Upsets in the final stretch of the season can not only be shocking, but they can also make big waves across the NFL Playoff picture. In Week 17, I'm going to try to narrow in on two teams who will play the role of spoiler and pull off an upset win.
Let's see if we can't make one final push to get back in the green with our upset picks this season after going 2-0 last week.
2023 Upset Picks Record: 11-22 (-4.61 units)
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Best NFL Upset Picks for Week 17 of 2023 Season
Atlanta Falcons (+135) vs. Chicago Bears
43.77% of the Bears' offensive yards come from running the football which is the second highest mark in the league. Only the Ravens has a higher percentage of their yards come from the run game, so the time that you want to bet against the Bears is when they face a team that can stop the run.
Atlanta can do exactly that.
The Falcons lead the NFL in opponent rush EPA while also ranking ninth in both opponent rush success rate and opponent yards per carry, allowing only 3.9 yards per rush. That means the Bears will have to go to the air to get their offense going, and I don't foresee them having much success with that.
Taylor Heinicke gave the Falcons' offense a spark in Week 16, completing 23-of-33 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown. Let's remember this Falcons team is arguably a lot better than their record indicates, ranking 11th in the NFL in Net Yards per Play at +0.2 whereas the Bears rank 19th at -0.2.
I'll take a shot on the Falcons to win this game outright.
Miami Dolphins (+148) vs. Balitmore Ravens
Few people out there have been as strong of a Ravens defender as I have been this season. I invested in their Super Bowl futures early in the season and I've backed them on an almost weekly basis. With that being said, it's time to sell high on the Ravens and time to take the points with the points with the Dolphins.
The Dolphins lead the NFL in Net Yards per Play this season at +1.8 and have also been a solid team on the road. Their defense hasn't gotten enough credit either. Since Week 10 this season, they lead the league in both opponent EPA and opponent success rate yet they haven't got the credit to the accolades as some other defensive units like the Browns or the Ravens.
Most importantly, they're second in opponent rush EPA and opponent rush success rate which is key in stopping this Ravens team, who leads the NFL in rushing play percentage and rushing yards percentage.
It's time to sell high on the Ravens and bet on them to lose this AFC showdown.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
You can check out all of Iain's bets here!