I took week 17 off. The holiday season taking up most of my time, combined with the uncertainty of a lot of teams rosters in the final week of the season had me make the decision to pass on betting last week. I went 0-1-1 in week 16, which ends my 2019 NFL season with a record of 15-12-3 for a small profit.
Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots
- Tennessee +4.5
- New England -4.5
The Patriots really hurt their Super Bowl chances by losing in Miami in week 17. They now have to win an extra game, against a very game Titans team, and will lose home field advantage in a potential Divisional Round game with the Chiefs.
The Patriots have really not looked good over the second half of the season. They are just 2-3 in their last 5 weeks and they had one of the softest schedules in the league over the course of the season. That said, I do think their experience will get them through this match up with the Titans.
I’m not convinced Ryan Tannehill has the receiving weapons to score on the road against this Patriots defense, and as great as Derrick Henry has been all season he’s coming up against one of the top rushing defenses in the league. I think the Pats D should be able to stifle the Titans attack, which should allow Brady and company to put up points in the low 20’s while still winning the the game and covering the spread.
Play: Patriots -4.5
Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints
- Minnesota +8
- New Orleans -8
At some points this season the Vikings have looked unstoppable, while other times they look like they can’t move the ball to save their lives. Kirk Cousins hasn’t passed for over 300 yards since week 11. All of that said, this team has the weapons to keep up with the Saints on the scoreboard. Diggs and Thielen have been inconsistent this year, but they have the ability to have huge games, while Dalvin Cook is expected to be 100% ready after missing the final two games of the season due to injury.
The Saints went 13-3, but lost two tiebreakers to have to play in this wild card game. The 48-46 loss at home to the 49ers really stings for the Saints because it’s really that game that kept them out of one of the top two seeds. That said, that game could be a good blue print for how this game may go. I think the Saints should be able to put up 30+ points vs this Vikings defense, and it’s up to the Vikings to respond.
The Vikings have been able to hang with a lot of good teams this year, ultimately losing the games (37-30 vs Seattle, 26-23 vs KC, etc). I think this will play out like that as well. I expect a good game, where Minnesota keeps it close, but the Saints ultimately pull out the win. Give me the Vikings and the points.
Play: Vikings +8