The final week of the regular season is upon us. After months of interesting match ups and unexpected teams it is time to finalize the playoff seeding and get ready for postseason football. Here are my picks against the spread for the week:
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions (-7)
After a disappointing loss last week, to the Bengals of all teams, the Lions are toast. Both of these team have fallen short of expectations this year, and don’t expect this Sunday to be any different.
Pick: Lions (-7)
Dallas Cowboys (-3) @ Philadelphia Eagles
For the second year in a row we have a pointless week 17 match up between the Cowboys and the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. After an abysmal offensive performance last week against Raiders, coach Pederson announced he is going to play his starters. The question is for how long however. I don’t expect the Eagles to roll over so easily, but this Cowboys team also has a lot to prove after being trounced by the Eagles earlier in the year.
Pick: Eagles (+3)
New York Jets @ New England Patriots (-15.5)
It would take a monumental collapse for the Patriots to lose this game against the Jets with home field advantage on the line.
Pick: Patriots (-15.5)
Washington Redskins (-3) @ New York Giants
In a battle of the NFC East least, Kirk Coupons takes on good ol’ Eli Manning. Both of these quarterbacks likely won’t be with their respective teams to start next season, and I don’t think that will make either of them better.
Pick: Redskins (-3)
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings (-13)
The Vikings can no longer secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and can actually lose their playoff bye if things don’t go their way this weekend. So expect the Vikings to take care of the young Bears, who will be searching for a new head coach this summer.
Pick: Vikings (-13)
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-7)
Do we really expect the Browns to beat the Steelers at Heinz Field to finish out the season? No of course not, they are an embarrassment of an organization and the line could be Steelers -30 and I still wouldn’t bet on the Browns.
Pick: Steelers (-7)
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts (-5.5)
Another clunker on the schedule that no one wants to watch. You got to feel bad for the Texans. After seasons of poor offense carried by a good defense they finally found their playmaker in Deshaun Watson only for it to be taken away from them. Hopefully this matchup next season will be a lot more appealing.
Pick: Colts (-5.5)
Buffalo Bills (-3) @ Miami Dolphins
After a bad game in New England last week the Bills need to win to have any hope of squeaking into the playoffs. I think Smokin’ Jay will want to get the season done with quickly and the Bills pervail.
Pick: Bills (-3)
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks (-9)
The Seahawks are in the same spot as the Bills it is just a little less complicated. All they need is to win, and the Falcons to blow it like they did last February. The Seahawks should get their part done at home, they will have to see about the rest.
Pick: Seahawks (-9)
Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos (-4)
The Chiefs are locked in at the number 4 seed in the AFC, and will be giving some guys a rest. First round pick Patrick Mahomes will get the start against a defense that is second in yards allowed. On the other sideline however another former first round pick, Paxton Lynch, is slated to start. I have no confidence in Lynch from what I have seen, so I’m taking the Chiefs.
Pick: Chiefs (+4)
San Francisco 49ers (-4) @ Los Angeles Rams
How about Jimmy G and the Niners? Jimmy is proving that he can be the future in San Fran with a four game win streak. The Rams will be resting starters, which is strange since they can still improve their seeding, so who knows what to expect.
Pick: 49ers (-4)
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens (-9)
The Bengals showed they aren’t completely dead in the water by knocking the Lions out of playoff contention last week, but don’t expect them to repeat that result this week.
Pick: Ravens (-9)
New Orleans Saints (-7) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston has been balling out the past two weeks (Quarterback Rating of 132.9) but it still isn’t enough to get this Bucs team to win. They have been playing it close, but with their defense being as banged up as it is I can’t see them competing with the Saints.
Pick: Saints (-7)
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons (-4)
The Panthers have the most volatility when it comes to their playoff seeding. They are already in the race, but depending on how things shake out today they could end up with a first round bye, winning the NFC South, or a wild card team. The Falcons on the other hand just have to win to get in. It should be a good NFC South battle that decides the playoff fates of two good teams.
Pick: Panthers (+4)
Oakland Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers (-7.5)
The Raiders put up a valiant effort in their freezing Monday night brawl with the Eagles, but came up short by being terrible on offense. Besides one nice play to Amari Cooper, Derek Carr and the offense was embarrassing, giving up five turnovers in the second half alone. The Chargers must win to keep their playoff hopes alive, and should do that today.
Pick: Chargers (-7.5)
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans (-3)
All the jaguars starters are playing this week between this division matchup with the Titans. The Titans have had an up and down year, but can salvage their season with a win this weekend and finding a way into the postseason. However I just have no belief in this team.
Pick: Jaguars (+3)
Last Week: 8-6-2