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We’re Picking Winners For Week 17 Of The 2020 NFL Season

The (expanded) playoffs are coming but, well, the end of the 2020 NFL regular season is here. The first 16 weeks were quite interesting, to say the least, but there are some intriguing match-ups to monitor in the season finale. Of course, there are also some hideous football game set to take place, with nothing on the line for one or both teams taking the field. As such, Week 17 is always a minefield, and you should consider that a disclaimer in this space.

With that said, Week 16 was a nice uptick for us and, before we dive into this week’s card, it is time to take stock of the full-season progress.

  • Week 16: 4-1
  • 2020 Season: 39-39-2

Come get these winners.

New York Giants (+1.5) over Dallas Cowboys

This is a somewhat rare must-win for both teams in Week 17, but it could also be completely irrelevant. Washington actually holds the keys to the NFC East title, but they won’t be playing until Sunday evening. As such, the winner of Giants-Cowboys will stay alive in pursuit of a playoff berth and, at least in my view, this line is silly. The Giants were as high as 3.5-point favorites on the look-ahead, but New York lost three games in a row, which took away some of the public steam. At the same time, Dallas showed life recently, but this is an overreaction of the highest order. Give me the G-Men at home getting the small number.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+9) over Cleveland Browns

Mason Rudolph is playing quarterback for Pittsburgh, and that is the biggest reason this number is nine. I get that it isn’t ideal to back Rudolph against a team that absolutely has to win, but this number is still inflated. Cleveland is dealing with COVID-related issues, and Pittsburgh isn’t resting everyone. They are planning to play their defensive strongholds by all accounts, and Mike Tomlin also has a tremendous track record of success when leading his team as an underdog. Oh, and the Browns just can’t be laying nine points against a real team in this spot. They should win, but no thanks.

Baltimore Ravens (-12) over Cincinnati Bengals

This is weird, and I know it. Our ethos does not usually align with laying double-digits on the road in the NFL, but this is an exception. Baltimore should be at least a 14-point favorite in my view, with Cincinnati receiving a bump in the market because of their performance last week. Let’s just say the Ravens, who need to win this game for their season, will not be deploying a defense similar to Houston’s from Week 16, and Baltimore has been lights-out in recent weeks.

Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers UNDER 46.5 points

The Niners don’t have anything to play for, but this is a real rivalry and San Francisco’s defense should show up in a spoiler role. From there, I don’t trust Kyle Shanahan’s crew to do all that much offensively and, for better or worse, Seattle has decided to really grind things out offensively again in the last several weeks. It’s not a massive edge, but this is my favorite total of the week. Root for punts and field goals.

Los Angeles Rams (+3.5) over Arizona Cardinals

This is hideous, but I secretly love it. This is a must-win on both sides, but Los Angeles doesn’t have its quarterback in Jared Goff or one of its best weapons in Cooper Kupp. The Kupp absence is a big one, but the line movement (from the Rams being a substantial favorite previously) is due to Goff. John Wolford is making his first start and, yes, the line should move when accounting for a virtual unknown. At the same time, this move is far too significant, especially if you believe that Goff is a product of the system, rather than a player that the Rams have built around specifically. Los Angeles has the (much) better defense and the better head coach. Kyler Murray is terrifying, but he’s not 100 percent healthy, and the opportunity to get more than a field goal at home with the Rams is too juicy to pass up.

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Flying Lotus Says He Was Working On A Collaborative EP With MF Doom

The hip-hop world is still reeling over the unexpected news that legendary rapper MF Doom died this year. His wife shared a message on Instagram letting fans know that he “transitioned” back in October of this year, and his death was also confirmed to HipHopDX in a statement. The outpouring of sadness and admiration from the hip-hop community in the wake of his passing has been overwhelming, as rappers and producers of all ages and from all over the country have taken to social media to mourn the loss.

One of Doom’s frequent collaborators, Flying Lotus, shared some even more sad news when a fan mentioned the dreams many fans had that the two would work on a full-length project together. “Lots of us always dreamed of a long-length project between you and MF DOOM,” the fan wrote in a response to a tweet FlyLo posted of the Doom song “Lunch Break,” which he produced.. “Now that hits differently. But I’m glad to know that both of you collaborated from time to time,” the fan continued. In response, Flying Lotus shared that he and the late rapper were in the middle of working on an EP together. “I hate to say this but we were actually working on an EP. There were more songs that I haven’t even heard.”

Maybe those collaborations will the see the light some day in the future. Rest in peace to an artist who touched many lives.

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Report: Pacers Forward T.J. Warren Will Have Surgery On His Fractured Foot

The Indiana Pacers cruised to a win on Thursday afternoon as they capped of 2020 with a 119-99 win over the Cavaliers, but after the game they got some unfortunate news.

T.J. Warren was not active for Thursday’s game as he was officially listed as dealing with a sore foot coming off of Indiana’s loss on Tuesday to Boston, but it appears the injury is worse than just discomfort. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Warren has a fractured left foot that will require surgery and keep him out indefinitely.

Warren was one of the stars of the NBA Bubble and after a quiet opener against New York seemed to be finding his stride once again with outings of 23, 17, and 17 points in the next three games. Now, the Pacers will have to turn elsewhere for scoring punch from their small forward spot. Against the Cavaliers, they turned to Aaron Holiday to step into the starting lineup and Doug McDermott found himself with a major role, and the two combined for 30 points in Warren’s absence.

They’ll need McDermott to continue his strong play to start the season, as well as both of the Holiday brothers, Aaron and Justin, who both figure to take on larger roles as the rotation for Nate Bjorkgren will shuffle. Hopefully Warren will make a full and speedy recovery and can pick back up where he left off to end 2020 whenever he returns, as his presence is important for the Pacers balanced scoring attack.