Week 17 and there’s lots of weird lines out there with tons of players’ statuses up in the air and teams possibly already looking to the offseason or the playoffs.
So pick carefully out there.
Last week Jeff and Sam hit on nearly on their picks, both getting a rare 4-0 on the Bears’ line and total (we both had the Chiefs -6 and under 44). At least the losses are easier to swallow when you’re making money.
Sam hit his bonus pick (Eagles +2.5) and Jeff hit his survivor picks (Denver and Indy) but the Houston/Tampa over missed.
In the pick ‘ems league there’s finally been a break at the top, assisted by a bad week from Lester. He lost his tie on top with WhiteH2O and dropped all the way to fourth and White took a two-point lead. Still a long way to go though as this one lasts all the way through the postseason.
Let’s get to this week’s picks:
Bears at Vikings (-1, O/U 37)
Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX
Sam: This game has already had a huge shift, with the Bears opening as 7-point dog on Sunday evening before the Vikings’ Monday Night game but after they lost and Vegas realized that the Vikings had nothing to play for, the line has plummeted.
The Bears are now short road dogs. Honestly, it’s a wait-and-see game for me in reality because we don’t know what Mike Zimmer is going to do. He could hold everyone out but he could also play the starters to keep them sharp.
It seems likely that they will sit guys in the second half. I will wait until Sunday to make a real money play but for the purposes of this column, I’ll take the Bears +1. I will also lean the over. I know the over hasn’t paid on Bears games, but two out of the three times the total has been below 40 this year, the over hit and this is the lowest total on a Bears game this season.
The only time it did hit was the first Bears-Vikings game, but I think everything is out the window with the potential rest factor. The Bears might get a couple easy scores, the Vikings back ups could allow the Bears defense to score, a lot of weird things could happen.
As for a bonus play (I’m not picking any survivors this week), I love the over in the Falcons-Bucs tilt. I realize it’s kind of a square pick but it’s so fun to root for an over in a game between two bad teams.
If you want a spread play, I actually like holding my nose and taking the Dolphins +16 and only part of that is because I want to see the Dolphins get their fifth win for my preseason pick that I made on Bears over Beers.
Jeff: I can’t see any reason to play my starters if I’m Mike Zimmer. Obviously, some guys will play (can’t sit everybody), but there’s no way my top performers are doing more than stretching. That sets up the Bears to play against back ups coming off an embarrassing performance. Call me crazy, but I don’t see how the Bears don’t win this one.
You can tell me it doesn’t matter all day and you’re right. But, and there’s a but, a win in Week 17 would allow the Bears to avoid a losing season, give them something to build off of heading into the long off season, and improve Matt Nagy’s record against the Vikings to 4-0 and the NFC North to 9-3. Yeah, they need to figure out how to beat that other team, but let’s keep this record going.
Plus, I’m going to be in attendance at this game. I really don’t want to drive all that way to get embarrassed by back ups. I’m sticking with the under simply because I think that this game will get to a point where both sides just start running fullback dives and punting to try and get out of there without any injuries.
As far as a bonus pick, I’ll take the Titans -3 against the Texans as the Titans need this one to get into the Playoffs and the Texans need to sit and rest starters. I don’t buy Bill O’Brien’s early week statement that he’s playing his guys. Sure, maybe for a series or something, but he’d be foolish to let his stars play this one.
In my one-man survivor pool that I’m playing in my own mind, I still have the Titans left so that’s one pick. For my second, well, I kind of want to throw up a Hail Mary here, and take the Cardinals against the Rams. The Cardinals just beat the Seahawks, they’ve been super inconsistent this season, but they play the Rams who were just eliminated from the playoffs. Maybe there’s something there.
Picks: Bears +1, Under, Titans -3, Titans and Cardinals (Survivor)