FOX sports betting analyst
The NFL playoff picture is shaping up and Week 17 will be pivotal for some teams fighting for their postseason lives.
The fun really begins.
There are a few games on the slate this weekend that I hope to place some bets on. So let’s dive into my top NFL Week 17 bets that will hopefully all earn us some cash (with odds via FOX Bet).
“These Cowboys are going to play for the NFC Championship. Book it” – Skip Bayless
Skip Bayless reminds NFL fans/haters and the Dallas Cowboys: “They’re going to make the NFC Championship Game. Book it.
cowboys at titans (8:15 p.m. ET Thursday, Prime Video)
The Dallas Cowboys travel to Tennessee to play a struggling Titans team. The Titans started 7-3 but have lost five straight. Now, they are in danger of losing the AFC South as the Jacksonville Jaguars are surging. The Titans are also beat up and have lost impact players on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been replaced by rookie Malik Willis, and Derrick Henry is also likely to sit out Thursday. The outcome of this game does not matter for the division as the Titans and Jaguars meet in Week 18. This will affect which coaches decide to play in this matchup.
With all that in mind, I could easily justify the Cowboys at 13.5 points, but I don’t trust Dallas to cover double digits on the road. However, I like the Titans Under 13 points total with Willis at quarterback and Henry sitting on the bench.
Dallas has one of the best defenses in the league and Malik is struggling to play quarterback even at an average level right now. He hasn’t thrown for 100 yards in any of the three games he’s started. In those games, the Titans scored 14 points once and 17 points twice. Two of those games were against the Texans and the other against the porous Chiefs defense.
The Cowboys have a real defense. They will shut down Malik Willis.
COLLECT: The Titans team has scored a total of under 13 points at FOX Bet
broncos at Heads (1 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS)
There will be no dead-cat rebounding for the Broncos following the firing of head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
Hackett & Co. he was embarrassed against the Rams on Sunday, looking lifeless in a 51-14 loss. The equipment is broken. Russell Wilson is broken. He doesn’t like the offensive line. His receivers show him open disdain on the field. The defense seems to have thrown in the towel, which isn’t surprising because they’ve been trying to carry this team for months. A new voice in the room won’t change much this weekend.
Broncos players are ready to go in 2023.
The Chiefs usually cover big point differentials under Andy Reid. They seem to care less about these attacking plays, not being as creative or pushing the ball up the field as often. And defense, well, defense allows opponents to rack up points, and sometimes very quickly. However, the Chiefs have posted two double-digit point differentials in the last month, both at home. They covered the Rams and Seahawks games. And there are a couple of reasons why Kansas City will be covering this game.
The Chiefs won 27-0 against the Broncos in their first meeting just a few Sundays ago. The Broncos scored 21 straight points to scare the Chiefs, but they got no closer after that. Mahomes & Co. he’ll remember that first matchup against Denver, so don’t take your foot off the gas this Sunday.
Also, the Broncos have given up on the season. I have been in their shoes. Players are just looking to escape without getting hurt, and the outcome of this game is meaningless to them. This is another reason why the Chiefs will win big.
I will take KC to cover this spread.
COLLECT: Chiefs (-12.5 at FOX Bet) to win by more than 12.5 points
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Salta Bayless and Shannon Sharpe debate who is the best QB in the AFC.
saints at eagles (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)
It looks like we’re getting Gardner Minshew’s second shot at center for the Eagles this weekend with Jalen Hurts dealing with a shoulder injury. The Eagles face a Saints team still fighting for a playoff spot, and they’re more fighters than they’re worth. I’m counting on the Saints defense to keep them in the game.
The Eagles scored 27 offensive points against the Cowboys on Christmas night, and Dallas’ defense has better efficiency numbers than the Saints. However, the Saints defense doesn’t allow as many points as the Cowboys. They haven’t allowed more than 20 points since mid-November. In this contest, they have an edge that will limit the Eagles’ scoring production.
Philadelphia is without right tackle Lane Johnson, the league’s best right tackle. When he’s out of the lineup, it’s almost more noticeable than when the Hurts offense is missing. The Eagles offense stalled without No. 65 in the lineup against the Cowboys. NO’s Cam Jordan, one of the most underrated pass rushers of this generation, will be able to take advantage of his matchup with the Eagles’ right tackle. This matchup alone will cost the Eagles points.
I’m taking the Eagles to score under 26.5 points in this game
COLLECT: Eagles Team Total Under 26.5 Points Scored at FOX Bet
brown at commanders (1 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)
I can’t believe I’m about to write this. I’m rooting for Carson Wentz this weekend. This makes me shudder with fear, but it’s absolutely the right game here.
The Browns, with their offense not playing well, have been eliminated from the playoffs. In the four games Deshaun Watson has started since his return to action, the Browns scored six offensive points against the Texans, 10 against the Bengals, 13 against the Ravens and then just 10 against the Saints. There have been three games in which Watson has thrown for 161 yards or less.
The Washington Commanders can play defense, ranking 11th in total defensive DVOA. And while they have an average pass defense, they have an excellent pass rush. I don’t think the Browns can score in this game.
The Chiefs had to take Taylor Heinicke out of the offense. Heinicke is a limited pitcher and plays more by instinct than structure. He’s been prone to turnovers lately, which is why the Commanders went back to Wentz.
Wentz has a higher upside, and if he can eliminate some of the YOLO plays, the offense can work.
I like that commanders cover here.
COLLECT: Commanders (-1.5 at FOX Bet) to win by more than 1.5 points
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Joy Taylor explains what Broncos Country should do with their coaching hire to help Russ next season, if Sean Payton doesn’t consider the position.
jaguars at jeans (1 p.m. ET Sunday, CBS)
I’m going to root for the Red Jaguars visiting the Texans this weekend.
The Jaguars have won four of their last five and put themselves in position to win the division after the Titans fell apart down the stretch. Since the Titans and Jaguars share the same record and are in Week 18, this game against the Texans doesn’t matter at all. Win or lose Sunday, the Jags would still need to beat the Titans next weekend to win the division. I would imagine Doug Pederson coaches this game with that in the back of his mind. No injuries and nothing creative in the game plan.
The Texans were on the fight bus for most of the season. They are bad and did not cover large spreads. However, they seem to have turned a bit of a corner in the last three games. They had two close losses to the Cowboys and Chiefs where they easily covered those games. They followed up those tight contests with a win against the Titans on Christmas Day.
The Texans’ two-quarterback system is starting to generate more offense, and their defense has moved up to 20th in efficiency.
I like the Texans covering this divisional game.
COLLECT: Texans (+4 at FOX Bet) Lose by Less than 4 Points (or Win Outright)
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Geoff Schwartz played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his freshman year. He is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.
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