The Reason: The reason as to why I am taking this line is purely circumstantial – often the case in week 17 of the NFL season – as the Jaguars have the number 3 seed in the AFC locked up. The Jags have nothing to gain, and nothing to lose. Even though their coaches have said that they are going to play their starters, you really have to question how much or how hard they are going to play. My estimate is that the starts probably play a half, and that is it. On the flip side, the Titans are in a win-and-in situation. Motivational differences are one of the key factors when determining bets, and this is one of the biggest mismatches of the weekend.
49ers @ Rams
The Pick: 49ers -3.5 @ $1.95 (Sportsbet)
The Reason: It’s official, the 49ers are the best 5-10 team in NFL history. New franchise quarterback Jimmy Garapollo has won as many games (4) in 20 days than what the 49ers had done in their last 730. There is very little wonder as to why the spirits are high in San Fran. Even though their season’s over, you probably wouldn’t find a more energetic 5-10 team in the history of the sport. The Rams, on the other hand, have the NFC West clinched, and have already decided to rest some of the starters – namely Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and Aaron Donald. The Rams have very little to play for, and it will show.
Bears @ Vikings
The Pick: Vikings -6.5 First Half @ $1.93 (Sportsbet)
The Reason: Even though there is about a 99% chance the Vikings clinch the number 2 seed, and a 94% chance they will still clinch the 2nd seed with a loss (based on 48,000 simulations), do not over think it, this is a must win for the Vikings. Minnesota would not like to put their fate in any other teams’ hands, so they will take this game seriously. With that being said, I would not be surprised if the Vikings took the foot off the pedal in the 4th quarter if they are up a couple of scores, seriously putting the line of 11.5 in danger. That is why I like the -6.5 derivative bet.
Raiders @ Chargers
The Pick: Raiders +8 @ $1.90 (Sportsbet)
The Reason: One of the reasons why I don’t like betting on the Chargers at home is due to the capacity of their interim home ground being less than 30,000. Another reason as to why I am not betting them here is because apparently Oakland fans hold the majority of the tickets for this weekends matchup. The Raiders do not have much to play for as their season is already over, but they would love nothing more than to crush their divisional rival’s dreams and keep them out of the playoffs too.
Bills @ Dolphins
The Pick: Dolphins +2.5 @ $2.05 (Sportsbet)
The Reason: The Dolphins have won 9 of their last 12 games at home, and even though they have nothing to play for in terms of playoffs, they would love nothing more than to crush their divisional rival’s hopes. With everything taken into consideration, this line indicates that the Bills are a 5.0-5.5-point better team than the Dolphins… I don’t know about that. We have seen how good the Dolphins can be when they are motivated (see win on Monday Night Football against the Patriots in week 14), and after being beaten by the Bills only a couple of weeks ago, I expect to have a highly motivated Miami