Week sixteen was a very good 13 – 3 straight up with which brings the season record up to 162 – 78. Picking against the spread was another below average week 7 – 8 – 1; which means I am doomed to a losing record against the spread for the first time as I go into the final week of the season 109 – 126 – 5. The final week has all games being played on New Year’s Day this week so these are being posted on Thursday, a day later than usual to try to figure out who is being rested going into the playoffs the following weekend. There is a lot of guesswork in week seventeen as we try to figure out which teams have packed it in and who will be resting players.
The standard disclaimer goes like this; these picks are for amusement value only. They are not to be confused with the recommended picks of the site. I participate in a pick ‘em league and these represent my picks for that league though I may modify my picks there as injury news updates come in later in the week. My versus the spread results are against the line at the time I made the pick, usually the day before the picks get posted; this week that will be Wednesday evening after reviewing practice reports.
Tampa Bay at Atlanta – Tampa Bay has been generally playing horribly and it looks like they are playing out the string waiting to go home for the off season. Atlanta is in the playoffs and could rest players here as they will be on the road next week but it likely would not matter a lot, Falcons win 28 – 17.
Baltimore at Cincinnati – The Bengals win and they are in the playoffs, they have a limited offense and solid defense but will need to be at the top of their game. Baltimore is playing for a first round bye and need the rest, they have been very inconsistent on the road, Ravens win 20 – 17.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland – Cleveland has been struggling on offense all season injuries have been an issue the defense has played well under the circumstances. Pittsburgh needs help if they are to change their seeding for the playoffs but need to win to take advantage of any help, Steelers win 24 – 14.
Detroit at Green Bay – Green Bay has a banged up offensive line facing a strong defensive line, if Rodgers is still in the game at the end of the half it would be a mistake. Detroit is in the playoffs and cannot help their position much the game plan may be vanilla, Lions win 28 – 21.
Tennessee at Houston – The Texans are locked into the third seed in the playoffs and are likely to rest players and pull starters early since a win here is largely irrelevant. Tennessee is in the playoff picture but even with a win would need some help, the running game has to get going, Titans win 21 – 17.
Indianapolis at Jacksonville – Jacksonville is still playing but the offense is ineffective outside of the running game, the defense has lapsed a bit of late. Indianapolis also is playing hard and can deprive themselves of the first pick in the draft with a win here, Colts win 21 – 17.
NY Jets at Miami – New York threw over sixty passes last week not a game plan they can live with, the defense has been somewhat flat. The Dolphins are playing well, the defense in particular has been solid; the offense is reasonably productive but they have limited options, Dolphins win 21 – 17.
Chicago at Minnesota – The Vikings have been in most of their games but without Peterson and with a limited pass offense the prospects are dim. Chicago has lost most of the key pieces of their offense in the second half the season, the defense is solid though overworked, Bears win 24 – 20.
Carolina at New Orleans – The Panthers have been playing well offensively and will be a popular dark horse next season the defense has injury issues and has been ineffective. New Orleans should probably not be playing this too hard as it is unlikely they can improve their playoff position, Saints win 28 – 24.
Buffalo at New England – Buffalo had one offensive touchdown among their forty points last week, probably not going to happen this week. New England has clinched a bye but needs a win to assure home field advantage; the offense line is nicked up, Patriots win 31 – 17.
Washington at Philadelphia – The Redskins have been inconsistent offensively but the defense has a good pass rush and will need it. Philadelphia has been up and down all season and it is difficult to predict how they will play in a game that has no payoff for them, Eagles win 28 – 20.
San Francisco at St. Louis – St Louis has had a difficult year; injuries to the offensive line and defensive secondary have led to another high draft pick. San Francisco needs to win to assure a first round bye but will likely rest up some of their nicked up players, Forty-niners win 24 – 10.
Seattle at Arizona – The Seahawks have been playing solid defense all season the offense is centered on the running game. Arizona has played better over the second half of the season as their defense has stepped up a bit, Fitzgerald is still the primary offensive weapon, Cardinals win 21 – 17.
Kansas City at Denver – Kansas City has been playing good defense and the offense has picked up somewhat since the coaching change. Denver has a very good defense and an offense that can grind out yards and ultimately field position, but cannot afford mistakes, Broncos win 20 – 14.
San Diego at Oakland – The Chargers have the talent to beat about anyone, the offense has ample weapons but mental errors keep cropping up. Oakland is struggling a bit but have a steady running game to control tempo and will need for the defense to get some stops, Raiders win 28 – 24.
Dallas at NY Giants – The Cowboys control their destiny here, win and they are in; the defense has had some curious lapses and the offensive line has its problems as well. New York faces another must win situation, if the defensive front gets pressure and the receivers receive, Giants win 27 – 21.