December 29, 2017

NFL Week 17 picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

The lines are from Vegas and the home teams in CAPs.

PITTSBURGH -11 over Cleveland

You always think the Browns are going to get the back-door cover, but it never comes. This team fully deserves to go down in history as one of the NFL’s worst. The Steelers will likely rest their starters once this is out of hand and, even then, should cover.

Washington -3 over NEW YORK GIANTS

With even more injuries and self-imposed suspensions mounting for the Giants, this is Washington’s game to lose. While we think that calling this an “audition tape” for Kirk Cousins is a bit dumb – all tape matters, not just a Week 17 tilt – the pending free agent has a chance to leave a good final impression before hitting the market.

Green Bay +6.5 over DETROIT

Brett Hundley is auditioning for a future job and facing a Lions team with nothing at stake. If you don’t think the Packers want some revenge for their loss at Lambeau to the Lions earlier this season, you’re crazy. Detroit would never let the Lambeau Field faithful live it down if they swept their rival.

MINNESOTA -11.5 over Chicago

The Vikes need the win to get the bye and that’s the key to this one. Chicago is 0-5 against division foes this season and the Bears aren’t likely to give John Fox a fond farewell.

PHILADELPHIA +3 over Dallas

There’s lots of love for the Cowboys with the Eagles likely to rest some, but not all of their players. Nick Foles needs the reps, too. But the end of this season should end in disappointment for the Cowboys and the Clapper.

New York Jets +15.5 over NEW ENGLAND

We don’t think Tom Brady will last long in this one once the Pats take a lead, so it becomes a battle between Brian Hoyer for the Pats and Bryce Petty for the Jets. New York could utilize its running game to keep this one within two scores.

INDIANAPOLIS -3.5 over Houston

The absence of DeAndre Hopkins is the deal-breaker here. Both of these teams are bad, but if Nuk was playing, the Texans would’ve had the advantage. It hurts to give points, but Houston has basically no QBs left, either.

MIAMI +2.5 over Buffalo

The Dolphins love to rain on the Bills parade. They also love to run all over their northern rival and Kenyan Drake could indeed do just that. LeSean McCoy is no slouch either, but it’s hard to trust the Buffalo defence, even in a must-win game.

Carolina +3.5 over ATLANTA

The Falcons are going to choke away their spot, aren’t they? The Panthers have a home game to play for and would love to play spoiler against their division rival.

New Orleans -7 over TAMPA BAY

Hmm. The volatile, inconsistent Bucs, or the playoff-bound Saints with seeding on the line and possible home playoff game at stake? This one is an easy call with another overhaul coming in Tampa this off-season.

BALTIMORE -9.5 over Cincinnati

The Bengals already gave Marvin Lewis his send-off win, this one will leave the bad aftertaste. The Bengals are already starting to roll out back-of-the-roster fodder while the Ravens are competing for their playoff lives.

TENNESSEE -3 over Jacksonville

I hate picking the Titans, but with the Jags resting their players, it’s hard to pick against them at home. Marcus Mariota isn’t where we want him to be and the best thing for him and the Titans would be missing the playoffs and changing coaches this off-season.

Arizona +9.5 over SEATTLE

The Cards aren’t going to roll over for the Seahawks. Even with a banged-up roster, Arizona will fight against their biggest rival and try to keep things close. It’s not like Seattle is a juggernaut, either. Their win over Dallas last week was more about the Cowboys’ failures.

Oakland +8 over L.A. CHARGERS

The Chargers basically blew their chance last week, although a slim shot at the playoffs remains. The Raiders have not impressed, but can at least go into the off-season with some pride if they can knock their division rival out of the playoffs for good.

KANSAS CITY +3.5 over Denver

The Chiefs will be playing backups and starting the very raw Patrick Mahomes at QB, but that’s still a preferable choice to giving points with Brock Osweiler on the road

San Francisco -3 over L.A. RAMS

The Rams are resting their stars and the Jimmy G Express is rolling down the tracks. With nothing to play for, L.A. shouldn’t be putting up too much of a fight, even at home against a division rival.

Last week:  9-6-1

This season: 121-97-10

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