Welcome to the final week of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series! Last week, we went a perfect 3-0, hitting on our pick of the week (Titans), and both alternate picks (Colts/Cowboys). As the season winds down, let’s finish on a strong note. Read on and feel free to comment at the bottom or hit me up on twitter!
Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups
Last week, we saw the Falcons upset the Panthers. We saw the Browns have their first winning record in their division (ever). We even saw the Raiders storm the field as they beat Denver, a team that not long ago was playing for that elusive final AFC playoff spot. I hate picking division games. However, the best/worst part about Week 17 is that all games are division games, meaning we have to move on with our rules.
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Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups
This season continues to hit on prime time games. On Thursday, we seen the Ravens beat a Chargers team that many thought was one of the best teams in the league. On Sunday, we seen the Seahawks beat the Chiefs, another team many thought was one of the best in the league. Finally, on Monday, we got a division matchup where the Raiders upset their rivals, the Broncos. Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid the only marquee game of Week 17:
- Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage
This season, we have seen home field advantage lead to lots of upsets across the league. While there aren’t a ton of home field games to avoid in Week 17, there is also no reason go to anywhere near them. Be aware and avoid the below games, where the favorite is the away team:
- Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos
- Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
Step 4 – Make your pick!
My pick of the week is:
- Pittsburgh Steelers over the Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are just bad. They have lost their starting quarterback, best receiver, and best tight end, among others. On the other side of the field is a very good Steelers team with their playoff hopes on life support. While I don’t expect the Steelers to make the playoffs, I do expect them to win this by double digits in what may be a meaningless victory at the end of the day.
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Other options I like this week:
- New England Patriots over the New York Jets
If the Patriots win, they clinch a bye week. We both know Tom Brady has no intentions of playing in the wildcard round of the playoffs.
- Los Angeles Rams over the San Francisco 49ers
The Rams are also playing for a bye week in the playoffs with the Bears on their heels. Based on how the first playoff game went last year for the Rams, I think they really want that bye week.
Overall record: 38-10
Last week record: 3-0
Follow me on twitter and let me know what you think of this week’s picks @DE_aaron!
Thanks for reading!