Week 17 NFL Picks Against the Spread
With the last week of the NFL regular season on tap for Sunday, I will look to continue my recent winning ways in our NFL Picks Against the Spread. Last week I ended up with a 9-7 record, and now sit at 60-47-3 on the season.
One thing I always look at is my winning percentage, which is currently 55%, and you’d have to be around the 52 percentile to make money. Now the “wise guys” in Vegas hit on average 55% of their games, so I’m doing pretty well.
Let’s end the regular season with a bang, with my NFL picks against the spread for week 17.
Home team in ALL CAPS with lines courtesy of betus.com, and additional stats via thespread.com:
WASHINGTON +9 over Philadelphia
With both of these teams eliminated from playoff contention, it will be just another NFC East tilt this week. Philadelphia was tagged the “dream team” before the season and they struggled to live up to the hype.
The hardest games to handicap all year long are the games in week 17, and this game falls into the dreaded, nothing to play for game. Philadelphia is 1-5 in their last 6 games when playing at home against the Redskins.
San Francisco -10 ½ over ST. LOUIS
San Francisco will look to get a first round bye in the NFC playoffs with a win against the Rams. St. Louis is in the running for the number one overall pick in next years draft and they can secure the first pick with a loss and a win by the Indianapolis Colts.
The Rams were a popular pick to win the NFC West coming into the season, but they’ve failed to deliver and now sit at 2-13. St. Louis is 1-10 ATS this season when facing conference opponents. I do think the 49ers will rest a small amount of players, but I feel confident that they’ll still be able to cover the spread.
Chicago +1 over MINNESOTA
Which was once a promising season for the Chicago Bears, it now has turned into an dismal one thanks to injuries to Jay Cutler and Matt Forte. After starting the year with a 7-3 record, the Bears looked to be on their way to making the postseason, but with 5 losses in a row, Chicago is now out of the playoff race.
Minnesota is now 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine home games. Chicago is getting one point, which basically makes this a pick em’ game, and I’ll pick the Bears.
GREEN BAY +3 ½ over Detroit
Green Bay has locked up the number one seed in the playoffs in the NFC and will likely rest some of their key starters. Detroit has also locked up a playoff spot, but they’ll be out to prove something against the Packers this week, after they were embarrassed on Thanksgiving, 27-15.
Green Bay is 16-6 ATS in home games over the past three seasons. With only playoff seeding at stake in this game, expected a close game, with both teams resting players. I’ll take the home team and the points.
Carolina +8 ½ over NEW ORLEANS
Rookie quarterback, Cam Newton has been a pleasant surprise this season and seems to be on his way to take home Rookie of the year honors. New Orleans Saints quarterback, Drew Brees now stands atop the record books, in passing yards in a single season, after surpassing Dan Marino in week 16, on Monday night.
New Orleans is 21-45 ATS in home games versus a division opponents since 1992. Eight and a half points is just to many points to give up, especially since the Panthers beat the Saints in week 5 earlier this season. I’ll take the points and go with the upset straight-up win for Carolina.
HOUSTON +3 over Tennessee
I don’t think people are making a big enough deal, that the Texans defense struggled without defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. In the past two weeks when Phillips was out, Houston lost against two teams with a losing record and gave up an average of 23 ½ points per game, compared to just 16 points when Phillips was coaching.
Tennessee is fighting for there playoff lives, and will need a win and plenty of help to get in. The Titans are 4-7-1 ATS in their past 12 games on the road. Give me the Texans and the points.
JACKSONVILLE -3 ½ over Indianapolis
Don’t look now, but Indianapolis is winners of two straight games and seem to be playing their way out of the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. If head coach Jim Caldwell somehow blows this and actually tries to win this game, Indy fans from all over should be calling for his head.
This is an interesting line, as it opened up at Jacksonville -5 and moved to where it currently is -3 ½, so we know the big money bettors saw value in Indy +5 and took it. That in turn forced the bookmakers to change the spread, in hoping to even out the money being bet. I like the Jags minus the points.
New York Jets +2 ½ over MIAMI
The New York Jets are going to need a lot of help if they want to get into the playoffs and it starts with a must win against the Dolphins. New York is 43-26 ATS in road games versus division opponents in the past 19 seasons.
I do think the Jets will win this game, but I don’t believe they’ll be able to get the help they will need to make it in the playoffs. New York is 11-4-1 ATS over their past 16 games against Miami.
NEW ENGLAND -11 over Buffalo
New England has already wrapped up a first round bye, and they’ll now look to clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win against the Bills. There’s no way head coach Bill Belichick will rest his starters, unless they are up big late in the game.
New England is 47-28 ATS in the final 4 weeks of the regular season since 1992. I like the Patriots a lot this week, as they’ll be looking to revenge the loss they had earlier in the year against Buffalo.
CINCINNATI +2 ½ over Baltimore
Win and you’re in; that’s the case this week for the Cincinnati Bengals. On the other side, Baltimore will win the AFC North with a win this week.
Cincinnati is 4-0-1 ATS versus Baltimore in the past five games. I’m not as confident in this game as I am in the other games this week, but I’ll take the Bengals plus the points.
CLEVELAND +7 over Pittsburgh
It’s being reported that Ben Roethlisberger will only take 25-30 snaps in week 17. I’m not quite sure I agree with that decision, you either play him the full game or you rest him for the playoffs. If Big Ben is not healthy for they playoffs, then Pittsburgh has no chance to win it all, or a game. Roethlisberger is not the type of quarterback that needs to “knock off the rust”, so why risk further injury?
Pittsburgh is 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games on the road. I don’t trust Big Ben this week, as I still think he’s at least a week away from being healthy. We all saw how ineffective his was in week 15 against the 49ers. Give me the Browns, the points and the upset win.
San Diego +3 over OAKLAND
The San Diego Chargers are probably the most disappointing team in the NFL this season. Many experts were picking them to be division champions and even be in the Super Bowl representing the AFC. Oakland still has a shot at the playoffs, but they must win this week and hope the Denver Tebow’s lose at home versus Kansas City.
Oakland is 27-59 ATS when playing against a team with a losing record over the past twenty seasons. I’m picking the Raiders to win, but I think San Diego will cover the spread.
ATLANTA -11 ½ over Tampa Bay
The Falcons clinched a spot in the NFC playoffs in week 16 after the Chicago Bears lost to the Green Bay Packers. The only thing left for Atlanta is seeding, which they currently sit as the sixth seed, but they can move to the 5th with a win and a Detroit Lions loss.
Atlanta might rest their starters if the Lions beat the Packers early in the day, as the game against the Buccaneers is a late game. Tampa Bay looks as if they have checked out and head coach Raheem Morris is now on the coaching hot seat. Atlanta is 10-2 ATS against teams with a losing record over the last 2 seasons.
DENVER -3 over Kansas City
Tim Tebow will be looking to lead the Denver Broncos to their first playoff appearance since 2005, if they can get the win this week against the Chiefs. Kyle Orton will be making his triumphant return to Denver, after he was cut earlier in the year by the Broncos.
Denver is 4-1 ATS versus Kansas City over the past 3 seasons. I think the Broncos will win this week, and Tim Tebow will lead them to the Super Bowl; okay not really, but I do think they win this week and cover the spread.
Seattle +3 over ARIZONA
In a game with no playoff implications, the Seattle Seahawks will travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals, in a NFC West divisional match-up. Last week Marshawn Lynch was the first player to rush for a touchdown against the vaunted San Francisco defense.
Seattle is 9-2 ATS against conference opponents this season. I think Seattle is the better team, and their getting points, seems like a no-brainer to me.
Dallas +3 over NEW YORK GIANTS
In the biggest game of the weekend, the Dallas Cowboys will travel to New York to face the Giants, in a game that will decide who goes to the playoffs. After injuring his throwing hand last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, starting quarterback Tony Romo practiced Wednesday and is expected to play on Sunday night.
New York is 2-5-1 ATS as a favorite this season. I like Dallas this week to cover the spread and to win straight up. I think this is the time Romo steps up and becomes a better than average quarterback.