It was a fun Christmas holidays this year, with a lot of football to watch from Christmas Eve to boxing day in week 16. Unfortunately my 3 spread picks for the week all lost, which means I ran into a brick wall trying to get back to .500 on the season and will have to settle for my first losing season in some time. The 0-3 week brings my season record against the spread to 14-21-1.
The final week of the season is always difficult from a betting perspective because you also have to include each teams potential motivation going into the game. Some teams that are locked in to a playoff position may rest players, while teams fighting for a playoff spot/position may bring their A-game. And you can never completely count out eliminated teams who know they can leave it all on the field (and leave a good impression in the minds of GM’s around the league).
I’ll be using SportsInteraction.com for all of the spreads and predictions below. You can see our full Sports Interaction review here. I will only have 2 picks for this final week of the season as I try to at least close the season on a winning note.
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Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
- Buffalo -2.5
- Miami +2.5
The Bills are in a must-win situation in the hunt for a wild card spot in the AFC. There are currently 3 teams at 8-7 looking for that final wild card spot and the Bills would need some help along with a win against these Dolphins to see the postseason.
As big of a game as this is for the Bills, I don’t expect the Dolphins to make it easy on them in the least. This is a rivalry game for Miami, and they are playing at home looking to avenge their week 15 loss to the Bills (in Buffalo), which pretty much closed the door on their own postseason hopes.
The Dolphins have shown the ability to win big games at home, as evidenced by their 27-20 win over the Pats in week 14. Add in the fact that the Bills are a very poor 2-5 away from home this season and I think the advantage here has to be with the Dolphins.
Remove the narrative that this is a must win game for the Bills and I think we would agree that the Dolphins would be -3 favourites in this spot at a minimum. I expect the Dolphins to come out with their best effort and match the Bills intensity because of the rivalry and bad blood between these teams, which is why I believe the narrative is only pushing the value towards the Dolphins, rather than something that could actually help affect the outcome of the game.
Play: Dolphins +2.5
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
- Houston +4
- Indianapolis -4
Houston has been awful late in the season, and even more so in their most recent two outings. They lost 34-6 in Houston this past week and TJ Yates could not get anything going offensively whatsoever. The previous week the Texans lost 45-7 in Jacksonville, and they’ve now lost 5 in a row. Some key injuries have really depleted this team and with Yates at QB I do not expect them to be able to score many points in Indianapolis this week.
The Colts have actually lost 6 games in a row themselves, but they’ve at least been able to stay somewhat competitive in these games and Jacoby Brissett should be given a little more leash against this weak Texans defense, and to show what he is truly capable of in this meaningless game.
The Colts last win was actually over the Texans in Houston back in week 9, and I expect them to repeat that performance with a convincing win in front of their home fans to close out this disappointing season.
Play: Colts -4