The Cowboys kept the pressure on the Eagles in the NFC East with a win over the Titans to kick off Week 17 in the NFL, and now it’s on to the weekend action. Before we get into ten prop bets that The Professor’s model likes in Week 17, be sure to sign up for The Oracle’s picks – the College Football Playoffs kick off tomorrow, so it’s a great time to get all the best picks texted directly to your phone!
All odds are from DraftKings.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Jared Goff, Over 1.5 Pass TDs, -185 (Model Projection: 2.3); Over 0.5 Interceptions, +150 (Model Projection: 0.7)
David Montgomery, Over 60.5 Rushing Yds, -110 (Model Projection: 63.6)
Jared Goff and the Lions crashed back to Earth against the Panthers last weekend, but Goff still put up over 300 yards and three touchdowns in the losing effort. He should continue to have success against Chicago’s defense, but Goff has also thrown zero interceptions in his last seven games after throwing seven in his first eight, and he is going to run out of luck at some point. At +150, this looks like a play.
On the other side, David Montgomery should be licking his chops after watching Carolina’s running back duo run all over the Detroit defense last week. Khalil Herbert may steal some carries in his second game back off IR, but there should be plenty of carries to go around.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
Jerick McKinnon, Over 31.5 Receiving Yards, -115 (Model Projection: 36.2)
Jerick McKinnon’s over/under sits at 31.5 after he posted 31 receiving yards last week. In the weeks before that, McKinnon had 70 and 112 receiving yards, with the 112 coming against a Denver defense that had not yet completely collapsed, as it did against the Rams last weekend. McKinnon picked up steam for the Chiefs down the stretch run last season and has been a key component of the offense in recent weeks; look for him to have another productive receiving game against a Denver defense that was miserable reacting to Kansas City’s screen game in the first matchup.
New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks
Garrett Wilson, Over 64.5 Receiving Yards, -115 (Model Projection: 68.7)
Geno Smith, Over 0.5 Interceptions, +125 (Model Projection: 0.9)
Mike White is back at quarterback for the Jets, bringing fresh hope to an offense that was stagnant in his absence. The primary beneficiary should be rookie receiver Garrett Wilson; New York’s playoff hopes are on the line, and with a quarterback capable of throwing the ball downfield in the lineup, the Jets should look to run the offense through their best weapon. DraftKings does not have the TD Scorer numbers up for Wilson yet, but The Professor likes him to go over his receiving yards and as a TD Scorer at +125 or longer.
On the other side, Geno Smith’s play has taken a notable dip over the past six games, a stretch in which the Seahawks have gone 1-5 to fall to the edge of the NFC Wild Card race. Smith has thrown five interceptions in those six contests and has had other turnover-worthy plays to go along with them. Smith was one of the NFL’s bigger surprises in the first half of the season, but has looked more like the journeyman most expected to see from the get-go in the season’s second half. He certainly could turn things around, but a matchup with the Jets defense is a difficult spot to do it.
Cleveland Browns at Washington Commanders
Amari Cooper, TD Scorer, +170 (Model Projection: 0.4)
Donovan Peoples-Jones, TD Scorer, +300 (Model Projection: 0.3)
Deshaun Watson’s return to the NFL field has not been pretty, but after two weeks of bad weather games in Cleveland, the Browns should play in better conditions in the matchup against Washington this week. With long odds on both Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones as TD Scorers, we only need Watson to hook up with one of them for this bet pairing to be profitable.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers, Over 1.5 Pass TDs, -120 (Model Projection: 1.8)
Kirk Cousins, Over 1.5 Pass TDs, -155 (Model Projection: 2.1)
It has been an ugly season on the stat sheet for the NFL’s two-time reigning MVP, and even as the Packers have rung off three straight wins, quarterback Aaron Rodgers has only tossed one touchdown in each of those contests. We’ll bet on that changing this week against a Minnesota secondary that has been one of the NFL’s worst this season.
On the other side, Green Bay may decide to pay attention to Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson this time around, but that might open up things for the rest of Minnesota’s cast of weapons. Running back Dalvin Cook has a long history of success against the Green Bay defense, but look for Cousins to get several opportunities to put the ball in the paint, especially given the Packers’ struggles last week before Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa imploded in the second half.
Steven Clinton, better known as "The Professor", is a former D-1 Quality Control Assistant (Northwestern, Toledo) who holds a B.A. in Economics and M.S. in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University. He maintains an end-to-end NFL game projection model and is a film junkie who breaks down the tape of every NFL game.