The Palmerbet Sports Team have selected the eight biggest games to analyse for the Week 17 NFL Preview and final round of the regular season, hoping to find some value as playoff positions are locked in and seasons are ended. Read on to see their tips!
History: Played 117: Jets 54 V Patriots 62 (1 Draw).
Last meeting: October 15, 2017: Patriots 24 d Jets 17 at MetLife Stadium.
Final Thoughts: The Jets season is over and they visit one of the hardest road trips in the NFL to compound their terrible back half of the season. 8 losses from their last 10 has the team looking towards 2018 and beyond. The Pats meanwhile are on track for the top seed in the AFC playoff and have earned a first round bye which should see them push hard for the win here in preparation. With the Patriots basically a lock for the win, we’re looking for value in the player markets. There are some concerns around Tom Brady’s shoulder and the cold weather forecast in Boston, point towards more rushing so we like Dion Lewis for the First Touchdown Scorer even with the Pats pass heavy game style.
History: Played 113: Bears 59 V Vikings 52 (2 Draws).
Last meeting: October 9, 2017: Vikings 20 d Bears 17 at Soldier Field, Chicago.
Final Thoughts: The Vikings welcome the Bears to Minneapolis after stitching up the NFC North title in what could be a danger game. The Bears have hit form after a woeful start to the season and have won two of their last three. Rookie QB Mitch Trubisky has been clean without being ruthless and is beginning to expand his game after starting from round five onwards. This one looks to be a battle of the defences after the Vikings shutout the Packers last week (16-0) and the Bears defence ranks 10th in the league. The value seems to be in the total score market and we like the Unders in a dead rubber.
History: Played 117: Cowboys 65 v Eagles 52.
Last meeting: November 19, 2017: Eagles 37 d Cowboys 9 at AT&T Stadium, Arlington.
Final Thoughts: The Eagles are unbeaten at home this season and welcome the Cowboys who have little to play for after their season ending loss to the Seahawks last week. The loss of Carson Wentz to an ACL two games ago hasn’t slowed the Eagles down, but nor has it inspired, as stand in QB Nick Foles struggled in his first two outings. We expect the Eagles to use the dead rubber to tinker and might even switch in third string QB Nate Subfield in a dress rehearsal for the playoffs. Meanwhile the Cowboys season has been messy with stand out running back Ezekiel Elliott’s ban, combined with their QB Dak Prescott’s interception loaded season seeing them holidaying early. Tinkering this late in the season worries us, which has seen the odds blow out for a 13-2 team like the Eagles but odds over $2 for any team playing at home with such a win-loss record is too good to pass up.
Tip: Eagles WIN @ $2.36
History: Played 131: Browns 58 V Steelers 73.
Last meeting: September 10, 2017: Steelers 21 d Browns 18 at First Energy Stadium, Cleveland.
Final Thoughts: Its tough to ever get excited about a Browns game given their miserable season, but these are the ones we like to pad the account in the run up to the playoffs. Its likely that Big Ben will be rested as the Steelers QB as they prepare for the playoffs and put some game time into Landry Jones. This one is a bit of a danger game for the Steelers as they may look to pad some stats of their stars; Le’Veon Bell is in the running to be the leading rusher in the NFL and will need a 150 yard game, while Antonio Brown leads the receiving yards but may sit. If they rest all three players, then the Browns suddenly come back into the picture given their narrow loss to the Steelers in September where the Browns shut down the Steelers rushing game. The unknown make up of the Steelers team leads us to the line, where we think the Browns might get reasonably close.
History: Played 45: Falcons 27 V Panthers 18.
Last meeting: November 5, 2017: Panthers 20 d Falcons 17 at Bank Of America Stadium.
Final Thoughts: The Panthers have been far from impressive this year, but still managed to be in contention for their division title. Panthers QB Cam Newton is having a difficult season with his arm (ranked 18th) but is leading the Panthers for Rushing and also leads the league for drawing defensive team penalties. Not what you want from your QB, but he gets the job done. The Falcons QB Matt Ryan has been well protected by his front line with only 23 sacks this year (compared to Newton’s 33 sacks) but they haven’t capitalised on the lack of pressure, throwing just 19 TD’s. Its this relative lack of performance from both QB’s that steers us towards a low scoring game.
History: Played 115: Chiefs 60 V Broncos 55.
Last meeting: October 30, 2017: Chiefs 29 d Broncos 19 at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City.
Final Thoughts: The Bronco’s problems at QB this season have absolutely destroyed their season compared to the Alex Smith led Chiefs 4000 yard plus result. When the Bronco’s pass the ball more than they rush, they are a startling 0-10! The Chiefs have had All-Star seasons from Smith, rookie season running back Kareem Hunt, tight end Travis Kielce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill, but its likely Smith will be rested and Hill will miss due to the death of his father, leaving the Chiefs vulnerable. The Broncos must run the ball this game if they are any chance to win, given they throw more interceptions than touchdowns. The Chiefs just do the simple things well, and the outs have boosted their win odds, which we’ll happily take in a dead rubber for the home team.
Tip: Chiefs WIN @ $2.95
History: Played 136: 49ers 68 V Rams 63 (2 Draws).
Last meeting: September 21, 2017: Rams 41 d 49ers 39 at Levi Stadium, San Francisco.
Final Thoughts: Christmas came early for the 49ers in the form of Jimmy Garoppolo, who has been dominant at QB for the San Fran team after moving from Tom Brady’s shadow in New England. His 242 yards per game coming into a new system and playbook has been amazing and the 49ers find themselves as the hottest team in the league with a 5 game win streak. Never thought we’d be saying that in 2017! This makes it simple for the Rams at home, stop Jimmy and you stop the 49ers. Easier said than done for a team who’s focus seems to be wins come from outscoring opponents rather than shutting them down. The Rams are amazing odds given their performance this year, home ground advantage and the 49ers reliance on their QB. They’ll be resting MVP candidate Todd Gurley so the Rams will needs to find a new avenue to the end zone, but the pure scoring power of the two teams (Combined Scoring average is over 50 points per game) pushes us to the total score market in a game with uncertainty over the winner.
History: Played 51: Saints 32 v Buccaneers 19.
Last meeting: November 5, 2017: Saints 30 d Buccaneers 10 @ Mercedes Benz Superdome, New Orleans.
Final Thoughts: The Saints are travelling beautifully and a win will give them the FC South title over the Panthers and a 12 from 14 run heading into the playoffs. The Buccaneers have a road record only worse than the 0-15 Browns so this one looks like a lock. The need for a win to stitch up the title limits the Saints ability to rest players. The Saints are second only to the Pats for yardss gained this year and they have twice the amount of sacks than the Buccaneers. On paper this game looks like a terrible one to watch, but its an account padder and we like easy wins!