Handicapping the Heisman Trophy race: Hitting the home stretch
January 1, 2016

Handicapping the hardest/weakest NFL second half schedules

The NFL season is past the midway mark, which means teams are ramping up for the postseason push. The final seven weeks of schedule are almost like a separate season in itself, and some teams have an easier path than others. Football bettors need to know which teams have the toughest and weakest home stretches before they begin handicapping picks:

Toughest

New York Giants (5-4 SU, 5-3-1 ATS)
The Giants have the lead in the NFC East, currently priced at +110 to win the division, but their remaining schedule could erase that start. New York has the most daunting test over the final month and a half, starting with a home date against the Patriots in Week 10. Following that, the G-Men visit Washington, battle the Jets for MetLife Stadium bragging rights, fly to Miami for a Monday nighter, host Carolina, travel to Minnesota, and close the year at home versus the Eagles.

The NFC East is still anyone’s ballgame with Philadelphia coming on, Washington proving it can be competitive, and Dallas hoping the Week 11 return of QB Tony Romo can be enough to push them back into playoff contention. The Giants could find themselves flipping positions in the standings come the New Year.

Weakest

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-6 SU, 4-4 ATS)
At 2-6, most teams would be looking ahead to the offseason and an impending high draft pick. But not when you call the AFC South home. The Jaguars have a fighting chance to win the division, if the Colts continue to flop and the Texans and Titans remain toothless. Right now, Jacksonville is sitting at +2,000 to win the AFC South and given its upcoming slate and improving play, that could be the deal of the century.

The Jags open the second half of the season at 2-6 Baltimore in Week 10, then host Tennessee (Thursday) and San Diego before going to the Titans in Week 13. Following that, Jacksonville is at home to Indianapolis and Atlanta before closing on the road with trips to New Orleans and Houston. The combined record of those final opponents is 21-38 SU, so there could be still a lot to play for in Jacksonville.

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