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Home / Articles / Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 17 Analysis/Review/Notes/2018 NFL Draft Order

Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 17 Analysis/Review/Notes/2018 NFL Draft Order

By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Jan 1, 2018
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Sunday, December 31, 2017 Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts (NFL) - 1:00 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -240 Indianapolis Colts Pick Title: 9 Star Sharper Line Mover (WIN) There's no HOT team or potential playoff team here as the Texans have dropped 8 of 9 while the Colts come in losers of 6 in a row. Let's focus here on who wants it more as well as personnel & scheduling advantage. Houston is not only without 1st-string QB triple-threat Deshaun Watson, they are ALSO down their offensive MVP DeAndre Hopkins AND defensive MVP J.J. Watt. At press time, they should be forcing rusty third-string QB T.J. Yates OR their 4th-string QB Taylor Heinicke (former Old Dominion QB who they picked up in September off the Patriots' practice squad) into action since 2nd-stringer Tom Savage should be a no-go. So how vital was Watson to his team's chance to make it to the playoffs? When he was in there for those 6+ games earlier, the Texans offense thrived BIG scoring 33.1 PPG. But since that time, all other QB combinations have only generated a meek 12.9 PPG. While Watson played, he was responsible for 23 TD's. For the other 8-PLUS games, all other QB's put up an Antarctic 12! As far as their defense is concerned, it certainly looks like they've packed it in yielding 39.5 PPG. In contrast, it looks like there's much more fight from the Indy "D" whose only given up slightly over 17 PPG for the month of December. Whether the Colts win or lose, they are guaranteed a top 3 draft pick in the 2018 spring draft. Houston has already given away their 1st-round pick to Cleveland. My bottom line says Indianapolis is the more motivated team. Not only are they playing for HC Chuck Pagano (should be fired after the season), but QB Jacoby Brissett will be breaking the 3,000-yard passing barrier, WR T.Y. Hilton looks to break 1,000 yards receiving & RB Frank Gore needs a buck & change to reach 1,000 rushing yards. In the numbers shows us that even through some good teams, the Texans come into Indy having won just 2 of their last 15 games @ this venue. In addition, Houston in LRG's (last road games) is a perfect 0-8 SU (1-7 ATS) when coming off a SU loss. In contrast, you'd have to go back to 2009 when Jim Caldwell was HC to find a LHG (last home game) loss (7-0 SU). One more number to take into high consideration is turnover margin. Indianapolis has a +13 advantage over the Texans going a +4 overall while Houston chimes in @ a -9. In their 1st meeting, a 20-14 Indy win on the road, the Colts averaged 6.1 YPP (yards per play) against a much healthier defense during Week 9. Finding T.Y. Hilton on a consistent basis (1,117 receiving yards & 9 TD's in 11 previous series' meetings) should be just what Pagano ordered to go out with a "W". There's NO EXCUSE here for Indianapolis NOT to pull away in the end having a few more days to prepare than the Texans. Let's go to Lucas Oil Stadium to play the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS as my 9 Star Sharper Line Mover!

Carolina Panthers vs. Atlanta Falcons (NFL) - 4:25 PM EST Premium Pick Pick: Money Line: -180 Atlanta Falcons Pick Title: 9 Star Playoff Survivor Play Of The Week (WIN)

The Panthers come into this fracas @ 11-4 SU & could clinch the NFC South with a win & New Orleans loss or tie OR by tying combined with a NO loss. Their clinched playoff berth could turn into a 1st-round bye IF they can win AND the following scenario happens (a NO loss or tie PLUS a MINN. loss PLUS an L.A. Rams loss or tie). Now let's look @ the more-critical 9-6 SU Falcons playoff scenarios to just get in. If ATLANTA can win, they're in. They can ALSO get in IF they & Seattle BOTH tie or BOTH lose. For this matchup, even though WR Julio Jones is not @ 100%, his 83 receptions for 1,364 receiving yards is close to 600 yards MORE THAN Carolina's leading receiver amount. Oddly enough, RB Christian McCaffrey's 75 catches is top on the team while WR Devin Funchess is 1st in receiving yards with 792. Even though new OC Steve Sarkisian's offense has taken a step back from last year, QB Matt Ryan is a perfect 8-0 ATS @ home against the NFC South when the Falcons come off a SU loss. Ryan is #1 in the NFL in 3rd-down conversion rate with 45.3%. In the numbers also shows that Super Bowl losers 25-10 SU in season finales & a near-perfect 12-1 ATS when coming off an ATS loss of more than 3. One more system to certainly keep track of is games where team wins are close. For example, in Week 17 games where teams that have between 1 & 3 less wins than their opponent, those teams have been a ticket-cashing 64% (127-70-4) ATS! My bottom line says Atlanta is a proven commodity @ home having beat Green Bay with Rodgers 34-23, Dallas 27-7 & New Orleans 20-17 just 3 weeks ago. Another thing to consider, how much are the Panthers going to risk playing QB Cam Newton when it is quite possible they could be playing @ New Orleans (lost to them 31-21 in Week 13 there) next week? So we may just see 13-year veteran QB Derek Anderson off the bench. Even though Newton holds the upper hand with 11 wins, Ryan has better protection getting sacked 10 times less & is 7 points higher in QBR than Cam. The Atlanta defense has also stepped it up of late yielding under 19 PPG over the last 4 games. Remember, defensive-minded HC Ron Rivera will find it pivotal to have a fresh & healthy defense to play on the road for the Wild Card Round next week. This supercedes any other playoff scenario. I'm still looking for a closely-contested game throughout with the Dirty Birds scoring last to edge Carolina. Let's go to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to play the ATLANTA FALCONS as my 9 Star Playoff Survivor Play Of The Week!


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