Table of Contents
By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
WEEK 17 – NOW OR NEVER
It’s the penultimate week of the NFL regular season and it’s time to come to terms with your team’s season. The path to the postseason dwindles for some and for others, a light in the tunnel emerges. We’re also at the point in the season where we have to easily pick out who’s packed it in and who’s still playing for somethin’…anything! Headliners in the queue this football weekend include the QB clash of the year in the AFC and some teams that genuinely hate each other.
Last week’s card was full of frustration and lacking in SCORING. So with two weeks left do the defenses continue to keep games under? Who’s playing spoiler to ring in the new year? Division rivalries are running rampant through week 17’s spread – it’s time to find some gritty winners to kick off your 2023 bankroll.
Thursday Night Kickoff
Cowboys (-10) @ Titans – A massive road favorite on a Thursday night? Vegas must know something we don’t about the reeling Titans we’re not seeing off the bat. An interesting line as both teams battle for postseason positioning.
Packers (-3) vs Vikings – NO ONE respects the Vikings, and this line shows. The hot team we love to doubt collectively heads to Lambeau to end the Packers’ path to the playoffs. I have a weird feeling the Green Bay train rolls on one more week.
Patriots (-1.5) vs Dolphins – After another brain-twisting loss at home the Pats’ path is all but dead, but not completely. With Miami coming up north to the cold you always wonder about this matchup. I would look for something lower in scoring than expected.
Bucs (-3) vs Panthers – The Panthers cleaned house earlier this year and messed around into some playoff talk…in the worst division in the league. TB12 grabbed one more by a string, can he will an inept offense to one more vital division win? History says yes.
Night Pick of the Week (DOUBLE)
Ravens (-3) vs Steelers – You’ll have to watch for Lamar Jackson as the QB confusion continues for a Ravens team coasting by with little to no hype or energy at all. The Steelers have a BIT of a path, but I’m feeling like the Ravens D ends it for them.
Bills (-1) vs Bengals – The class of AFC QB’s and contenders on display – it’s a big road spot for the Bills and a preview of a potentially juicy playoff matchup to come later in January.
The “Who Cares?” Game
It’s the second to last week of the year, so you bet there are some clunkers on the schedule. This week’s fart of a game features the 4-11 Cardinals – lifeless in every way. They go to ATL to play a Falcons team (-3.5) experimenting with Desmond Ridder far too early. Best of luck watching that junk.
Weird Holiday Vibe Prediction of the Week
The Browns over last week were close at moments, but no W there. This week let’s get goofy and pick a dreadful team to cover 14 points at Arrowhead. This isn’t about the Broncos who could get 14, it’s about the Chiefs’ offense having a down week and staying under 4 scores. Hey dude, it’s the weird vibe for a reason.
WEEK 16 RECAP
Another fight for points where the QBs let us down all weekend, from Trevor Lawrence to Tom Brady. It’s back to picking out sides and outright as the scoring is unpredictable at this point in time. Sigh.
Week Sixteen: 1-4 ATS, Season Overall: 38-43-1 ATS
EARLY WEEK 17 NFL PLAYS FOR ALEX
I’ve been preaching it heavily, so I put my money where my mouth is with Titans +10 on Thursday Night.
Sticking with tough sides, I’ll grab Eagles -6.5 before it goes over a touchdown – especially if you get Hurts back and moving around later this week.
A random bubble burst side – I like the Raiders at home +5.5 to give the 49ers more than they can handle!
The Ravens end Pittsburgh’s chances and cover -3, as the Steelers on the road are a much easier foe to tame with a rookie QB finding his way.
Last but not least, I’ll hold a Seahawks +2.5 ticket any day in this spot – Seattle late on the west coast in January feels like a bad spot for a bewildered Jets team on the way to a winter break.
Other leans: Patriots -1.5, Broncos +13.5
Not in an NFL pick’em pool yet? Create your own today to get in on the action as the season heats up!
EATS AND DEETS
The best crowd: Well, all these New Year’s Day crowds will be too hungover so I’ll go with the Monday night Bills Mafia invasion of Cincinnati. Party on into 2023!
Goofiest line: Again, Cowboys -10 on the road is scary high for a TNF duel. Buyer beware.
Simultaneous screen count: One for the headliners, and now more than ever that second Redzone screen is CRUCIAL.
Tailgate pick of the week: NYE leftovers like sliders, chips, and dips…which should surely include everything that won’t be in the January diet plan.