By Dan Leach/Follow Dan on Twitter @DTMLEACH
As the NFL season heats up so does the DTM Prediction machine, which will be here for you each and every week to help you win your pick-em-pool, embarrass your friends, and just become a more whole football fan and human being.
I will take a look at five games each week with the best value and rate them on a sliding “Bagels and Lox” 1-10 scale.
Week 17 could not have any more story lines or any more possible playoff in or out scenarios. In one word #epic … and away we go!
DETROIT AT MINNESOTA 1 PM EST TV FOX RADIO 97.1 THE TICKET (VIKINGS -3)
It would be just like the 2013 Lions to come into this game that literally means less than nothing and completely blow away the Vikings at a place that has been an absolute horror fest in the past for Detroit. With the pressure off and the end of the Jim Schwartz regime likely over, look for the Lions to put it all on the table.
Just to think if not for maybe the greatest regular season field goal ever or if the Lions offense could have played at a Pop Warner level last week against the G-men.
This game would be for the division title….That is 2013 Lions in a nutshell (help, I’m in a nutshell).
5.5 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE LIONS +3
PHILADELPHIA at DALLAS (FLEXXXXXED) 8:30 PM EST TV NBC (EAGLES -7)
It’s an all in fest for the NFC East title and just as Tony Romo was learning how to be clucth…..he’s out for the year. Call the Cowboys the Lions of the NFC East.
The Eagles have had a strange season as they opened with a bang, played awful football through the first part of the season, and now have been playing at a high level for the most part of the last 7 games. Chip to-my-lou Kelly’s vaunted offense has started to gain major momentum back.
Now they get a Dallas team, without its QB, gasping for air, and likely in its current head coach’s final game. This is not going to be pretty, especially for Kyle Orton’s family and friends.
6 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE EAGLES -7 (Buy down to 6.5)
SAN FRANCISCO AT ARIZONA 4:25 PM PM EST TV FOX (NINERS -1)
Don’t look now, but if some not so strange and out of the questions things happen on Sunday, The Cards could be in the playoffs and the Saints could be on the outside looking.
AZ plays a Niners team in the desert that has already locked a playoff spot up , but does have an outside chance at the NFC West crown and the overall #1 seed in the NFC. Both teams have a lot to play for , but the bottom line is the Cards are playing great football and have completely bought into new head coach Bruce Arians system.
Arizona has played great at home (6-1) and will be ready for their great opportunity to play in January here.
6.5 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE CARDS +1
GREEN BAY AT CHICAGO 4:25 PM EST TV FOX (PACKERS -3)
Can you really trust either team here, even with the return of the “Stache” Aaron Rodgers for the Pack? The NFC North has been a mess all year and after the Lions Heimlich Maneuver job of trying as hard as possible to throw the division away, now it’s winner take all at Soldier Field.
Josh McCown has filled in admirably for the injured Jay Cutler and even though I trust Cutler as much as I would a French speaking Grizzly Bear, they will need him if they want to beat the Pack. Both teams come off ugly losses as the Pack let the Steelers control the game when it mattered most and the Bears got absolutely sand blasted by the Eagles.
Now it’s one game to rule them all and the Bears have traditionally played well at home in huge games like this. Look for this to be “Nip/Tuck” most of the way, but for the Bears to have just enough on both sides of the ball in the end especially against the soft Packers D.
7.4 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE BEARS +3
KANSAS CITY AT SAN DIEGO 4:25 PM EST TV CBS (CHARGERS -9)
Normally in a game like this you want to stay as far away from the team that has everything to play for against a team that has literally nothing to play as strange things happen on the way to the Forum.
The Chiefs though are locked into 5 seed and have no reason to risk any injury whatsoever and San Diego knows it has to win and get a ton of help to play in January.
The Bolts are going to come out on fire and never let up with no margin for error. The Chiefs will likely play this game with a preseason feel and S.D will be ready to take full advantage.
8 BAGELS AND LOX ON THE CHARGERS -9
DTM’S ODDS TIDBIT OF THE WEEK – Vegas has Jim Schwartz listed as -$300 favorite to be anywhere but the Lions next year and as +$250 dog to stay with the team.
Season to Date-38-24
Dan Leach recently circled the globe lofted high above the sky on nothing but a lawn chair and 800 helium balloons, was the first human journalist to interview Dracula, was just nominated for a scientific Academy Award for his invention of talking popcorn, invented time travel when he hit his head on a port-a-potty on Oct 15, 1985, and is a finalist for the first human manned mission to former planet Pluto.