12/14/2011 01:26 EST | Updated 02/13/2012 05:12 EST

New England Patriots look to overcome Tebow magic, clinch AFC East

In honour of Pro Picks' skill at picking Best Bets — 2-12 against the spread, no winners since Week 6 — we offer a Worst Bet to go along with it this week.

First, though, a look at the juiciest game on the schedule, the Bradys vs. the Tebows, uh, the Patriots against the Broncos in Denver.

For those still in wonderment over the Broncos' six-game winning streak built on a solid defence and the magic of quarterback Tim Tebow late in games, Patriots coach Bill Belichick offers this:

"We brought Tim in and spent a whole day with him here, in addition to our other interactions with him. He's an impressive young man. He had great success in college. I think all his attributes are pretty well documented. He's a strong guy, smart, works hard, a great leader, great football character."

Sounds like Belichick is a believer, too. But his Patriots can clinch the AFC East with a win. New England's defence has been torn up by two weak offences, Indianapolis and Washington, the last two weeks, yet the Patriots still have won five in a row. Win this and Belichick can tool with the D as the playoffs approach.

Las Vegas doesn't adhere to Tebowmania, apparently, making New England a six-point favourite. We sort of believe — by a point.


As for the Best Bet — and Worst Bet:

Cleveland (plus 7) at Arizona

Browns come off long layoff, which won't help against streaking Cardinals.


New York Jets (plus 2 1-2) at Philadelphia

Jets are 0-8 against Eagles. Make it 0-9.

But it's so dangerous to trust Philly.


Detroit (minus 1) at Oakland

Raiders must send Lions into Black Hole or forget about post-season.


Jacksonville (plus 11) at Atlanta, Thursday night

Falcons can put vice grip on wild-card berth.

FALCONS, 28-15

Dallas (minus 7) at Tampa Bay, Saturday night

So close to being comfortable, Dallas now is desperate.

COWBOYS, 27-17

Washington (plus 7) at New York Giants

If Giants win out, they are in playoffs. Nice place to start.

GIANTS, 30-20

Green Bay (minus 13 1-2) at Kansas City

At least Todd Haley won't have to watch this from the sideline.

PACKERS, 33-13

New Orleans (minus 7) at Minnesota

Saints won't need missed call by officials on last play to win.

SAINTS, 33-13

Baltimore (minus 2 1-2) at San Diego

Ravens are league's most-balanced team, but struggle on road.

RAVENS, 21-20

Seattle (plus 4) at Chicago

Both teams trying to stay in wild-card chase. Bears barely will.

BEARS, 16-13

Carolina (plus 6 1-2) at Houston

With first playoff berth secured, Texans seek AFC's top seed.

TEXANS, 31-20

Tennessee (minus 6 1-2) at Indianapolis

Two years ago, Colts were unbeaten at this point. They remain winless ...

TITANS, 17-14

Cincinnati (minus 6 1-2) at St. Louis

If things break right, Bengals can take control of final wild-card again.


Pittsburgh (OFF) at San Francisco, Monday night

Wonder what the spread would have been if Ben Roethlisberger was healthy.

49ERS, 20-17

Miami (OFF) at Buffalo

Lovely way to spend a December afternoon for Floridians.




Against spread: 6-7 (overall 101-89-4); straight up 12-4 (overall 135-73).

Best Bet: 2-12 against spread, 9-5 straight up.

Upset Special: 9-5 against spread, 7-7 straight up.