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Beating the Book: Chris Liss Handicaps Week 17

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

After an 8-8 week, I'm still at .500 with only one week to go. Like Week 15, last week was probably better than the aggregate results as I went 3-2 on best bets and 0-3 on coin flips.

This week, I particularly like the Falcons, Giants, Steelers, Colts and Cardinals. Broncos-Raiders, Chiefs-Chargers, Eagles-Cowboys and Seahawks-Rams were coin flips.

Happy Holidays - may you and yours close this season strong.

Note: Update to Packers-Bears game with Aaron Rodgers playing.


Panthers -6.5 at Falcons

The Falcons showed up in San Francisco, and Matt Ryan and Roddy White are at the top of their games. I think the Falcons make this number at home. Back Atlanta.

Panthers 21 - 20

Packers -2.5 at Bears

It looks like Aaron Rodgers will suit up after all, causing a significant swing in the line. In this case, I give the Packers a small edge on both sides of the ball and I think they'll pull it out even in Chicago. Back Green Bay.

Packers 31 - 23

Texans +7 at Titans

I've been on the Texans as a "value" every week, and they've been brutal. It was even a close game against the Broncos before the wheels came off in the fourth quarter. I have to imagine the sharp play is Houston again, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Back the Texans.

Titans 24 - 19

Browns +7 at Steelers

The Steelers rolled in Cleveland earlier this year, and the Browns defense has fallen off in the second half. I expect the Steelers to put up points here, while Cleveland's erratic offense struggles. Back Pittsburgh.

Steelers 28 - 17

Redskins +3.5 at Giants

The one week I'm off the Giants, they win outright in Detroit. I like how they protected Eli Manning better, and the defense is still pretty good. I think they handle the Redskins at home. Back New York.

Giants 27 - 17

Ravens +6 at Bengals

The Bengals have been tough at home, but this Ravens squad won't go down easily. I expect them to force Andy Dalton into a bad game and keep it close. Back Baltimore.

Bengals 20 - 16

Jaguars +11.5 at Colts

This is a pretty big line for Indy, and Jacksonville's been better of late, but the Jaguars are missing their most explosive players, and the Colts are finally adjusting to life without Reggie Wayne. Back Indy.

Colts 30 - 13

Jets +6.5 at Dolphins

The Jets are Jekyll and Hyde, and on the road they're often Hyde. I'll buy-low on the Dolphins here, who should get into the playoffs with a win.

Dolphins 24 - 17

Lions +3 at Vikings

This is a tough one with Calvin Johnson and Adrian Peterson both up in the air as of Wednesday night. I think Johnson is the bigger difference maker, but even so, the Lions have been the better team for most of the year, and they make for a pretty good buy-low. Plus Brandon Pettigrew's out, so that's one less dropped pass. Back Detroit.

Lions 24 - 23


Bills +9.5 at Patriots

The Pats won big in Baltimore last week, but it was a game that got away late. The Bills are pretty good defensively, and I think they'll hang around. Back Buffalo.

Patriots 24 - 20

Buccaneers +12.5 at Saints

The Saints are so tough at home, it's hard not to back them, but the Bucs aren't a doormat, so this line seems a little excessive. Take Tampa.

Saints 30 - 20

Broncos -12.5 at Raiders

This is a huge line for a road team to be laying, but it's commensurate with the difference in the quality of these teams. With Von Miller out, I'll guess I'll take the Raiders, though I'd rather see Matt McGloin than Terrelle Pryor. Back Oakland.

Broncos 31 - 20

49ers -1.5 at Cardinals

The Cardinals won in Seattle despite four picks from Carson Palmer, so it's a bit bizarre to see them getting points at home against the 49ers who were life and death against the Falcons last week. Maybe I'm missing something, but I'll take the Cardinals who aren't that much worse than San Francisco.

Cardinals 20 - 19

Chiefs +9.5 at Chargers

With the Chiefs likely resting their starters and the Chargers playing for an outside chance at a playoff berth, it's hard to know how competitive this game will be. Normally, I'd take the tanking team because the incentives (and benchings are priced in), but I have a Chargers hunch. That's worthless for you, but it's all I have to go on. Back San Diego.

Chargers 33 - 13

Rams +10.5 at Seahawks

The Rams are a decent team with a fierce pass rush, sort of poor man's Cardinals, and the Cardinals just won in Seattle last week. Moreover, the Rams nearly beat the Seahawks in St. Louis - in fact they were probably the better team that day. So on the one hand 10.5 seems pretty generous. On the other, I could easily see Seattle, coming off its first home loss in two years and playing for home field advantage, absolutely smoke this average Rams team in the league's toughest venue. I could go either way here, but the Rams side seems ever-so-slightly more compelling to me. Back St. Louis.

Seahawks 20 - 19


Eagles -6.5 at Cowboys

I think I liked this game better when Tony Romo was playing and the line was a lot smaller. Kyle Orton isn't bad, and the Cowboys dominated this same team in Philly a couple months ago. The value is undoubtedly the Cowboys, and there's even some chance Romo plays. I really, really wanted to take Philly, but I feel I have to take the points here. Back the Cowboys.

Eagles 24 - 20

Last week we went 8-8 to go 115-115-10 on the year. Last year we went 121-129-6 on the regular season. From 1999-2012 we've gone 1,810-1,641 (52.4%), not including ties.