College and NFL Football: This Weekend's Best Bets

Well, I thought the 5-1 week I had before Christmas was a sign of that we were in for a great finish the the gambling season (and we may still be!), but instead I followed up with a 2-4 weekend that can only mean one thing — God does not like us sports gambling on Jesus' birthday. (Surely, it couldn't be a sign that I suck at gambling, that'd be crazy, right??)

Let's dig into Week 17 of the NFL and see if we can vulture some dollars out of teams who may already be mentally in Cabo or Vegas or wherever they plan to go this postseason. Effort (or lack thereof) from these teams could make us wealthy! Let's do this....

Penn State +6 over Georgia
This is the only college game I'm playing this weekend. I'll gladly take six points and the motivated team who actually has its head coach and offensive coordinator still in place. James Franklin, the Penn State head coach who cut his teeth in the SEC as the head coach at Vanderbilt, will want to have a win over an SEC team to sell on the recruiting trail.

Patriots -10 over DOLPHINS
The Patriots can clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win in Miami on Sunday. The Dolphins can clinch the end of the Dan Campbell Era catastrophic loss. I think this is what both teams want out of this game, and fortunately this is an outcome that is attainable. Brady will rain bombs down on the overwhelmed Dolphins defense.

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Ravens +9 over BENGALS
After he was cut by the Texans in October, what kind of odds would you have gotten on Ryan Mallett starting a game in Week 16 and beating the Steelers? Well, that's exactly what happened. The Ravens are not used to being 5-10 this time of year, and among the bad teams in the NFL, they seem like one that would keep the pedal to the metal, even when they're out of it. Plus, I don't trust the A.J. Mccarran enough yet to lay more than a touchdown to anybody. 

Steelers -11 over BROWNS
Because when you get a chance to back a motivated Steelers team against Austin Davis in Week 17, you have to do it.

Jaguars/TEXANS UNDER 45.5
I'm feeling a game similar to last season's Week 17 game, something like Texans 23, Jags 17. Either way, I think this is a game that the Texans eventually just want t get the hell out of after a few of the other games that impact their division clinching get out of hand. Lots of handoffs, lots of clock grinding, and not a lot of points. 

PACKERS -3.5 over Vikings
This is one of the stranger games of the weekend, It was flexed to Sunday night because the winner will win the NFC North and the loser will slide into the five seed as a wild card. Dig a little deeper, though. The "winner" actually gets a wild card game against the Seahawks (granted, at home) and a likely date with Arizona in Glendale the following week. The "loser" gets the Redskins in the wild card round (granted, on the road). In the end, I think the Packers want to get right after getting throttled by the Cards 38-8 last week. 

Last Week: 2-4
Season Record: 45-56-1

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at    

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