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Prisco’s NFL Week 17 picks: Steelers and Ravens keep playoff hopes alive with upset victories

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Time is running out.

We have just two more weeks of the regular season, which means it’s crunch time for NFL teams and for those of us who make NFL picks.

Last week didn’t go as planned for me, as I went 8-8 ATS, 11-5 straight up and 2-4 with my Best Bets as part of the Pick Six Podcast. That brings my season records to 125-112-3 ATS, 148-91-1 straight up and 51-48 with my Best Bets.

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That’s solid.

I need to close better than just being solid the last two weeks. Let’s ride high into the playoffs with two outstanding weeks. Can I get the triple crown, with winning weeks in all three areas? Let’s just hope COVID doesn’t brutalize the picks like it has in recent weeks.

Latest Odds:

Washington Football Team
+6

If the Eagles win their last two, they are in the playoffs. That makes this a huge game for them. The Eagles blew out Washington two weeks ago with their rushing attack, which will key this game as well. The Washington defense is struggling and Jalen Hurts will take advantage of that. Eagles will keep it rolling.

Pick: Eagles 23, Washington Football Team 14

Which NFL picks can you make with confidence, and which Super Bowl contender will go down hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams win and cover the spread, all from a proven computer model on a 134-96 roll on NFL picks.

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Latest Odds:

New Orleans Saints
-6.5

The Saints have been crippled by COVID, which is why they had almost no chance against Miami on Monday night. But they should be getting a lot of guys back here against a Carolina team that isn’t very good. Carolina’s offensive line is bad, while the Saints’ front is good. That’s a combination that will lead to a Saints’ victory with a few big takeaways.

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Pick: Saints 24, Panthers 16

Latest Odds:

New York Jets
+14

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Tom Brady has to be licking his chops as he readies to face this Jets defense, which is bad and has been hit hard by COVID. The Bucs blew out Carolina on the road last week and they will do the same to the Jets here. The Bucs pass rush will own the line of scrimmage, forcing a lot of short fields.

Pick: Bucs 34, Jets 13

Latest Odds:

Tennessee Titans
-3

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The Dolphins are playing on a short week after a Monday victory, while the Titans are rested after having played on a Thursday. That’s a huge edge for Tennessee. The Titans played much better on offense with A.J. Brown back against the 49ers, but this Miami defense is playing well. Look for a low-scoring game with the Titans winning it. Ryan Tannehill gets a victory against his former team.

Pick: Titans 23, Dolphins 17

Latest Odds:

New England Patriots
-16.5

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The Jaguars are a complete disaster, and now they are playing consecutive road games against a Bill Belichick team that is coming off a home loss. Good luck with that. The Patriots will get back on track here with a defensive showing that will force Trevor Lawrence into some turnovers. This will be ugly.

Pick: Patriots 31, Jaguars 7

Latest Odds:

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Indianapolis Colts
-8

This will have a playoff-like feel to it. The Raiders almost have to have it to stay alive in the playoff chase, while the Colts can lock up a playoff berth with a victory. The Colts could be without quarterback Carson Wentz because of COVID, which would make Sam Ehlinger the starter. That will challenge the offense. The Colts have played really well the past two weeks, using their run game with Jonathan Taylor, so maybe they can overcome it. But I think the Raiders will come in and hang around in this one.

Pick: Colts 26, Raiders 24

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Latest Odds:

Cincinnati Bengals
+3.5

This is the game of the week. The Bengals are riding high after blowing out the Ravens last week, while the Chiefs are the top seed in the AFC. This has all the makings of an offensive shootout, with Joe Burrow trying to match Patrick Mahomes. It will be a treat to watch. It will be close, too.

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Pick: Chiefs 33, Bengals 31

Latest Odds:

Chicago Bears
-6.5

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This game features two teams that will be making big changes after the season. Both have quarterback issues because of health. I think the Bears defense is the best unit in the game, and it will play that way. The Giants can’t protect whoever plays quarterback. Bears take it.

Pick: Bears 25, Giants 13

Latest Odds:

Buffalo Bills
-14.5

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The Bills are now in first place in the AFC East after beating the Patriots last week. That’s the Bills team many expected to see. The Falcons are still alive in the playoff race, but this will be a steep task for Atlanta. Look for Josh Allen and gang to once again have a big day on offense.

Pick: Bills 31, Falcons 17

Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers (-12.5)

Latest Odds:

San Francisco 49ers
-13

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The Texans impressed in beating the Chargers last week, but this is a tough trip for a team playing for nothing. The 49ers need this game in the worst way. I think Davis Mills will struggle some this week as the 49ers pass rush gets to him a lot. The 49ers bounce back after losing to the Titans — even if it’s Trey Lance for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo.

Pick: 49ers 29, Texans 10

Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-5.5)

Latest Odds:

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Los Angeles Chargers
-8

Both these teams are coming off bad losses last week and now must regroup with their playoff lives on the line. The Chargers were bad in losing to the Texans, but I think they bounce back here. Denver will run the ball at the bad Chargers run defense, but I don’t think it’s enough. Chargers take it.

Pick: Chargers 23, Broncos 17

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Latest Odds:

Baltimore Ravens
+6.5

The Ravens have been crippled by injuries and COVID and hardly look like the same team we saw seven weeks ago. But they will be getting guys back this week, and one should be Lamar Jackson at quarterback. The Rams are playing consecutive road games and Matt Stafford has struggled some lately. Look for the Ravens to fight for their playoff lives here and pull off a mild upset.

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Pick: Ravens 27, Rams 26

Latest Odds:

Seattle Seahawks
-8.5

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This is one of the dog games of the week, featuring two non-playoff teams. The Lions are playing a second straight road game, while Seattle is home after losing Sunday to the Bears. The Lions should have Jared Goff back, which will help keep them in this game. It’s close, but Seattle takes it.

Pick: Seahawks 28, Lions 25

Latest Odds:

Dallas Cowboys
-6.5

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The Cardinals have lost three straight, yet they are still in the playoffs. They need to play better. Dallas seemed to right things last week against Washington, especially on offense. The Cowboys will use their running game to push around the Cardinals in this one. Arizona keeps on losing as the Cowboys take it.

Pick: Cowboys 27, Cardinals 20

Latest Odds:

Green Bay Packers
-13

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The Vikings still have slight playoff hopes, while the Packers are looking to lock up the No. 1 seed. Green Bay lost to the Vikings earlier this year, but that won’t be the case in this one. Aaron Rodgers will lead Green Bay to a victory in a high-scoring game as both defenses struggle some.

Pick: Packers 34, Vikings 27

Latest Odds:

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Pittsburgh Steelers
+3.5

These two still have playoff hopes, but the loser is dead. The Browns will be getting a lot of guys back off the COVID list, which will help. The Steelers looked terrible last week in losing to the Chiefs, but being back home against a rival means they will play much better. The Steelers will find a way to win this one.

Pick: Steelers 24, Browns 20 

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Rudy Gobert Has His Utah Return On The Calendar

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(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

 

The NBA world was rocked recently when it was announced that Rudy Gobert was leaving the Utah Jazz for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Utah was the only NBA home Gobert ever knew and he was a vital part of the team’s success.

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Cutting him loose, especially to such a promising team, was a major move that could greatly shake up the league.

People argued about which team did better in the trade deal that sent Gobert east.

Well, in a few months we will be able to see the two teams compete and get a better idea of which squad is superior.

The Minnesota Timberwolves will face off against the Utah Jazz for the first time on October 21 in Minnesota.

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Then, less than two months later, Gobert will return to Utah for the first time since the trade as his Timberwolves battle it out with the Jazz in Salt Lake City on December 9.

These will be two tremendous games that every NBA fan will want to watch.

 

Minnesota Faces The Music

There are many who think the Timberwolves will be the better unit now that they have Gobert.

The trade weakens Utah’s frontcourt and obviously improves Minnesota’s.

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However, a trade this enormous sometimes takes time to start working.

Gobert will need to learn to play with his new crew and that doesn’t always happen overnight.

So don’t be surprised if Minnesota doesn’t get off to an amazing start in October.

As for the Jazz, there is still much to be decided about the team, including its relationship with Donovan Mitchell.

The team once said it would never ship Mitchell away but once Gobert was sent packing anything seemed possible.

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Now there is a chance that opening night for the Jazz will see them without both Gobert and Mitchell.

The post Rudy Gobert Has His Utah Return On The Calendar appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Steelers’ Karl Joseph and Anthony Miller both suffer season-ending injuries, per report

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USATSI

The Pittsburgh Steelers saw two players suffer season-ending injuries, as safety Karl Joseph and wide receiver Anthony Miller are both out for the year, per Steelers reporter Dale Lolley. Joseph is out with an ankle injury while Miller injured his shoulder. Both are expected to be placed on injured reserve.

Joseph’s injury came during the team’s preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. Joseph went down in the first quarter and was carted off the field with an air cast seen on his ankle. The 28-year-old was later spotted on crutches, wearing a walking boot.

Joseph joined the Steelers after last season’s training camp and this year was looking to earn the second safety spot.

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Head coach Mike Tomlin originally said his injury was day-to-day, but according to reports it will end his season.

Miller injured his shoulder in training camp ahead of Pittsburgh’s first preseason game. This is not his first shoulder injury, as he also struggled with shoulder issues while he was on the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears.

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As the regular season gets closer and the roster starts getting cut closer to what it will be for the 2022 season, it looked as if Miller would make the 53-man roster.





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Steelers Insider Clarifies The QB Battle

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(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to solidify their depth chart at quarterback after Ben Roethlisberger‘s retirement.

The 2022 campaign will be the first that “Big Ben” won’t start after being the undisputed top play-caller for the squad for 18 seasons.

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Their candidates for selection include Mason Rudolph, who has backed up Roethlisberger, and Kenny Pickett, who had a solid performance during his first preseason game.

Then there’s Mitchell Trubisky, who they signed on a two-year contract.

After all, he has playoff experience and hopefully learned a lot from Josh Allen after his one-year stint with the Buffalo Bills.

However, some fans might argue that Pickett deserves to start after a strong performance during the preseason.

To which ESPN’s Brooke Pryor reiterated that the battle for the top spot is over.

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Pryor tweeted, “Exactly. Biggest storyline in the QB room is what happens behind Trubisky — is Rudolph the No. 2? Will Pickett catch on fast enough to jump him? That’s what I’m watching through the last two preseason games.”

 

Trubisky Is Pittsburgh’s Starting Quarterback

Head coach Mike Tomlin did declare in a recent interview that Trubisky will be their starter in Week 1 based on skill level.

He said in this video, “Yeah, because that’s the premise by which we started. We’ve been really transparent with the guys and we based our starter on resumes. Mitch has won in this league. The statistics bared it out that he has more experience than the others. So, we just thought that it’s appropriate to start there.”

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Therefore, Rudolph and Pickett are basically competing to become second on the depth chart.

Pickett may have the edge for now after that strong performance.

But that order could change with each passing week.

The post Steelers Insider Clarifies The QB Battle appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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