It’s time to take some of that money your grandparents gifted you over the Holidays and double down on some NFL action! We’ve reached Week 17, which means there are only two more weekends of regular season football to place wagers on. This season is moving faster than a cheetah on a treadmill.
Speaking of cheetahs, wideout Tyreek Hill and his Miami Dolphins will travel to face the Baltimore Ravens in our game of the week this coming Sunday with the top seed in the AFC potentially on the line. The experts currently have the Ravens as a slight favorite (more on that below.)
There are seven games on this slate in which teams are favored by less than three and a half points, meaning it should be an incredibly competitive weekend with major playoff implications.
Allow me to help you try and win some cold hard cash courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
Here’s a look at our games of the week.
Miami Dolphins vs. Baltimore Ravens (-3)
The schedule makers gave everyone a surprise gift here at the end of the regular season, with two Super Bowl contenders squaring off in the crab-cake city. The Dolphins enter this game at 11-4, which leads the AFC East, but is good for second in the AFC — only behind the Ravens, who sit at 12-3.
Both of these teams are coming off incredibly impressive wins. The Dolphins held off the Dallas Cowboys last weekend by a score of 22-20. Dolphins’ kicker Jason Sanders drilled all five of his field goal attempts, including three from 50+ yards, including a walk-off winner.
The key to this heavyweight clash will be the Dolphins’ ability to contain Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, who is now the MVP favorite, especially in the run game. Jackson leads the team with 786 yards rushing and is a threat to change the game with his legs on every dropback.
Miami on the other hand is tied for fifth in the NFL in total rush defense and is tied for second in the league since week five, as their pass rushers like Bradley Chubb can disrupt the offensive backfield.
The x-factor will be the health of Miami’s top two wideouts. Hill has been bothered by an ankle injury for a few weeks, and Jaylen Waddle suffered an ankle sprain against the Cowboys that will likely keep him out.
Currently, 65% of bettors are backing the Ravens at home. I agree with them.
Pick: Ravens -3
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-7)
What in the world is going on with the Chiefs? Kansas City has lost five of their last eight games, which simply never seemed possible for a team led by a healthy Patrick Mahomes.
Their WR group continues to struggle, as they lead the NFL in dropped passes. Kansas City is limping into this matchup against a desperate Cincinnati team looking to cling onto playoff hopes.
The Bengals and their surprising standout backup QB Jake Browning had won three straight games before losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers last Saturday evening. Here is the good news for the Chiefs’ offense — in their last outing the Bengals’ defense gave up 34 points to QB Mason Rudolph and a Pittsburgh offense that ranks near the bottom of the league in every offensive statistical category.
Right now, 59% of bettors see this as a perfect bounce-back spot for Kansas City, a team that needs one win to lock up the AFC West, and I do think they will get back on track here.
HOWEVER, it won’t be easy. It hasn’t been easy at all this year for the Chiefs. They will ultimately officially eliminate the Bengals from the playoffs, but they won’t cover the spread. I believe in the fighting Jake Browning’s.
Pick: Bengals +7
Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings (-1.5)
The final game of the Holiday weekend is essentially a win-or-go-home contest featuring two bitter NFC North rivals. The Vikings got the best of the Packers back in week 8, sacking Green Bay QB Jordan Love four times in a 24-10 road victory at Lambeau Field.
The big difference is that the game was played with starting QB Kirk Cousins, who has since been lost for the season. Minnesota has since played a game of musical chairs at the helm and is currently riding with Nick Mullens as their signal-caller. Mullens is coming off a four-interception game in a loss to the Detroit Lions.
This will be a close game, as the spread indicates, but Green Bay currently has the stronger QB play, which is why I give the cheeseheads a slight edge on the road.
Pick: Packers +1.5
What are your thoughts on the team’s picks for Week 17?