December 1st, 2005 – With a memorable Thanksgiving football weekend behind us, the real feasting may have just begun. The upcoming week offers lots of divisional battles, each with playoff implications. bodoglife.com has posted the odds.
In what looks to be the game of the week, the Giants (7-4) host the Cowboys (7-4) in a battle for the NFC East lead. Returning to New York, Dallas coach Bill Parcells will aim to gain sole possession of first place against the team he led to two Super Bowl victories. The Giants are favored by 3 points.
“Sunday’s game between the Giants and Cowboys should be an exciting grudge match,” says Calvin Ayre, Founder and CEO of bodoglife.com. “This game has big playoff implications. When division rivals meet late in the season, it always makes for riveting football and, with first place on the line, this one will be especially fun to watch.”
In Week 6, the Cowboys defeated the Giants 16-13 in overtime and have gone 3-2 since. They’re coming off a disappointing 24-21 overtime loss to Denver on Thanksgiving Day. Since Week 6, the Giants have gone 4-2 and also will be looking to bounce back from a 24-21 overtime loss. New York’; setback came in Seattle on Sunday.
Meanwhile, in the AFC North, the stage is set for a hard-fought game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The division-leading Bengals are 8-3 after defeating the Baltimore Ravens 42-29 last week, and will look to the duo of quarterback Carson Palmer and receiver Chad Johnson to again exhaust the scoreboard.
The Steelers (7-4), on the other hand, reluctantly obliged the Indianapolis Colts their 11th victory of the year on Monday night. A win and the Steelers pull into a first-place tie for the North, a loss and their chances of either a division crown or a wild-card berth sink.
Among other games, the Atlanta Falcons (7-4) meet the Carolina Panthers (8-3) in an NFC South tilt that could decide who goes to the playoffs and who goes into offseason training. Michael Vick and the Falcons need the win to tie Carolina for the division lead while the Panthers will try to re-ignite their offense, which has sputtered in the team’s last two games. The Panthers are 3-point favorites.
Other games to watch include the AFC West fight between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs (7-4) will need to secure a victory to stay close to the Broncos’ division-leading 9-2 record and to keep in contention for a playoff spot. The Broncos opened as 1.5-point favorites.
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