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Week 17 NFL: Picks and preview on Detroit-Dallas, Baltimore-Miami and much, MUCH more


Credit: Detroit Lions

The NFL picks are back again. The Holidays treated us well last week. We went 4-2 during the Christmas slate and are hoping to keep that momentum going during the New Years Eve slate.


It’s time to end 2023 with a bang. Delivering another NFL Sunday is how we are going to do that.


We are going to break down the primetime matchup on Saturday, Baltimore-Miami, Las Vegas-Indianapolis, and more.



Detroit at Dallas


Spread: Dallas (-5.5)


Total: 51.5


We get a standalone NFL game on Saturday night, what a time to be alive.


And this could be an NFC playoff preview.


Detroit clinched the NFC North with their 30-24 win against Minnesota. Detroit moved the ball all over the field. The offensive line was able to pick up Minnesota’s multitude of blitzes and Detroit shredded them. However, Detroit gave up over 400 passing yards to Nick Mullens.


Dallas, meanwhile, is coming off a loss against Miami on the road. Nothing to hang their heads on. They had a chance to win in the fourth quarter. Dallas’s defense couldn’t hold Miami’s dynamic offense from marching down the field to kick a game winning field goal.


This is a game that is going to be won in the trenches. Detroit boasts an elite offensive line and Dallas has one of the best defensive fronts. Dallas ranks third in pressure rate and first in pass rush win rate. Detroit ranks third in pass block win rate and they have the fourth best sack percentage in the NFL. If Detroit can protect Goff, he will shred the Dallas secondary to pieces. Dallas is overrated on the back end. Daron Bland leads the NFL in interceptions. On a down to down basis, he is below average in coverage. Detroit is extremely physical up front and I think they will be able to run the ball against Dallas.


On offense, Dallas should be able to move the ball through the air. For props, Jake Ferguson should hit his receiving yards (number not released). Detroit is susceptible in the middle of the field. Detroit’s pass defense ranks 30th in EPA and 30th in success rate. They have also faced the 6th best schedule of passing offenses. If Detroit is able to move the ball, Prescott is going to need to push the ball down the field.


I think both teams have a lot of success on the offensive side. The primetime games have kept this total under what it should be. The over has hit in six out of the last seven games for Detroit, and Dallas is 5-2 to the over at home this season.


Over 51.5 is the play here.


The pick: Over 51.5


(Also - look out for Jake Fergusion over receiving yards and Amon-Ra St. Brown over receiving yards)


 

Los Angeles (Rams) at New York


Spread: Los Angeles (-5.5)


Total: 43.5


Tyrod Taylor takes over at QB for Tommy Cutlets. Taylor almost leads New York to an upset against Philly. While Tommy Devito was a cute story, he wasn’t an NFL starting quarterback - Taylor is a significant upgrade.


At the same time though, New York’s defense has been bad, and is going against a Los Angeles offense that ranks ninth in EPA. They rank 27th in scoring, yards per play, and EPA. LA should gouge New York’s run defense where they are giving up 4.7 yards per carry. This is another game where we are going to target the total.


I like the first half over here. You can still get it at 22. New York’s offense is going to ride Taylor’s momentum early. They will be able to throw the ball downfield. The Los Angeles run game is going to dog walk New York’s defense. Los Angeles may put up 24 in the first half by themselves. Take over in the first half.


The pick: Over 22.5 - 1H

 

Miami at Baltimore


Spread: Baltimore (-3)


Total: 46.5


Baltimore is a wagon and Miam, after the best win of the NFL season - dominating San Francisco on national tv on the road. There is a bunch of Miami money heading into the market.

I just don’t see it.


Baltimore ranks first in scoring defense and the offense ranks fourth in scoring offense. Baltimore plays a lot of zone and quarters coverage. Waddle will be missing from the Miami offense. The Achilles heel of the Baltimore defense is defending outside zone runs where they rank 27th in success rate. You are going to see a lot of Achane and Mostert. San Francisco did average 6.7 yards per rush last week.


For prop bets, I would attack one of those two backs.


This is the second consecutive week Baltimore defensive coordinator Mike McDonald will see this scheme, as of course, Mike McDaniel came to Miami from San Francisco. That plays in favor of Baltimore. They know the adjustments they need to make and where they can find success.

Miami’s defense can have success here. I was impressed that they held Dallas to 5.6 yards per play. Lamar is the leader for the MVP race. He has had an up and down year. He has a completion percentage of 64% and has thrown just 19 touchdowns. Miami has one of the better secondaries. They are one of the more underrated units in football.


I think this will be a lower scoring game and I trust Baltimore at home to take care of business.


The pick: Baltimore (-3) + Under 46.5

 

Las Vegas at Indianapolis


Spread: Indianapolis (-3.5)

Total: 42.5


How about the Raiders!!! Las Vegas spoiled Christmas in Kansas City upsetting the Chiefs without completing a pass over the final three quarters. Indy has been red hot as well winning five of their last seven, and entering Sunday, this is a de-facto playoff game. Indianapolis sits at the No. 7 and they are one game ahead of Las Vegas.


I really like how Las Vegas has been playing.


Maxx Crosby should be in the discussion for first team All-Pro. Las Vegas’s offensive line has been one of the best units in football. They rank in the top 6 in the NFL in rushing success rate over the last few weeks. Josh Jacobs is a game time decision, but that won’t be a problem, especially after a breakout 145-yard rush game for Zamir White. And especially since Indianapolis is allowing 4.2 yards per rush.


I expect Las Vegas’s defense to keep this game close. Aidan O’Connell will play better. Las Vegas will have their second road win in as many weeks.


The pick: Las Vegas +3.5


 

Cincinnati at Kansas City


Spread: Kansas City (-6.5)


Total: 43.5


This is a good spot for Kansas City. They are coming off of an embarrassing standalone national tv loss. Patrick Mahomes was the reason Kansas City lost.

That’s not going to happen again.


The narrative around the league is that KC 's offense is abysmal. The reality is they still rank 10th in EPA, 11th in scoring, and ninth in yards per play. The sky is not falling here.

Which is why I think this is the perfect time to back KC.


In three career games against Cincinnati, Mahomes has thrown for an average of 280 yards with 68 percent completion percentage- with a 6 to 1 TD/INT ratio. Cincinnati is allowing an NFL worst 7.7 yards per pass attempt. They don’t have safeties or linebackers to defend the middle of the field. Jake Browning’s quarterback play is regressing to the mean.


Smart guys buy low and sell high, we are getting Patrick Mahomes giving less than a touchdown against a back-up quarterback. Take advantage of it.


The pick: Kansas City (-6.5)


 

Green Bay at Minnesota


Spread: Minnesota (-1)


Total: 43.5


Not going to lie, I feel uncomfortable betting on Jaren Hall here.


All my man has to do is get the ball to Justin Jefferson. Green Bay’s top corner, Jaire Alexander got suspended for going out for the coin toss when he wasn’t supposed to. By doing that, Green Bay eliminated their playoff chances. Green Bay's next best corner Carrington Valentine ranks 81st out of 123 qualified corners. The rest of Green Bay’s corners are unranked. Hell, Green Bay’s entire defense has been bad, ranking 28th in EPA.


Green Bay quarterback Jordan Love is going to have to put up a big number against Minnesota’s defense. I don’t think this is the best matchup for them. Minnesota plays the highest percentage of man coverage in the NFL. Unfortunately for Green Bay, they don’t have many receivers that beat man coverage on a consistent basis. Minnesota is going to bring pressure and Love is going to need his wideouts to get open.


In their first matchup, Green Bay averaged 4.4 yards per play. This is a great matchup for Minnesota- I think they win comfortably.


The pick: Minnesota (-1)


Follow Austin Montgomery on Twitter - @AMontgomeryLive 




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