NFL, CFP odds: Best bets for Michigan-TCU, Bears-Lions, Steelers-Ravens


The College Football Playoffs are here and we’re ready to hit the ground running!

Our best bets (39-32-1) are on the green, and I’m shooting with three shots on the weekend. This space is also not the place for a million picks or to talk about five teams. These are my favorite games.

Let’s work with the odds courtesy of FOX Bet.

No. 3 TCU vs. no. 2 Michigan (4 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Let’s start by applauding TCU’s 12-1 season.

The Horned Frogs were better than Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Baylor, Iowa State and Kansas State, which no one outside of Fort Worth thought was possible. I mean, come on, the Frogs’ season win total was 6.5 O/U.

The bad news for TCU is that it now faces one of the most complete teams in football. I think Michigan has the edge in every area of ‚Äč‚Äčthis game. The Wolverines are a Top 10 team in both offensive and defensive efficiency, their special teams are incredible, and Jim Harbaugh has pushed all the right buttons this season.

Most importantly, Harbaugh has instilled a toughness and physical bully ball style that would make even Bo Schembechler blush. Michigan has dominated the offensive line on both sides all season, making life easier at the skill positions and secondary. And there’s no reason to think that will change on the biggest stage.

This one could get ugly. Put the dots.

COLLECT: Michigan (-7.5 at FOX Bet) to win by more than 7.5 points

49ers, Dolphins & Bengals featured in Nick’s Picks entering Week 17

49ers, Dolphins & Bengals featured in Nick's Picks entering Week 17

Nick Wright makes his NFL Week 17 picks with: Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins.

Chicago bones at Detroit Lions (1 p.m., FOX and FOX Sports app)

I’m ready to bet against Detroit.

The Lions have swept seven of eight games, with last weekend’s 37-23 loss at Carolina the only blemish in that stretch. They’ve obviously morphed into Team USA in the betting window, meaning the bookies will tax you the rest of the way if you bet them.

And don’t look now, but the Bears have been super competitive over their last three games. Chicago covered against top-ranked Philadelphia and led against both Buffalo and Green Bay at halftime. The cream eventually rose in all of these games, but there’s no doubt that Chicago’s moxie is running out of season.

I like Justin Fields and the Bears offense to keep him close.

Take the points.

COLLECT: Bears (+6 at FOX Bet) to lose by less than 6 points (or win outright)

Blazin’ 5: All-in on 49ers vs. Raiders, Vikings upset Packers at Lambeau

Blazin' 5: All-in on 49ers vs. Raiders, Vikings upset Packers at Lambeau

Colin Cowherd shares his 5 Blazin’ picks for Week 17, including taking the high-odds San Francisco 49ers (-9.5) against a chaotic Las Vegas Raiders team and the Minnesota Vikings to upset their NFC rival North, Green Bay Packers.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (1 p.m., CBS)

Don’t let the Steelers get hot.

Pittsburgh has quietly won four of its last five games behind a defense that has held opponents to 17, 16, 16, 16 and 10 points during that stretch. TJ Watt’s impact can never be understated, and the black and gold have been harder than nails in the trenches since their star player returned.

Then there’s Baltimore’s quarterback situation.

Lamar Jackson’s season continues to twist and turn like a roller coaster. He was expected to return last weekend, but missed his third straight game. And now many people in NFL circles are wondering if John Harbaugh will keep Jackson on the sidelines until the playoffs. The logic makes sense, but it gives us a chance in the betting window.

I’ll take the field goal to try and get ahead of the curve.

COLLECT: Steelers (+2.5 at FOX Bet) to lose by less than 2.5 points (or win outright)

Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He will probably pick against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.

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