Congrats to all of you that avoided the Chargers last week as the Browns finally managed to get a win.  Hopefully many of your opponents weren’t able to avoid that trap.  Week 17 is a different beast though.  Some teams are resting, some teams are looking to see who can play for next year, other teams are still fighting for a playoff berth.  So for this week, I think it’s best to cheat and look at the moneylines for each game.  Here are the options in order for this week given current betting lines:

Patriots 79.3%
Seahawks 78.4%
Redskins 78.0%
Falcons 71.1%
Cardinals 69.8%
Steelers 69.8%
Buccaneers 69.0%
Chiefs 68.5%
Colts 67.3%
Vikings 66.7%
Eagles 65.4%

Washington is third on the list despite playing a tough Giants team. Why? Because the Redskins need a win to get into the playoffs and the G-Men are locked into the 5-seed.  The consensus view is that New York will get some rest for their star players during this game and thus give the Redskins a better chance to win.  As 8-point favorites, the Redskins are a very good choice this week.

As always, it’s important to look what other players are doing.  Here are the most popular choices at ESPN:

Colts 23%
Steelers 14%
Seahawks 12%
Vikings 9%

So while you may want to avoid Indianapolis this week, I think it’s more important to look at your own pool and do some quick analysis to see who they are most likely to take.

Some of you have stated that your survivor pools continue on into the playoffs.  For that reason, I have done some analysis to see which teams are most likely to win in each of the next two weeks as well.  These teams have the best chance of winning a game during Wild Card Weekend:

Steelers 68.5%
Seahawks 51.9%
Chiefs 40.6%
Packers 40.5%
Giants 38.3%
Texans 37.1%

Note that those percentages will change drastically once the actual playoff fields are set.  For example, the Chiefs aren’t guaranteed to play in the first week, so there is a percentage of the time in which they have zero chance to win next week which is dragging their percentage down.  Here are the teams most likely to get a win during the Divisional round of the NFL playoffs:

Patriots 81.2%
Cowboys 75.8%
Falcons 60.0%
Raiders 39.2%
Chiefs 37.6%

With the Patriots and Cowboys looking like the clear favorites in both conferences, it’s no surprise to see them at the top.  Then again, it’s unlikely that you would have them as options either.  If you have to keep going on beyond this week, you might want to look at changing your rules because it’s getting ridiculous after that.

Best of luck in Week 17!