The 2013 NFL regular season has been, in a word, disappointing. I can’t tell you how excited I am for Week 17 to pass so we can focus on the playoffs, and the Philadelphia Eagles could potentially save our season. A few weeks ago, I grabbed a taste of them at 30-1 to win the Super Bowl, and if they are able to defeat the Tony Romo-less Dallas Cowboys this week, those odds are sure to plummet. If you’re a regular reader of the Pigskin Diaries you already know how much I love Chip Kelly, and if he can somehow pull of a miracle in January, then my affection for him will increase exponentially.
If you were able to cash in the DraftKings.com Millionaire Grand Final, congratulations. Much like my predictions against the spread this season, the two teams I invested in crashed and burned. One team was in the money heading into Sunday Night Football with Matt Forte and Vernon Davis left to play, but both players failed miserably. If you’re a loser like me, and you’re looking for some redemption, there are still juicy tournaments to compete in this weekend, including the Sunday 200 Grand, a $109 buy-in, $200,000 guaranteed event.
This week’s picks are a bit abridged, partially because of the holidays, and partially because I am afraid to put up a losing week. Even if we post a perfect 16-0 record in Week 17, we’ll finish the season nine games under .500.
As always, my picks include the number and all advanced statistics are courtesy of Football Outsiders.
OK, time for the picks, because…
Carolina (-5.5) @ Atlanta
Because the Falcons rank 25th in total DVOA (-10.9 percent) and the Panthers are contending for the two seed.
Green Bay @ Chicago (+3)
Because Aaron Rodgers may not be Aaron Rodgers yet.
Houston @ Tennessee (-7)
Because Mike Munchak could be coaching for a job, while Wade Phillips is coaching for the first overall pick.
Cleveland @ Pittsburgh (-7)
Because the Steelers have defeated the Browns by an average of 14.88 points per game at home since 2004.
Washington (+3.5) @ New York Giants
Because Kirk Cousins wants to be the next Matt Flynn.
Baltimore (+6.5) @ Cincinnati
Because the Ravens are the new Giants.
Jacksonville (+10.5) @ Indianapolis
Because Andrew Luck is 0-2 ATS at home when giving more than a touchdown.
DraftKings Value Plays
Unlike previous weeks, where we listed a handful of value plays, this week we are constructing a team. With a few teams completely in the tank, and others locked into their playoff position, we are going to employ a stars and scrubs category to key in on superior players we know will play a full 60 minutes. Nick Foles, DeMarco Murray, Brandon Marshall, and Jimmy Graham make up more than 63 percent of our budget.
|RB||Knile Davis||San Diego||$3,000|
|WR||Brandon Marshall||Green Bay||$7,800|
|TE||Jimmy Graham||Tampa Bay||$7,300|
|DST||Washington||New York Giants||$2,400|
New York Jets (+5.5) @ Miami
Because Rex Ryan isn’t going to be fired because of Ryan Tannehill.
Detroit @ Minnesota (-3)
Because the Lions are a train wreck, on top of a sinking ship, on top of a burning building.
Buffalo (+8) @ New England
Because nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills, who are 3-1 ATS when getting more than four points.
Tampa Bay (+13) @ New Orleans
Because no one is going to bet on the Buccaneers – except us.
Denver @ Oakland (+11)
Because there’s a chance the Broncos are locked into the one seed at kickoff.
San Francisco @ Arizona (PK)
Because the Cardinals will proudly play the roll of spoiler if the Saints win at home.
Kansas City (+10) @ San Diego
Because the Chargers might not be playing for anything either.
St. Louis @ Seattle (-11.5)
Because the Seahawks remain the exception to the rule.
Philadelphia @ Dallas (+6.5)
Because no one is giving the Cowboys a chance.
Last Week: 7-9
Spreads are courtesy of Pinnacle and accurate as of 10:00 p.m. EST on Friday