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Bater’s Best Bets: Week 17 NFL

Previous Week’s Record:  2-1
Overall Season Record:  26-18 

 

As we finish this first year of NFL Best Bets, we are glad to do so with a guaranteed winning record and having provided a little respite from the sheer awfulness that was 2020. 

 

Now we begin 2021 with an injection of optimism and perhaps facing the biggest challenge of the season thus far, because Week 17 is perhaps the riskiest of the past 20 years to gamble in. 

 

Think about it: As of Thursday, the Cleveland Browns were facing a potential win-or-go-home game unable to practice because of COVID-19 cases on the team, the Pittsburgh Steelers are sitting their most important starters but the Buffalo Bills may or may not pull theirs. Add the fact that the Los Angeles Rams will place their own playoff hopes in the hands of a backup quarterback who has never thrown a pass in the NFL and you have a recipe for craziness in the making. 

 

Alas, we go forth and place our bets because we are bold with Mahomian confidence and a healthy dose of Fitzmagic. 

 

You can find all odds for this weekend here, via Yahoo! Sports. 

 

BUFFALO BILLS (12-3) vs. MIAMI DOLPHINS (10-5) 

 

The Bills are just 1.5-point favorites at home. Hosts usually are at least a +3, so that means Vegas is thinking that the Bills will A) rest their starters or B) play at least a healthy portion of the game with Matt Barkley as their QB. 

 

This will be Tua’s first start against the Bills, who defeated the Fitzpatrick-led Dolphins 31-28 in a game that had the Fins leading 20-17 with six minutes left in the game before consecutive passing touchdowns by Josh Allen. 

 

If Tua can clear the cobwebs in his mind and play with confidence while the Dolphins defense plays with much more zeal and desperation than a Bills offense looking to stay healthy, I like Miami to win and finish fifth in the AFC. 

 

My pick: Bills 24-27 Dolphins (+1.5) 

 

NEW YORK GIANTS (5-10) vs. DALLAS COWBOYS (6-9)    

 

The most meaningful game for two teams that hope to drunkenly stumble into a playoff game at home. The Indianapolis Colts may miss the playoffs with a 11-5 record in the AFC, but the NFC East might gift the 6-10 Giants a divisional title. 

 

The Cowboys have won three games in a row averaging 36.0 points per game during that streak, while the Giants lost all the swagger they had after beating the Seahawks in Seattle and have averaged 8.6 points per game during their latest three-game slide. In fact, they haven’t scored more than 20 points since Week 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles. 

 

Dalton is hot, New York is not. 

 

My pick: Giants 17-20 Cowboys (-2) 

 

GREEN BAY PACKERS (12-3) vs. CHICAGO BEARS (8-7) 

 

The Bears have lost eight of their last nine against the Packers and haven’t prevailed in Green Bay since 2015, when Jay Cutler was their quarterback. 

 

Aaron Rodgers was the Packers QB back then and he still is now, with the NFC’s number one seed and consequent bye week in his sights and the fresh memories of putting up 41 points and four touchdowns on the Bears in Chicago during a 41-25 spanking that was 41-10 after three quarters in Week 12. 

 

A motivated Rodgers is a lethal Rodgers, and I’m afraid that the Bears will be glued to the TV in the locker room hoping for a Rams win over the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. 

 

My pick: Packers (-5.5) 31-20 Bears  

Tua Tagovailoa had reason to celebrate as the Dolphins won in his first NFL start against the Rams.

Martin’s Best Week 16 NFL Bets: Dolphins and More

Previous Week’s Record:  1-2
Overall Season Record:  24-17 

 

We have arrived in the last week of 2020 for the NFL, the penultimate one of the season. And you know what? Good riddance to the worst year ever. The one that made us play with fear and uncertainty, the one that infected players and coaches from coast to coast, the one that kept fans away from cheering on the teams they love!  

 

No matter what happens the rest of this year, the best bet you should make is that 2021 will be better for everyone.   

 

Now let’s take a look at what Week 16 has in store for us. One thing is for sure, I am not putting any money on the Pittsburgh Steelers. They couldn’t even beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football to give us a winning slate last time around. For shame. 

 

You can find every game’s odds here on the Yahoo! Sports website. We took the ones as of Thursday morning. 

 

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (7-7) vs. MIAMI DOLPHINS (9-5)  

 

Two teams heading in opposite directions.  

 

The Raiders are 1-4 in their last five games, just a push away from being eliminated from playoff contention and from their 17th season with eight or fewer wins in their last 18 tries dating to 2003. Their defense has allowed 36.0 points per game since they were 6-3.   

 

The Dolphins are 8-2 in their last 10 and 5-2 with Tua as their promising starting quarterback that doesn’t seem to make the same mistake twice. He takes care of the ball and the defense forces opposing turnovers while allowing 21 points or less in five of their past six contests. 

 

I don’t really care whether Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota start at quarterback for the Raiders. I’m going with the Dolphins, and the Raiders don’t even cover at home. 

 

My pick: Raiders 20-27 Dolphins (-3) 

 

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-8) vs. CAROLINA PANTHERS (4-9) 

 

The NFC East is such a shitshow that it is currently being led by a team whose owner currently believes he is the victim of a extortion while their backup quarterback is fined for “pulling a Harden” (AKA breaking COVID-19 protocols for stupid reasons). 

 

An organization in such a state of disarray shouldn’t be just two wins away from a division title and the fourth seed in the NFC playoffs, and yet that is exactly where the Ron Rivera Riverboaters find themselves.  

 

Christian McCaffrey looks to be MIA for the Panthers for the sixth straight game, and why wouldn’t he be? All his presence can do is increase his risk of aggravating his quad injury and putting Carolina’s top five draft pick in jeopardy. 

 

The Panthers have allowed seven sacks combined in their past two games against the Broncos (11th in the league in that category) and the Packers (10th). Now they will face a hellacious Washington front four led by rookie sensation Chase Young that’s tied for fourth in the league in sacks. 

 

My pick: Washington (-2) 20-17 Panthers  

 

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PICK 

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (6-8) vs. BUFFALO BILLS (11-3) 

 

As if 2020 wasn’t bizarre enough, we end it with the division-leading Buffalo Bills that boasts a quarterback that is also an MVP candidate facing a Patriots team with nothing to play for and serious questions under center for this game and for the future. It’s like the Freaky Friday of football. 

 

The Pats were a Cam Newton fumble away from at least forcing overtime in Buffalo back in Week 8, but they ended up losing 24-21 instead during what would be the beginning of the end for them. 

 

The Bills’ offense has averaged 34.8 points per game since then, and they are a Kyler Murray Hail Mary in Arizona away from being 8-0 since Week 7. 

 

Their firepower and motivation to secure the second seed in the AFC will be too much for Belichick and his players to overcome. 

 

My pick: Bills (-7) 31-23 Patriots   

How Florida’s NFL teams are shaping up

Florida is famous for many things ranging from being home to tourist hotspots like Disney World and the Kennedy Space Centre, but the Sunshine State is just as famous for its sport. It has national teams for everything from football to hockey. Perhaps the best known are its three NFL teams:-

 

The Miami Dolphins, with a home base at Hard Rock Stadium in the northern suburb of Miami Gardens, Florida, play in the East division. They are the oldest professional sports team in the state. The Jacksonville Jaguars, owned by Shahid Khan and based at TIAA Bank Fields in Jacksonville, Florida, play in the South division. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are based in Tampa, also compete in the South division. 

 

All three Florida-based teams are super popular with NFL betters in the state, and when the NFL season is underway there is not much else talk on the street, as betting online becomes the favorite past-time and bets pile in over who will make it to the playoffs, or better yet, the Super Bowl.

 

As the 2020 NFL season prepares to get underway, players are all fired up to kickstart the season on the right footing. This season there is a new playoff format that will include 14 teams in the post-season tournament, instead of the usual 12. For now, it’s anyone’s game and sports enthusiasts are lining up to place their bets on who will make it to the playoffs and ultimately take away the crown. 

 

Historically, the Dolphins have the best track record of the three Florida teams. But after a hugely successful spate in the 70s and early 80s, they have had a bit of a dry spell in more recent years. They made it to the playoffs a few times since, just falling short of bringing home the trophy. They have made a few changes to the team this off season, adding more talent which could make all the difference to their chances. And with Coach Brian Flores firing them up, they have as much as a chance as any. Their first game of the season is only days away against the New England Patriots. The outcome will give fans a better idea of the team’s future direction.

 

The Bucs, who were established in 1976, made it to the playoffs several times previously between the late 70s and early 80s before finally winning the Super Bowl in 2002. But, they have had a tough few years since 2008, failing to make it to the playoffs. However, they renowned for being persistent and putting up a good fight. They recently snatched up big names like Tom Brady from the Patriots. Out of the three Florida teams, the Buccaneers are said to have the best chances of turning things around this season, despite a few bumps in the road in 2019. The Bucs will face off against the New Orleans Saints the same day as Miami goes up against the Patriots. 

 

Established in 1995, the Jaguars may not be the oldest or most established team in the state, but they have their eye firmly on the prize. They fell short of making it to the Super Bowl in 2017 when they narrowly lost out to the New England Patriots. With a bit of a rejig to the team this season it is possible they could make it to the post-season with a bit of hard work and sweat. The team is also said to be signing former Bucs running back Dare Ogunbowale in the countdown to the season kickoff. They also have some young wide receivers who could help push things along against some of the team’s weaker competitors in the South division.

 

The bets are on as to which of Florida’s teams will be the front runner for the playoffs. For now, it’s anyone’s game in pro football until the teams test out their new lineups. In the meantime, fans are bracing themselves for some excited games on the field and hoping that one of the Florida trio will make their state proud.

How to Play Daily Fantasy Football

While the 2020 NFL season is still  at risk and everyone is waiting for further announcements, the NFL DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) will pave the way for bettors to gamble for the upcoming NFL games online. The NFL DFS is a creative way of playing the NFL games online while earning through the betting games you can wager on. 

In some trusted sportsbooks, there are options to play fantasy football, and most of these are for rookies or beginners. Below is the step by step process on how you can play and gamble for a daily fantasy football. 

Create A Roster And Scoring Settings 

The first step you have to do before playing the NFL DFS is to create a team and scoring board. Do know that each bookie sets a salary range that you can use for the team you build. It is also the basis of how much you can wager. In creating a DFS team, the rules are the same, which consists of  1 Quarterback, 2 Running Back, 3 Wide Receivers, 1 Tight End, 1 Flex, and 1 Defensive End.

These nine players must divide the given salary depending on the value at stake for their assigned position. As for the scoring, you can refer to the real NFL rules and scoring guidelines as it follows the same process per position. 

Do know that the defense and offense players have different scoring methods, and you must know this before playing. Familiarize yourself with the difference in every position and what would be the varying score methods for each.

Know The DFS Basics 

Although the DFS rules work the same as the real NFL games, you still need to know the basics since you are playing this game virtually. So, before you create a roster and scoring board, here are the DFS basics you must first comprehend. 

Player’s Latest Updates 

The players competing in DFS are the same as the NFL. You need to ensure that you get updated with the player’s latest information, especially if they get injured, which can affect your picking and betting games.

Vegas Odds

This factor is an essential one that you must learn when playing DFS football. These are odds set before the game will start. You can refer to the moneyline bets, points spread, and prop bets that a usual NFL game is holding as DFS does the same thing. Although you have the sole decision to decide what to bet, if you get updated with Vegas DFS odds daily, you might end up winning the whole game.  

Schedule

You also need to check each team’s schedule along with their opponents. This fact will help you in preparing for the right roster of matches and DFS betting effectively. Thus, knowing the schedule increases your winning chances.

Understand That DFS Overtakes Real NFL Games 

In real NFL games, match-ups are essential because it is how you decide your bets. If a bookie identifies the favorites over the dog, then you can start researching which entry you can successfully wager. In fact, real NFL games are harder to contemplate compared to DFS. 

Daily Fantasy football betting does not rely upon the match-up but the player’s stats. It means that if the player like the wide receiver generates a strong start, the team who got this player can win most likely the fantasy game. 

Get Updated With The Weekly Player Value 

As stated above, the player’s value is a crucial factor you must take note of before playing DFS. Each player, whether performing an offense or defense task, has a different value depending on their current statistics. Also, the prize associated with DFS depends on the amount set by the oddsmaker. 

Here are the current NFL players who dominated DFS football along with their fantasy points that you can consider in betting. 

  • Patrick Mahomes (QB) – 23.55 fantasy points 
  • Lamar Jackson (QB) – 22.75 fantasy points
  • Russell Wilson (QB) – 19.89 fantasy points 
  • Dak Prescott (QB) – 19.46 fantasy points
  • Deshaun Watson (QB) – 18.88 fantasy points 

Takeaway 

Daily fantasy football is an excellent way of earning a considerable amount of money if you mix obvious reasoning and thinking outside the box. Also, if you are new to the world of NFL, keep up with the latest news regarding this event, especially with the rules of the game. Therefore, if you want to leverage a new alternative way of fast earning, playing daily fantasy football is the right answer. Make sure to mind the process outlined above to get you guided in playing this betting game.

Super Bowl party and event schedule

Tua Tagovailoa

Simon Clancy’s exclusive with Tua Tagovailoa

Everyone wants a piece of Alabama elite quarterback Tua Tagovailoa right now.

Simon Clancy, who is a host of our Three Yards Per Carry while also working in England for Gridiron magazine and other outlets, did something that Alabama opponents haven’t done at all this season:

He corralled the slippery, skilled signalcaller.

Clancy conducted an exclusive interview for Gridiron — and we will run excerpts here when we have them.

But what follows are some highlights he tweeted:

 

If you want more, make sure to listen to tonight’s new episode of Three Yards Per Carry.

They will be playing clips.

Simon’s co-hosts Alfredo Arteaga and Chris Kouffman will also appear on #305Live tonight (Wednesday) at 10:30pm with me (Ethan J. Skolnick) to discuss what the league could do to punish the Dolphins for so blatantly Tanking for Tua.

And here’s the shirt…

We’ve sold more than 500 of these already, and sent one to Josh Gad.

You know, Olaf! (and a huge Dolphins fan who needs a warm hug).

What are you waiting to get your Tank for Tua Tagovailoa t-shirt?

Get yours now!