favored by 13 points over 6-6 Minnesota for the Meineke Bowl (9 pm ET, ESPN).
Saturday's action features five bowl games; 6-6 Air Force is favored by three points over 6-6 Rice in the Armed Forces Bowl from Fort Worth (11:45 pm ET, ESPN); 7-5 West Virginia is chalked at -3.5 over 7-5 Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl from Yankee Stadium (3:15 pm ET, ESPN); in the Fight Hunger Bowl from San Francisco 7-5 Arizona State is favored by 13 points over 8-4 Navy (4 pm ET, ESPN2); for the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio 9-3 Oregon State is favored by three points over 8-4 Texas (6:45 pm ET, ESPN); and in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl from Tempe 7-5 TCU is favored by two points over 6-6 Michigan State (10:15 pm ET, ESPN).
Sunday we move on to Week 17 of professional action, as NFL teams try to lock up playoff spots and seedings.
In two battles between teams that are already in the playoffs the 9-6 Bengals are favored by one point at home over the 10-5 Ravens (1 pm ET, CBS); and the 12-3 Texans are favored by seven points at the 10-5 Colts (1 pm ET, CBS).
In a must-win game for the defending Super Bowl champs the 8-7 Giants are favored by seven points at home over the 4-11 Eagles (1 pm ET, Fox).
The 9-6 Bears, also in must-win mode, are favored by three points at the 4-11 Lions (1 pm ET, Fox).
The 12-3 Broncos, who can still earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC, are favored by 16 points at home over the 2-13 Chiefs (4:25 pm ET, CBS).
The 10-4-1 49ers, trying to fend off Seattle for the NFC West crown, are favored by 16 points at home over the 5-10 Cardinals (4:25 pm ET, Fox).
Those 10-5 Seahawks, who could jump as high as the two seed in the NFC, are favored by 10 points at home over the 7-7-1 Rams (4:25 pm ET, Fox).
In a win-and-they're-in situation the 9-6 Vikings are getting 3.5 points as home dogs vs. the 11-4 Packers (4:25 pm ET, Fox).
And finally, in the final game of the regular season, a game that will decide the NFC East title, the 9-6 Redskins are favored by 3.5 points over the 8-7 Cowboys (8:20 pm ET, NBC).