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Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 4:00 PM

As I was studying this weekend’s NFL schedule, it struck me how many teams were in “put up or shut up” situations this weekend. There are gut check games all over the slate. I’m convinced I already know which playoff contenders are going to flunk their tests.

I can’t talk too much about specific teams in my web articles because I have to protect my selections for my paying customers. If I told you who I thought was going to flunk their tests…that would basically give away my plays. I would like to go game-by-game through the schedule to show you how many teams are under the gun at the moment. I’ve put the gut-check teams in all caps.


*KANSAS CITY at Washington: The Chiefs are going to get a Wildcard. But, if they can’t beat a bad team with an ailing quarterback that’s about to fire their head coach, then there’s NO HOPE for this team in the playoffs. KC has a lot to prove after losing three straight to divisional rivals.


*Minnesota at BALTIMORE: The Ravens are currently the sixth and final team in the AFC brackets because they own the tie-breaker over Miami. Both teams are a mediocre 6-6. It’s time for the defending Super Bowl champs to score a statement win. If they can’t do that against a bad team that’s coming off back-to-back overtime games, there’s no reason to consider them a threat in January. Actually, if they don’t impress here…they might not even reach the postseason given the number of teams nipping at their heels.


*INDIANAPOLIS at CINCINNATI: Both of these teams are likely to win their divisions and host games on Wildcard Weekend. Neither is currently playing like a team that could scare Denver or New England in January. Cincinnati has the best chance to lift their game. I’ll be watching very closely to see if they do that here. I’ve basically given up on the Colts. They could change my mind with a good game here.


(Note: I’m going to leave out Carolina at New Orleans. Both have proven what they need to in terms of being playoff caliber in my view…potentially championship caliber if either can figure out how to beat Seattle)


*DETROIT at PHILADELPHIA: This is a lot like Indianapolis at Cincinnati in that we may have two divisional winners who will be hosting Wildcard teams in the first playoff weekend. That’s less certain in this case because neither has much margin for error. I believe one of these teams will be exposed as a pretender in very short order. That’s all I’m going to say about that!


*MIAMI at PITTSBURGH: After all the lousy Sundays we’ve had to sit through, isn’t it great to have so many important games?! Neither team can afford a loss in the crowded AFC Wildcard picture. This is another game where I’m convinced at least one team will be exposed as a pretender. Maybe both!


*NY GIANTS at SAN DIEGO: Both of these teams are at 5-7, which means the winner will still be alive to steal a berth while the loser will basically be eliminated. Some people think San Diego was exposed as a pretender last week vs. Cincinnati. But, that was a tough schedule spot after a thrilling shootout upset of Kansas City on the road. If the Chargers lose THIS game, then they’re officially a pretender. The Giants have gotten “hot” lately against some weak teams. Are they for real or just better than late season slumpers?


*Seattle at SAN FRANCISCO: Seattle has nothing to prove, after basically locking up home field through the playoffs last Monday Night against New Orleans. San Francisco hasn’t beaten a playoff bound team all season, and desperately needs to prove they’re still relevant in the championship chase.


*DALLAS at CHICAGO: This is the Monday Night game….and these are the two teams chasing Detroit and Philadelphia who play early Sunday. Obviously, either the Lions or Eagles will have lost…giving one of these teams a chance to improve their divisional positioning. Which of these head coaches will be in over their heads from this point forward. Will BOTH coaches be in over their heads from this point forward?!

Again, I can’t talk about specific plays. You can purchase those here at this very website with your major credit card. Questions can be answered by my representative in the Vegas-Sports-Masters home office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure you ask about my “rest of football” package and basketball when you call. I’m going to have a December to Remember, which will build huge bankrolls for us heading into the great January football.

I’ll see you again next week, as we go back to more of a tutorial format here in my College of Advanced Sports Betting and Handicapping. I wanted to make sure your eyes were squarely on the ball during this huge NFL weekend. Put up…so we can make the bookmakers shut up!

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