Picks, Parlays, and Props Week 17
The Browns losing to the Jets, even without all of their starting wide receivers, seems like something from an alternate reality.
Sure, if I'd heard that before writing this column, I wouldn't have taken them -9.5, but laying that big of an egg with the team's first playoff berth in 17 years is mind boggling.
Back in this dimension, the Washington Football Team was relying on Dwayne Haskins, which in turn, means we were relying on Dwayne Haskins. If you haven't heard, he isn't on the team anymore, so that pretty much sums up the betting-on-Dwayne-Haskins experience.
Lastly, the Colts looked like the easiest money anyone could've made on Sunday. In the early morning hours, before kickoff, they had moved to +1 underdogs. For nearly three quarters of football, they made everyone look ridiculous for believing that Pittsburgh could pull out of their recent tailspin. Suddenly, the Indianapolis offense sputtered, producing nothing of value, while the Steelers soared behind the arm of Big Ben, clinching the AFC North title. It was a little like watching a train wreck in slow motion.
As for our win, Jalen Hurts easily surpassed his 232.5 passing yards against the weak Dallas D. Thank the man for keeping us from winless.
Green Bay Packers -4.5 over Chicago Bears
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will be playing for a lot this Sunday. The veteran QB has a third MVP award on the line, while Green Bay needs a win to lock up a first round bye and home field advantage for the postseason. Resting players is a luxury only the AFC can afford, as there's still a lot of possible permutations that the NFC playoff picture can take on this year, including a possible entry by the Bears, who technically control their own destiny.
However, when facing Rodgers with high stakes, who really controls who's destiny. The man is 20-5 in games against Chicago for his career, and the Pack absolutely trounced this Bears team only a little over a month ago. Obviously, the Bears and Mitchell Trubisky have looked better than they did during the six game slump midseason, but there's just too much on the line for a team that's so talented for this one to be close.
Classic combo of @AaronRodgers12 & @tae15adams. 💪 TOUCHDOWN! #TENvsGB | #GoPackGo 📺 NBC Watch live 📱… https://t.co/nbvb9sMAkQ— Green Bay Packers (@Green Bay Packers) 1609121495.0
Buffalo Bills -1.5 over Miami Dolphins
Josh Allen has officially elevated himself to the top tier of NFL QB this season. There were times when it seemed unlikely or impossible that he would reach this final form, having taken on the status of punchline after one of the wilder wild card games ever. The Bills will secure the number two seed in the playoffs with a win or a Steelers loss, which should become reality with Pittsburgh sitting Big Ben against Cleveland.
However, not content to wait out the season, Allen will be playing for positioning and a possible stab at the MVP conversation. On the flip side, the Dolphins need a win to get in, but with Tua under center, the offense hasn't looked as dynamic, leading to him being pulled in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick for the final five minutes of the barn burning finish in Las Vegas last Saturday night.
Going forward that won't be a sustainable strategy in the NFL for a number of reasons, but the most pressing is that Fitzpatrick has been added to the COVID list and will be unavailable in relief. A dink and dunk Dolphins offense won't be able to keep up with the run and gun Bills this time.
Couple @SportsCenter notes from AM #WashingtonFootball remains optimistic Alex Smith starts vs #Eagles. Will make… https://t.co/Hmg3uV1Gk3— Jeremy Fowler (@Jeremy Fowler) 1609615175.0
For any other human man, setting an over/under at that number of rushing yards in a game would feel ludicrous. However, we aren't talking about any man. We are talking about the man who's about to wrap up his second straight rushing title. The man who's 223 yards away from 2,000 on the season. A man who's gone for over 200 yards twice against the very opponent he's about to face, including a performance last year to lock up said rushing title.
If there were ever an opponent that would make finishing with this many yards seem possible, it's the Texans. They have the 31st ranked rushing defense in the league, their offense has been stagnant, and unnamed players have seemed to have given up. If Henry seems anywhere close as the game begins to wind down, how could Vrabel not lean on his horse and let the King make history.
Derrick Henry clinches the 2019 NFL Rushing Title AND a 1,500 yard season with this INCREDIBLE run! https://t.co/HTm9aMcMnw— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) 1577664593.0
Tennessee Titans -7.5 over Houston Texans
For all the reasons above, I will be riding with the Titans to demolish this floundering Texan team. The Titans can win the AFC South with a win, and though they were outclassed in Green Bay, this team's offense has been impressively efficient behind the rock steady Ryan Tannehill. It's hard to imagine a world in which they're slowed down by this defense or matched by this hobbled offense.