Home > Uncategorized > Week Seventeen Picks

Week Seventeen Picks

December 30th, 2017

I don’t think I can mess up my straight-up picking record for the season too badly.

I don’t think.

With a 13-3 week 16 under my belt, I’m now at 166-74 (.692) on the season. That points to a pretty good finish even if I manage to totally Browns out (go 0-16) in the regular season’s final set of games.

Against the spread? Yeah, uh, different story there. I was a miserable 5-9-2 in week 16, which lands me at 116-111-13 (.510). I feel pretty good about my chances of landing at below 50% when all’s said and done.

Here’s what not to expect on the last Sunday of 2017.

Green Bay (+6.5) at Detroit
Let’s figure the Lions don’t want to end their season to a chorus of boos from the home fans. And let’s figure that gives one of these teams something resembling motivation to play sort of hard. Detroit by four.

NY Jets (+15.5) at New England
I can’t say for absolute certain, but I’ve got a hunch the Jets actually may not end up winning the Super Bowl this season. But no worries; I’m sure they’ll win it all sometime between March 14 and April 26. As usual. New England takes its foot off the gas in the fourth quarter and still comes out two touchdowns ahead.

Houston (+5) at Indianapolis
The Colts are less bad than the beat-up Texans, I suppose. And the Colts are at home and all. So, I guess let’s go with Indianapolis by a field goal.

Cleveland (+7) at Pittsburgh
I’ve got this feeling the Steelers could decide to give the whole damned team the day off and the Browns would still find a way to lose this game. Pittsburgh by six.

Washington (-3) at NY Giants
You know who actually cares a lot about this game? I mean, I’m actually asking, because I can’t name one person. If you can, ask them how they think it’s gonna come out. I’m just gonna say Washington. By four.

Chicago (+12) at Minnesota
With a win here, the Vikings wouldn’t just lock up the NFC two seed and a first-round bye. Given the extreme likelihood that the Eagles are going to bow in the the divisional round, Minnesota would also have a chance not only to host the conference championship, but to become the first team ever to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium. Minnesota by 17.

Dallas (-3) at Philadelphia
The Eagles, having wrapped up the top seeding in the NFC, have nothing to play for. And with abundant reason for Philadelphia to rest starters, it’s hard to imagine Dallas doesn’t find a way to win. Cowboys by five.

Cincinnati (+9.5) at Baltimore
I’m going to start out by cutting and pasting what I wrote about Baltimore last week (adding one link): “The Ravens will be riding a four-game win streak when they show up in Foxborough for the divisional round of the playoffs, having wrapped up their regular season with wins over the Browns in Cleveland, and the Colts and Bengals at home, then knocked off the Chiefs on wild card weekend. And certain Patriots fans are going to freak out, because they honestly believe the Ravens are possessed of some anti-Pats magic. Should be a fun week; I’m really looking forward to it.” And now for a little something new (well, not actually new, but not from my pick of last week’s Ravens game): The Bengals are really, really terrible. Baltimore by 20.

Buffalo (-2.5) at Miami
The Bills can still earn a playoff berth. They just need a win and a ton of help, most of which they’re incredibly unlikely to get. And, you know, I’m not even confident they can get the win. I’ll still pick Buffalo, mainly because all Miami would get out of a victory is a slightly lower spot in the draft order. But I’m not inclined to give more than a point.

Carolina (+3.5) at Atlanta
If I know the Saints aren’t losing to the Buccaneers and you know the Saints aren’t losing to the Buccaneers (and the Buccaneers know the Saints aren’t losing to the Buccaneers) what are the odds the Panthers don’t know the Saints aren’t losing to the Buccaneers? Carolina’s the five seed no matter what happens in this game. I expect them to ease up just enough for the Falcons to make it three NFC South teams in the tournament. Atlanta by three.

New Orleans (-7) at Tampa Bay
See Carolina at Atlanta immediately above. Saints by 19.

Jacksonville (+3) at Tennessee
The Jaguars are in a tough position. It’s probably in their best interest to lose this game in order to ensure that they get a rematch with the Titans back in Jacksonville next week rather than having to face the Chargers in the wild card round. It’s certainly in their best interest to show the Titans nothing of what they’re likely to see in a meaningful meeting next week. But at the same time, they probably don’t want to simply lie down and take a loss. What the Jags want next week is an overconfident Titans team, not an angry one. So I expect Jacksonville will figure out how to look like they’re trying and still end up losing by a touchdown.

Oakland (+8) at LA Chargers
The NFL should schedule a special Monday night game January 8 in which the Chargers and Seahawks battle for the title of best team to miss the playoffs. Los Angeles by 10.

Arizona (+9.5) at Seattle
See Oakland at LA Chargers immediately above. Seahawks by nine.

Kansas City (+3.5) at Denver
Locked into the four seed, the Chiefs have nothing to play for. The Broncos, on the other hand, just plain old have nothing. Denver by a point.

San Francisco (-3.5) at LA Rams
I don’t know. If I were the Rams, I think I’d rather catch the Falcons than the Panthers in the wild card round. But clearly the Rams don’t feel that way. 49ers by a touchdown.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
Comments are closed.