A rough 0-3 Week 16 with my underdog picks lowered my overall record for the season to 22-23-3. I’ll try to get back on track with the following underdogs to consider for Week 17 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Panthers +3
This game carries significant playoff implications with the Panthers just one game behind the Buccaneers in the NFC South. They have won three of their last four games to make things close, which included their first road win over the season against the Seahawks. It’s difficult to read too much into stats for the Panthers from earlier in the season based on all of the changes that they have undergone. They have a new head coach, they traded away Christian McCaffrey and Sam Darnold has taken over at quarterback. Still, the Panthers beat the Buccaneers, 21-3, at home in Week 7.
The Buccaneers have not looked good as they approach the finish line of the regular season, going 2-3 over their last five games. One victory was by a single point over the Saints and the other was an overtime win last week against a Cardinals team that started Trace McSorley at quarterback. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Panthers kept this game within a field goal, or even if they won it outright.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Atlanta Falcons: Cardinals +3
With the Falcons firmly out of the playoff race, they have decided to turn to Desmond Ridder as their starting quarterback. The rookie third-round pick has struggled in the role, combining for 315 passing yards and no touchdowns over his first two games. It doesn’t help his cause that he has so few weapons around him, especially with Kyle Pitts (knee) out for the season. In the two games since Ridder was named the starter, the Falcons have scored 18 and 9 points, respectively.
The Cardinals are also unsettled at quarterback with Kyler Murray (knee) out for the season. They originally turned to Colt McCoy, but he was unable to play in Week 16 because of a concussion. That meant McSorley had to take over, and he almost led them to an upset win over the Buccaneers. In the end, the Cardinals lost by three points in overtime. McCoy will be back this week and the Cardinals have significantly more weapons on offense, so look for them to at least keep this matchup close.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens: Steelers +2.5
These two teams met in Week 14, which resulted in a two-point win for the Ravens. Lamar Jackson (knee) didn’t play for the Ravens and Kenny Pickett went down early for the Steelers with a concussion. Mitch Trubisky was awful in relief of Pickett, throwing three interceptions. All things considered, it’s a wonder how they even kept the score within a field goal.
Pickett made his return last week, leading the Steelers to a three-point win over the Raiders. That marked their fourth win in their last five games. Through Thursday, Jackson had yet to resume practicing for the Ravens. That’s not a good sign that he’ll be able to make his return. With the expectation that Tyler Huntley gets another start, the Steelers having Pickett back could propel them to a win in this rematch.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mbarner51) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.