1) KC -1 vs. TEN, SF -1.5 vs. GB (-110)
With only 2 games on the board this week, I’m not reinventing the wheel with this teaser. The Chiefs looked to knock the rust off last week. With a fully loaded offense, and the return of Jones on Defense to help fight off Derrick Henry, the Titans will need Ryan Tannehill to throw much more than 80 yards if they want to win this game. Further, this will mark the 4th consecutive road game for the Titans. I don’t see the Titans keeping up with the Chiefs, and with this line teased down to one, I feel good about this leg. It would take a historic performance for the Titans to steal this game.
The narrative is one of revenge for the Packers, both for the earlier shellacking handed to them in Week 12, and for the Niners not drafting Aaron Rodgers in 2005 (I can’t believe this is still a talking point). While revenge is on the mind, the Niners handily won the past matchup without Dee Ford or Kwon Alexander, both of whom have returned and are massive impact players on defense. This time around, the Niners are the team with extra rest (albeit only a day vs. the week bye the Packers had previously), which just gives Shannahan another day to scheme against a top-heavy Packers Defense.
As much as the NFL is clamoring for a rematch of SB1 for this 100th season, I just don’t see that working out.
1) SF -.5 vs. MIN, BAL -3.5 vs. TEN (-110)I believe in the Niners to take care of business at home, between the much healthier defense and Shanahan with an extra week to prepare, I think it’ll be a very tough road for the Vikings. After last week’s emotional win, I’m not sure the Vikings have another similar performance in them. A mid-week injury to Thielen is hopefully a non-factor, but if he’s even limited it could significantly hamper the Vikings Offense.
The Titans failed to muster 80 yards of passing offense last week against the Patriots. The Baltimore secondary has played quite well after the Marcus Peters trade, and 14 points on offense won’t be enough against the Ravens. I have a slight fear for a slow start from the Ravens given the bye week, but even still, I can’t imagine the Ravens scoring under 30 points.
2) KC -3.5 vs. HOU, SF vs. MIN Over 39 (-110)
Thirty nine points is a fairly low total with the Niners’ last 4 games going well over 40 points. With a couple weeks for the Niners to get healthy and game plan for the Vikings Defense I have a feeling Kittle and the offense will heat up. The Vikings have several weapons on offense, and even with the Niners defensive recoveries, the Vikings should still have at least a few scoring opportunities.
The Chiefs were beaten handily when these teams met in the regular season. However, that was a very different Chiefs team without it’s full array of weapons. Further, the Texans are a very streaky team, and that only worsens on the road. I also think the Chiefs have a significant coaching advantage. Chiefs to win by more than a field goal doesn’t feel like too many points to lay.
1) BUF @ HOU Over 38.5, NE +1 vs. TEN (-110)Come playoffs, it really feels like we know all of these teams. We’re past matchups against the Raiders and Colts, or bad teams playing bad teams.
In the first game of the slate, we know that Will Fuller is the spark that makes the Texans offense successful (and he’s on track to play as of this writing). We also know the Texans have played much better at home. Hopefully, the return of JJ Watt is overstated, and it’s more of a diversion than anything else, meaning a susceptible Texans Defense. If this hold true, Josh Allen should be able to break through on enough plays to cover this over. I’m thinking this has a similar feeling to the Bills’ Week 16 matchup against the Pats, except with a more dangerous offense.
The Patriots haven’t played on Wild Card Weekend in a while. However, I don’t see the Titans ultimately coming out with the win. While the Titans are surging, I just can’t count the Patriots out at home. The Pats are probably elbow deep in “nobody believes in us” fever at this point. Aside from last week, I haven’t looked silly betting on the Pats in a long while.
2) MIN @ NO Over 49.5 (-110)The NFL did the Vikings a huge favor by scheduling this game in the Sunday afternoon slot (AKA the ‘Kirk Cousins Zone’). The Saints have played at a blazing pace on offense recently, and the Vikings should have a healthy Dalvin Cook/Adam Thielen. For whatever reason, these two teams seem to play each other in shootouts a lot, and I think the Vikings will need to score into the 30’s if they want a shot at moving on. I’d be surprised if this game didn’t hit 40 by the half.
3) SEA -1.5 @ PHI (-115)In an injury ridden matchup, I can’t see the Eagles secondary holding back Wilson and the Seahawks receivers. The Seahawks have been playing better on the road, and while their defense has been fairly porous, the Eagles are depleted on the offensive side of the ball as well. Unfortunately, I don’t see a path to victory for the Eagles in this matchup, part of me is already bracing for the Eagles fans booing at halftime.
4) BUF @ HOU Under 44.0 (-110)Given Will Fuller is slated to play in this game the point total rose a bit. While this is contrary to my first bet, there is a 6 point sweet spot where both of these bets will hit. I don’t think a 24-21 game is unreasonable, and will hope for that result come Saturday night.
I’ve been writing retrospectives on my bets throughout 2019, documenting lessons learned, and keeping track of the units I’ve gained (or lost). This isn’t the typical format, as most folks focus much more on on bet PREVIEWS in efforts to share their thoughts/bets with their viewers and hopefully make everyone some money. I’ve finally decided to hop on the bandwagon and start posting about my bets prior to game time. I’ll update this article as the week goes on as I place wagers based on line movements/how my sentiments change.
1) NO -6.5 @ CAR, KC -1.5 vs. LAR, WAS +17 @ DAL (+150)
2) TEN SU @ HOU, NE SU vs. MIA, NO SU @ CAR (-110)
3) SF -3 @ SEA (-125)Week 17 is tricky in that less than half of NFL teams actually play meaningful football. This results in starters playing for half the game, more lackadaisical play, etc. As such, I tried to find meaningful games and/or games where the stats. have been too loud to ignore. In addition, there are some teams peaking at the right time, while others seem to be sputtering longingly into the offseason. As such, there’s some softness there as well.
In terms of the Saints, they can still get a bye in the playoffs, and a big part of that is beating the Panthers who have been absolutely terrible recently. Will Grier has only contributed to Carolina’s folly, and the only thing they’ll be chasing on Sunday are single-season records for CMC. I expect the Saints to win, and win comfortably. Even if they sit Brees in the fourth (which I don’t think Brees will do willingly given how Bridgewater performed earlier in the year) the Saints have a much higher caliber of backup QB compared to most other teams.
The Chiefs have a very slim chance at a bye if the Patriots lose. That being said, the Pats are playing the Dolphins. The good news is that these games are played at the same time. It’s unlikely that the Chiefs would sit their starters prior to the 2nd half. Beyond that, the Chargers haven’t shown much recently. I am always a bit worried about Phillip Rivers/the Chargers propensity to charge into fierce comeback attempts. However, these typically fall short, so I feel good about the Chiefs laying the 1.5 points.
Since the bye, the Cowboys have only had 2 games result in a final score beyond the 17 points we’re getting with Washington here. Those two games were against the New York Giants, and the Jekyll side of the Rams. Washington has been producing offense recently, only scoring less than 19 points one time in the last 6 weeks. In addition, they have kept games close (at least within 17 points), and have nothing further to gain by losing this game. However they have a lot to gain, as acting as spoiler to the Cowboys is something I’m sure Washington would love to do.
New England needs to win to secure the bye. I’d be shocked if Bill Belichick allowed the Dolphins and Fitzmagic steal the bye from him. This should also be a great ‘get-right game’ for the Pats prior to playing in the AFC Divisional Game.
The Titans absolutely need the win, and despite what the Texans have been saying, I do not believe that they will play all of their starters. Further, their offense sputtered on Saturday after Will Fuller was sidelined. He isn’t expected to play. Between the Titans urgency and Texans apathy I feel like the Titans should be able to close this one out.
Seattle just resigned Marshawn Lynch with Robert Turbin in the backfield like we’re back in 2014. Both players are familiar with the system, and they’re fresh. However, it’s yet to be seen how game-ready these two are. In addition, Seattle may have less to play for than the 49ers given how the playoff situation during the day shakes out. If they can’t secure a bye, it may change how the Seahawks think about this game.
I feel good about this bet from the onset, blending meaningful games, favorable spreads/matchups compared to recent performance, and cheering against the Cowboys.