You should always leave them with a smile! Week 17 is supposed to be the toughest week of all. But it turned out to be the best week of the season for my picks here, a six for six bonanza. The best bet, Buffalo -4.5 came through, and the Bills covered the 40 point over all by themselves. The value bet, Baltimore v Cleveland over 41 covered easily, and the Browns plus six covered at 26-24. And the outside bet of the Colts -3 in Houston covered easily, as did the over 43.
Once in 17 weeks isn't quite perfection, but a perfect week is something to take with you into the New Year. Now, with only four games for the next two weeks, the picking gets a bit tougher, but there will be a greater variety of wagers available, as you will see.
Colts can swing this one
Bet bet: Indianapolis (+1 at 19.20) at Houston
I like the Colts to be able to swing this finely balanced series (they split in the regular season, each team winning on the road by three). This is the case of the QB sacked the fewest times of any in the league (Luck, 16) against one of the pass pass rushes, while the QB sacked the most (Watson, 62) faces a defense built on coverage, not rush. Houston's Lamar Miller may be the key: the Texans don't have many offensive weapons besides Watson and DeAndre Hopkins. I like this one enough to suggest that the Colts on the moneyline at evens might be worth taking instead of the point. I also like DeAndre Hopkins catches (over 6.5 at 5/6) no matter how the Colts try to cover him. Or Dontrell Inman receiving yards (over 35.5 at 5/6) seems another way to cover yourself here.
A game of great value
Value bet: Ravens vs Chargers First Half Under (20.5 at evs)
This seems a great value to me, because the biggest thing here is that San Diego will be making the red-eye trip from west coast to east and starting at 1pm which is always tough (think Seattle in Carolina or Atlanta in the recent past). The Ravens beat the Chargers in Carson, California, 22-10 just a couple of weeks ago, and though I expect the Chargers to put more than ten on the board, those will likely come when they're chasing a lead. The Ravens (-3 at evs) is not a bad value bet either.
Seahawks set for road victory
Outside bet: Seattle (+2.5 at 9/10) at Dallas
I think Seattle may be the better team, but they are on the road which makes this an outside bet, even with the points. These teams are remarkable similar, with mobile QBs who take a lot of sacks, solid defenses with some questions in the secondary, and a desire to establish the run. Zeke Elliott had 1,434 yards rushing for Dallas, Chris Carson 1,151 for Seattle, but Seattle's other tailbacks, Mike Davis and Rashad Penny, combined for another 933 on the ground. They played in Seattle in week, with the Seahawks winning 24-13, but I don't put much faith in that as both teams are better now.
The over in this one has been rising all week. It's up to 42.5 (at 4/5) which might be an outside bet. Also look at Philadelphia (+6 at 9/10) at Chicago. I'd like another point here, but if you are convinced the Eagles are risen again, as they were last year, they are exactly close enough to the Bears to possibly win, so if you're looking for a real shot, you might take Philadelphia to win on the moneyline at 12/5. I probably won't but it's the week's real outside shot.