The second half of the NFL season kicks off this week, with teams sizing up playoff positioning as the weather gets colder.
We talk to some of the sharpest football betting minds – our Covers Experts – about their predictions for the home stretch of the NFL schedule:Marc Lawrence
– “Houston's numbers are simply too good to ignore - No. 1 defense and Top 10 offense - and it's dismal ATS perfomrance (1-6 ATS) bodes well for a return to the norm the second half of the season. Once this team learns to stop turning the ball over they have the ability to ring the register.”Bruce Marshall
– “Kansas City will start to back up. Give Andy Reid credit, but things also fell nicely into place for the Chiefs in the first half of the season, including a schedule which broke perfectly. The slate starts getting tougher this week at Buffalo, and there are still two games versus both Denver and San Diego, plus Indy. The Chiefs have little margin for error with their low-risk offense. Still prefer the Broncos to end up on top in the AFC West.”Bryan Power
– “The Denver Broncos will lose the Super Bowl to the Seattle Seahawks. This was my pick before the season and I'm sticking with it here. I realize the Seahawks' performance Monday Night was underwhelming, but their defensive backs would match up very well with the Broncos receivers.”Teddy Covers
– “After starting the season 0-6, the Giants will be live to make the playoffs deep into December. Heck, Tom Coughlin's squad could still win the division and get a first-round home game in the playoffs.”Doc’s Sports
– “I love the way this Carolina Panthers team is playing right now, and I expect them to wind up as a wild card in the NFC. This team still seems to be a bit under the radar. They were one of my three Super Bowl futures bets for this season (along with Dallas and Cincinnati), and I feel like all three will go to the postseason. Carolina has a very strong defense. And Cam Newton is starting to buy into the system. The public does not seem to be fully buying into this team yet, and I feel like they will hold value all season as long.”Will Rogers
– “The Cowboys will win the NFC East. Everybody wants to pick on this team, and while it’s often deserved, I just can't see any of the other three NFC East teams finishing with a winning record this year. Dallas' usual 8-8 season will be enough for the playoffs this year.”Steve Merrill
– “The Broncos will start to play Under the total. After starting this season 8-0 over/under, the public has made a small fortune, so oddsmakers will continue to raise the Denver totals. Eventually, we will start to get some value with the Under, especially when the Broncos start focusing more on defense as they near the postseason.”Nick Parsons
– “I predict that the Chiefs are going to take a step back. A win is a is a win, and arguably there is no such thing as an upset in the NFL anymore. However, take a quick look at the teams that K.C. has beaten so far. This week it's in Buffalo. Next week it has its bye. The level of competition is raised dramatically after its break, with games at Denver, versus San Diego, versus Denver, at Washington, at Oakland, versus Indianapolis and at San Diego.”What is your prediction for the second half of the NFL schedule? Share it in the comment box below.