Week 17 Top Play Lost

NFL Top Play Links: Wk 1 (W) | Wk 2 (W) | Wk 3 (W) | Wk 4 (W) | Wk 5 (W) Week 6 (L) | Wk 7 (W+W) | Wk 11 (L) | Wk 13 (L) | Wk 17 (L)

2014 NFL Top Play Total – 7-4 (63.6%) ATS
Game Score Status Pick Amount
Chicago 9 1:00 PM ET Minnesota -6 2.00
Minnesota (W) 13    (TOP PLAY) Lost

I wanted to send this one out before the day is done today as it is our TOP PLAY for the final week of regular season and it is a favorite. Favorites tend to move against us as you get up to gametime; however, this is a funny one: the public and the media has doubted the Minnesota Vikings all season long never ever realizing that they’re quite a legit team. They almost just knocked off the Miami Dolphins last week if not for a botched referee call followed by a game winning safety for the lucky Dolphins. The Bears on the other hand consist of a failed experiment of a head coach, a bum QB with no drive or motivation, and one of the worst defenses in Bear’s history. This is the Viking’s time to make a big statement that they’re not the worst team in this division.

Before I go on about this play, I want to say that, tomorrow I may follow up with and additional selection or two. BUT here’s what we don’t want to bet in the final week of NFL:
One of the worst betting strategies in any sport and sure enough in the NFL is to say: “well team A has playoff implications and team B has none so team A is the no brainer.” This is one of the squarest ways to do it…let’s take a quick look at what games look like no brainers and possible fades:
baltimore -9 at home over CLEVELAND +9
Consider Cleveland here. Baltimore has a 49.4% shot at the playoffs and you can be sure that the Browns would just love to screw that up. The public will be looking at this one differently: Baltimore must win this game and Cleveland is struggling at the QB position. Over 80% of the public has smothered the Ravens even though they’re carrying the lumber against a tough division rival. I’m not saying Cleveland will be a play, but I’m definitely saying that betting Baltimore would be one of the worst bets you could make this week.
houston -10 at home over JACKSONVILLE +10
Consider Jacksonville here. Houston has a 13.7% shot at the playoffs. They must win this game and the Jaguars are very bad. Surprisingly though, the public is betting this game sharp and going with the Jaguars. Interesting. We won’t touch this game at all.
Anyways, back to the Vikings (TOP PLAY):
I was surprised with this one. I’m surprised every week with the Vikings by how bad the public perceives them to be. This line opened at -7.5 for Minnesota which I already thought looked like a great bet on the Vikings and then the public brought is all the way down here to -6 where I’m going to strike. Last week Jimmy Clausen showed Bear’s fans everything that Jay lacks: balls, determination, passion. He got 14 points up against the top defense in the NFL last week, while, in his last start, Jay put up only 15 against possibly the worst defense in the league which is relatively an enormous difference favoring Clausen of all people. This week Bridgewater proves that Jay is the worst QB in this division.
The Vikings are 12-0 ATS as a home favorite after a road game in which they more than 10 points more than their season-to-date average.
*Since 1990, Week 17 teams off of a loss with 1-6 wins on the season dial it up 58-26-2 (69%) ATS as long as they’re not playing on the road from home.
**Home Favorites are 25-8-0 (+8.48 ppg, 75.8%) SU and 23-8-2 (74.2%) ATS in this dynamic.
*Since 2012, the Minnesota Vikings are 11-1-0 (+6.17 ppg, 91.7%) ATS vs. bad pass defenses allowing 61% or more completion percentages per game in the second half of the season.
*The Bears are just 12-38-0 SU (-8.94 ppg, 24%) and 12-35-3 (25.5%) ATS on the road in December games since 1989.
*Jay Cutler is around 40% ATS in all of his starts as an NFL QB. Fade him. There is a reason for that percentage. He got a fat deal and doesn’t give a crap about Football. Maybe now we see why the best head coach in the game loves drafting unknowns at low salary caps (Bill Belichick – the master of turning nobodies into great players and team-mates).
Although this game has no playoff implications, it means a lot for the young Vikings team under an Mike Zimmer and with Teddy Bridgewater. Meanwhile, the Bears are ripping the team apart; many players are gone, Trestman is gone; I can’t see the Bears putting up too big of a fight.

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