NFL Luck Rankings: Week 17 Picks for Colts vs Giants, Broncos vs Chiefs, More
Our Luck Rankings are in for NFL Week 17.
The unlucky teams from the Action Network Luck Rankings are 113-91-4 (55.3%) against the spread (ATS) overall. That includes a 55-41-1 (57.2%) mark when teams differ by at least 10 places since we started tracking in Week 3. That improves to 35-21-0 (62.5%) ATS when teams differ by at least 16 places.
If a bettor placed a bet on the unlucky team from every game in which teams differ by at least 10 places in our Luck Rankings, that would produce a 9.3% return on investment (ROI). The ROI jumps to an eye-popping 19.3% for games in which the teams differ by at least 16 places.
Here are the matchups we’re eyeing for Week 17.
NFL Luck Rankings – Week 17 Notable Games
Each team’s luck ranking is in parentheses.
Nick Giffen: Indianapolis has struggled offensively all year, ranking dead last in DVOA on offense. However, the Giants defense ranks 29th in defensive DVOA, providing an opportunity for the Colts to move the football.
In fact, aside from the Colts’ win against a nearly equally bad Denver Broncos offense, all of the Colts wins and their tie came against teams ranked 20th or worse in defensive DVOA.
Third-order Pythagorean win percentage has these two teams as nearly a coinflip on a neutral playing field, with just a slight edge to the Giants. Even adding in a home-field advantage boost for the Giants, I just can’t get there as a six-point favorite.
That’s why I’ve already tracked the Colts at +6 in the Action App.
Sean Koerner: The Jaguars were a luck ranking darling for much of the season, but after four wins in their last five games, including three straight, they’ve moved up the board.
Meanwhile, the Texans have also been feisty recently, covering against the Cowboys and Chiefs in one-score losses before beating the Titans in Week 16.
A lot of that has to do with Houston’s defense playing better. They are 13th in weighted DVOA, which gives more credit to recent games.
There’s even a threat of a backdoor cover as the Jaguars are just 31st in defensive pass DVOA. That’s especially true with the Texans getting Brandin Cooks back and closer to full health.
The Jaguars have nothing to gain here with a win since their Week 18 matchup against the Tennessee Titans is for the AFC South title, so they could take it a bit easy against the Texans.
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Nick Giffen: The Denver Broncos this week fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett with assistant Jerry Rosburg taking over. Rosburg immediately made moves, firing the Broncos’ offensive line coach and special teams coordinator. The Broncos could hardly be worse than they’ve been, so maybe this shakeup is just what they need to get the offense rolling.
If the Broncos had won their three overtime games, they’re suddenly 7-9 and the perception of them is a lot different.
The Chiefs should be an 8.5-point favorite at a neutral site according to our third-order Pythagorean win percentage. They haven’t been playing their best ball as of late, failing to cover in five of their last six games. That includes a game against Denver in which they failed to cover in Week 14.