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NFL Week 17 Best Bets

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The NFL regular season schedule heads into its final week but there are a few questions that need to be answered before the playoff picture is clear. In the AFC, we know that the Patriots, Texans, Chiefs, and Chargers are in while the fates of the Titans, Ravens, Colts, and Steelers now depend on a number of scenarios. The New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, and the Seahawks have all punched their tickets into the post-season while either the Vikings or Eagles will end up as a Wildcard team. Will Washington finish the year at 8-8? Can Cleveland go out with a bang? Can we improve on a 29-25-1 betting record? Let’s take a look at the NFL's best bets for Week 17.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-7)

The Jaguars’ season has certainly been a disappointment for both their fans and those who have backed them against the spread. Their defense might be one of the best in the league but their lack of offense has been the bigger story. They have often failed to hit the 20-point mark and they have been badly beaten in the turnover department. It doesn’t help that they are the second-most penalized team in the league either. Two questions: Can this team score more points than the Texans who have posted 29 points or more in four of their last five games? Does Jacksonville even really care at this point?

The Texans will be playing past Week 17 even if they lose. However, a win gives them the AFC South title which will be a feather in their cap after a disastrous 2017 season. Houston’s offense is clicking and their defense has been very solid despite giving up 32 points to Philly in Week 17. They have been winning the turnover battle in a big way and they have given up the fifth-fewest penalty yards in the league. Houston is one of the best at stopping the run which is really Jacksonville’s only offensive weapon.

My Pick: Houston -7

 

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (+6.5)

It’s not quite a “win and you’re in” scenario for the Eagles but they are done for the year if they lose. Philly has worked very hard to give themselves a chance at a post-season berth. They have won four of their last five games including recent victories over the Rams and Texans. Their offense has been much more productive with Foles under center and the entire team is riding a familiar wave of momentum. Philadelphia has won and covered in their last three games against the Skins.

Washington got off to a great start to the season but they weren’t able to overcome a rash of key injuries and have now dropped five of their last six games. They have scored no more than 16 points in their last four games and it has been 13 games since they scored more than 23 points. Meanwhile, the defense that was such a key component of Washington’s early success has softened dramatically. They entered the season like a lion but are destined to go out like a lamb.

My Pick: Philadelphia -6.5

 

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-10)

The 49ers’ season ended a long time ago but they have been fighting the good fight over the past few weeks. Wins over Denver and Seattle built some momentum but that little streak ended with a 14-9 loss to Chicago last week. They will now finish out the season on the road where they are winless so far this season. They will also be facing a Rams team that will surely be motivated to win so that they can secure a first-round bye.

Speaking of the Rams, they were the toast of the NFL for most of the season but losses to Chicago and Philadelphia have brought them crashing down to Earth. A decisive win over the Cardinals in Week 16 turned the tide but we mustn’t forget that it was only Arizona. A Los Angeles win doesn’t just get them a first-round bye but it also gives them the momentum that they sorely need moving forward. However, as likely as they are to come away with the win, they seem a lot less likely to give their backers a cover. Los Angeles is 3-6-1 ATS over their last 10 games and they have failed to cover in their last four home games in which they have been favored by a touchdown or more.

My Pick: San Francisco 49ers +10

 

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (+6.5)

Most of the football world was crowning the Kansas City Chiefs as AFC West champs several weeks ago yet here we are in Week 17 and the Chargers have quietly remained in the picture. Prior to dropping their Week 16 game against a desperate Ravens team, the Chargers had reeled of four straight wins and were victorious in 10 of their last 11. A victory over a down and out Broncos team gives them a shot at the division title and a first-round bye. This is also a revenge game of sorts for Los Angeles who lost at home to the Broncos earlier in the year.

The Broncos’ offensive woes continued last week as they were only able to put up 14 points on Oakland and it has been nine weeks since they eclipsed the 24-point plateau. They are kind of a Jaguars lite in that their defense has kept them in games. They are going to need an outburst on offense if they are going to make a game of this but they are simply outmatched against a far superior and motivated Chargers squad.

My Pick: Los Angeles Chargers -6.

 

The Best of the Best

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-6)

The Cleveland Browns have been a very pleasant surprise this year and they have a chance to post a winning record for the first time since 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius erupted. The team really turned the corner when Hue Jackson was given his walking papers and they have now won five of their last six games. Even more incredible is the fact that they have been a good team to back ATS. They aren’t going to see the playoffs this year but they have a shot at hampering the playoff chances of their hated rivals. There is no reason to think that Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns won’t be giving it their all in this one.

The Ravens currently have the upper hand in the AFC North thanks to Pittsburgh’s recent collapse. Baltimore has prevailed in four of their last five games and a lot of that success is due to their stout defense that has held some pretty good offenses in check in recent weeks. Of course, Lamar Jackson has consistently frustrated opposing defenses and he gives Baltimore’s offense an added dimension. This one could easily go down to the wire.

My Pick: Cleveland Browns +6

The Admiral

You want someone to show you how to make some money, then talk to me, I am your man. Folks, I have been doing this since....forever, so yeah, I know a thing or two on how to beat the spread and get your pockets loaded with the totals. Basketball, Soccer, Football, Hockey, you name it, and I will find the best pick for you.

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Thursday, Jan 17
NBA
#541 New York Knicks 228
#542 Washington Wizards -6.5
3:05pm
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#543 Philadelphia 76ers 224.5
#544 Indiana Pacers -3
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#545 Sacramento Kings 230
#546 Charlotte Hornets -3
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#548 Toronto Raptors
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#549 Chicago Bulls 212
#550 Denver Nuggets -12
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#551 Los Angeles Lakers 226
#552 Oklahoma City Thunder -10
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#601 FAU 151
#602 Marshall -9
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#603 Charleston 139.5
#604 Northeastern -3.5
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#605 Georgia Southern -2
#606 Troy 161
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#607 UNCW 152
#608 Hofstra -12.5
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#609 James Madison 134
#610 Delaware -4
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#611 Towson 146
#612 Drexel -5.5
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#613 Wright State -5.5
#614 Youngstown State 141.5
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#615 Southern Miss -4.5
#616 Charlotte 122.5
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#617 Louisiana Tech 129
#618 ODU -6.5
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#619 Northern Kentucky -9
#620 Cleveland State 142
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#621 UTSA -3.5
#622 Middle Tennessee State 137.5
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#637 Georgia State -5.5
#638 South Alabama 141
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#635 UTEP 132
#636 UAB -8
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#633 Michigan State -1
#634 Nebraska 144
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#631 Illinois - Chicago -3
#632 Wisconsin-Milwaukee 142.5
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#629 IUPUI 163
#630 Wisconsin-Green Bay -4
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#627 FIU 163.5
#628 Western Kentucky -13
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#625 Arkansas - Little Rock 140
#626 Texas State -11.5
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#623 Arkansas State 139.5
#624 UT Arlington -4.5
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#639 Loyola Marymount
#640 Gonzaga
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#641 Stanford 138
#642 Washington -10
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#643 Oregon 130
#644 Arizona -4.5
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#645 San Francisco -6.5
#646 Pacific 138
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#648 Cal State Northridge -2
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#649 California
#650 Washington State
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#651 Oregon State 141
#652 Arizona State -5.5
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#653 San Diego -10
#654 Portland 134
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#657 UCSB -3
#658 UC Davis 131.5
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#659 Santa Clara
#660 St Marys
11:00pm
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#661 BYU -2.5
#662 Pepperdine 163
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#31 New Jersey 6
#32 N.Y. Islanders -150
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#33 St. Louis 5.5
#34 Boston -175
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#41 Anaheim 5.5
#42 Minnesota -180
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#43 Los Angeles 5.5
#44 Dallas -175
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Saturday, Jan 19
NCAAB
#629 James Madison
#630 Drexel
2:00pm
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Sunday, Jan 20
NFL
#311 Los Angeles Rams 56.5
#312 New Orleans Saints -3.5
3:05pm
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#313 New England Patriots 58
#314 Kansas City Chiefs -3
6:40pm
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