With just one week remaining in the National Football League's regular season, not a single AFC team has locked up a playoff spot. The outcome in the AFC Central has come down to the final Sunday clashes -- the Minnesota Vikings will be visiting the Houston Oilers and the Cleveland Browns will travel to Cincinnati for a return match with the Bengals.
The Oilers are strong, 10-point favorites over the Vikings because Houston needs the win to qualify for the playoffs while Minnesota warms up for its surprise postseason appearance. The Oilers will do well not to take Bud Grant and his club for granted, however. The Vikes are playing turnover-free football on offense and opportunistic defense. Not only will the Oilers be going for a wild-card berth; they could wind up divisional winners should the high-risk Browns stumble against the Bengals.
This week's early line: Washington and St. Louis even, Miami six over New York Jets, Chicago and Tampa Bay even, Houston 10 over Minnesota, Oakland 10 over N.Y. Giants, Cleveland three over Cincinnati, New England 10 over New Orleans, Detroit six over Green Bay, Baltimore three over Kansas City, Los Angeles three over Atlanta, Dallas three over Philadelphia, Denver two over Seattle, Buffalo six over San Francisco. San Diego three over Pittsburgh.