Play, action or pass week 17: Pressure; pushing down on me
Pressure, depending on the quality of the group, can influence a team in different ways. Teams already having clinched a spot in the postseason, but playing for seeding have much less pressure than those that are in "win or go home" situations. According to BetLabs, since 2003, teams in must-win games during Week 17, are 56-68-4 (45.2%) ATS.
Where we can find an edge is through public perception and average bettors thinking the "need" factor benefits them. Using the same BetLabs tool, dating back to 2003, teams playing at home, in must-win games hold a record of 31-42-2 (42.5%) ATS in Week 17.
A must-win situation doesn't mean "Must win by the spread." It solely indicates win and advance. There are various reasons why you won't see the better team cover a given spread. One is the pressure of mistakes late in games when playing with a lead. Games that hold higher implications tend to be called slightly more conservative towards the final quarter as teams don't have an obligation to press for more points and instead just maintain a score to advance. Also the look-ahead factor, and when playing with a substantial lead, some teams use clock management with one eye ahead to the next opponent and also to avoid injuries. Especially, when a group knows it will be playing the following week (Wild Card Weekend).
Most Bet Teams:
Play action or Pass is 45-33-2 on the year, winning at a rate of 57.7%.
New England has already clinched the AFC East title, 14th in the last 15 years. What can the Patriots gain? The coveted No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. By defeating the Jets on Sunday, or a loss by the Steelers, the Patriots can pave the road in the AFC through Foxborough. Standing in their way is an overachieving Jets team playing with a backup quarterback. In the last three games, the Jets have mustered up a league-low 8.7 points a game. Ironically, the Jets have been good vs. the Patriots as of late, going 7-1-1 ATS in the last nine. Much has to do with the extra motivation teams have when playing Tom Brady and the Patriots, a stat which fails to show up in the box score. Don't let the big spread scare you as the Patriots have covered seven straight games as a home favorite of 14 points or more. The Patriots are 14-4 ATS in their last 18 games in Week 17. The Jets score an average of 15.1 points on the road, New England tallies up 29.9 per home game. Throw in a few turnovers and the large spread is justified. Patriots, in a beatdown.
We spoke about the pressure of having to win to get in and how it can affect a team. Games played in December tend to have more influence than games earlier in the season. By weeks 12 and 13 the playoff pictures have become somewhat clear, and the path that needs to be taken becomes apparent. When the pressure has been on, the Chargers have gone 2-7 ATS in their last nine home games in December. This a divisional matchup in a so-called home game, we say that loosely because countless locals are predicting the old LA Raider faithful to run the stadium 75-25%. I expect the Raiders to get up for this game behind the extra motivation behind the fans. Rather than going into the offseason on a four-game losing streak, a win playing the spoiler vs. a division foe can serve as some kind of redemption for a team that unquestionably underachieved this season. With Melvin Gordon a little banged up and limited all week, look for LA to coast to the finish line leaving the back door open. The Raiders are 32-25-1 on the road against the Chargers; look for the Raiders to keep this close and make the Chargers earn a playoff berth.
Teasers 7 point
Teasers 10 point
Patriots-5/Vikings-1/Saints-Bucs over 40
Be very selective this week as motivation will play a big factor. Don't fall into the trap "because a team needs to win they will cover." Bad teams with extra pressure is not a warranted combination. A wise man once told me, "If a team needs to win in week 17 to advance, then they probably aren't that good anyway." DONT FALL FOR THE TRAPS.
For any questions or comments reach me at @JerryBoKnowz