This is it. NFL Week 17, everyone. One more week to decide playoff spots and positioning.
It has been a wild ride. Just six or so weeks back, the Redskins and Panthers were in great shape. The Titans and Ravens were on shaky ground.
That was then.
Colonel Sandurz: Now. You’re looking at now, sir. Everything that happens now, is happening now.
Dark Helmet: What happened to then?
Colonel Sandurz: We passed then.
Dark Helmet: When?
Colonel Sandurz: Just now. We’re at now now.
Dark Helmet: Go back to then.
Colonel Sandurz: When?
Dark Helmet: Now.
Colonel Sandurz: Now?
Dark Helmet: Now.
Colonel Sandurz: I can’t.
Dark Helmet: Why?
Colonel Sandurz: We missed it.
Dark Helmet: When?
Colonel Sandurz: Just now.
Dark Helmet: When will then be now?
Colonel Sandurz: Soon.
Dark Helmet: How soon?
Soon. As in, now.
This is now.
Week 17 is arguably the most difficult week to pick games against the spread. Some teams in the playoffs rest players. Others choose not to. Teams out of contention also rest players. Some of these teams also choose not to. Some even choose to play starters, but for a quarter or a half. It makes it difficult to make smart picks.
This season, the NFL has many key games being played at the same time. Teams fighting for byes or playoff berths all appear to be on schedule in the same window. So, there’s that.
Fortunately for me, it’s a laid back decision. I have no greenbacks down on any games. I do have a Fantasy Football championship and my team is anchored by Christian McCaffrey. Overall, this is strictly for fun and for the readers that enjoy posts of this nature. Well, the fun of writing it, too.
Yes, I participated with SportsChump and Dubsism in our pick ‘em contest. Only, I clinched victory after last week’s performance. It’s not bragging, but I am just not submitting five confidence picks for Week 17, because why should I? Enjoy victory. That’s why the format is different this week.
Nothing to see here.
Nothing to see here – at least… other than standard non-contest picks for NFL Week 17.
The weather doesn’t appear to have major impacts against this week, despite the time of year. It will be windy and cold in Green Bay. There’s potential for rain in Houston, but Reliant Stadium has a retractable roof. So, only the people in the parking lot care about that.
Again, NO five locks this week. NO single movie theme. It’s minimal stats and rapid fire on ALL games from the NFL Week 17 slate. Here are my picks for the final week of the regular season, with my NFL Week 17 WINNERS against the spread in RED.
KP’s “Now-Now” NFL Week 17 Picks
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)
First, look to the trenches: 96 sacks combined between the two teams. Then, look at the playoff picture, where the Vikings win and earn a berth. Meanwhile, the Bears can win and get a bye if the Rams lose. With that in mind, let’s look to the history of Kirk Cousins in big games against good teams. Yeah, it’s not pretty. Therefore, give me the Bears and the points.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-8)
Injuries are the story. There are rumors of once franchise QB Matthew Stafford being traded in the offseason. The Packers, meanwhile, wait to see who the head coach will be in 2019. In the end, it comes back to injuries. Davante Adams may not play. Randall Cobb is already out. With nothing to play for, meshed with cold and windy weather, give me the Lions and the points.
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1.5)
Who knows what the playing time will be for key players in the game. With a tossup line, I’ll give the edge to the Falcons, strictly for the overall talent.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-6.5)
Blake Bortles is back at QB for the Jags. Leonard Fournette is out. DeAndre Hopkins is in. So is J.J Watt. The Titans and Colts are lurking (and play on Sunday night). The key is the Texans have yet to clinch the division. A win against the hapless Jags will do that. Texans cover.
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (-13.5)
Cardinals can get the top pick in next year’s NFL Draft. Pete Carroll says that the Seahawks will not rest any of its players, despite already locking up a playoff berth. With no one resting and the home crowd backing them, I’ll take the Seahawks by two touchdowns.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (-5.5)
I’m surprised the line is this high, although Miami has just one win on the road. Four of Buffalo’s last five games have been by four points or less. Rumors state this could be the last game for Adam Gase, so perhaps the Dolphins play harder for their coach. Give me the Dolphins and the points.
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (+7)
Last week, the Redskins surprisingly hung with the Titans midway through the fourth quarter, despite being completely depleted due to injuries. D.J. Swearinger was also recently cut after criticizing the coaching staff. Now, Washington is out of the playoff picture, while the Eagles – led by Nick Foles – are playing at an elite level. Philadelphia can get into the playoffs with a win and a Vikings loss to the Bears. Give me the Eagles by double digits.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (-6)
The Cowboys are locked in at the 4-seed and could rest players. Zeke likely will not play. Still, should the Giants be favored by nearly a TD in this divisional rivalry? How much of the Dallas defense will rest? Odell Beckham is out again, too. Give me the Cowboys and the points.
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-6)
News flash: the Browns are actually pretty good. They are feisty, too. This team really wants to play spoiler. Baltimore can take the division with a win and I do expect that to happen. But it won’t be easy for the Ravens. Give me the Browns and the points.
New York Jets at New England Patriots (-13.5)
The Patriots are undefeated at home and a win gives them a bye in the AFC. That’s something the rest of the league simply doesn’t want, considering the history. Todd Bowles may be out the door in New York. Add the rivalry and the Jets will play hard. Sam Darnold and Robby Anderson have been great over the last three weeks, too. The Pats win, but give me the Jets and the points.
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-14)
A win gives the Chiefs the division title and home field throughout the AFC playoffs. Another great game could give Patrick Mahomes 5,000 yards and 50 TD’s. I typically am not a fan of lines this large, but this game smells like a blowout. Give me the Chiefs to cover at home.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (+3.5)
Win and in – it’s that simple. Well, there’s also what happens with the Texans and the division title, so I guess it’s not THAT simple. Tennessee has the home field advantage, but it will not have Marcus Mariota. The key will be how the Colts (8th against the run) can handle Derrick Henry. Also, can the Titans (14th in sacks) get any pressure on Andrew Luck? I like the Colts to cover.
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-10)
Todd Gurley is out, but C.J. Anderson filled in admirably last week. Jeff Wilson Jr. starts at back for the Niners. The Rams win and get a first round bye, which is key. L.A. hasn’t been as polished over the last month, which is why the line is a bit high for my liking. Still, the Rams have so much to play for and I think its defense forces multiple turnovers. Rams cover.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-14.5)
The Bengals are banged up, but this is still a division rivalry with plenty of fire. Pittsburgh has fallen out of the division lead and now needs a win (and help) to even get into the playoffs. Antonio Brown is questionable and might not play. James Connor looks like he could return from a three week absence. At this point, neither decision is made. Also, is Mike Tomlin’s job safe? There are just too many questions in this game. Give me the Bengals and the points.
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (+6.5)
The Chargers can still win the division and earn home field throughout the AFC playoffs. Someone please give Anthony Lynn the coach of the year. Phillip Lindsay is out, leaving Royce Freeman – who has not been all that effective – to start. Denver’s receiving group is also depleted and has been for weeks. All signs point to the Chargers, who have plenty to play for. Chargers cover.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-7.5)
A month ago, we thought this would be a game with major playoff implications. Today, we have Kyle Allen starting against Teddy Bridgewater. The Saints have already clinched the top seed in the NFC and the Panthers are out, having not won since November 4th. It’s not known how much Christian McCaffrey will play (if at all). In the end, the question marks make this one really tough to pick, unless you have insider knowledge. Give me the Saints to cover.
Who do you have in NFL Week 17?
2018 NFL Season to Date (ATS)
Happy New Year from The Wife Hates Sports!