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NFL Week Seventeen Picks

January 3rd, 2021

Just like everything else in 2020, somewhere along the line, my accounting of wins and losses for the season went haywire.

Maybe I’ll go back and fix it some time. Or maybe not.

Right now, I know I went 9-7 straight up and 8-8 against the spread in week 16. And I’m pretty sure I can do even worse picking the final 16 games of this absurd season.

So here’s what not to expect.

Miami (+1) at Buffalo
Even though the difference between the two and three seeds has been minimized by the expanded postseason format, I still expect the Bills to play to win. Buffalo by a field goal.

Baltimore (-14) at Cincinnati
The Ravens are in with a win. The Bengals are the Bengals. Baltimore by 13.

Pittsburgh (+9) at Cleveland
The visitors are grabbing a sort of bye week where they can. The hosts are playing for a postseason berth. The Browns ought to have this one sewn up by halftime. I bet they won’t. But I bet the pull it together just in time, and come out on top by 10.

Minnesota (-4) at Detroit
I never know how to pick a game like this. Neither team has anything to play for. And the Vikings are the “better” team, but the Lions are the home team. Ugh. Detroit by three.

NY Jets (+3) at New England
Somebody once said “you can’t not beat the Jets.” I don’t know if that’s still true. But it ought to be. Patriots by a touchdown.

Dallas (-1.5) at NY Giants
Either the 6-9 visitors or the 5-10 home team will out of this game with a shot at taking the NFC East title. Because 2020 isn’t really over yet. New Jersey by three.

Atlanta (+7) at Tampa Bay
A home win earns the Bucs a wild card round visit to the NFC East champion. That’s a nice little incentive. Tampa by 10.

Green Bay (-4) at Chicago
A win here and the Packers get a week off and home field through the NFC playoffs. That should do it. Green Bay by three.

Las Vegas (-2.5) at Denver
I’m not sure why the Raiders are giving points to any team in a road game. The Broncos are terrible, sure, but are they really that terrible? Denver by four.

Jacksonville (+14) at Indianapolis
There are numerous postseason possibilities for the Colts. But none of them mean anything if the team doesn’t win. They’ll wrap this one up early. Indy by 20.

LA Chargers (-5) at Kansas City
With home field through the AFC playoffs already secured, the Chiefs are taking week 17 off. The Chargers will take advantage of the opportunity to end their season with a four-game win streak. Los Angeles by seven.

Arizona (-3) at LA Rams
Effectively a play-in game, which arguably is not the ideal time to be without your starting quarterback. Cardinals by a point.

Seattle (-6.5) at San Francisco
The Seahawks don’t really have a shot at the NFC one seed. They’ll play like they do just the same. Seattle by a touchdown.

New Orleans (-6) at Carolina
The Saints are in mostly the same position as the Seahawks. Only they’re playing at home. New Orleans by 10.

Tennessee (-7) at Houston
The Titans have something to play for. Tennessee by nine.

Washington (-4) at Philadelphia
Brand X should probably win this one and capture the division. Which means they won’t. Eagles by six.

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