We did not have a very Merry Christmas, hitting just one of our top five bets. The Detroit Lions aren't who we thought they were, the Cleveland Browns lost at home in the coldest game of the season, Tua Tagovailoa's poor second half gave the game to the Green Bay Packers and Tom Brady needed overtime to beat Trace McSorley. Shoutout to the Cincinnati Bengals for actually taking care of business in Week 16.
This week, the Packers look to keep things rolling against the Minnesota Vikings, the New England Patriots attempt to get back on track against the Miami Dolphins and then Joe Burrow and the Bengals host Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. Here's a look at what I'm thinking this week. As always, credit to the CBS Sports research team for making me sound smart.
All odds come courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Top five picks ATS record: 37-42-1
Overall ATS record: 118-115-7
Straight up record: 155-83-2
2022 Gambling trends
Home teams: 120-115-5 (51%)
Underdogs: 126-108-5 (54%)
Unders: 131-107-2 (55%)
Dallas Cowboys (-12.5) at Tennessee Titans
Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET (Amazon Prime Video)
I'm not sure how much detail I have to go into here. The Titans are a gritty team, and that grittiness earned them the No. 1 seed in the AFC last season despite Tennessee playing with an NFL-record different amount of players due to injury. This season, the Titans just couldn't overcome that adversity. Malik Willis is a very raw rookie quarterback operating behind a terrible offensive line, and he has a subpar wide receiving corps and offensive coordinator to work with. The defense plays tough, but they are injured just about everywhere. Throw in the fact that this game virtually doesn't matter at all for Tennessee, and we are looking at a blowout.
The pick: Cowboys -12.5
Projected score: Cowboys 30-14
Indianapolis Colts at New York Giants (-6)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)
The Colts' season is done, and they have moved onto their third starting quarterback of the season. Nick Foles historically owns the Giants (3-0), but he looked terrible against the Los Angeles Chargers last week, throwing for 143 yards and three interceptions. With Indy starting Foles at quarterback and not having Jonathan Taylor, I'm comfortable taking the Giants to cover the number.
Daniel Jones looked pretty good against the Vikings last week. He completed over 71 percent of his passes for 334 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and is shifting the narrative on himself as a player. I'm also super intrigued by Isaiah Hodgins, a Giants wideout who could step up down this final stretch. He's caught three touchdowns over the last four games, and caught 8-of-11 targets for 89 yards and one touchdown last week against Minnesota.
Basically, the Giants just need to show up at home, and they clinch a playoff spot. The Colts defense isn't bad, but the Giants should win this game by more than six points.
The pick: Giants -6
Projected score: Giants 23-13
Cleveland Browns at Washington Commanders (-2)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)
I, for one, am disgusted with the Browns. They had their backs against the wall on their home field in the freezing weather facing off against a team that plays more than half of their season indoors ... and lost. Now that the Browns have been eliminated from playoff contention, why should I pick them against Washington on the road? The Commanders are in control of their own destiny with the No. 7 seed, so this game is important. An important game is not the best time to change quarterbacks, but that's what Ron Rivera is doing.
Taylor Heinicke was benched for Carson Wentz during the 17-point loss to the San Francisco 49ers after back-to-back turnovers. However, Heinicke brought Washington's season back to life, going 5-3-1 as the starter. Wentz has gone 2-4 as the starter this year. That's not to say Wentz is terrible and offers nothing to this offense; it's just a curious decision that will draw the ire/attention of everyone around the NFL if Washington drops this game. With the number being so low, I'm going to ride with the Commanders.
The Browns offense has been the lowest-scoring offense since Deshaun Watson took over. While Cleveland has an effective ground game, Washington has one of the best defensive lines in the NFL, and held Christian McCaffrey to just 46 rushing yards last week.
The pick: Commanders -2
Projected score: Commanders 24-17
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles (-6)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, FuboTV)
The Saints have the worst scoring offense in the NFL since Week 9 (14.9 points per game). They've toughed out two wins in a row against lesser opponents, but now they get one of the best teams in the NFL on the road. The Eagles can clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a win here, and ultimately, that's what I think happens.
It's not guaranteed Jalen Hurts will play this week, but to be honest with you, I'm not sure it matters. Gardner Minshew threw for 355 yards and two touchdowns against the Cowboys last week, and helped put up 34 points. He did also have two interceptions, but they weren't egregious throws. This team has enough talent to put up points with either Hurts or Minshew under center.
The pick: Eagles -6
Projected score: Eagles 28-20
Buffalo Bills (-1) at Cincinnati Bengals
Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN, FuboTV)
You gotta love it. This is the first career matchup between Josh Allen and Joe Burrow, and both quarterbacks enter Week 17 red-hot. Buffalo is on a six-game winning streak, and Cincy is on a seven-game winning streak. Both the Bills and Bengals have defeated the Kansas City Chiefs this season, which means the winner of this matchup will have beaten the two best teams in the conference.
The Bengals haven't lost since Halloween, but they haven't been perfect. They fell behind, 17-0, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before reeling off a big comeback, and then allowed 18 unanswered from the Patriots last week. The Bengals are an incredible 12-3 ATS this season, but with this line being a single point, I'm going with the team with the better SU record.
The pick: Bills -1
Projected score: Bills 30-27
Other Week 17 picks
Falcons 21-20 over Cardinals (+3.5)
Jaguars (-4.5) 26-16 over Texans
Lions (-6) 31-24 over Bears
Panthers (+3) 28-23 over Buccaneers
Patriots (-3) 27-21 over Dolphins
Chiefs 30-20 over Broncos (+12.5)
49ers (-10) 26-13 over Raiders
Seahawks (+1.5) 27-24 over Jets
Packers 23-21 over Vikings (+3.5)
Chargers 28-24 over Rams (+6.5)
Ravens (-2.5) 20-16 over Steelers