For Frequency Sake Gambling NFL Eliminator Challenge – WEEK 17

NFL Eliminator Challenge – WEEK 17

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Welcome to Week 17, 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

Week 16 might have had only two division matchups, but boy were they good ones. Down in Dallas, we saw the top-seeded team in the NFC, missing their star QB, unable to beat a Cowboys team putting their grasp on the conference’s top seed at risk.  However, the bigger upset happened in Tennessee, where the Titans, fighting for a division title, lost to the Houston Texans’ arguably the worst team in the NFL. Division upsets don’t get much bigger than a one-win team beating the division leader with only two weeks left in the season. WOW!

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:

  • Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions
  • Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs
  • Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots
  • Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens
  • Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
  • Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

Step 2 – Avoid Marquee Matchups

Following some great division upsets, we also had some thrilling prime-time games.  It all started on Thursday when the Jets, favored by a field goal were blown out by a Jaguars team many thought was down for the count a month ago. Then on Saturday night, we saw the Steelers score 10 points in the final 10 minutes including a touchdown with 46 seconds to go to beat the Raiders by three despite not having a lead until the final minute of the game. This all culminated on Sunday night when the Buccs and Cardinals needed overtime before a winner could be determined. Ignoring Monday night we had some really good marquee matchups in Week 16!

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:

  • Dallas Cowboys @ Tennessee Titans
  • Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens
  • Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals

Step 3 – Avoid Picking Against Home Field Advantage

While the division matchups and prime-time games were filled with upsets and thrillers, home-field advantage was a little less exciting. In fact, we saw more upsets of home-field teams (Jets, Titans, and Dolphins to name a few) as opposed to home teams upsetting road teams. With only a couple of games left in the season, this rule is teetering on being an afterthought.

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:

  • Dallas Cowboys @ Tennessee Titans
  • Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
  • San Francisco 49ers @ Las Vegas Raiders
  • New York Jets @ Seattle Seahawks
  • Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals

Step 4 – Make your pick!

My pick of the week is:

  • New York Giants over the Indianapolis Colts

Let’s be real, the Colts are bad. They are running out of options at quarterback to try to salvage any bit of this season and this week they travel to New York to play a Giants team fighting for a playoff spot. There is just too much on the line for New York this week to lose to a struggling Colts team.

Other options I like this week:

  • Washington Commanders over the Cleveland Browns

Similar to the Giants, the Commanders are fighting for their playoff hopes and they are hosting a Browns team that somehow has looked worse since their star quarterback returned from suspension. The risk here is if Watson finally gets it together, they could shock the Commanders, but there is just too much on the line for Washington in this one.

  • Kansas City Chiefs over the Denver Broncos

While the odds are slim you haven’t used KC yet this season, and yes this is also a division matchup, if somehow the Chiefs are still an option for you they are an absolute slam dunk against a Broncos team that just fired their first-year head coach before the season even ended.

Last Week’s Record = 3-0

Season Record = 36-12

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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