For purposes of these articles I will list the contest line as well as the most current line using 5Dimes sportsbook. I will note if the current line is playable or not. I have personally bet all of these sides unless otherwise noted. As always, shop for the best lines.
Current NFL Record:
YTD Supercontest Picks: 37-42-1 (47%)
Thursday Night Football: 11-3-1 (79%)
Other Sunday Posted Picks: 17-8 (68%)
All Posted Picks: 65-53-2 (55%)
*Note: because of the goofy nature of NFL week 17, there is not a ton to break down with a lot of these.
Titans -3.5 (Current Line: -3.5 -110 5Dimes)
- The NFL did a great job making sure many of these games are split up by time of day as to not have teams sit guys based on prior outcomes. However, based on a high probability of a 1 pm outcome, we can make a good assumption about this Titans/Texans game.
- The only thing Houston can play for on Sunday is moving from the 4 seed to the 3 seed. It’s important because the 3 seed would avoid Baltimore until the AFC title game.
- But, seeing as how KC is playing at 1 pm and is a 9-point favorite, if you are ok assuming the Chiefs are going to win that game, then you can also assume the Texans would either not play their starters much in this 4 pm game or not at all. Bill O’Brien has stated that he will play his starters, but he has to say that in case the Chiefs don’t win. But we all know Houston will modify plans if the Chiefs win.
- And in the absolute worst case where the Chiefs lose or O’Brien decides to play starters, well then it’s not inconceivable that the Titans can cover a 3.5-point spread as a favorite anyways.
Ravens +2 over Pittsburgh (Current Line: +2 -110 5Dimes)
- Thanks to our friend @stuckey2 at the Action Network, since 2003, teams that need to win to get into the playoffs (or would need help with a loss) in Week 17 have gone 13-21 against the spread (38.2%) when playing eliminated teams.
- The Ravens fit the bill here and not only do we get a bad offense with a QB in Duck Hodges, who just got pulled last week, but we get to do it with the Steelers on the road.
- RG3 isn’t some seventh-round rookie QB who has never taken a snap here, either. At least we know he has experience and obviously has had success in the past. He will also be doing this with an offense that is built for his strengths. I am ok having the explosive Justice Hill and solid Gus Edwards out of the backfield to help him as well.
- It also helps that James Conner and that starting center Maurkice Pouncey are out Sunday as well.
Broncos -3.5 over Oakland (Current Line: -3 -123 5Dimes)
- Backing the Broncos here again on the backs of the must-win trend fade above.
- No Josh Jacobs for Oakland is a big blow for the Raiders. I don’t trust Derek Carr and this offense to win on the road.
- The Broncos have played much better than their 6-9 record indicates. In fact, based on the weighted DVOA measure from Football Outsiders, Denver is the 19th best team in the NFL while Oakland is 25th. The weighted measure indicates how well a team is playing right now versus from a full season perspective.
Jets +1.5 over Buffalo (Current Line: +1 -110 5Dimes)
- Backing the Jets based on the assumption that the Bills will only play starters for a half or less. The Jets have performed well here down the stretch anyways and can compete even if the Bills don’t sit guys all game.
Tampa PK over Atlanta (Current Line: -1 -110 5Dimes)
- Both teams have played very well down the stretch and may be the two best non-playoff teams in the NFL.
- I love how the Tampa defense has played lately. They showed me a lot last week in defending Houston and Deshaun Watson. Watson looked lost, completing only 59% of his passes for 184 yards on 5.8 yards per attempt with no touchdowns.
- Atlanta has played well but is one dimensional with Julio Jones as the only real WR weapon. They have used Devonta Freeman a lot out of the backfield lately, but Tampa is excellent limiting RBs, both in the run game and in the passing game.
- Back to the weighted DVOA ranks and you will see Tampa sits 12th in the NFL and Atlanta is 18th. Even after accounting for the loss at WR with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, the Bucs should be 2.5-point favorites here in my opinion. I see good value with the Bucs here.
Other sides and totals I have personally wagered on and I still like at the current number:
- Giants +4.5
- KC ML/Titans -3.5 parlay +137