Brad is saying goodbye to the NFL regular season with four bets for Week 17
A rough 1-3-1 last week for -2.09 units and dropping us to +2.85 units for the season. We can feel a little aggrieved to lose on the Bucs game with the way they moved the ball but that is life on the Jameis-coaster. On to Week 17, and try not to be sad this is the last Redzone of the season.
Let’s find some winners and at least make it a sweet goodbye.
We Go Again
First up, let’s get back on board the Jameis-coaster (at the very least you are guaranteed a decent sweat with Flameis).
I argued last week the market was overreacting to the absence of the Bucs’ top two receivers, and while we did our dough, the Bucs nearly doubled up the Texans in yardage (435 to 229) and yards per play (6.0 to 3.6), with other receivers filling the void decently.
The market has given the Bucs a similar downgrade this week, saying the Falcons are the clear better team, which looks wrong to me. By DVOA and Massey Peabody rankings, the Bucs are the superior squad.
Sometimes it’s just that simple, and I’ll lay the small number here.
Out Of Charge
Next up, its under 45.5 in the Chiefs/Chargers game.
We all know how slow the Chargers play – their games have the second-fewest snaps in the NFL – but the Chiefs are trending that way too in recent weeks.
Through 10 games, the Chiefs passed on a league high 69.2% of plays in neutral situations and ranked 11th in seconds-per-snap. Since then, however, they’ve slowed down and run more, meaning play total volume in Chiefs games has crashed, from the ninth-most combined snaps in the first 10 weeks to the 26th most since.
At the same time, the KC defense is up to 6th in pass DVOA and 10th in total weighted DVOA, while the Chargers will be missing LT RUssell Okung again, making Rivers a sitting duck for this sneaky good KC pass rush.
I don’t see the Chargers hitting 17, and that puts us in a great spot for the full game under.
I will also have some Redskins +10.5 at the Cowboys.
Dak Prescott had his worst game of the season last week by several metrics and its fair to assume his busted shoulder is to blame.
He admitted to taking painkilling shots at halftime, and I expect more misfiring this week, even against a Washington defense missing its top corners.
Conversely, Case Keenum will be back in the saddle for the Skins and he’s been the far superior QB for them this year, with a QBR of 50 for the season compared to Haskins’ 24.
I expect Keenum to move the offense against a Cowboys D ranked 20th in DVOA despite an easy schedule.
Chuck it together and we have a double-digit underdog that should top 20 points, versus a QB with a busted wing. Sounds good to me.
Happy To Oppose Both These Offenses
Finally, let’s take under 46 in Hawks/Niners.
The key matchup here is a Seahawks offensive line missing its starting left tackle and center. The back-up centers are also banged up and the line was crap at protecting before anyway (26th in Football Outsiders’ pass protection metrics).
This is not an ideal matchup against the Niners D-line which is best on the league by those same FO pass-rush metrics.
It’s tough to see the Hawks moving the ball with any consistency, especially with the corpse of Marshawn Lynch at RB and Jacquiski Tartt returning at safety for the Niners.
On the other side of the ball, the Seahawks D will be much healthier than recent weeks with Jadeveon Clowney, safety Quandre Diggs and pass rusher Shaq Griffin likely back in the fold.
This is much closer to the unit that limited the Niners in the first matchup and had a mini hot streak mid-season rather than the inept unit of recent weeks.
Given the stakes – Clowney said it felt like the Hawks were preparing for war this week – these two defenses will be flying around on Sunday night and could have more success than the market projects.
- Bucs -1.5: 1 unit @ 2.02
- Chiefs/Chargers under 45.5: 2.2 unit @ 1.91
- Redskins +10.5: 1 unit @ 1.93
- Seahawks/49ers under 46: 1 unit @ 1.93