It was good to be home for the Holidays last week as nine home teams covered against the spread verse seven road teams. The favorites and underdogs were evenly split at 8-8 and the total stayed ‘under’ in nine games, went ‘over’ in six, and there was one ‘push’. Our Week 16 ‘best bets’ went 2-1 with the correct call on Miami and Oakland, but the wrong play on Baltimore.
In an effort to ring in the New Year on a positive note, we dug a bit deeper into this week‘s spreads and are once again ready to ‘Bang the Book’ with three more free picks for the final week of the NFL regular season.
New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins EVEN
If Rex Ryan’s team could play as well as he can run his mouth, it would not be in the position of needing a win and some help to get back into the postseason. New York has been outscored 74-33 in its last two games, but it has to hope its defense can tighten things up this week.
Miami built a 17-0 third-quarter lead on New England last week but could not hold on in a 27-24 loss as a nine-point road underdog. Despite going 5-3 down the stretch, you have to question how much fight is left in a team with a 5-10 record overall and an interim coach at the helm going into its final game of the season.
New York is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games in January. In this series, the road team is 7-2-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings. The Jets are 19-6-2 ATS in the last 27 games overall and 7-1 ATS in their last eight trips to Miami. Stick with the past trends to hold true one more time this Sunday.
The Free NFL Pick: New York 23 Miami 20
Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals (-2.5)
It has been a tale of two seasons for Seattle after turning a 2-6 start into a chance to get to 8-8 with a win on Sunday. The Seahawks’ offense sputtered at home last week against San Francisco and is ranked 28th in the NFL in total yards, but their defense has remained solid over the second half of the year.
Much like Seattle, the Cardinals have been able to turn things around with a 7-8 record heading into their season finale after a dreadful 1-6 start. It looks like Arizona will once again go with John Skelton at quarterback for the often injured Kevin Kolb. Skelton’s numbers are nothing to brag about, but he is 4-2 in six starts this season.
The home team in this series is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings and Seattle is just 1-4 ATS in its last five games in Arizona. Earlier this season the Seahawks squeaked-out a 13-10 win as 3.5-point home favorite, so look for the Cardinals to return the favor in another close battle
The Free NFL Pick: Arizona 28 Seattle 24
Baltimore Ravens (-1.5) vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Ravens still have a shot at claiming the top seed in the AFC or could fall all the way to No.5 depending on what happens this Sunday. This team continues to win the majority of its games, but it still lacks the offensive firepower to put teams away when it has the chance.
Cincinnati gets back to the postseason with a win regardless of what else happens this week. This team is built much like the Ravens with a very vanilla offense, but a defense that knows how to keep its opponents out of the end zone.
Baltimore is 2-6-1 ATS in its last nine games as a favorite, while Cincinnati is 6-2-1 ATS in its last nine games as an underdog. Head-to-head in this series, the Ravens are 0-4-1 ATS in the last five meetings overall and 1-5 ATS in their last six trips to Cincinnati. The underdog in this series is 4-0-1 ATS in the last five games. It will be close until the end, but the Bengals find a way to win this game.
The Free NFL Pick: Cincinnati 20 Baltimore 17
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.