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This is a great Sunday for football

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

Joe Ellison

If there was ever a day that people should watch regular season NFL football, this coming Sunday would be it.

In the AFC South, heavyweights Tennessee and Indianapolis will do battle, with the winner taking a one-game lead. The AFC North is also deadlocked between Baltimore and Cincinnati. If Indy or Cincy wins Sunday, that would be like a two-game lead for each of those teams because they won the earlier meetings.

In the AFC West Kansas City is at Denver, with KC trying to stay on pace for home field advantage throughout the conference playoffs, and the Broncos fighting for their postseason lives.

In the AFC East a New England triumph over Miami would clinch the division, but a Miami win cuts their deficit to one game.

In the NFC East if Philadelphia beats Dallas, the Eagles would grab a commanding two-game edge. If Dallas succeeds, the Cowboys would be in first place by virtue of their two victories over Philly.

If the playoffs were to start today, Minnesota and Seattle would have earned positions, and they square off Sunday too.

We also shouldn’t discount the importance of Tampa Bay vs. New Orleans or Green Bay vs. Chicago, as all four clubs are still hopeful for the postseason.

Finally, to top it off Sunday night, we have the return of Atlanta star quarterback Michael Vick to the starting lineup against NFC South leading Carolina.

One would have to say that you couldn’t ask for a better regular season Sunday schedule than that.

– Now it’s time to look at which teams have been making the most money for handicappers so far this year. All the following records refer to point spreads only. Your numbers may vary.

The best teams:

Against the spread – Cincinnati (9-3), Kansas City (8-4), Philadelphia (8-4) and New England (7-2-3). Dallas, Tennessee, St. Louis and Indianapolis are all 7-4-1.

At home – St. Louis (5-0-1), New England (3-0-2), Chicago (5-1), Tennessee (4-1), San Francisco (4-1-1) and Baltimore (3-1-2).

On the road – Cincinnati, Miami and Philadelphia are each 5-1. Indianapolis is 4-1-1. As a road favorite Denver is 3-0, and good road underdogs are New England (4-1-1), Carolina (3-1) and Jacksonville 3-1-1.

The worst teams:

Against the spread – Oakland (2-9-1) and Atlanta (3-8-1). Arizona, San Diego and the New York Giants are all 4-8.

At home – Atlanta (0-5-1), the Giants (1-5), Miami (1-5), Oakland (1-4-1), Carolina (2-5) and Washington (1-3-2).

On the road – Arizona is a perfectly dreadful 0-6. Oakland is 1-5, San Francisco is 1-4-1 and Seattle is 1-3-1. St. Louis has been a foolproof 0-4 as a road favorite.

It is interesting to note that the NFC West is 17-6-2 at home and 4-17-2 on the road.

The hottest squads currently are Philadelphia with 7 consecutive covers, Cincinnati (8-1), New England (7-1-3), Chicago (6-1) and Houston (5-1). Jacksonville has covered 4 in a row.

The coldest teams – After winning and covering its first six games, Minnesota has failed to cover its last six. The Giants have fallen short in four consecutive, while Kansas City and Carolina have missed in their last three.

Betting on totals makes just as much money as betting on teams.

The best teams to bet Over on have been San Diego, Houston, Baltimore, St. Louis and Indianapolis with 8 of their 12 games going over the number.

Buffalo has been hands down the best total to wager on with 11 of 12 going Under. Next are Detroit, Tampa Bay, Miami and San Francisco with 8 Unders.

The best home Over teams – Atlanta (5-0-1 Over), Pittsburgh (5-1), St. Louis (5-1) and Philadelphia (4-1-1).

The best home Unders – Buffalo is a spotless 6-0. Closely behind are Seattle (6-1 Under), Tampa Bay (5-1), the New York Jets and Giants (5-1) and Tennessee (4-1).

The best road Overs – Houston (5-1), Seattle (4-1) and Minnesota (4-1-1).

Best road Unders – Atlanta, Chicago, Buffalo and Miami are 5-1.

The most consistent Over teams currently are Indianapolis (8-1), Carolina (6-1-1) and Minnesota (6-1-1). San Diego and St. Louis have gone Over four consecutive times.

The most frequent Under clubs are of course led by Buffalo with 10 Unders in a row. Next are Tampa Bay (6-1), Green Bay (4 consecutive), Jacksonville (3 in succession) and the Giants (3-0-1 Under).

Joe Ellison is the Nevada Appeal Betting Columnist. Leave a message for him at editor@nevadaappeal.com