Best Bets for Week 17 NFL and College Bowl Games
To some, the holidays mean a full board of games on the big wall at a sports book.
Another week, another 2-4 record for me. I'm sorry, guys, I am crossing the finish line of the gambling season leaking all sorts of oil, although for last week, NICK NOVAK is partially to blame! His blocked PAT cost us a cover against the Bengals, and a 3-3 week, which still would not have been great, but it would've beat 2-4. Going 2-4 sucks!
So let's stop sucking, okay? Notice that I've gone 6-11-1 ATS the past three weeks and I am still at a 60 percent winning clip on the season? You know I've got a good week in me; it's coming. Here are this week's six plays! (Good to have some college games back in the mix to shake things up a little bit.)
Texans +3 over TITANS
This line opened at Titans -2.5, and I swear to all the football gods, I thought it was a misprint. The Titans have nothing to play for (the Texans at least want to keep some momentum going), they are starting Matt Cassel at quarterback, the crowd should be dead (if there even is a crowd) and the Texans have won ten straight in the division. So what happened? The line actually moved to TITANS PLUS THREE! I know that when it looks this weird, you should just run away. A line like this is the "creepy dude offering you candy" kind of line. I don't care. Hey, creepy dude, bring me that candy!
Raiders/BRONCOS UNDER 41
It's Matt McGloin versus either Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch (Does it really matter which one?) The game will probably stink, but we can hope a ton of Raiders fans are making the trip, so we can get more videos like this one...
That dude's technique, getting his hands inside and picking the other guy up, was solid. Honestly, if I'm Bill O'Brien, I'd start that guy over Jeff Allen at right guard!
DOLPHINS +10 over Patriots
I know what you're saying — Um, Sean, you took the Jets and the points last week against the Patriots...what the hell are you doing?!? I hope this isn't a case of me not learning my lesson. The differences between last week's pick and this week's are more profound than just the 6.5 points between the +16.5 I took last week and the +10 I am taking here. Miami still has a shot at the No. 5 seed in the AFC, the difference between playing the Texans and traveling to Pittsburgh in the wild card round. Also, Miami head coach Adam Gase might be the coach of the year, considering he appears to have made Ryan Tannehill a plus quarterback, and is now winning games with Tannehill's backup, Matt Moore. The game is in Miami, and I still feel like the Patriots have one more "too close for comfort" AFC East game in them. Miami is 8-2 ATS in its last ten games.
Nebraska +6.5 over Tennessee (Music City Bowl)
Nebraska looks like it will be without incumbent starting QB Tommy Armstrong again in this game, which is a shame, because he's made huge strides this year. Instead, they will start a senior with the most Nebraska name of all time — Ryker Fyfe. Can you envision RYKER FYFE toiling in the cornfields all day long, mopping sweat off his brow as he rides his 100th mile of the day on his John Deere tractor, and then his ma hollers, "RYYYYYKER...BISCUITS ARE WARM!!!" and then he strides into the house in slow motion with George Strait's "Heartland" playing in the background? WELL, I CAN!! And guess what...Butch Jones sucks at coaching football. Dude had an engraved invitation to the Sugar Bowl if he could just beat Vanderbilt. How did that go? (ANSWER: Tennessee is playing in the Music City Bowl.) Last season, Tennessee was the most underrated 8-4 team; this season, they're the luckiest 8-4 team on the planet. I'll take all 6.5 points here, and ponder Jones pooping the bed for a Nebraska moneyline play.
Western Michigan +7.5 over Wisconsin (Cotton Bowl)
In the first two years of the College Football Playoff/New Year's Six Bowl Era, the Group of Five representative has won both of its games outright — Boise State over Arizona in 2014, and Houston over Florida State last season. Obviously, getting up for these lower-tier teams has been an issue for the "haves." This game will have the weirdest vibe of any big bowl game that I can remember — I mean, nothing says "Cotton Bowl" like the Cotton Bowl being played in a stadium that isn't even the Cotton Bowl between the fourth-best team from the Big Ten and the champion of the MAC! I'm a huge fan of Western Michigan head coach P.J. Fleck, in large part because dude obviously can recruit. This is another one where I'll take the points and put a little taste of the dog on the moneyline, too.
Alabama -14 over Washington (National semifinal — Atlanta, GA)
This has a chance to go down as the greatest Alabama team that Nick Saban has ever coached, which is saying something. Prior to this season, the only Saban-coached team to make it wire to wire undefeated was the 2009 team. This version of Tide football has only been challenged for two halves really — the first half against Ole Miss (before Bama stormed back from a three-score deficit) and the first half against LSU (which was a scoreless defensive struggle). Other than that, Alabama has looked more like an AFC team than an SEC team. The only game this season where Washington saw physical talent similar to Bama's was the USC game in early November, a game the Huskies lost by two touchdowns. I think Alabama pats Washington on the head, musses up their hair, says "good job, fellas" and then proceeds to steamroll them by four scores.
Last Week: 2-4
Season Record: 60-40-2
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.
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