The College Football Playoff is here, and we’re ready to make a move!
Our best bets (39-32-1) are in the green, and I’m rolling with three plays over the weekend. This space isn’t the place for a million picks or five-team parlays, either. These are the games I love the most.
Let’s go to work with odds courtesy of FOX Bet.
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 nobody outside of Fort Worth thought was possible. I mean, come on, the Frogs’ season win total was O/U 6.5.
The bad news for TCU is that it now faces one of the most complete teams in football. I believe Michigan has the edge in every single area in this 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 style of bully ball that would even make Bo Schembechler blush. Michigan has dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides all season long, which makes life easier on the skill positions and secondary. And there’s no reason to think that will change on the biggest stage.
This one could get ugly. Lay the points.
49ers, Dolphins & Bengals feature in Nick’s Picks entering Week 17
Nick Wright makes his NFL Week 17 picks featuring: Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers, and Miami Dolphins.
I’m ready to bet against Detroit.
The Lions have covered seven of eight games, and last weekend’s 37-23 loss at Carolina is the only blemish over that span. They’ve obviously transformed into America’s team at the betting window, meaning that bookmakers will tax you the rest of the way if you bet ‘em.
And don’t look now, but the Bears have been super competitive over its last three games. Chicago covered against first-place Philadelphia and led against both Buffalo and Green Bay at halftime. The cream eventually rose in all those games, but there’s no questioning Chicago’s moxie as the season winds down.
I like Justin Fields and the Bears’ offense to keep it close.
Take the points.
Blazin’ 5: Go all-in on 49ers vs. Raiders, Vikings upset Packers at Lambeau
Colin Cowherd shares his Blazin’ 5 picks of Week 17, including taking the San Francisco 49ers (-9.5) high odds against a chaotic Las Vegas Raiders squad and the Minnesota Vikings to upset NFC North rival Green Bay Packers.
Don’t let the Steelers get hot.
Pittsburgh has quietly won four of its last five games behind a defense that’s held opponents to 17, 16, 16, 16 and 10 points over that stretch. T.J. Watt’s impact can never be underestimated, and the black and gold have been tougher 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 rollercoaster. He was “expected” to return last weekend but wound up missing his third straight game. And now many people in NFL circles wonder if John Harbaugh will keep Jackson sidelined ‘til the playoffs. The logic makes sense but gives us an opportunity at the betting window.
I’ll take the field goal to try and get ahead of the curve.
Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He’ll probably pick against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.
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