Great week last week! 4-1! We still haven't had a 5-0 week but we hope this is the week with playoffs starting next weekend.
Week 17 is always an interesting week for football bettors. Several meaningless games as well as some games that have huge significance for playoff berths and positioning.
Here are the teams we like (lots of dogs for sure!).
Here are our reasons.
Baltimore is favored to win by 1.79 points according to the GE model so getting them at +2 is great value. We feel Baltimore will pull out all of the stops to allow Steve Smith Sr. to ride into the sunset as a winner even though last week's close game to Pittsburgh has to be a heartbreaker. Cincinnati has nothing to play for and it looks like they are going to let some of their starters.
Our model of course loves Dallas to beat Philadelphia (by 3.36 points) so taking the Eagles as 2.5 point favorite seems ludicrous. However, you do ludicrous things during Week 17! The Cowboys have everything all locked up so there is no need to play the starters and risk injury to them. Plus the Cowboys played last Monday whereas the Eagles played on Thursday night of last week. That is 4 extra days of rest for the Eagles and they are at home where they tend to play well. Also, Mark Sanchez stinks and the Eagles can pick him off just how they picked off Eli Manning last week. Historically, teams with the #1 seed clinched before Week 17 tend to get blown out if they are on the road against a division rival. Take the Eagles. It's our best bet of the day.
The Bears got blown out last week and prevented us from having a perfect 5-0 day. However, the Vikings are awful. The GE model loves the Vikings (favored to win by 9.91 points) so +5 for Chicago is not the best value but we will take it. Everyone on the Bears are playing for new contracts or jobs elsewhere. On the other hand, it seems there is mutiny among the Vikings secondary. Strange how they defy their coach and then they get destroyed by the Packers. The Bears may not win but they can keep this close and the Vikings have no one else on significant on offense healthy except Adam Thielen.
The Dolphins can only move up to the #5 spot and even that is a long shot since it means the Chiefs have to lose. It all likelihood, the Dolphins are playing the Steelers next week in the Wild Card playoffs. The Patriots on the other hand need to win to ensure home field advantage (unless the Raiders lose later in the day). New England didn't have home field last year and it cost them a trip to Super Bowl 50 so they will do all they can to win. 9.5 points, however, is way too much to cover for New England on the road against a good team that will still want to play hard and get ready for the postseason. The Dolphins tend to play the Patriots well at home and the GE model by 8.01 points. Plus the Patriots have several injuries so winning this game might be a challenge for Tom Brady and company and we are sure Adam Gase would love to make life difficult for Bill Belichick.
We finally will go with some big chalk. The Falcons are favored to win by 7.61 points by the GE model so 6.5 points is good value. Definitely the Falcons can win at home by a touchdown against a weak defense like New Orleans. The Saints have nothing to play for and the Falcons are now near full health. Expect Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones to have a field day and to help their boy Matt Ryan get the MVP award. Falcons could win this won by double digits.
OK, that's our Big Five Bets for Week 17. It's been a pleasure sharing our prognostication for the regular season and we are excited to break down the playoff games as soon as the matchups are determined.
Here are the rest of the teams we like for Week 17.
New York Jets (+3.5)
San Diego (+5.5)
New York Giants (+7.5)
Basically, go with the dogs unless it's the Rams, 49ers, or Browns. All of them are terrible and rarely cover.