Week 16 Base Pick Points: 117 Season Base Pick Points: 1388 Well 17 weeks have gone by fast and hopefully your love for your respective teams have either increased or have persisted throughout the season. Week 16 was a good week for the base picks since there were only 4 upsets out of 16 games with 3 of them being the Money picks. They were the Oakland Raiders vs Denver Broncos, the Baltimore Ravens vs Los Angeles Chargers, and the Jacksonville Jaguars vs the Miami Dolphins games. This week should be interesting with teams fighting to reach the playoffs with some teams who have nothing to play for sitting some or all of their starters. There are no Thursday Night or Saturday Night Football games this week, so we’ll start the week with the 1 PM ET games. Week 17 Picks: Here’s the Premium Money Picks Table for Week 17. (Updated Thursday 3:30 PM ET) CPP Strategy Pick Options: CPP Money Pick Analysis: Blue Picks: (5-10) New York Giants vs (9-6) Dallas Cowboys: The Dallas Cowboys are not playing for anything this week. They have no chance to improve their seed but their struggling offense has led players to deny that they won’t take the field. For players who are already battling injury, they will be the obvious choice for who will not be playing but this confusion on the Cowboy’s decision on who to start or sit will inevitably decide the outcome of this game. Either way though, the Giants still have a great chance to win as they have a better offense than the Cowboys when both the run and pass are effective. Also the Giants were beating the Indianapolis Colts for the majority of the game last week until a comeback win stopped them in their trails, while the Cowboys who played the Colts the week prior were completely shut out offensively. With questions as to who will play and for how long the Cowboys while on the road are not the best bet to win this game, and with the Giants only being picked 35% at the moment they will look to make for a great blue pick. (5-10) Buffalo Bills vs (7-8) Miami Dolphins: The Buffalo Bills are playing at home this week, 3 weeks after losing to the Miami Dolphins 17-21 while on the road. With both teams not scoring more than 26 points in the past 2 weeks combined this game might be reliant on defense in which the Bills have the significant advantage. The Bills have one of the best pass defenses in the league which will help against a team who lost much of their running strength when Dolphins’ starting RB Frank Gore was lost for the year due to injury. With the Miami Dolphins having a weaker defense, the Bills should hold the Dolphins to minimal points which should allow themselves enough space to create points on offense and potentially defense as well. The Bills just made it into blue pick category this week with 69% picking them and a 70% win probability but they have a great chance to finish the season on a high note and give their fans hope for the future while playing at home.
(8-6-1) Minnesota Vikings vs (11-4) Chicago Bears:
The Minnesota Vikings are playing for their season’s survival in this game as they take on their division’s winner, the Chicago Bears. The Bears are potentially playing for a playoff bye if the Los Angeles Rams lose to the San Francisco 49ers, but if this were not to occur then they would be playing for nothing. Head coach of the Bears Matt Nagy stated that the Bears will not be letting anything up against the Vikings unless the LA Rams are up big at halftime. The 49ers almost beat the Bears last week, beat the Seattle Seahawks the week prior and the Denver Broncos the week before that. With the 49ers playing this strongly to end the year the Rams who will be playing to keep their playoff bye may be in a close enough game to let the Bears continue to play for the whole game. This would be bad news for the Vikings who have struggled at times offensively this year, but have beaten the subpar Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins teams handedly in the past 2 weeks. The Vikings and Bears are almost picked evenly so picking the correct team should be the most important factor in this game and with the Vikings being the favorites at this point with their season on the line, they make for a good blue pick.
(6-9) Denver Broncos vs (11-4) Los Angeles Chargers:
The Broncos are on a 3 game losing skid since losing to the Cleveland Browns. San Francisco 49ers, and finally losing to the Oakland Raiders by a couple of touchdowns on Christmas Eve this past week. The Los Angeles Chargers are playing for the #1 seed in the AFC which would include home-field advantage and a bye. They can only achieve this though if the Oakland Raiders while on the road can beat the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chargers like the other games mentioned will not know if the Chiefs have beaten them due to both games being played at the same time. With the Kansas City Chiefs looking weaker in the past couple of weeks, almost losing to the Raiders themselves, the Chargers are likely to be playing in full force for the majority of the game. But after being upset by the Baltimore Ravens last week and with the Broncos beating the Chargers earlier this season already, this game is not a complete lock for the Chargers. The Broncos only have 7% picking them and if the Chiefs were to blow out the Raiders early then this game could become a little more interesting.
(5-10) Jacksonville Jaguars vs (10-5) Houston Texans:
The Jaguars are coming off an upset win against the Miami Dolphins where their defense played a major role only allowing 7 points. They will look to do the same against a banged up Texans team who lost their 2nd WR Demaryius Thomas for the year and have many of their most important players listed as Questionable for this game, including: DE JJ Watt, RB Lamar Miller, WR DeAndre Hopkins, and some other key defensive players. The Houston Texans are the leaders of the AFC South but if they were to lose to the Jaguars this week then they will fall to one of the wild card spots where home field advantage would be lost for the first game. If some of those important offensive weapons for the Texans do not play (although will be most likely pushing hard to do so) then the Jaguars strong defense will surely wreck havoc against the Texans offense. The Texans also have a great run defense and the Jaguars rely mostly on the run for their offensive production. This game will turn into a defensive showdown if some of those Texans players are out with the only offensive production running through the hands of Texans QB Deshaun Watson and Jaguars QB Blake Bortles or the defenses themselves. The Jaguars are only picked 2% right now and if some of these players can’t play for the Texans then that 2% would be unjustly low.