Image: Bleacher Report
Happy New Year, bettors! We've got two more weeks of regular season action left in the NFL, and almost all of it on Sunday! Check out Will Tondo and I's picks for Week 17 below, and may the odds ever be in our favor.
Basel's ATS 2021: 52-38-2 (2-3 Week 16)
Tondo's ATS 2021: 47-43 (4-1 Week 16)
Basel's Week 17 Picks
1 PM Games
New York Giants at Chicago Bears
Well it's a good thing that these two teams are out of playoff contention, because the injury bug, as well as Covid, are flying through these two teams right now. Although Justin Fields is the biggest name on the injury report for Chicago, I think the Bears can fare ok with Nick Foles behind center. As for the Giants, three of Daniel Jones' top receiving targets will be out, meaning that in a low scoring game, the Bears will probably take this one by at least a touchdown.
Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots
The battle of two top rookie QBs today will likely settle the NFL nature vs nurture debate for quite some time; does raw talent get wins, or can a later first round pick be developed into a star in the right system? Unfortunately for Jacksonville, I don't think their roster outside of Lawrence will be up to the test. The Jags looked ok in a loss to the Jets last week, but, of course, that's a loss to the Jets we're talking about. At a time when New England is still vying for the AFC East title, don't expect them to hold back against the Jags.
Miami Dolphins at Tennessee Titans
In Ryan Tannehill's first game against Miami since leaving, don't expect the Titans QB to hold back. Coming off a huge win against the Niners, Tannehill and company have proven that they don't need Derrick Henry to get the offense going. Miami, while impressive this season, and still well in the Wild Card race, will likely not be able to match Tennessee's experience. A three point spread for the Titans is as close to a lock as you'll get this week.
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Football Team
Riding the border between in the playoff hunt and an early first round pick, the Eagles have been on a roll over the last few weeks, winning 6 of their last 8 games. They're clearly the more talented team against Washington, and Washington's passing defense, currently allowing around 270 yards per game, will likely get picked apart by Hurts and company.
4 PM Games
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers
Despite the Chargers a win or two away from clinching a playoff spot, I don't think that this game against the Broncos will be entirely smooth sailing. In their first meeting of the season, the Broncos handed LA 28-13 smackdown in November. This Denver team has a lot of potential if they make the right moves in the offseason, and I don't expect them to hand the Chargers a playoff spot today.
Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks
Considering the fact that I am not a Lions fan, it's actually been pretty fun to watch and bet on Detroit this year. The spreads they face, and their ability to cover (and sometimes win) in tough situations make them an exciting team to throw some units on. That being said, I would avoid them at all costs this week. As inconsistent as Jared Goff has been this year, his doubtful status leaves the Seahawks as the only viable pick in this one. Also a bit of a disappointment this year, at least the Seahawks have an experienced offense.
Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys
In what should be the Sunday Night matchup, two of the NFC's top teams enter this afternoon with a spread just short of a touchdown between them. The Cardinals have been one of the fiercest teams on the road this season, winning 7 of 8 games straight up and covering in 7 of 8 as well. In their toughest challenge yet, they face a rolling Dallas Cowboys team. This one is going to be close. Dallas' defense has been pretty weak in defending the pass, but Arizona can't seem enter the red zone without drawing a slew of penalties every week. Expect a close one where the Cowboys squeak out another win.
Sunday Night Football
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Minnesota's offense has been good at times, but with Kirk Cousins out with Covid, I don't see anything there that can lift the Vikings past Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers will decimate this Minnesota passing defense, so throw some units on the Packers and forget about it until you cash out.
Tondo's Week 17 Picks
1 PM Games
Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills
The Bills have retaken the AFC East division and the Falcons are trying to make a last second playoff push. This game is important to both, but who wants it more? I think the Bills need this win, after a rollercoaster of a 2021 with lofty expectations. They just took down the Patriots, and are looking to gain momentum for the playoffs. In terms of the spread, Buffalo is 17-6 ATS in their last 23, and 8-3 ATS at home, give me Bills -14.5.
Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals
We’re in for a real treat with this matchup. Potentially an AFC playoff matchup too? The Chiefs are back, clinching the AFC west for the sixth straight year. Their defense has been lights out, allowing less than 20 points for the seventh time in eight weeks. The Bengals can be discounted. They are on top of the AFC North, after a 20-point win against the Ravens. Cincy is 5-1 ATS against a team with a winning record. The Chiefs are 4-1 ATS on the road. Which way does the pendulum swing? My gut says this one is a close one, Bengals +4.5.
Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts
Jonathon Taylor is that dude! Nine games with over 100 yards rushing. He could also be the potential MVP. The Colts have been quite the surprise this year. Carson Wentz has blossomed into a good quarterback, the defense has held down the fort, and the roster is decorated with multiple pro bowlers. From 1-4 start to now potentially clinching the playoffs, the Colts are in the driver’s seat today. Indianapolis is 4-2 ATS when favored, I’ll take the Colts -8.5 today.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets
Well… Zach Wilson at least had a nice game against the Jaguars last week. Brady is 30-7 against the Jets all time and the Bucs are 5-1 in their last 6 ATS. Even with injuries, I’m taking the Buccaneers -13.5 all day.
Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore Ravens
The Rams continue to climb, being one of the teams to beat in the NFC. They are 4-1 ATS in their last five, and 6-2 ATS on the road. The Ravens have faltered, losing 4 games in a row with a razor thin roster filled with injuries and COVID positives. Sorry Baltimore, give me Rams -6.5.
4 PM Games
Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are back in the playoff picture, and should most likely win this game to gain a better lead. But the story of the week is the Houston Texans. After a dominating win against the Chargers, I think I have to take the recency bias cover here. If the spread wasn’t two possessions, I’d be all over the 49ers, however 13.5 is steep. Give me Texans to cover.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
Times have been tough post Drew Brees era for the Saints. This season the QB room has been shuffled multiple times due to injuries, and last week Ian Book was the guy under center. He threw for just over 130 yards and two interceptions. Yikes. Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian are expected to be back from COVID protocols. The Panthers are officially out of the playoffs, and their defense got decimated by the Bucs last week. I’ll go Saints -6.5
See you next week!