Handicapping Sports

Steven Takes on Spreads – NFL Week 17

Image Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The final week of the NFL season is upon us.

Every game is played on the final Sunday of the year, setting up some wild scenarios as the playoff picture is finalized.

I have had a fun time making picks all season and as long as I finish over the .500 mark, I’d call it a success. Let’s get right to the five games that stand out to me in Week 17.

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (-6)

The Pick: Giants -6

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-7.5)

This game becomes somewhat tough to pick given the fact Teddy Bridgewater is starting for the Saints. Yet he is still capable of starting for a lot of teams out there and should do just fine against a Panthers team just waiting for the season to end.

The Panthers have lost seven straight, are without Cam Newton, and will be starting a rookie quarterback against the Saints.

Breaking the losing streak would already be hard enough with Newton in there. With Kyle Allen making his debut, this won’t be close.

The Pick: Saints -7.5

New York Jets at New England Patriots (-13.5)

The Pick: Jets +13.5

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)

What a weird year for the Packers. It always seems like Aaron Rodgers is able to lead the team to the playoffs no matter how bad the year starts, but he couldn’t do it this time around.

It is also a weird year for the Lions. The team is 5-10 in Matt Patricia’s first year and his job may even be in danger. That is crazy given the talent on that team.

The Packers have actually been great at home this year with a record of 5-1-1. The problem has been the 1-7 road record.

The Lions picked up the win the first time these two teams met earlier this year. In a matchup of bad teams, expect a close one to close out the year.

The Pick: Lions +7.5

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-6.5)

The Pick: Texans -6.5

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1)

The Pick: Buccaneers +1

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (-4.5)

The Bills may be 5-10, but enter as rather solid favorites against the Dolphins. The same Dolphins team that has a record boosted by two lucky wins, including one over the Bills.

The Dolphins appear to be unmotivated, especially after a bad loss to the Jaguars last week.

Meanwhile, the Bills have a lot to play for in what will be Kyle Williams‘ final game in the NFL. Expect a passionate win for the Bills.

The Pick: Bills -4.5

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-13.5)

The Pick: Chiefs -13.5

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (+6.5)

The Pick: Eagles -6.5

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-6)

Why not take the Browns in this one? The team has already taken down the Ravens once this season and is treating this one like a playoff game.

The Ravens are fresh off a 22-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, but there is something special about this AFC North match-up. Narratives are changing and the Browns will at least cover in this one.

The Pick: Browns +6

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-14.5)

The Pick: Bengals +14.5

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)

The Pick: Bears +4.5

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (+6.5)

The Pick: Chargers -6.5

Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (-13)

The Cardinals are so bad. The fact they beat the Packers is crazy to me.

The Cardinals are 3-12 and sit in prime position to pick up the top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Seahawks have already clinched a playoff spot, yet I don’t see that being enough to think the Cardinals even keep this one close.

The Seahawks will take it easy and coast to a huge win as the Cardinals fold in front of an impossible environment for a 3-12 team to succeed in.

The Pick: Seahawks -13

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-9.5)

The Pick: Rams -9.5

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (+3.5)

The Pick: Colts -3.5

Last Week: 9-4-3

Yearly Record: 115-114-11

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