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The new year sees the end of week seventeen and crunch time for a number of teams as we near the play-offs and teams find out how their season is going to end.

Early Games:

The pick of the early games for me is the Dolphins taking on the Patriots in New England without Tua Tagovailoa who is back in concussion protocol. The Dolphins have lost four straight, and certainly there was a drop of from Tagovailoa last week, which is perhaps too easily ascribed to the concussion given the symptoms didn’t come on until the next day but the mechanism of these things are not fully understood. I am going against Dan with my pick, but with the playoffs in jeopardy I’m backing the Dolphins to avoid losing five straight and the Pats are not convincing even with their second half comeback against the Bengals last week.

Cardinals @ Falcons (-3.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Falcons
Dan’s Pick:      Falcons

Bears @ Lions (-5.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Lions
Dan’s Pick:      Lions

Broncos @ Chiefs (-13.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Chiefs
Dan’s Pick:      Chiefs

Dolphins @ Patriots (-2.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Dolphins
Dan’s Pick:      Patriots

Colts @ Giants (-3.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Giants
Dan’s Pick:      Giants

Saints @ Eagles (-6.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Saints
Dan’s Pick:      Eagles

Panthers @ Buccaneers (-3.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Panthers
Dan’s Pick:      Panthers

Browns @ Washington (-2.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Washington
Dan’s Pick:      Brown

Jaguars @ Texans (+3.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Jaguars
Dan’s Pick:      Jaguars

Late Games:

The Packers hosting the Vikings has become a lot more interesting after the Packers recent three-win streak and is the game that leaps out to me in the late slate. I’m also curious how the LA Rams will fair against the Chargers given their comprehensive win against an admittedly poor Broncos team last week. Scoring fifty points against any team is impressive so I do wonder about the Rams getting six and half points against the Chargers who may have won three games straight, but who very possibly could have fewer fans in the stadium these teams share and the Chargers inability to get out of their own way.

49ers @ Raiders (+5.5)

Gee’s Pick:      49ers
Dan’s Pick:      49ers

Jets @ Seahawks (+2.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Jets
Dan’s Pick:      Seahawks

Vikings @ Packers (-2.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Vikings
Dan’s Pick:      Vikings

Rams @ Chargers (-6.5)

Gee’s Pick:      Rams
Dan’s Pick:      Chargers

Sunday Night Football:

Steelers @ Ravens (-3.5)

This has the makings of a really good contest given the injuries still affecting the Ravens and the fact that despite a difficult season, head coach Mike Tomlinson once again has his team around a fifty percent win percentage and a chance of making the play-offs. AFC North games are always physical so whilst this might not be a pretty game, it will almost certainly be competitive.

Gee’s Pick:      Steelers
Dan’s Pick:      Ravens

Monday Night Football

Bills @ Bengals (+0.5)

This is a big game for the Bengals, and the ever-increasing list of injuries makes a pick’em feel entirely justified as the Bills are a good team with flaws, and it feels with ther defence and Joe Burrow the Bengals are in with a shout. I’m not enjoying picking the game, but I feel that the Bengals will give a good account of themselves even if the win is beyond them. However, as good a quarterback as Josh Allen is for the Bills, in the big situation I think Burrow is less likely to make a mistake and with the Bengals repeatedly finding any way to win I’ll back them nervously to get the win.

Gee’s Pick:      Bengals
Dan’s Pick:      Bengals

DVOA is Football Outsiders statistic for measure a team’s success on every play versus the league average and you can read more about it and other football topics at https://footballoutsiders.com.