Beating The Book

Beating The Book

This article is part of our Beating the Book series.

Last week was so-so. I went 7-9, but won my best bet (Steelers), and one of my losses was on the Vikings who lost Kirk Cousins to Covid after I locked in the pick. I also went 2-3 in the SuperContest, but was drawing dead there anyway. 

This week, I especially like the Broncos, Vikings, Browns, Dolphins, Falcons and 49ers. There's often value in the final week in fading teams that need to win against teams that are eliminated, but typically try just as hard. 

SATURDAY GAMES

Chiefs -10 at Broncos

The Chiefs can still secure a bye if they beat the Broncos and the Titans lose to the Texans, but this is a big number on the road against a non-doormat. Take the points. 

Chiefs 24 - 20

Cowboys -7 at Eagles

The Eagles don't have much for which to play, but neither do the Cowboys who would need both the Rams and Cardinals to lose to grab the three seed, and in any event, the three isn't much better than the four. As such, I'm not really sure why they're laying seven in Philly. Take the points. 

Cowboys 23 - 20

EARLY GAMES

Packers -2.5 at Lions

The Packers have locked up the top seed, and while Matt LaFleur says he'll play his top guys, Aaron Rodgers has a toe injury, and I can't see him playing more than a quarter or so. Take the points. 

Lions 20 - 17

Bears +2.5 at Vikings

The Bears are scrappy,

Last week was so-so. I went 7-9, but won my best bet (Steelers), and one of my losses was on the Vikings who lost Kirk Cousins to Covid after I locked in the pick. I also went 2-3 in the SuperContest, but was drawing dead there anyway. 

This week, I especially like the Broncos, Vikings, Browns, Dolphins, Falcons and 49ers. There's often value in the final week in fading teams that need to win against teams that are eliminated, but typically try just as hard. 

SATURDAY GAMES

Chiefs -10 at Broncos

The Chiefs can still secure a bye if they beat the Broncos and the Titans lose to the Texans, but this is a big number on the road against a non-doormat. Take the points. 

Chiefs 24 - 20

Cowboys -7 at Eagles

The Eagles don't have much for which to play, but neither do the Cowboys who would need both the Rams and Cardinals to lose to grab the three seed, and in any event, the three isn't much better than the four. As such, I'm not really sure why they're laying seven in Philly. Take the points. 

Cowboys 23 - 20

EARLY GAMES

Packers -2.5 at Lions

The Packers have locked up the top seed, and while Matt LaFleur says he'll play his top guys, Aaron Rodgers has a toe injury, and I can't see him playing more than a quarter or so. Take the points. 

Lions 20 - 17

Bears +2.5 at Vikings

The Bears are scrappy, but now that Kirk Cousins is back, I don't see why this line isn't closer to six, assuming his three lineman that tested positive for Covid Monday can return by Sunday. Lay the wood. 

Vikings 27 - 23

Colts -15.5 at Jaguars

The Jaguars are terrible, but this is a massive road line, and I don't give teams extra credit for needing to win. Take the home dog. 

Colts 26 - 16

Titans -10.5 at Texans

The Titans are gunning for the No. 1 seed, but they recently lost to this Texans squad at home, and Houston shows up almost every week. Take the points. 

Titans 24 - 19

Team -7 at Giants

For God knows what reason I made this line only 6.5, so I should be on the Giants even though they can't complete a forward pass. I suppose I'll hold my nose and stick to it. Maybe Jake Fromm will show a pulse. 

Team 17 - 12 

Steelers +5.5 at Ravens

This line is obviously too high, so the Ravens must be the right side, but I'll be the square here and take the points in a game between two rough-equals. 

Steelers 19 - 16

Bengals -2.5 at Browns

Joe Burrow is likely to rest with a sore leg, while Baker Mayfield has already been ruled out. But one of these is not like the other -- Burrow missing the game would be massive while the downgrade from Mayfield to Case Keenum is minor. Take the Browns at home. 

Browns 26 - 13

LATE GAMES

Patriots -6.5 at Dolphins

The Patriots need this game for seeding, while the Dolphins' season is over. Still, I expect the Dolphins to be up for this game against their arch rivals. Take the points. 

Patriots 20 - 16

Jets +16.5 at Bills

This is a massive line, but the Bills need to win for seeding purposes, so it's about right. I'll take the points, but I don't feel strongly about it. 

Bills 31 - 17

Panthers +8 at Buccaneers

The Buccaneers can get the No. 2 seed if the Rams lose to the 49ers, but otherwise don't have a ton for which to play. Still, I think that's probably motivation enough because if both teams were to win their opening round games, the divisional matchup would be in Tampa rather than Los Angeles, in that case. I'll lay the wood. 

Buccaneers 27 - 17

Saints -4.5 at Falcons

The Saints can win and get in if the 49ers lose, but I won't give them extra motivation points over a Falcons team that's shown up more often than not and gets to rest all offseason. Take the points. 

Saints 24 - 23

Seahawks +6.5 at Cardinals

The Cardinals could win the division and climb into the three seed if the Rams lose, so they have plenty for which to play, but the Seahawks have no reason not to play hard themselves. Take the points. 

Cardinals 23 - 20

49ers +4.5 at Rams

It's unclear who the 49ers QB will be, but this is enough points for me, either way, in a game between two good teams with plenty on the line. Take the points. 

49ers 26 - 23

SUNDAY NIGHT

Chargers -3 at Raiders

The Raiders have overcome the cancellation of their coach, and a tragic mistake made by their top pick from last year, and still are in position to make the playoffs with a win. The Chargers are the better team, but I see this being tight, especially if Darren Waller plays. Take the points. 

Raiders 24 - 23

Last week, I went into 7-9 ATS to go to 127-126-3 on the year, won my best bet (Steelers) to go to 11-6, and went 2-3 in the SuperContest to go 43-41-1.  Last year my record was 118-130-8, my best bet record was 5-12 and I finished the Supercontest 35-48-2. In 2019, I finished 127-123-6 on the regular season, 8-9 on best bets and 43-40-2 in the Super Contest. From 1999-2020, I've gone 2,808-2,626 (51.7%), not including ties. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Liss
Chris Liss was RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio from 2001-2022.
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