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The Pick Six: Week 17 NFL Picks

The Pick Six: Week 17 NFL Betting

Welcome to the final edition of The Pick Six for the 2018 NFL regular season. I had an up-and-down Week 16 that saw my picks go 3-3. I was spot-on with my underdog picks in backing the Ravens and Seahawks but fell short when I decided to take the Browns to cover the spread against the Bengals (even when the Browns win, they still lose).

At 47-49 for my NFL picks this season, this is my final shot to get my record above .500 for the year even though Week 17 can be tricky for bettors due to teams resting players or not giving full effort. That’s why my picks this week may lean to favorites more than usual with backup quarterbacks getting their first start in an NFL game.

Each week during the NFL season, I give you my six favorite plays on the moneyline, spread or total. Here we go with Week 17!

The Pick: UNDER 41.5 Cowboys vs Giants

Fans of each franchise know that when these teams take the field, scoring is hard to come by. The UNDER has hit in the last five games in this matchup with an average combined score of 30.2 points per game and I expect the Cowboys starters to hit the showers at halftime. Even when the starters play, Dallas has a hard time scoring on the road as the UNDER has hit in 10 of its last 11 away games with an average combined score of 32.8 points per game. Finally, when these teams met in Arlington in Week 2, the final combined score was 33 points with the total closing at 42.

The Pick: Patriots -13.5 vs Jets

The number may seem very daunting for spread bettors, especially given how the Patriots have looked recently, but they do still have something to play for. The Pats are trying to get that first-round bye so they’ll do whatever they can to get that week off and Foxborough is a graveyard for opposing teams. Dating back to the start of last season, New England is 15-2 SU and 11-6 ATS in 17 home games, including a Week 17 beatdown of the Jets in 2017 when they won by 20 points. I know the number may scare bettors away but consider this: The Pats are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games in Foxborough as double-digit faves with an average winning margin of 17.8 points per game. You really want to bet against that?

The Pick: Ravens -6 vs Browns

It shouldn’t seem like a coincidence that the Ravens offense has taken off since Lamar Jackson took over at quarterback. Baltimore is averaging 25 points per game over the last six contests and pairing that offense with the league’s No. 1-ranked defense, I fully expect the Ravens to hammer the Browns. Look, I know Cleveland’s resurgence is a great story but let’s not go overboard considering who the Browns have beaten lately. The Brownies have won five of their last six games over teams with losing records and when they faced a winning team (the Texans), they got rolled by 16 points.

The Pick: UNDER 42 Eagles vs Redskins

With Washington failing to top 20 points over its last four games, this one feels like a lock. I can’t see the Redskins scoring more than 16 points in this game because the reality is that Washington is on its third quarterback this season and Josh Johnson is merely a placeholder until this game wraps up. The Eagles, on the other hand, may have recaptured the magic with Nick Foles back as the signal-caller but I’m not convinced he will do the same damage to the Deadskins that Carson Wentz did when he dropped 28 points on them (for the record, that game also went UNDER with a final combined score of 41 points). I was initially leaning to take Eagles -6.5 but I think the offenses on both sides are too inept to drop 43 points on us.

The Pick: OVER 51 Falcons vs Buccaneers

Both of these teams rank in the bottom tier of points allowed per game (Buccaneers: 28.7; Falcons: 26.1) and both of these teams can put points on the board. I expect Tampa and Atlanta to air the ball out a lot as they both rank in the top five in passing yards per game and have combined for over 65 passing touchdowns this season. With nothing on the line, the defenses likely won’t play as hard (as if that mattered earlier in the year) and the OVER has hit in four of the last five games in this matchup with an average combined score of 57.6 points per game.

The Pick: Colts Moneyline vs Titans

My initial lean was to back the Titans at home with QB Marcus Mariota set to play but news came down Sunday of him being ruled out. So, with the recent development, I'm shifting gears and going with the Colts moneyline instead. With Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, I can't see the Titans offense doing anything vs the Colts. Gabby is only completing 59 percent of his passes in mop-up duty this season and was on the field when the Colts stomped the Titans 38-10 on November 18. Andrew Luck has never lost to the Titans in his career (10-0 SU in 10 games) and I fully expect that trend to continue with Indianapolis clinching a playoff spot. 

Gilles’ record after 16 weeks (including Thanksgiving): 47-49