Gauging teams' relative hunger can be misleading, but there's no doubt which of the 7-4-1 New York Giants and 11-1 Philadelphia Eagles needs victory more this Sunday.
Later, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers must keep their momentum going against the suffocating San Francisco 49ers while two quarterbacks inextricably linked by the 2020 draft go head-to-head for the first time.
What: Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
When: 1pm ET/10am PT Sunday December 11th
How to watch: Fox, Streaming via fuboTV
Odds: PHI Eagles -340, NY Giants +270
The Giants face a huge NFC East showdown with the division-leading Eagles, who righted themselves following a minor wobble with a 35-10 thrashing of the Tennessee Titans last week.
Jalen Hurts put on a showcase of his passing talent and AJ Brown tormented his old team so much that, on Tuesday, they parted company with the general manager that signed off on the trade that took him to Philly this past offseason.
After failing to cover the spread in three straight games, the Eagles have done enough to raise their record to 7-5 ATS in the last two weeks, although they only just sneaked over the line against the Green Bay Packers.
New York have the NFL's best record against the spread, 9-3, because they continually seem to be underrated. And Big Blue certainly need to win this game more than the Eagles, who are cruising towards clinching the NFC's number one playoff seeding.
Backing them to cover the -7.0 point Spread is not without its dangers as Giants head coach Brian Daboll told assembled reporters on Friday that Saquon Barkley's status for the game is potentially in doubt.
He hopes his star running back can suit up and play, but Barkley's neck is still sore. The Giants could possibly do more damage in limiting the Eagles' high-power offense now Azeez Ojulari is back in the fold.
Returning on a play-count after missing seven games with a calf injury against the Washington Commanders last week, the edge recorded a tackle, a strip-sack, a fumble recovery, two quarterback hits and a pass defensed. His disruptive capabilities could keep this clash close enough for the Giants to cover again.
What: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Francisco 49ers
Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California
When: 4.25pm ET/1.25pm PT, Sunday December 11th
How to watch: Fox, Streaming via fuboTV
Odds: TB Buccaneers +165, SF 49ers -185
This one should be all about Tom Brady versus the Niners' top-ranked defense, although the lesser-known quarterback on show could also garner his fair share of attention.
Brady, famously taken with draft pick number 199 by the New England Patriots in 2000, just led the 44th fourth-quarter comeback of his storied career, setting a new NFL record and surpassing Peyton Manning's mark of 43.
The seven-time Super Bowl champion will have to be at his very best against Demeco Ryans' defense, which match up well to the Bucs' offensive line and have the sort of coverage abilities to take away the deep passes Tampa's offense is built around.
San Francisco's issue could be scoring enough points when they get the ball, although third-string QB Brock Purdy, the 262nd and last draft pick last April, showed enough in relief against the Miami Dolphins last week to suggest he can keep Jimmy Garoppolo's seat warm until the veteran's possible return for the playoffs.
Kyle Shanahan will scheme him into more success here, but covering the -3.5 point Spread is nothing like assured given the Niners will turn this into a defensive battle for field position where long-range FG attempts could proliferate, so a straight up bet on the hosts at -185 looks the safest ploy.
What: Miami Dolphins @ Los Angeles Chargers
Where: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California
When: 8.20pm ET/5.20pm PT, Sunday December 11th
How to watch: NBC, Streaming via fuboTV
Odds: MIA Dolphins -165, LA Chargers +145
It's Tua Tagovailoa versus Justin Herbert in a game the draftniks have been waiting for ever since the two QBs were taken with the fifth and sixth overall selections respectively in 2020.
Herbert had instant success as a rookie while Tagovailoa has taken time to mature, but he has the best passer rating of any regular starter this season, so the questioning of Miami's choice has quietened down.
The Chargers' playoff prospects suffered a setback in Las Vegas last weekend, but that was their second road game in a row and now they get to host a team returning to California for back-to-back cost-to-coast trips.
Los Angeles will be boosted by the presence of leading wideouts Keenan Allen and Mike Williams in the lineup for a full game for the first time this season. They can pull off the surprise here at +145 on the Money Line.