Maybe I should trust my underdogs a little more.
The last few weeks, I haven't loved my underdogs, only to see them cover on a weekly basis. I should probably show a little more love for them in the Westgate SuperContest. The leader in the SuperContest is at a 71 percent winning percentage for the season, easily distancing past me and en route to more than $1 million, if he can hold off some stiff competition in the final weeks.
Thanks to Vegas Football Proxy, I was able to enter this year, and hopefully I’ll back again for next year’s season. Here’s my week 17 NFL picks featuring three underdogs to watch in the SuperContest.
Overall: 47-44-4 ATS
SuperContest: 37-38-5 ATS (39.5 points)
Underdogs: 24-20-3 ATS
Atlanta Falcons (+1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If you've been paying attention in recent weeks, you've noticed a trend by the Falcons. The Falcons are one of the better teams in the NFL at the moment, on both sides of the ball.
The defense has gotten healthier and is starting to play more like the unit we anticipated this season. The Falcons are not only averaging the second-most yards per play in the NFL in the last three weeks, but the defense is giving up the third-fewest yards per play in that time.
Tampa Bay has been a disaster on offense in recent weeks, while playing a bit better defense. Both teams are showing some strides as being teams to watch next season as potential dark-horse playoff contenders, but I'll go with the Falcons, who have the better offense, in this matchup. -- Go Against The Chalk with Atlanta
Cleveland Browns (+6) at Baltimore Ravens
I love the Browns in this game.
Have you seen Lamar Jackson actually play? Because I have and I'm not seeing the same version that the media is telling me about. He's not trusted to make any throws down the field, and if the Ravens fall behind, thus not being able to run the football, they're in major trouble.
And against the Browns, the Ravens will be in major trouble. Cleveland has the best offense in the last three weeks and a top-10 defense during that timeframe.
The Ravens have a top-tier defense, but the offense isn't up to par. I've seen the Ravens blow this opportunity in the past (just last year), so I'm not banking on Baltimore in a game that Cleveland will be motivated to win. -- Go Against The Chalk with Cleveland
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (+6.5)
Here's another line that I just don't understand.
Washington has shown me a lot in the last two weeks, with a victory against Jacksonville and a solid game in week 16 against Tennessee. Washington's defense is good enough to stymie many offenses, especially against a Philadelphia team featuring a backup quarterback. And no matter what the media keeps telling me, Nick Foles is not a consistent option.
Don't worry about the Redskins having to play backups. They've been doing that all season.
Philadelphia has a bottom-10 defense, so I'm backing the Redskins in a rivalry that will still mean something in week 17. -- Go Against The Chalk with Washington
Scott Levine blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more sports betting coverage at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH