By Bob Gaughan
2020 record 39-40-3
2019 Record 62-41-2
2018 Record 72-50-3
Mr. Over/Under: New Orleans -6.5 over Carolina
If you were with us 17-weeks ago, you’ll recall that when it comes to betting, I hate weeks #1 & #17. No matter how much information you have on players and team stats, the odds in week 17 will keep changing daily as more information becomes available as to who may and may not play. A great example is this week’s Steelers/Browns game. The odds opened with Cleveland as a 4-point favorite. When the word came out that Big Ben wouldn’t play this week, Cleveland became a 10-point favorite. Last year in week 17 the favorites won 10 games but only covered 7 of them.
New Orleans still has a chance to clinch a first round bye with a win at Carolina and a Green Bay loss at Chicago. Chicago has been playing well lately and a win would get them into the playoffs. Drew Brees looked like his old self last week, as the Saints scored 52 points. He wants to get back to the Super Bowl and has the players around him to do it. I like the Saints this week.
P.S. Last year I wished everyone a Happy New Year, and look what happened. So this year I want to wish you a safe and healthy “Social Distancing” New Year.
Man in Stripes: Dallas -2 over Giants
Week 17 is by far the hardest to handicap. Terms of resting players and motivation, teams checking out, you need to find a game where both teams have something to play for. Here we have a game where both teams are still playing hard. The battle for the NFC East is alive and well in this contest. The Cowboys are playing the best football in the division. They’ve won three straight, scoring 108 points. Andy Dalton has a lot of weapons and everyone seems to be on the same page. The Giants are limping to the finish line and Daniel Jones is nowhere near 100 percent. I’m not scared of Colt McCoy and Golden Tate is questionable, the team hasn’t scored 20 games in 6 games. The Cowboys are a much better team and I’m giving less than a field goal? I’m in!!
Bonus teaser: Alabama -13 and Ohio State +13.5
Mono: Ravens -12 over Cincinnati
Cincinnati has been playing well of late but they have nothing to play for in this one and Baltimore is hot of late. Baltimore needs to win and get a little help around the AFC to get in. They will take care of business here. The defense is back and playing their best football all year. Lamar is starting to pick up steam. I expect this to be a lot like the Ravens-Giants game last year. If you’re a Ravens fan you are rooting for the Bills to beat the Dolphins. They could move all the way up to a 5 seed. Considering the Dolphins are playing Tua, the Ravens must like their chances. Baltimore makes a statement here with an easy 35-10 win.
Brutal: UNC +7 over Texas A&M
I question A&M’s motivation here. They thought they should be in the playoff. Now I think this game is a major letdown. UNC’s Mack Brown is going to have his team up for this game. He will use this in recruiting to try to lessen the gap between him and Clemson. The better offense in this game is with Carolina. The Tar Heels are fourth in the nation gaining 556 yards per game. The Tar Heels have scored over 48 points six times this year. I think UNC can win this game outright.
Bob Gaughan: Seattle -6 over San Francisco
There’re two defenses that have really improved since the start of the year. The first is the Buffalo Bills, but the second is Seattle. Seattle has improved immensely since the Bills lit them up. Carlos Dunlap has come over from Cincinnati and added an improvement to the Seahawks pass rush. Seattle still has something to play for in terms of seeding. The 49ers have nothing to play for. The 49ers are down to their 3rd string quarterback in CJ Beathard. Russell Wilson was able to put up 37 points the first time they played. Seattle puts up enough to cover the spread which in under a touchdown.