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NFL

NFL Week 17: Part 1

Week 16 was a fourth consecutive winning week. We went 11-5 on the week. We are now 37-23 over the last four weeks, using the cash model in this season’s new betting experiment. We are on a tear down the stretch and looking to hit our goal by the end of the season.  

Our winners this week were the Titans, Cowboys, Raiders, Texans, Colts, Chiefs, Bengals, Eagles, Jets, Eagles, and Dolphins. With only two weeks left in the season, we could end up hitting our goal if we can keep this hot streak going.

By The Numbers

Since Week 4, and the teams with the majority of cash wagered on them have gone 104-81. The teams with more than 60% of the cash on them are 72-54. The teams with more than 80% of cash on them are 26-14.

Remember to check the article after 11:00 am EST every Sunday. By then, we will have the final picks, factoring-in the cash numbers from PFF in our decision. Reminder: We are following the cash model, which means we follow the picks leading in cash percentage, unless there is significant late cash movement the other way.

This week, we’ll cover the first eight games of the week in this article and the last eight in part two.

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Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

 

Buccaneers at Jets +14

The Buccaneers have scored at least 30 points in five of their last six games. Even without their top two receivers last week, the Bucs still trounced the Panthers last week. This week, Tom Brady may be without even more of his weapons, as Antonio Brown tweaked his injured ankle on Friday. Even with Mike Evans off the Covid list, his hamstring may still not be good.

The Jets are staying frisky. After losing by a late touchdown to the Dolphins, the Jets took care of the Jaguars last week. Zach Wilson was decent, but the problems this week are with his receiving group. Elijah Moore still isn’t healthy and Jamison Crowder will likely be ruled-out Sunday. It’s possible the Jets turn to Michael Carter in the pass game, but the options look slim against a good run defense / bad pass defense.

As of Friday, there is no clear cash leader in this matchup. 80% of the tickets were on the Bucs. Sunday’s cash report listed the Jets as cash favorites at +14 (89%), despite the confusing juice on the Bucs at -115. It’s odd, to be honest.

Buccaneers 27 Jets 14

 

Raiders at Colts -8

The Colts are almost locked-in on a playoff spot now. One more win and they should be able to start prepping for the playoffs. Offensively, the Colts may run into some issues this week. Carson Wentz hit the protocols early this week, but returned off the list Saturday.  Jonathan Taylor was without a touchdown last week for the first time since Week 3, so expect him to step up this week.

The Raiders are hanging-in the playoff race by a thread. After a narrow victory against their rival Broncos, the Raiders need to win-out to make playoffs (to be certain). Derek Carr has quietly produced, despite the losses of Darren Waller and Henry Ruggs. The Raiders had some protocol and injury advantages over the last two weeks, but credit them for taking care of business. This is now the third week of such matchup luck.

Friday’s cash numbers had the Colts favored at 61% (-6.5). By Sunday, the Colts jumped to -8 and held 60% of the cash.

Colts 27 Raiders 17

 

Giants at Bears -6.5

The Giants are an absolute dumpster fire. After unexpectedly beating the Eagles five weeks ago, the Giants have now dropped four straight (all four double-digit losses). The offense is offensive, and the defense is uninspired. With just two weeks to go and a meaningless away game in Chicago, it appears the Giants already mailed it in.

The Bears showed signs of life in last week’s upset win over the Seahawks in a snow storm. Not only was it impressive the way the Bears rallied; it was more impressive they did so on the road. Now, the Bears have a shot to further develop Justin Fields while also drubbing the lowly Giants at home. It would go a long way towards momentum for 2022, as well as Matt Nagy possibly retaining his job (as bad as that seems).

On Friday, the Giants remained heavy favorites at 96%. However, Sunday marked heavy movement towards the Bears with late cash pushes towards the Bears to swing the cash to a more even split.

Bears 31 Giants 20

 

Eagles -6 at WFT

The Eagles are making a serious run towards the postseason. Just six weeks ago, this team was 3-6 and teetering on the brink of the NFC East cellar. Now, the Eagles have gone 5-1 over their last six and could secure a playoff spot by winning out. Jalen Hurts continues to take positive steps forward, despite the occasional setbacks. This week, they face a Washington team who could’ve doubled as zombies on The Walking Dead.

Last week was possibly one of the most pathetic performances by a football team anyone has seen at the NFL level this millennium. The WFT surrendered (optimal word here) 42 first half points to the Dallas Cowboys, which set a Cowboys scoring record for a single half. The passing game was awful and Antonio Gibson was still noticeably hurt. Still, that was some absolutely horrifying football to watch.

The Eagles are probably pretty happy they face the WFT this week. The line started pretty small, but has now moved to –4.5 to the Eagles, with the Eagles holding the cash advantage at 77% on Friday. Sunday’s cash report had the Eagles as slight favorites, even with a considerable line movement.

Eagles 29 WFT 19

 

Rams -6.5 at Ravens

The Rams handled business last week and made us look a little silly in the process. Despite a horrid performance by Matt Stafford, the Rams still won by two scores and inched even closer to a division title. The Rams have won four straight, and come in with minimal covid absences. With a healthy roster and a weakened opponent, things are looking good for the Rams yet again.

The Ravens have been decimated by injuries from the start of training camp. With Lamar Jackson likely out again, the Ravens will turn to Tyler Huntley against a dangerous Rams defense. Huntley filled-in well against both the Bengals and the Packers, so we shouldn’t expect a big difference between a banged-up Lamar and a healthy Tyler Huntley. The Ravens need to win to stay in the playoff race.

Friday’s cash line had the Rams as slight favorites (52%) even with the two-point slide from 3.5 to 5.5 points. Sunday’s cash listed the Rams as favorites at 74%.

Rams 27 Ravens 20

 

Jaguars at Patriots -17

The Jaguars are still showing up, so that’s cool. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be much on the side of motivation. Urban Meyer drained the life out of this team on his way out the door and they just appear to have given up. James Robinson went down with an achilles injury last week to add to their misery. At this point, they need to just get wacky on offense and bank a high draft pick.

The Patriots finally got smacked around last week. The weather conditions in Buffalo weeks ago truly appeared to be the big issue in their first meeting. After watching the Bills dominate the Patriots in good weather, it’s clear the Patriots were a bit of a mirage while coasting through favorable matchups and the AFC East. With their playoff spot all but clinched, now is the time for the Pats to work some issues out.

Regardless of what happened last week for the Patriots, this will likely be the easiest game of their season. The Jags have many issues, but stopping the run is close to the top of the list. Even after the hiccup last week, there’s little reason to believe the Patriots won’t bounce back in a big way against a terrible Jags team.

Friday’s cash had the Patriots at 50%. Sunday’s cash report listed the Patriots as cash favorites at 88%, even with the line moving to 17.

Patriots 34 Jaguars 10

 

Dolphins +3 at Titans

The Dolphins, yet again, had a cakewalk of an opponent last week. After weeks and weeks of soft matchups (minus the Ravens), the Dolphins got the Saints, missing both their first and second string QBs. Taking the baby steps approach early on, the Dolphins were able to turn good defense into good offense. After yet another game where they weren’t really tested, the Dolphins are just two games from the playoffs.

The Titans surprised a lot of people last week when they took down the hot 49ers. To many, it came as a surprise. However, the Titans have been a very physical team up front for most of the season. It’s how they handled the Bills, Rams, Chiefs, and Colts (twice). Don’t be fooled by the bad losses (Jets, Jaguars, Texans). This team may lack the flashy weapons, but they make up for it through physical play.

The Dolphins were 61% cash favorites on Friday. On Sunday, the Dolphins were up to 81%.

Titans 22 Dolphins 20

 

Chiefs -3.5 at Bengals

The Chiefs are sailing now. For much of the season, we wondered if their defense could improve and whether Pat Mahomes was okay. Now, it seems they’re coming down the other side of the mountain and it’s all sunshine and butterflies. With Travis Kelce coming off the Covid designation, the Chiefs will be near full-strength when they face the Bengals in the Jungle Sunday.

The Bengals are just one win away from clinching the AFC North. Following a roller coaster season in the division, the Bengals have won their last two, while every other team in their division has lost a combined 7 straight. The offense looks decent right now, and the defense looks much better than they did against the Chargers just three weeks ago.

On Friday, the Chiefs held 55% of the cash. By Sunday, the Chiefs actually moved into the cash lead at 77%, following large cash wagers on the Bengals that dropped the line from 5.5 to 3.5.

Chiefs 34 Bengals 30

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