Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:55 AM
Sunday Blitz - Week 17
GAMES TO WATCH
Titans (-6 ½, 44) at Texans – 4:25 PM EST
Six games into the season, Tennessee (8-7 SU, 7-7-1 ATS) sat at 2-4 and the offense was going nowhere with quarterback Marcus Mariota. A change was made to Ryan Tannehill, who jump-started the struggling offense as the Titans are 6-3 the last nine games and are one win away from clinching a Wild Card berth. Tennessee is coming off consecutive home losses to Houston and New Orleans, but the Titans have won their previous two road contests at Indianapolis and Oakland.
The Texans (10-5 SU, 7-7-1 ATS) wrapped up their second straight AFC South title in last Saturday’s 23-20 triumph at Tampa Bay as three-point favorites. Houston has a chance to move up to the third seed in the AFC playoffs if it wins on Sunday and Kansas City loses at home to Los Angeles. The Texans have won back-to-back games five times this season, but have yet to pull off a three-game winning streak. On the flip side, Houston owns a 6-2 ATS record in the underdog role, but since the Chiefs play early, if Kansas City wins then the Texans may rest starters.
Houston knocked off Tennessee in Week 15 at Nissan Stadium, 24-21 as three-point underdogs. The Texans scored a pair of second quarter touchdowns to grab a 14-0 advantage before the Titans tied the game at 14-14 in the third quarter. Houston then scored 10 unanswered points to grab the lead for good as the road team won the first time in the last seven meetings between these AFC South squads. The Titans have dropped seven consecutive visits to NRG Stadium, but Tennessee has not lost three straight games this season.
Best Bet: Titans 27, Texans 20
Eagles (-3 ½, 45) at Giants – 4:25 PM EST
Three weeks ago, Philadelphia (8-7 SU, 6-9 ATS) trailed New York 17-3 at halftime and were on the verge of getting knocked out of the playoffs. However, the Eagles rallied for a 23-17 overtime triumph to begin a three-game winning streak inside the NFC East. Philadelphia is on the verge of capturing the division title with a win or a Dallas loss, as the Eagles downed the Cowboys last week, 17-9 as two-point home underdogs. The Eagles have yet to cover three straight games this season, while owning a 3-5 ATS record in the favorite role.
The Giants (4-11 SU, 7-8 ATS) have shown some life the last two weeks of the season following a nine-game losing streak by picking up consecutive victories over the Dolphins and Redskins. Granted, the competition isn’t great, but New York outlasted Washington in overtime last Sunday, 41-35 behind five touchdown passes from rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. The Giants scored a total of 61 points during the final four contests of their long skid, but New York has posted 77 points the last two wins, while sailing OVER the total in six of the past eight games overall.
The only negative for New York heading into this matchup is the 0-4 SU/ATS record in the role of a home underdog, while losing each of these games by 14 points or more. Philadelphia has won six consecutive matchups with New York since 2016, although the Giants have covered four times in this stretch in the ‘dog role.
Best Bet: Eagles 20, Giants 13
Redskins at Cowboys (-12 ½, 46) – 4:25 PM EST
It’s been a disappointing season in the Lone Star State for the Cowboys (7-8 SU, 8-7 ATS), who started 3-0 but need a win plus a Philadelphia loss to win the NFC East. Dallas has dropped four of its past five games, including the 17-9 setback at Philadelphia last week to fall to 0-8 this season when scoring 24 points or less. The Cowboys have compiled a dreadful 3-7 ATS record in their last 10 in the favorite role, while laying double-digits for the first time since being listed as 22-point chalk in a Week 3 rout of Miami.
The Redskins (3-12 SU, 6-9 ATS) have been extremely competitive the last five games since getting blown out by the Jets in Week 11. Washington has covered three of the past five contests, while losing close games the last two weeks to Philadelphia and New York. The defense has yielded 78 points in the last two games after giving up 57 points in the previous three contests. The Redskins have covered in five of seven opportunities as a double-digit underdog, but the UNDER has cashed in five of those affairs.
Dallas pulled away from Washington in the first matchup back in Week 2 as six-point road favorites, 31-21. Dak Prescott threw three touchdown passes in the win for Dallas, but has posted only five touchdown tosses in the past five games overall. The Cowboys own an 8-2 record in the last 10 meetings with the Redskins, as Washington last won at AT&T Stadium in the 2015 season finale, 34-23 as three-point ‘dogs.
Best Bet: Cowboys 34, Redskins 20
Kevin Rogers (2-3 last week, 39-40-1 this season)
Bengals +2 ½
Jets +1 ½
Chris David (1-4 last week, 42-38 this season)
Jaguars +3 ½
Eagles -4 ½
Chargers +8 ½
BEST TOTAL PLAY
UNDER 45 – Saints at Panthers
This game is very meaningful for New Orleans, who can grab a first-round bye with a win and a loss by either Green Bay or San Francisco. If the Saints win and both the Packers and 49ers lose, New Orleans locks up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Carolina’s defense has been abysmal recently by allowing 29 points or more in six consecutive games. The Saints have done a solid job defensively bouncing back after yielding 25 points or more since Week 3 by giving up 18 points or less on six occasions. Also, New Orleans outlasted Carolina, 34-31 in the first matchup at the Superdome, as two of the past three meetings in Charlotte have finished UNDER the total.
BIGGEST LINE MOVE
The Vikings are locked into the sixth playoff spot in the NFC as they will rest several key players on Sunday against the Bears, including quarterback Kirk Cousins. Chicago opened as a one-point underdog, but the Bears quickly moved to a 3 ½-point road favorite at the Westgate Superbook. Since beating Minnesota, 16-6 in Week 4 at Soldier Field, the Bears are 2-9 ATS the last 11 games, but Chicago is 3-0 against its NFC North rivals since the start of 2018.
TRAP OF THE WEEK
The Browns are just trying to get to the offseason after a miserable 2019 campaign. Cleveland tries to avoid its 10th loss of the season as the Browns face the rival Bengals in Cincinnati. The Bengals locked up the top pick in the 2020 draft as a win by Cincinnati doesn’t hurt them. Cincinnati has showed fight recently with four of its last five losses coming by eight points or less, while Cleveland is riding a five-game road losing streak.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW
There are nine road favorites in Week 17 as these teams have fared well recently in season finales. Over the last two seasons, away chalk is 7-2 SU and 6-3 ATS in Week 17, including a 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS mark in 2018. Three teams (Tennessee, Chicago, and Pittsburgh) own worse records than its opponents, all who have clinched playoff berths.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.