Rich Hribar and Raymond Summerlin bring you their best bets every Friday of the NFL season as well as a preview of Sunday Night Football. The preview is free, but the bets can only be found in the Rotoworld Season Pass. Don’t miss out on the action.
Rich: 41-36-1 season record (last week: 3-1)
Raymond: 32-39-3 season record (last week: 3-2)
All lines taken from the VI Consensus at VegasInsider.com Friday morning.
Sunday Night Football – Colts @ Titans (+3) – 43-point total
Rich: The final game of the NFL regular season features a matchup that has been extremely one-sided. With Andrew Luck under center, the Colts are 10-0 against the Titans, including a 38-10 drubbing back in Week 11. The Colts have also been a profitable bet in those games, going 7-1-2 against the spread in those games. Six of those games came with the Colts laying 3.5 points or more with them going 4-1-1 ATS.
To compound negative matters for Tennessee, they also may or may not have Marcus Mariota available and even if he is, is surely not likely to be 100 percent after losing feeling in his right arm and hand a week ago. The Titans have been living on the back of Derrick Henry, but even that is a question here. Since the Colts returned from bye in Week 10, they’ve allowed opposing backs to rush for just 71.6 yards per game on 3.2 yards per carry.
All in all, I wish I wasn’t giving away the hook or taking a short-road favorite at all, but I’ll lay the points here with the Colts on the strength of Andrew Luck’s dominance over them and the fact that the Titans quarterback situation is far from ideal.
Pick: Colts -3
Ray: The lesson of this season, as it is most seasons, is to avoid short-road favorites, which are just 13-22 against the spread (37.1 percent) heading into Week 17. That said, I am not very good at learning lessons, so I am going to avoid all that history in one of the most important games of the season because this is an absolutely terrible spot for the Titans.
The Titans’ recent run of success has been built on riding Derrick Henry against opposing offenses which cannot give their defense much trouble. That will be an issue on two counts Sunday night. First, the Colts are seventh in the league in both points and total offense heading into the season finale, and they have scored at least 23 points in all but one game since the bye including 38 against the Titans in Week 11. Second, the Colts have one of the better rushing defenses in the league – currently 5th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA – and have allowed fewer than 115 yards on the ground in every game since the bye and 91 or fewer in five of seven games.
On top of all of that, Marcus Mariota is dealing with yet another injury similar to the one which torpedoed Tennessee’s offense early in the season, and they were not doing anything against the Colts in Week 11 even before Mariota went down with an injury. This would not be a good matchup for the Titans even if they were healthy, and the injuries to Mariota as well as Logan Ryan and Jurrell Casey make it an even tougher proposition.
Even on the road, I felt comfortable taking the Colts when the line was at 3.5, and I feel even better now that it has dropped to an even three.
Pick: Colts -3
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