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NFL Week 17 Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

Posted by in NFL Picks on December 25th, 2007 | Comment »

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday. Sorry for missing the week 16 picks. If you rode out the favorites such as the Colts, Jags, and Chargers you were in good shape. I think the only notable upset was the Bears over the Packers. I never like betting on Week 17 spreads because some teams are resting players and you just don’t know whether or not a particular team is going to show up to win or not, but regardless of that, there are a handful of Week 17 spreads to consider.

THE WEEK 17 NFL SPREADS I WOULD LOOK AT:

Tennessee Titans -6.5 @ Indianapolis Colts

You can count on Manning, Addai, and Reggie Wayne to only see a series or two. After that, I wouldn’t count on the Colts scoring too many points. I like the Titans to win and the Titans to cover with the Colts resting their starters.

Prediction – Titans defeat Colts – 23-10

Titans Moneyline – Confidence 5/5
Titans -6.5 Spread – Confidence 4/5

San Diego Chargers -8 @ Oakland Raiders

The Chargers will need to win this one to secure the 3rd spot in the AFC, which they definitely want to do in order to avoid the Jaguars and Patriots. The Raiders are in bad shape and have the worst run defense in the league, so L.T. should be able to run all over them. I was worried that the Steelers would be playing at 1:00 and if they lose, then the Chargers don’t have to worry about winning, but both teams are playing at 4:00, so that’s good news.

Prediction – Chargers defeat Raiders – 31-10

Chargers Moneyline – Confidence 5/5
Chargers -8 Spread – Confidence 4/5

New England Patriots -14.5 @ New York Giants

The Pats are going for 16-0 and we still don’t know whether the Giants are going to rest their players or not. Burress and Brandon Jacobs are banged up, so you can count on them sitting this one out. The analysts are suggesting to the Giants to not rest their players because they are out of sync on offense and need momentum going into the playoffs because they simply aren’t as good as their record may indicate. If the Giants rest their players, which they probably will, a major blowout may happen. The only question in this game is whether Coughlin wants to risk wearing his players down and risking injury to be the team that tops the Pats, which would give this team a huge momentum boost into the playoffs. I think Coughlin will rest his players and the Patriots have their way with them.

Prediction – Patriots defeat Giants – 28-3

Patriots Moneyline – Confidence 5/5
Patriots -14.5 Spread – Confidence 3/5

Minnesota Vikings -3 @ Denver Broncos

Wow, a game without playoff implications, so you can take this one without a concern over resting players because this one is for pride. The Broncos are notorious for an awful front seven and letting teams with less than stellar run games run all over them. Adrian Peterson should tear the Broncos a new a-hole.

Prediction – Vikings defeat Broncos – 28-17

Vikings Moneyline – Confidence 4/5
Vikings -3 Spread – Confidence 4/5

Buffalo Bills @ Philadelphia Eagles -7.5

Last week Andy Reid said he’s playing these final two games to win despite being eliminated from playoff contention and that’s just what you saw as the Eagles defeated the Saints 38-23. The Eagles have a lot of good young players on defense and the offense is clicking, which has fans optimistic about the 2008 season.

Prediction – Eagles defeat Bills – 31-17

Eagles Moneyline – Confidence 4/5
Eagles -7.5 Spread – Confidence 3/5

Cincinnati Bengals -2.5 @ Miami Dolphins

I like the Bengals here. They’ve had an awful season and want to end it on a good note. They started that by spoiling the Browns playoff hopes last week. They’re not as bad as their 6-9 record indicates. The Dolphins, on the other hand, are really bad so I like only having to give up less than a field goal to take them in this one. 70% of the covers.com consensus likes the Bengals in this one too.

Prediction – Bengals defeat Dolphins – 27-16

Bengals Moneyline – Confidence 4/5
Bengals -2.5 Spread – Confidence 4/5

Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 @ Baltimore Ravens

The Steelers are playing this week for the 3rd seed, which means if they win and the Chargers lose to the Raiders, they’ll be facing the Titans (if they win, or else the Browns) rather than the Jaguars and then the Patriots, which would be huge. The Ravens are a mess right now with injuries, so it shouldn’t take much to beat them. The Raven’s Ray Lewis, Willis McGahee, Todd Heap, Kyle Boller, and then backup RB Mike Anderson are all day-to-day and both starting CB’s McAllister and Rolle are on the IR. It shouldn’t be hard to beat this Ravens team with either the starters or the backups seeing time, especially if the players listed day-to-day are out, but of course there is the concern with what kind of effort the Steelers will bring this week with a playoff spot already secured.

Prediction – Steelers defeat Ravens 24-6

Steelers Moneyline – Confidence 4/5
Steelers -3.5 Spread – Confidence 4/5

THE WEEK 17 SPREADS TO AVOID:

Carolina Panthers -2.5 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs have secured the 4th spot in the NFC by winning the NFC South. Last week Garcia and Galloway were pulled before the 2nd half. The Bucs have nothing to gain this week by playing their top guys, so you can be assured that players will be rested.

Prediction – Panthers defeat Bucs – 17-13

Panthers Moneyline – Confidence 1/5
Panthers -2.5 Spread – Confidence 1/5

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins -9

The Redskins win and their in. T.O. is out with a high-ankle sprain. It hasn’t been announced whether Romo will play or how much, but speculation seems to be that Romo will be in for a series or two before the game is handed over to Brad Johnson, who hasn’t been too bad in the last few years when he’s played for various teams. With T.O. out, Romo seeing limited time, and the Cowboys having nothing to gain with a win, everything seems to indicate the Redskins should win and cover, but I’m hesitant to give up 9 to take them because Johnson is capable of operating the offense efficiently. 56% of the covers.com consensus is picking the Cowboys with the points.

Prediction – Redskins defeat Cowboys 24-20

Redskins Moneyline – Confidence 4/5
Cowboys +9 Spread – Confidence 2/5

Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers -3.5

The Packers have nothing to gain in this one, they secured the No. 2 spot in the NFC. The Lions will be playing for pride, but have been awful lately (1-6 in their last 7). However, I think, after that Bears loss, the Packers will want to take momentum into the playoffs and will not want to lose this one. 73% of the consensus and 6/7 experts at covers.com are taking the Packers. I like them here. Favre should be in the game because he’s an iron man and the backup Rogers is banged up. Only concern: Packers may be resting their starters.

Prediction – Packers defeat Lions – 27-17

Packers Moneyline – Confidence 3/5
Packers -3.5 Spread – Confidence 3/5

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans -6

The Jaguars have the 5th seed locked up, so you can bank on Del Rio resting several starters this week.

Prediction – Texans defeat Jaguars – 24-17

Texans Moneyline – Confidence 2/5
Texans -6 Spread – Confidence 1/5

New Orleans Saints -2 @ Chicago Bears

OK, we’ve come to a game where there isn’t a concern over whether players will be rested or not. After that Bears defeat over the Packers last week, I like the way the Bears defense is playing. The Saints’ defense, on the other hand, has a lot of issues. The Eagles put 38 points on them last week and they’ve given up a lot of points throughout the season too. Reggie Bush and Marques Colston are day-to-day and Kyle Orton’s neck beard rocks!

Prediction – Bears defeats Saints – 23-17

Bears Moneyline – Confidence 2/5
Bears +2 Spread – Confidence 2/5

Seattle Seahawks -2.5 @ Atlanta Falcons

The Seahawks have nothing to gain by winning this game. They’ll be resting their starters. I would avoid this one.

Prediction – Falcons defeat Seahawks – 20-17

Falcons Moneyline – Confidence 1/5
Falcons +2.5 Spread – Confidence 1/5

San Fransisco 49ers @ Cleveland Browns -10.5

The Browns will give their best effort and will be praying the Colts show up and play against the Titans so they can sneak into the playoffs, but the Colts starters will probably only see a series or two. I think 10.5 is too much to give up to take the Browns. The Browns have only beaten a team by more than 10 points once, mostly because the Browns defense always gives the other team a chance to stay in the game. UPDATE: I forgot that the Browns don’t need to win this game if they want to make the playoffs, the only way they can get into the playoffs is if the Titans lose, regardless of whether they win or lose, so you don’t know if their team will even show up.

I’ll take this time to make some Patrick Willis jokes; I’m in love with this player, which is why I think the 49ers will cover.

Patrick Willis once sacked the quarterback before the ball was snapped. He was not offsides.

Patrick Willis wears pads and a helmet because it is mandated by the league rules. Everyone else in the NFL wears pads and a helmet because of Patrick Willis.

Patrick Willis once returned a fumble and an interception for a touchdown on the same play.

Patrick Willis plays Linebacker, because if he played running back he would
still get tackled by Patrick Willis.

You can read the rest of the Patrick Willis jokes at Yardbarker.com.

Prediction – Browns defeat 49ers – 26-17

Browns Moneyline – Confidence 2/5
49ers +10.5 Spread – Confidence 2/5

St. Louis Rams @ Arizona Cardinals -6

I think the Rams have a very good chance of pulling the upset here. I’m not sold on the Cardinals: they almost lost to the Falcons last week. I think the Rams match up pretty well against the Cardinals and they should keep this one tight. I think this will be another game that’s decided by a field goal. I’m leaning more towards taking the points, but I just don’t like this game either way.

Predictions – Cardinals defeat Rams – 27-24

Cardinals Moneyline – Confidence 1/5
Rams +6 Spread – Confidence 1/5

Kansas City Chiefs @ New York Jets -6

Two really bad teams going at it. The Chiefs have lost 8-straight games. The Jets are 3-13. The Jets have 2 impact players on IR: Laveraneus Coles and Jonathan Vilma. The Jets will be depending on Thomas Jones. The Chiefs will be depending on Anthony Gonzalez. This one could go either way, but I’ll go with the Jets at home, but a Chiefs cover. Both teams average points scored and points against are basically the same. I’m expecting a low-scoring, tight game.

Prediction – Jets defeat Chiefs – 20-16

Jets Moneyline – Confidence 1/5
Chiefs +6 Spread – Confidence 1/5



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