Swinger takes a look at how the NFL odds have shifted regarding his top four NFL picks featured in his Week 17 Bust Your Bookie article from earlier this week.
Which Way Have My Top NFL Picks Moved?
As some of you may know I write a weekly NFL picks column for SBR called "Free NFL Picks to Bust Your Bookie" and below are the four selections I targeted earlier this week. Let's see where these picks are in terms of the NFL odds for Week 17 and keep our fingers crossed that we continue our heater which has seen us cash five of our last six NFL picks.
Chargers vs. Chiefs (-3 to Pick for 4 units)
I'm not shy about laying a bit more juice to avoid an ugly number. Early Tuesday morning the NFL odds in this one offered the Chiefs -3 but I immediately opened SBR odds to take a peek at what the money line had to offer. Much to my surprise I noted Pinnacle was offering the Chiefs at -140 which is cheap compared to the -180 I would have had to pay had I manually moved this to a pick'em. So instead of laying that all-important field goal I decided that the Chiefs' superb running attack led by the inestimable Jamaal Charles would shred the highly suspect run stop unit of the San Diego Chargers within the daunting confines of Arrowhead Stadium.
However, little did I know at the time that quarterback Alex Smith would be sidelined for Sunday's game with a lacerated spleen paving the way for little used backup Chase Daniel who in his six years in the NFL has started only one game. While the NFL odds on Kansas City have dropped precipitously in the wake of Smith's sudden and unexpected departure, I am not deterred in backing the Chiefs.
Unlike laser locked rocket launchers like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady the Chiefs offense is far less dynamic and much more focused on their rushing attack. Smith is a reliable and composed quarterback who wins by limiting his mistakes and throwing precise passes to short range targets. From all accounts Chase Daniel, who set records at Missouri but went undrafted primarily due to his perceived lack of size, is a perfectly capable quarterback who will have to do no more than limit mistakes and allow his playmakers to do the heavy lifting. The defense will take care of itself.
Browns vs. Ravens (+10 to +14 for 3 units)
Once again I have had the rug pulled out from under me and a change in quarterbacks has developed before my very eyes. In this case I plucked what I thought was a rather generous 10-point head start on the Browns courtesy of 5Dimes while most of the other major offshores were offering NFL odds of 8 to 8 ½. But alas, that 10 points is now a lousy number because lo and behold the woeful Brownies are down to their third string quarterback Connor Shaw who will be set free from the practice squad after injuries to Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel shelved both signal callers.
So am I suddenly convinced the Browns have no chance in Baltimore even with the additional four points and now a full two TD's in their pocket from virtually every NFL odds maker out there? Well, the short answer is no. Has Johnny Football inspired so much confidence that his replacement will be lowering the bar? The answer again is no. So we will take the extra points and have faith the Cleveland defense will give Hurricane Joe Flacco a few things to think about. Stay strong people. The Browns still cover.
Cardinals vs. 49’ers (-5 ½ to 6 ½ & 37 to 36 ½ ) *Side & Total*
Nothing to see here ladies and gents. The line has edged slightly up on the favored Niners while the total has inched down. It appears I got a slight bargain on both and my opinion has not wavered. The 49'ers will ground the anemic offense of the Cardinals to a halt regardless of who is under center for the Redbirds while the San Francisco offense will eventually break through due to sheer exhaustion sustained by the Arizona defense.