New Orleans Saints at Jets, 1 p.m., CBS
Line: Saints -6 | Total: 43.5
Taysom Hill is expected to start again at quarterback for the Saints (5-7) and play through a finger injury. New Orleans is also hopeful to return running back Alvin Kamara, who has missed four games with a knee injury. If Hill can reduce his turnovers (he threw four interceptions against the Cowboys), the Saints should beat the Jets (3-9), who lost Corey Davis, the team’s second-leading receiver, to season-ending core muscle surgery. A loss to the Jets, though, would be unacceptable for New Orleans. Pick: Saints -6
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., Fox
Line: Panthers -3 | Total: 43.5
After starting 3-0, the Panthers (5-7) have struggled offensively, ranking 24th in points scored per game (19.7) and 29th in yards per game (308.7). That is unlikely to improve as their best weapon, running back Christian McCaffrey, was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury.
The inefficiency caused Coach Matt Rhule to fire offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who was viewed last off-season as a blossoming head coach candidate. Despite the Panthers’ offensive troubles, Carolina’s defense, which ranks second in fewest yards allowed, should be able to contain the Falcons (5-7), whose offense relies on just three players — receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, tight end Kyle Pitts and quarterback Matt Ryan. Neither of these teams are likely to make the postseason, but in an N.F.C. South rivalry, Carolina should have bragging rights after this one. Pick: Panthers -3
Seattle Seahawks at Houston Texans, 1 p.m., Fox
Line: Seahawks -7.5 | Total: 42.5
Why would you watch this game, let alone bet on it?
The Seahawks (4-8) have drastically underwhelmed this season and have become one of the worst teams in the league on offense and defense. The Texans (2-10) have been as bad as predicted. Houston’s journeyman quarterback, Tyrod Taylor, was benched for the rookie Davis Mills in a blowout loss to the Colts, and Coach David Culley said he will “evaluate everything” regarding which passer starts for the remainder of the season.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, signed the future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson to revive a pedestrian rushing attack, and are motivated to finish the season strong. It’s tempting to take the over, but Houston’s holistic performances have been so poor that Seattle, despite its many offensive deficiencies, should cover. Pick: Seahawks -7.5