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2020 Week 17 Picks: All Games ATS, Blazing Five, Survivor Picks (RC v. The Computer)

December 31, 2020 9:36 AM
December 31, 2020 9:33 AM

2020 Week 17 Picks: All Games ATS, Blazing Five, Survivor Picks (RC v. The Computer)


All game picks ATS with me (RC) picking against The Computer with the THU morning spreads.

My Computer is analyzing/driving off our statistical analysis of the players/units/coaching/matchup game analysis with some historical trending on things – but mostly it is looking at the better teams/matchups to win considering the likely lineups, weather, and injury reports, etc.

I’m looking at The Computer’s data for my picks but also considering my feel for the matchup, my scouting hunches/biases of the two teams, the injury report impacts, and some inputs from Bet The Close Podcast’s Chris Bilello along with any other smart handicapping data inputs I come across/discover.

We’re all just trying to find a way to get to the holy grail of 60%+ win ability. We’re all trying to compete in office pools and survivor contests. If I had a 70%+ system guaranteed all the time, I’d consider keeping it to myself. I’m trying to get there, and here’s what I am seeing/playing right now to do it. I’ll adjust as we go, with any injury news, etc. if needed.


Week 16 Results:

The Computer = 5-10-1 overall, 1-4-0 Blazing Five

YTD = 107-127-6 (45.7%) overall, 37-41-2 Blazing Five (47.4%), Survivor Pool…IND(L), ARI(W), ATL(W), BAL(W), KC(L), MIA(W), BUF(W), TB(W), PIT(W), GB(W), LAC(W), NO(W), SEA(L), TEN(W), LAR(L), CLE(L)


R.C = 5-10-1 overall, 2-3-0 Blazing Five

YTD = 118-116-6 (50.4% overall), 38-36-2 Blazing Five (51.4%), Survivor Pool…still alive PIT(W), GB(W), IND(W), BAL/not Rams (W), ARI(W), MIA(W), BUF(W), TB(W), KC(W), NO(W), LAC(W), NYG(W), MIN(W), SEA(W), LAR(L) *Finally lost in Survivor, so who cares about life anymore? CLE(L)



Old intro…

FROM WEEK 5’s INTRO (and obviously I’m sticking with it…kinda): My new theory, a trend really…a simple way of betting you would say. I noticed a little/simple trend through the first 4 weeks and I’m going to follow it to make all picks – keeping it simple and taking a lot of my tape-watching and emotional bias out (because it’s not working/has me flirting +/- 50%). The Computer will stick with making picks based on ‘science’ -- the matchups + injuries + general betting history, etc.

My new simple formula for picking all games is this…

1) Take all the underdogs, regardless of how I feel.

2) Except always take the three definitive (to me) best teams in football no matter what the line is = those three teams are KC, BAL, BUF. (*Update: May drop BUF from this list, too many injuries)

3) And never bet with the single worst team in football…the Jets.

4) I’ll do my Blazing Five from within those pick patterns.


If I followed that theme for the first four weeks of this season, my record ATS would have been…

Week 1 = 10-5-1

Week 2 = 10-6-0

Week 3 = 9-7-0

Week 4 = 10-4-1

I’ll take that outcome…39-22-2 (63.9%).



UPDATE: Week 5 went 10-4-0…so, this is working for now. 49-26-2 overall system.

UPDATE: Week 6 went 9-5-0…so, this is six killer weeks in a row with this. Not changing off of it…except for I have three exceptions this week. 58-31-2 overall system.

UPDATE: Week 7…I, RC, deviated some from my system and I won more than lost on my audible calls. If I had just stuck to my original concept…the concept/system went 8-6-0. Still a winner…been a winner every week since Week 1. 66-37-2 overall system.

UPDATE: Week 8…I, RC, should’ve just stuck with the system and stopped trying to overthink everything. The system this week went 10-4-0…meaning the system has not had a losing record all year in any week. I’m going to stick with the system (unless I cannot help myself!) 76-41-2 overall system.

UPDATE: Week 9…I stuck to the plan with no deviation and went 8-6-0. 79-47-2 overall system (62.7% YTD).

UPDATE: Week 10…I stuck to the plan with deviation and had my first losing week since following the system. It was the system’s first losing week. Now, the system is 84-55-3 (60.4%).

UPDATE: Week 11...I stuck to the plan but made two deviations from breaking injury reports and I split (win/loss) those 'audibles'. Overall, for the second week in-a-row the system lost. I think we've got a flat tire here. The system worked well up until we're getting teams falling out of the race/quitting/taking on too many injuries. So, I'm going to 'lean' the system (taking dogs) but going to deviate away from teams I think have all but given up their team/coach, etc., and lost their QB (CIN, JAX types). The 'system' was 5-9-0 last week to bring the tally to 89-64-3 (58.2%).

I'll keep tracking the pure all-dog system, but me personally...I'm making some changes as I see fit. We'll see if I get burned with it.

UPDATE: Week 12…I had I just stuck to the system…I would have gone 11-5-0 this week, The system is now 100-69-3 (59.2%). So, I am just going to stick with the system and take myself out of the equation.

The rule is = Taking all dogs, except always with KC and always against the Jets.

UPDATE Week 13…One win over .500 on all picks ATS this week, but a nice 4-1 on the Blazing Five with another Survivor win. A good week overall.

Semi-sticking with the system this week, with a few modifications – the original rule was taking all the dogs no matter what, except always take KC and always against the Jets. I am adding the rule…always take BUF and LAR right now – as top 3-5 NFL teams the media doesn’t get, so lines/the public are always undervaluing.

I’m going off the reservation/away from some of the ‘all dog’ system picks this week – too many good lines/favorites to take this week in my opinion.

The original system went 7-8-0 this week and is now 107-77-3 (58.2%) YTD. We’ll keep tracking the original system every week to see how it is doing. So far, it’s the best…by far.

UPDATE Week 14: An ‘OK enough’ week. I deviated some from the system and it worked some and missed others.

Most importantly we won again in Survivor, and we’re set up for an all vs. Jets finish if we want it…

Week 15: LAR v. jets

Week 16: Browns v. jets

Week 17: Patriots v. jets (we have to see if this game means anything for NE. Last year, we made it to Week 17 in Survivor and got are one and only loss there…but had already booked many pool wins before we got to Week 17).

The original heavy-dog system went (in Week 14): 7-9-0 and is now 114-86-3 for the season. Hot start cooling to the finish because, in part, everyone is figuring out the underdog trend, so lines are being adjusted. We’ll still track it to the finish.

UPDATE Week 15: I lost in Survivor. I freaking lost in Survivor because thew Rams got smoked by the Jets. Are you kidding me? That’s summary of this handicapping week.

The original heavy-dog system went (in Week 15): 8-6-2 and is now 124-95-5 (56.6%) for the season.

UPDATE WEEK 16: The original heavy-dog system went (in Week 15): 8-7-1 and is now 132-102-5 (56.4%) for the season. Next year, I’m planning on sticking to it – picking all dogs except the 1-2 elite teams in the league.





WSH (-2.0) at PHI

The Computer: PHI…Eagles will play well without the pressure + having a QB still proving himself…and it will spoil Washington’s division title. Eagles by 0.2

RC picks: WSH…Best defense I’ve watched in recent weeks, going to roll with them with low confidence if Heinicke is at QB.

*Computer B5*


JAX at IND (-14.0)

The Computer: IND…Jags have lost last three by 21 or more points. Colts by 15.6

RC picks: IND…Jags dead + Glennon + JRob and DJC probably out.


GB (-5.5) at CHI

The Computer: GB…How do you side with the Bears over Packers in a must-win on both sides game like this? GB by 8.2

RC picks: GB…Have to go Rodgers-Adams.

*RC Blazing Five*

*Computer B5*


DAL (-1.5) at NYG

The Computer: NYG…Giants win a defensive struggle. Giants by 0.2

RC picks: DAL…Cowboys hitting a stride with a defense getting healthy.


PIT at CLE (-9.5)

The Computer: CLE…COVID issues make you nervous here but with PIT rolling over…Browns by 9.7

RC picks: CLE…Cleveland bounces back after the loss last week.


TEN (-7.5) at HOU

The Computer: TEN…Titans are better in every phase, including QB. Titans by 10.4

RC picks: TEN…Mike Vrabel ex-staffer for Romeo Crennel at Houston…Crennel low key lays down for his buddy.

*Computer B5* +RC Survivor Pick+


NO (-6.5) at CAR

The Computer: CAR…Saints win but Panthers back door cover. Saints by 6.0

RC picks: CAR…A lot of points to give to a very good Carolina team.

*RC Blazing Five*


NYJ at NE (-3.0)

The Computer: NE…Patriots eke out a win on the ‘surging’ Jets. Pats by 3.2

RC picks: NYJ…Yes, the Jets are better than the Patriots today.


MIN (-6.5) at DET

The Computer: MIN…Lions look terrible down the stretch. Vikes by 7.9

RC picks: MIN…Cousins v. Daniel – I’ll take Cousins.

+Computer Survivor Pick+


ATL at TB (-6.5)

The Computer: ATL…You never know what ATL or TB team you’re gonna get, so take the points. TB by 5.0

RC picks: TB…Bucs starting to roll a little bit, and Brady is willing to humiliate opponents if he can get over on them through the air…and that’s true here.


BAL (-12.0) at CIN

The Computer: BAL…Baltimore showing signs of being that 2019 team. Ravens by 14.1

RC picks: CIN…A lot of points, and I think Brandon Allen is not terrible with the Ravens down two starting CBs.  

*Computer B5*


MIA at BUF (-2.0)

The Computer: BUF…Miami going north into the cold, and as the inferior team. Bills by 4.3

RC picks: MIA…Bills need the game for seeding, I assumed they’d win…but the talk I hear out of Buffalo is that the home field not being a big deal in 2020 factors in – and that Buffalo would rather player Miami/Tua in the playoffs (potentially) + the Steelers resting players – I’ll just hedge that Miami plays to win and Buffalo doesn’t/rests players.


LAC (-3.5) at KC

The Computer: LAC…LAC still working, Chiefs rolling over. Chargers by 6.7

RC picks: LAC…Lynn wants the win, and Andy Reid wants Lynn still as a LAC HC.

*RC Blazing Five*

*Computer B5*


SEA (-6.0) at SF

The Computer: SEA…Injury report is too heavy against betting with SF here. Seahawks by 6.4

RC picks: SEA…Too many injuries for SF to run with them here.


LV (-2.5) at DEN

The Computer: LV…The Raiders are due to win a toss-up game even if by sheer luck. Raiders by 2.7

RC picks: DEN…at Denver and the Broncs playing better ball right now.

*RC Blazing Five*


ARI (-3.0) at LAR

The Computer: ARI…Injury reports favor Arizona too much to bet against. Cardinals by 5.2

RC picks: ARI…Have to take the steady QB v. the debut starter here.

*RC Blazing Five*

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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>