Well, we made it and it's admittedly a little bittersweet that we're at the finish line of the 2020 regular season. I'm happy we were able to get a full year of football under our belts but now we're about to close the book on this bizarre, action-packed regular season. Before we say goodbye, however, Week 17 is poised to go out with a bang as there are a number of playoff spots that are still up for grabs, so we're looking at a bonkers slate to bet on.
As we enter this final week of the regular season, we've so far gone 109-120-9 ATS and are 158-79-1 SU. This slate also presents a nice opportunity for us to overcome a rough Week 16 where the football simply didn't bounce our way. We'll look to rebound this week as we close out the regular season starting with our five locks of the week. All NFL odds via William Hill Sportsbook.
Locks of the Week
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX)
Plenty is on the line here for these NFC North squads. A Chicago win and they are in the playoffs. As for the Packers, they've already clinched the division and are now looking to secure the No. 1 seed and the lone first-round bye in the conference with a victory. Both of these clubs have been on a tear as of late, but the Bears' run is a bit more surprising. They've won and covered in three straight games since going a six-game SU losing streak. Over the last four weeks, they are scoring over 30 points per game. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers is playing at an MVP level and has a great history against Chicago. In his career, the Packers QB is 17-7 ATS vs. Chicago. Under Matt LaFleur, Green Bay is 3-0 SU and ATS against the Bears and own a +10.3 points per game differential.
Projected score: Green Bay 30, Chicago 24
My pick: Packers -5.5
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
At first glance, you may be a bit confused at this line, but Mike Tomlin noted this week that he'll be throwing out the B Team in this contest and rest key starters, including Ben Roethlisberger. That means Mason Rudolph will get the nod under center. As the starter last year, Rudolph's Steelers went 5-3 SU and 6-2 ATS. He was also 3-1 ATS as an underdog, albeit with that one loss coming against the Browns in that infamous Myles Garrett game. Cleveland needs this game to most-easily secure a playoff spot as all they need is a win to punch their ticket. That's not the easiest of paths for Pittsburgh's JV club as they will now be getting Baker Mayfield and company's best punch, but I think they'll surprisingly be able to hold their own and keep this contest from going haywire. The Browns clinch a playoff spot, but Pittsburgh keeps it close. Under Mike Tomlin (since 2007), the Steelers are 35-19-2 ATS (65%) as an underdog, which is the second-best mark in the NFL.
Projected score: Cleveland 30, Pittsburgh 23
My pick: Steelers +10
Sunday, 1p.m. ET (CBS)
While nothing is official, the Buffalo Bills are in a similar position to the Steelers and it wouldn't be shocking if they elected to hold out or limit the exposure to some of their star players as they get ready for the playoffs. As for Miami, a win gets them into the playoffs, so they'll be coming into Buffalo with full force. All things being equal, I'd likely lean towards a Josh Allen-led Bills team for this matchup. However, with the potential of him playing a half of football or not at all, Miami is the smart play. Both these teams are great against the spread, but the Dolphins come in with the better record at 11-4 ATS this season. Despite the dramatic win against the Raiders, they did fail to cover in Week 16. That's noteworthy as they are 3-0 ATS following their previous three ATS losses this season (5-0 ATS following their last 5 ATS losses).
Projected score: Dolphins 27, Bills 24
My pick: Dolphins +1
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
As crazy as it sounds, both of these under .500 squads are still playing for the NFC East title. All either of these two teams needs is a win and a Washington (who plays Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football) loss for them to win the division, which essentially makes this a playoff contest for them. Dallas comes into this game winning and covering in three straight games. They are 5-2 ATS ever since starting the year 0-8 ATS. Over that streak, they are averaging 36 points per game, have won every game by eight or more and Andy Dalton has seven passing touchdowns to just one interception. Meanwhile, New York has lost and failed to cover in three straight coming into Sunday and have lost each game by 14 or more points. I don't expect those tides to turn in this team, meaning Dallas is giving itself a shot at the playoffs.
Projected score: Dallas 33, New York 20
My pick: Cowboys -3
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
This has all the makings of a Derrick Henry showcase. Houston is on a four-game losing streak and fresh off a Week 16 loss to the Bengals where they gave up 540 yards of total offense. The Texans have allowed backs to run for 138.8 yards per game on a 5.4 yards per carry clip, both the most in the NFL. Meanwhile, Henry leads the league with 118.5 rushing yards per game. The Titans, who can clinch the AFC South with a win, are under .500 ATS this season but are 6-1 SU as a touchdown favorite under Mike Vrabel. The Texans haven't shown much fight this season and with Henry having easy running lanes, he should be able to run Tennessee into the playoffs.
Projected score: Titans 33, Texans 24
My pick: Titans -7.5
Rest of the bunch
Ravens at Bengals
Projected score: Ravens 30, Bengals 14
My pick: Ravens -13
Raiders at Broncos
Projected score: Raiders 24, Broncos 21
My pick: Raiders -2.5
Washington at Eagles
Projected score: Washington 23, Eagles 20
My pick: Wasington -1.5
Against the spread in Week 16: 3-12-1 (Yikes!)
ATS overall: 109-120-9
Straight up in Week 16: 9-7
SU overall: 158-79-1