At the beginning of this season, we launched our Sports on Earth Confidence Pool, which allows you to compete against me (and Vegas and FiveThirtyEight, ESPN's smart analytics site). The winner of the pool gets to assign me to write about whatever they would like for my weekly newsletter. And it looks like the winner might be … Las Vegas oddsmakers.
We can track how I'm doing against FiveThirtyEight and Vegas, and here are the current scores with just one week left:
Vegas Odds: 1429 (1st place)
Leitch: 1401 (6th place)
FiveThirtyEight: 1385 (9th place)
First place is held by … Vegas! Yes, the wisdom of the crowd is winning out. Perhaps inevitably. But Adam Cohen and "staisa" are right on Vegas' heels.
For the final time: Week 17! Here goes! Vegas and FiveThirtyEight picks are after mine. Favorites are in all caps, with spreads (via Bovada, subject to change, with points indicating first team listed) and tune-in info below (all times ET).
16. San Francisco 49ers (5-10) over LOS ANGELES RAMS (11-4)
(+4) 4:25pm, FOX
If you think I am above trying to make a final week comeback by making crazy picks to catch up, you are foolish. Besides: No better bet in the sport right now than Jimmy G! LET'S DO THIS.
15. BUFFALO BILLS (8-7) over Miami Dolphins (6-9)
(-3) 4:25pm, CBS
The Bills are a TEAM OF DESTINY.
14. Cincinnati Bengals (6-9) over BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-6)
(+10) 4:25pm, CBS
Gotta be bold in the final week! The logic here: The Ravens are not actually that good, Marvin Lewis gets one last dig in at the Ravens and the Bills are making the playoffs. You hear me? THE BILLS ARE MAKING THE PLAYOFFS.
13. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (12-3) over Cleveland Browns (0-15)
(-13.5) 1:00pm, CBS
We can be bold, but we don't have to be insane.
12. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-3) over New York Jets (5-10)
(-15.5) 1:00pm, CBS
Remember when the Jets were at .500? It wasn't that long ago!
11. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (12-3) over Chicago Bears (5-10)
(-12.5) 1:00pm, FOX
The Vikings are going to end up losing in the worst possible fashion come playoff time. The only question is how.
10. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11-4) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11)
(-7.5) 4:25pm, FOX
I want a Brees Super Bowl so badly. Don't you?
9. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9-6) over Arizona Cardinals (7-8)
(-8.5) 4:25pm, FOX
It is truly shocking how quickly us Cardinals fans have gotten sick of Bruce Arians' act.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (13-2) over DALLAS COWBOYS(8-7)
(-2.5) 1:00pm, FOX
Make them eat it, Eagles.
7. DETROIT LIONS (8-7) over Green Bay Packers (7-8)
(-7) 1:00pm, FOX
Amusingly, the Lions probably end up better than their playoff team last year.
6. New York Giants (2-13) over WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (7-8)
(+3.5) 1:00pm, FOX
Eli leaves town with a win, why not?
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (10-5) over TENNESSEE TITANS (8-7)
(-6) 4:25pm, CBS
The Jaguars don't want to limp into their first postseason in years with two losses. (That's the theory here, anyway.)
4. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (8-7) over Oakland Raiders (6-9)
(-8) 4:25pm, CBS
I am increasingly becoming swayed by the "Jack Del Rio may be the problem" postulate.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-6) over DENVER BRONCOS (5-10)
(-3.5) 4:25pm, CBS
Yep, Week 17, when the Chiefs are underdogs to the Broncos. I think they want that 10 wins more than they will admit.
2. ATLANTA FALCONS (9-6) over Carolina Panthers (11-4)
(-4) 4:25pm, FOX
Big weekend for the state of Georgia, football-wise.
1. HOUSTON TEXANS (4-11) over Indianapolis Colts (3-12)
(-4) 1:00pm, CBS
Worst game of the year? Has to be, right?
16. PITTSBURGH over Cleveland
15. NEW ENGLAND over NY Jets
14. LA RAMS over San Francisco
13. MINNESOTA over Chicago
12. BALTIMORE over Cincinnati
11. Philadelphia over DALLAS
10. SEATTLE over Arizona
9. NEW ORLEANS over Tampa Bay
8. LA CHARGERS over Oakland
7. Kansas City over DENVER
6. DETROIT over Green Bay
5. ATLANTA over Carolina
4. WASHINGTON over NY Giants
3. Indianapolis over HOUSTON
2. Miami over BUFFALO
1. TENNESSEE over Jacksonville
16. NEW ENGLAND over NY Jets
15. PITTSBURGH over Cleveland
14. MINNESOTA over Chicago
13. BALTIMORE over Cincinnati
12. LA CHARGERS Over Oakland
11. SEATTLE over Arizona
10. NEW ORLEANS over Tampa Bay
9. DETROIT over Green Bay
8. TENNESSEE over Jacksonville
7. INDIANAPOLIS over Houston
6. LA RAMS over San Francisco
5. WASHINGTON over NY Giants
4. ATLANTA over Carolina
3. DENVER over Kansas City
2. BUFFALO over Miami
1. DALLAS over Philadelphia
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