Cowboys (+6) Vs. Giants:
Week 17 is all about the motivation. Do the Cowboys care about this game? No. Are the Cowboys going to play their starters? Probably not, even though they claim they will. Two years ago, they were doing similar things and the starters basically didn’t play. I think that what is going on here is that the talk is, “Who needs to win and who doesn’t care.” Understandably so, but the Giants NEED to lose. The Giants need to get a quarterback sooner than later, and Justin Herbert dropped his name out of this upcoming draft class. That leaves Dwayne Haskins and a bunch of borderline day 2 guys that will get bumped due to the lack of depth. Haskins is multiple tiers above, and the Jaguars, Giants, and Dolphins are all talking about him. No one is really pitching this side, but if I am the Giants, I’m completely throwing this game in an attempt to raise their picks value.
Raiders Vs. Chiefs (-13.5):
The Raiders have been much worse on the road, and the Chiefs are much better at home. The Raiders have only thrown 7 TD passes all year on the road, which is amazingly low. The Chiefs are weak defensively, but specifically in the secondary and on the road. Both of those weaknesses will be neutralized this weekend, allowing them to really lay it on the Raiders. Also, the Chiefs need to win to secure a bye, and they will have a week off when they do, giving added reason for them to really get the offense rolling going into the playoffs.
Bears (+4.5) Vs. Vikings:
This line is incredibly odd. Nagy is a first-year head coach, so we do not know how he will handle the playoff rest situation, but the Bears can still get a bye if they win and the Rams lose. The Rams are 10 point favorites, but there is still enough of a chance that I believe it is worth it to try. The first-round bye and home field over the Rams would be a massive help if they could manage to get it. I assume that they do attempt to win this game or at least not pack it in until the Rams are clearly going to win that game. If motivation wasn’t included in this line, I would be flabbergasted. The Bears are just better than the Vikings on both sides of the ball right now, and they are made to beat this Vikings defense. The Vikings want to see 3 wide, one standard RB, and a pocket passer. The Bears offense is a frustrating one to navigate, which isn’t what the Vikings excel in.
Browns (+5.5) Vs. Ravens:
I just think that the Browns are more talented than the line indicates. The Browns are 5-1 in their last 6, and the offense looks much better. Baker is given more options throughout the game, and he is taking full advantage of those opportunities. Jarvis Landry has still been used well, although he has disappeared in certain games. This is often because of how talented the defense believes he is. The Ravens need to win this game and the Browns do not. That is what this line is. I think that Baker and the Browns are dying to win this game and make a statement that they are for real leading into next year in a road game with a playoff atmosphere. Also, Gregg Williams may have a really nice case to stay in town if he can lead the team to win 6 of their last 7, including this kind of game. The motivation is overrated here, so I love the Browns in this spot.