Wise n’ Shine: NFL Week 17 predictions and NBA best bets for Sunday, January 1


Good morning, Pickswise Nation, and Happy New Year! Not only is it a massive day on the NFL calendar, but we also have more NBA and college hoops action on our hands. It’s another big day in the world of sports, so let’s get right to it and make your next bet better with Wise n’ Shine! 

About Last Night

College Football Playoff lives up to the hype
What a day of college football! In what was easily the best day of CFP semifinal action since the playoff was implemented, TCU won outright over Michigan as 8-point underdogs, while Georgia narrowly escaped against Ohio State thanks to a late missed field goal by the Buckeyes. It was the rare semifinal Saturday where both underdogs covered the spread fairly easily. Now, Georgia is an early 13.5-point favorite against the Horned Frogs in next Monday’s National Championship game.

First full Saturday of NCAAB conference play
Conference play has arrived, which signifies the start of the grind toward March Madness 2023. Saturday’s slate saw some wild results, including previously undefeated UConn falling to Xavier, Iowa State dispatching #12 Baylor, #4 Kansas surviving against Oklahoma State and #17 Texas beating Oklahoma by 1 point in Norman, among others. In all, it was a day that gave us a taste of what’s to come over the next couple of months.

Today’s Slate 

Massive NFL Week 17 slate
As the NFL season winds down, teams are either competing for seeding, draft position or fighting for their playoff lives. Sunday’s slate features a number of compelling matchups, including the Vikings vs Packers, Steelers vs Ravens, Jets vs Seahawks, Panthers vs Buccaneers, and more! 

NBA on New Year’s Day
It’s a quieter slate in the NBA on Sunday, but there could be a potential NBA Finals preview to keep you entertained, as the Denver Nuggets host the Boston Celtics. Nikola Jokic and company will look to remain at the top of the Western Conference, while the Celtics are hoping to extend their lead in the Eastern Conference standings. 

5 games in the NHL
There’s a 5-game slate in the NHL, with NHL Network showing Rangers vs Panthers at 5:00pm. 

Best Bet of the Day 

NFL: Minnesota Vikings +3.5 (-120) vs Green Bay Packers
4:25 pm ET, FOX 

NFC North rivals collide as the Minnesota Vikings take on the Green Bay Packers. The Vikings have already won the division, but the Packers are fighting hard to secure an unlikely wild-card spot. That in itself should be enough of an incentive for Minnesota to not take their foot off the gas, and the Vikings look like good value to cover the spread in this matchup. The Packers have won each of their last 3 games, but I’m not buying them being back in form just yet. Two of those victories came over the hapless Bears and Rams, while the Christmas Day win over the Dolphins was largely due to Tua Tagovailoa playing while injured. Now they have to turn their attention to the 12-3 Vikings, who followed up their miracle Colts win with a solid success against the Giants.

Minnesota continues to be doubted by the sportsbooks, but they’re getting it done, and Kirk Cousins is putting up passing yards for fun right now while aided by Justin Jefferson. Now they get to go up against a Packers defense that has allowed the 6th-most passing yards per attempt in the NFL. Green Bay might have improved, but I’m still not sold on this team as a viable contender. They’ve also only won 4 of their 7 games at Lambeau Field this season, so I’m not buying the Frozen Tundra as a Packers fortress this season either. All things considered, the Vikings should at least be able to keep this one within a field goal.

Be sure to check out our daily show Let’s Bet It on our YouTube channel at youtube.com/c/Pickswise at 10:00 am ET.

Jared Smith and Mark Zinno are your hosts today and they will be joined by Pickswise prop analyst Prop Holiday! The team will focus on every angle of today’s huge NFL slate before giving out their Plays of the Day.

You can also access the show at any time through Spotify and Apple Podcasts (search for Let’s Bet It Presented By Pickswise).

The Week 17 edition of Pickwise Playbook, our weekly NFL preview show, is also available, featuring former NFL star Tank Williams, so be sure to check that out, too!

Stat of the Day 

The Vikings are undefeated in 1-possession games this season, which is part of why our expert likes Minnesota to cover +3.5 against Green Bay.