Handicapping Week 17: All Picks ATS (Featuring The Computer)
Unless I pull a miracle, I’ll be below .500 picking all games ATS this season. I’ve never done well/great in ATS, which is fine – my system is designed to find the 1-2-3+ Vegas line opportunities. I expect to pick the coin flip games around 50% (the ones the system thinks are a coin flip based on the line). I more care about the ones that show an opportunity and thus the ones I make real bets on. But for our group contest here, I still want to be the best – but I’ll be lucky to get to 50% for the year, so that stinks.
Last week, Week 16, The Computer hated all the lines and I didn’t play anything seriously. One of the first times I’ve done that in years (not have anything of interest to play in a week). Week 17 is a mixed bag with all the motivations for playoffs and players sitting, etc. Occasionally, there is a hot, young QB to play for or against Week 17 that gets my betting juices flowing…but I don’t really see that this week except for one game. Falcons over a possible Ryan Griffin start for Tampa looks enticing (if true) but the real money is the Saints backups vs. Kyle Allen/Carolina with McCaffrey likely sitting could be the play of the week by far. I plan to put some mid-major muscle on the Saints this week – Bridgewater/Hill v. Allen is no contest.
I have two long shot things Sunday that could take an OK/solid ‘real’ wagering season and make it great…
1) Cincy beats the Steelers and I get the Cincy ‘over’ 6.5 win total for 2018. This seems almost dead…but I will be rooting for a Bengals shocker Sunday afternoon.
2) The Mack Daddy bet of them all for 2018. What could be the greatest football call in many years…Indy wins the AFC South. That 20-to-1 bet I suggested to all after Weeks 4-5 when The Computer was nagging me that Indy was a top 10 team in hiding.
To pull this off, Houston has to lose and Indy has to win. Not as crazy of a long shot to happen, but not favored to happen. If I pull this off…then it’s a great wagering season in 2018.
So, my picks for the week are listed #1-2 below…my top two I will play with medium confidence, but I’ll also be rooting for the Jags and Bengals and Colts this week more than my top two Week 17 game plays.
Good luck to all of us on these Week 17 games because more than a few of you followed our over/under win totals (CHI-CIN-NO) and took a small position on the Indy in-season long shot to win the division – and Sunday could be a Christmas 2.0 miracle gift to all of us who played them.
Except for me…the other guys in our group are all fighting to be ‘top dog’ of the pickers for 2018. Skol has the best historical record in ‘all games’ ATS…he’s going for another group title this week. I can’t win the YTD even if I went 16-0…
All Games ATS Through Week 16:
126-105-9 = Rabbitt
126-105-9 = Skolman
124-107-9 = Savage
122-109-9 = Katz
113-118-9 = RC
*20-14-1 YTD when all five Handicappers unanimously agree on an ATS pick.
**Computer data as of Thursday, written on Friday, posted Saturday due to my weird travel schedule**
CAR at NO (-7.0)
The Computer says: NO by 20.4 (Point Spread Differential = 13.4)
If this is Taysom Hill and/or Teddy Bridgewater vs. Kyle Allen with no Christian McCaffrey…then this is awesome. Dwayne Washington at RB for the Saints? You know I love that, and if you don’t – get with the program!
OAK at KC (-13.5)
The Computer says: KC by 23.9 (Point Spread Differential = 10.4)
KC wins #1 seed and AFC West with a win…how do they not unleash holy hell on the banged-up Raiders? Will Gruden put a backup QB in for Carr at halftime too?
CLE at BAL (-5.5)
The Computer says: BAL by 0.1 (Point Spread Differential = 5.4)
I think this could be an outright upset. Think about it – if Baker started day one and Hue not the head coach, what’s the Browns record right now? 10-6?
Lamar Jackson from the start for BAL? Probably right where the Ravens are now or worse.
The Browns are the better team, and they’ve played better the last 4-5 weeks while the Ravens went on their good run too. The Browns are a better team, I get the better QB, and I get +5.5…thank you!! If only Denzel Ward was playing.
SF at LAR (-10.0)
The Computer says: LAR by 14.6 (Point Spread Differential = 4.6)
The Rams gain a lot with a win…the #2 seed. As well as the 49ers are playing at home they are much worse on the road and are down a starting RB + two top WRs, and a top corner among other things. This could be a quick slaughter by the Rams.
PHI (-6.5) at WAS
The Computer says: PHI by 10.6 (Point Spread Differential = 4.1)
How do you bet against Nick Foles this time of year in this type of situation? You don’t. Especially when Josh Johnson with no O-Line is the alternative.
CHI at MIN (-4.5)
The Computer says: MIN by 0.5 (Point Spread Differential = 4.0)
The Bears are the better team straight up, but you have the question of motivations…and what if the Bears see the Rams jump out to a huge lead and pullback because the game is meaningless at that point? I’ll just take the better team + points and let the chips fall where they may?
ARI at SEA (-13.5)
The Computer says: SEA by 17.5 (Point Spread Differential = 4.0)
Seattle has ‘holding their seeding’ to play for while Arizona limps into their offseason chaos of management changes. I’ll take the motivated team vs. the one already on vacation and the one that may pull David Johnson by the end of the 1st quarter.
DAL at NYG (-6.0)
The Computer says: NYG by 9.9 (Point Spread Differential = 3.9)
I’m assuming the Dallas starters go 1-2 series at best. No reason for the Cowboys to push starters who could use a week off.
MIA at BUF (-4.5)
The Computer says: BUF by 7.9 (Point Spread Differential = 3.4)
I really like Buffalo here. The injury report/inactives might swing this to a Blazing Five type option tomorrow.
JAC at HOU (-6.5)
The Computer says: HOU by 9.6 (Point Spread Differential = 3.1)
I want to take Jacksonville for the upset (I need JAC for the upset for my Indy bet), but with Fournette out and A.J. Bouye out…it’s near impossible now.
LAC (-6.5) at DEN
The Computer says: LAC by 3.9 (Point Spread Differential = 2.6)
The Computer has been telling me to watch for an outright upset here. If KC goes up big on Oakland, the Chargers could realize by mid-3rd quarter that this game is meaningless and allowed Denver to cover/win in the 2nd-half.
NYJ at NE (-13.5)
The Computer says: NE by 11.6 (Point Spread Differential = 1.9)
I don’t trust NE here, but they have all the motivations and no injuries while NYJ limps into this game at Foxboro. It’s a lot of points to give to a sloppy Patriots team.
IND (-3.5) at TEN
The Computer says: IND by 5.3 (Point Spread Differential = 1.8)
This should be a pretty solid bet if Mariota is out, and I think he will be…but unsure at the time of this pick submission. I wish Center Ryan Kelly wasn’t out…that’s a game-changer for the Colts run game.
ATL (-1.0) at TB
The Computer says: ATL by 2.8 (Point Spread Differential = 1.8)
The more I believe the Falcons go fully with their starters all game…and believe Ryan Griffin might start for TB – you gotta love the Falcons here.
DET at GB (-8.0)
The Computer says: GB by 6.6 (Point Spread Differential = 1.4)
The Computer smells outright upset potential here as we all get head-faked by Aaron Rodgers playing 2-3 series and leaving for DeShone Kizer.
PIT (-14.5) at CIN
The Computer says: PIT by 15.8 (Point Spread Differential = 1.3)
I’ll be rooting for the Bengals hard…but not likely to get the payoff. Too many injuries for the Bengals, but they do have Hue Jackson on the coaching staff…