Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 NFL Week 17 Picks

I can't imagine the roller coaster of emotions that people in Vegas went through to end Christmas weekend with that Raiders-Eagles game. Most were probably like my dad, who took Philly -8.5 in our picks pool, sadly disparaging the chances of a cover in the final minute with the game tied. I was mostly joking when I said they just needed to make the field goal and then make a return when Oakland inevitably has to do all the laterals on the last play just like Kansas City did against Washington on a similar Monday night in Week 4, BUT THEN IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED! However, the Vegas line had moved to -9 or even -10 late due to money coming in, so Doug Pederson's understandable but kind of pointless decision to take a knee on the extra point attempt rather than I guess risk any injuries ended up costing a bunch of late bettors money with just a 9 point win. Granted, it's a win or push that they really shouldn't have even been close to, but they must have went from despair to elation to "wait, wut?!"

That last one was my reaction to some of these lines because Week 17 is a crazy slate with teams having different agendas and holding players out for the final regular season game. I'll try to wade through the various situations quickly here, but not without purpose because another strong week got me even with the second place and just two behind the lead going into this finale.

Last week: 12-4
Season total: 137-103

Browns +13.5 at Steelers

Pittsburgh still as a chance at the #1 seed, but all indications seems like they will surprisingly rest their starters or at least limit them since the Patriots are highly unlikely to be upset by the Jets. The Steelers backups could certainly beat Cleveland at home again like last year's inexplicable overtime game that gifted Myles Garrett to the Browns, but I'm not counting on them to cover.

Lions -7.5 versus Packers

My lone loss in my straight up picks with friends last week, Detroit should bounce back against an undermanned Green Bay squad now that they're back at home.

Vikings -12.5 versus Bears

This is one of the easier ones with Minnesota looking to secure a first round bye and at home against a clearly inferior Chicago team. The under is also a nice look here with DVOA's #27 offense traveling to the #3 defense.

Cowboys -2.5 at Eagles

I'm expecting Philly to treat this like a preseason game to get Nick Foles some more reps before planting him and the other starters on the bench.

Colts -3.5 versus Texans

Yeesh, in a battle of bad teams missing their star quarterbacks with coaches on the hot seat, I'll take the home side. DeAndre Hopkins being ruled out certainly doesn't hurt, either.

Patriots -16.5 versus Jets

It's one of the best teams in the league hosting one of the worst, especially since Josh McCown got hurt, and they're fully motivated to secure home field. Don't overthink it.

Redskins -3.5 at Giants

I guess New York is determined to "do right by Eli Manning" after the way the whole situation was handled rather than see what they have in 3rd round pick Davis Webb, especially with new GM Dave Gettleman's comments about seemingly overrating how Manning did against Philadelphia. Okay then...I'll just take the better team with this reasonable spread.

Bengals +9.5 at Ravens

I wrote last week that it might've been Cincy's last stand under Marvin Lewis before they ended up winning, what? Well, I still can't trust Baltimore's offense to cover more than a touchdown, even at home, and with the Bengals defense no longer quite as banged up, I'll take the points.

Falcons -3.5 versus Panthers

This feels like a fishy line with Carolina seemingly the better team and still holding a wide array of seeding possibilities, but I have to take the home team after Atlanta was close to winning in Carolina earlier in the year. I don't think Julio Jones will drop it this time.

Buccaneers +7.5 versus Saints

Tampa is oh so close to ending their losing streak, so even though I expect New Orleans to put up points on this shaky defense, I think they'll cover for the third straight week. The Saints keep losing bodies of their own on defense, so there is shootout potential here.

Broncos -3.5 versus Chiefs

Kansas City is locked into the #4 seed, so they're expected to be resting their key players while giving 1st round pick Patrick Holmes a look at quarterback. Facing Denver's defense on the road won't exactly be a cupcake for the rookie.

Jaguars +3.5 at Titans

Like KC, Jacksonville is locked into their playoff spot, but apparently that doesn't matter to Doug Marrone as he's said he'll play his starters until the game is decided. I'm guessing he wants to get the bad taste out of their mouth after the big loss last week, so I'm counting on their usually shut down defense keeping this one close at least. 

Seahawks -8.5 versus Cardinals

Drew Stanton and Arizona taking care of business at home against the hapless Giants is one thing, but going to Seattle is a whole different animal. It may not be the vaunted Seahawks defense of the last few years anymore, but as shown last week, they can still make big plays.

Dolphins +2.5 versus Bills

This might be my boldest straight up upset of the week, but both of these teams seemingly play completely different at home as opposed to on the road with 6-2/2-5 splits for Buffalo and 4-3/2-6 for Miami. This one is in South Beach, so there ya go.

Chargers -7.5 versus Raiders

Oakland is probably going to have a ton of fans at this game like most of their trips to Southern California, but their offense is just a mess right now. Facing LA's pass rush without Donald Penn at left tackle doesn't sound inviting, and on the other side, the Raiders' revamped defense under John Pagano still doesn't have anyone that can reliably cover Keenan Allen.

49ers +2.5 at Rams

Who would have thought that both Bay Area teams could wind up 6-10 before the season started, or especially after San Francisco's 0-9 start? Thus is life in the Jimmy Garoppolo era, though, as he broke Kurt Warner's NFL record for most yards in a QB's first four starts for a new team with 1250, which works out to a cool 5,000 yard pace over a full season. With Sean McVay's decision to rest almost all of his key players for this one (and possibly securing an easier trip to Philadelphia instead of Minnesota, where they lost already, in the second round by dropping from the #3 seed to #4), this is an easy choice.

No comments:

Post a Comment