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Top NFL Betting Expert Picks For Week 17 (12/29/19)


We had a great Week 16 which put my regular season total back to .500, which is about where we've hovered all year. The Patriots got the week off to a hot start by squeaking by with a seven-point win, meanwhile the Saints took care of business thanks to arguably the best connection in football. The Broncos made me regret trusting them, but I'm not sure why I thought any thing different would happen.

I'm here to break down each team's spot, as well as dive into my favorite spreads, totals, team totals, and even moneylines for this week of the NFL schedule. My goal is to find the right value for you to be able to make money. Vegas makes you really work to find the right picks, but I hope I can make things a little more clear for you each and every week.

Follow me on Twitter @sgjanik_6 to chat about football and my picks. I’m also on the Action App @sgjanik6 where I’ll post all the picks below and more this season. While I'll certainly continue this through the playoffs, I'd just like to thank everyone who may have read this throughout the regular season. Sports betting is not an easy activity and as you've seen can be very stressful, but I hope you stayed responsible in your wagers and had a lot of fun in the process.

Editor's Note: Here's a really nice special offer for all RotoBaller readers and prop picks hounds out there, from our friends at the fastest growing DFS site, Monkey Knife Fight. New AND Existing Player Bonus - All players receive a 100% matched signup or reload bonus up to $50 with code 'RBNFL19'.  Sign up and deposit, and use our picks below to get off on a winning foot! 

 

Indianapolis at Jacksonville (+3.5)

O/U: 43

The Colts have been pretty rough over the last month, to put it kindly. Their 1-4 record is marred with terrible defense, injuries, and just flat out getting beaten. Jacoby Brissett hasn’t thrown a touchdown in two games, and that’s with T.Y. Hilton returning to action. Marlon Mack has been relatively steady over his last four, rushing for 261 yards and three scores, but this offense isn’t fit to be one dimensional, hence the terrible record recently. Consider their 38-6 win in Week 16 over Carolina an outlier, as Will Grier was the Panthers’ quarterback. Before last week, they had allowed 34 points per game (ppg) in their previous three games.

When making your picks over the past month, if you haven’t picked on Gardner Minshew at least once when placing bets, you’ve been missing out. The Jags have averaged just 13 ppg since he re-took the starting quarterback job in Week 13. However, it might not be his fault entirely, as Leonard Fournette hasn’t been given much room to work either. Behind an offensive line that ranks 27th, according to FootballOutsiders.com, Fournette has eclipsed 70 yards just once over his last four and he hasn’t scored either.

Both teams had entirely disappointing seasons and regardless of this outcome, both will finish with less than a winning season. There’s not much for either side to play for so I don’t expect much urgency on offense, yet again.

Pick: Under 43

 

Atlanta at Tampa Bay (PK)

O/U: 48

Atlanta is arguably one of the hotter teams in football with a 5-2 record since their bye week, including three straight wins. They’ve averaged 31 ppg in that streak, while allowing just 18 ppg, so they’re not just squeaking by. Matt Ryan certainly has pulled his weight of late, throwing for 1,269 yards in the last three, and that’s with an injured Julio Jones (knee/shoulder). However, it’s the inconsistency of the run game that hurts this offense, and when Devonta Freeman is rolling, the Falcons are a much better team. Defensively, they’ve allowed over 200 yards passing just once in the last four, but the run game has been an issue, with opponents eclipsing 100 yards in each of the last three.

Jameis Winston might be the only quarterback in the NFL who can throw for four interceptions and leave people wanting more. The 25-year-old is singlehandedly capable of either winning or losing every game he plays, regardless of how the rest of the team does. Now that Mike Evans (hamstring) is out and Chris Godwin (hamstring) is still not practicing as of the writing, this offense is obviously a shell of it’s true potential. Although, Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson have done well enough to keep the offense moving. On the defensive side, Tampa Bay hasn’t allowed 100 rushing yards in a game since Week 11; however, saying the secondary is vulnerable is being kind, having allowed 29 touchdowns this year.

The fan bases of both these teams have to be completely frustrated with how their seasons played out, but it seems that both Atlanta and Tampa Bay have no quit, regardless of who is or isn’t on the field. The Bucs have hit the over hit 11 times this year, and while the Falcons have just six overs, four of them have come on the road.

Pick: Over 48

 

Arizona at LA Rams  (-4.5)

O/U: 45

Kliff Kingsbury picked up his best win as a rookie NFL head coach last week in a 27-13 win over the Seahawks, marking Arizona’s fifth victory of the year. While no one expected him to get things together in one year, he has shown that his offense is very capable in the NFL, especially now that he has Kenyan Drake posting career numbers. Kyler Murray has been very good for a rookie quarterback and his dual-threat capabilities are severely under-looked because of a guy named Lamar Jackson. Defensively, you can throw out last week’s game where they allowed just 13 points; they haven’t allowed less than 21 in any other game this season.

After back-to-back losses, the Rams have nothing to play for except their pride. It was quite a down year for the league’s runner up in 2018, but hangovers are definitely a real thing. It’s possible that one too many injuries could have been a factor in their season, but Todd Gurley and Jared Goff have not been the studs that Sean McVay needed them to be. Gurley has scored in each of the last four but it wasn’t enough to vault them into the playoff picture. Their defense carries some of the best defensive players in the league, however, it again all comes back to the last two games where they allowed 44 and 34 points, respectively.

LA smoked Arizona on the road, 34-7, in Week 13 on the heals of Gurley and Goff’s three combined touchdowns. Against the spread (ATS) this year in NFC West games, LA is 4-1, while Arizona is 2-2 but the Rams are 5-1 ATS following a loss, so I look for them to bounce back here and win by a touchdown, where the spread initially opened.

Pick: Rams -4.5

 

LA Chargers at Kansas City (-9)

O/U: 45.5

The Chiefs are on a five-game win streak and have outscored their opponents 136-48. Any questions about their defense have been answered, while Patrick Mahomes is also silencing whatever haters decided to peak their head out. On the other side, the Chargers have won just once in their last six efforts but aside from an outlying 45-10 win over Jacksonville in Week 14, this team is struggling. Over that six-game span, Philip Rivers has a 9/11 TD/Int, which is all that needs to be said about the state of the offense.

For some reason, the Chargers are more capable of scoring early on the road, as they average around 13 ppg in the first half, while Kansas City averages 17 ppg in the opening half this year. However, the Chiefs are going to want to put themselves in a position for a first-round bye by getting up early and often, so I’m going after the first-half total.

Pick: 1st Half Total Over 23

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