For Frequency Sake Gambling NFL Eliminator Challenge – WEEK 16

NFL Eliminator Challenge – WEEK 16

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Welcome to Week 16, season 10, of our NFL Eliminator Challenge series!  For those of you who are new to our series, we follow four simple steps to make our picks. While these are not hard rules (more like guidelines and suggestions), they have historically worked out well for us in the past.  We are happy to have you join our eliminator community and feel free to hit me up on Twitter to give me your thoughts!

Step 1 – Avoid Division Matchups
While Week 15 didn’t provide any shocking division upsets, we did get some great rivalry games. Of the five division games last week, the largest margin of victory was only 10 points, and four of the five games were decided by a single score. We saw the Buffalo game decided by a last-second field goal, and then both the Falcons and Commanders had the ball with less than two minutes in their respective games to go trying to take a last-second lead before their division rivals had crucial fourth-quarter stops. All in all, it was a great weekend of division games!

Division games are fun, exciting, and sometimes surprising. Every single year one of the top teams gets upset by an underdog division rival.  The problem is you never know when it’s going to happen. Unless you can predict the future, I recommend avoiding this week’s division matchups:

  • Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
  • Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups
The only thing better than a division game is a division game in prime time. Monday had the only non-division prime-time game, and it was also the only game not decided by eight or fewer points.  The Giants’ victory wasn’t sealed until the final minute of the game and Buffalo’s victory wasn’t solidified until the final few seconds. These games couldn’t have been much closer!

Prime time games are in prime time for a reason. Expect close games where the unexpected can happen. Unless you want to take a chance, I would avoid this week’s marquee games:

  • Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets
  • Las Vegas Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Arizona Cardinals
  • Los Angeles Chargers @ Indianapolis Colts

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage
Home-field advantage came back with a vengeance last week. The Chiefs were favored by 14 points over the Texans and it took overtime to overcome them in Houston. The Cowboys weren’t as lucky losing to the Jaguars in Jacksonville, and even worse was the way the Patriots lost in Las Vegas on one of the most bizarre endings to a football game I’ve ever seen. Let’s also not forget the second-half magic that the Vikings pulled off in front of the Minnesota faithful. There were a lot of very happy home crowds this past weekend!

While home-field advantage may not be what it used to be, the stress behind travel and being out of your comfort zone is still a real thing and something you should be careful with.  Be aware of this week’s games where the favorite is the away team:

  • Buffalo Bills @ Chicago Bears
  • Cincinnati Bengals @ New England Patriots
  • Detroit Lions @ Carolina Panthers
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Arizona Cardinals
  • Los Angeles Chargers @ Indianapolis Colts

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

San Francisco 49ers over the Washington Commanders
The 49ers are making a case for being one of the best teams in the NFL and they boast one of, if not the top defense in the league.  They are also doing this through an efficient offense on the backs of a resurgent Christian McCaffrey. This week they host a Commanders team that has to travel across the country on the Saturday before Christmas. I expect jetlag to be too much for the Commanders coming off a short week and a heartbreaking loss.

Other options I like this week:

  • Baltimore Ravens over the Atlanta Falcons

While there is a lot of unknown with the Ravens’ quarterback situation, there is just too much on the line for Baltimore right now.  Not only could a loss cost them the division, but if they stack a couple with the season winding down, they could miss the playoffs altogether.  Harbaugh is just too good a coach to let that happen.

  • Kansas City Chiefs over the Seattle Seahawks

While the Chiefs weren’t their dominant self last week, they return to the comforts of home this weekend and host a Seahawks team that is trending in the wrong direction. With the AFC crown on the line, I expect the Chiefs to come out on top in this one.

Last Week’s Record = 2-1

Season Record = 33-12

Follow me on Twitter and let me know what you think of this week’s picks @DE_aaron!

Thanks for reading!

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