Week 17 and the final week of NFL action for the season.
Already we have teams who have punched their ticket to the playoffs. New England, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville and Kansas City have clinched their divisions. The wildcard has not been resolved with Tennessee, Baltimore, Buffalo and the Chargers all still in it. The Steelers and Patriots are still fighting for the #1 Overall seed.
The NFC Picture is a bit clearer, with Philadelphia taking the overall #1 Seed, followed by Minnesota and the Rams winning their divisions. New Orleans and Carolina have clinched the playoffs with Atlanta and Seattle fighting for the second wild card spot.
Last Week’s Results
Head to Head: 14-2
Against the Spread: 12-2-2
Season to Date
Head to Head: 153-86
Against the Spread: 111-80-32
All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com
All games will be played on Sunday, December 31st
Chicago at Minnesota
Line: Vikings by 11½
This is the time the Vikings have to watch out for being complacent. With their spot in the playoffs secured and a first round bye, they have to stay fresh. At the same time, they can get their 13th victory which will be a franchise record.
This is my lock!
Smooth’s Pick – Minnesota (31-7)
Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Line: Steelers by 10½
The Browns can end their season becoming the third team in NFL history to go winless. Tampa Bay was 0-14 in 1976, Detroit was 0-16 in 2008. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was undecided on resting his players, but they still have the #1 seed to clinch. Look for them to go “all-in”.
Smooth’s Pick – Pittsburgh (38-9)
Dallas at Philadelphia
Line: Cowboys by 2½
There’s a cause for concern for Eagles fans, despite wins the last two weeks, the Offense led by Nick Foles have lost a step, and with high powered offenses like Minnesota and the Rams, Philly could be a 1 and out squad. Look for Dallas to give them a run for their money.
Smooth’s Pick – Dallas (21-19)
Green Bay at Detroit
Line: Lions by 7
This would have been a classic matchup if they were still in the playoff hunt. But this is just a regular game to close out the season.
Smooth’s Pick – Detroit (27-16)
Houston at Indianapolis
Line: Colts by 3½
Both teams were to contend this season, but they each had injuries to their QB’s that affected their seasons. Both teams will play for positions in next year’s draft.
Smooth’s Pick – Indianapolis (24-16)
NY Jets at New England
Line: Patriots by 15½
The one thing we can say for the Jets is that they’ll have the better record in the ‘big apple’. But losing 10 games this season is nothing to crow about for Gang Green. Look for the Patriots to close out the season with a “W”.
Smooth’s Pick – New England (35-7)
Washington at NY Giants
Line: Redskins by 3
On the flip side, a loss is not a bad thing for the G-men. They’ll clinch the #2 pick in next year’s draft, and they can certainly parlay that pick into extra draft picks if teams need a QB. As for the Redskins, they can end the season at .500 with a win.
Smooth’s Pick – Washington (23-17)
Arizona at Seattle
Line: Seahawks by 8½
The Seahawks need this game badly. They need a win and hope for an Atlanta loss. With that kind of distraction, the Cardinals could sweep in for the upset.
This is my upset special!
Smooth’s Pick – Arizona (22-18)
Buffalo at Miami
Line: Bills by 3
At the worst possible moment, the Bills find themselves needing lots and lots of help. But first they must win in South Beach, a task not easy at all against the fish.
Smooth’s Pick – Miami (24-19)
Carolina at Atlanta
Line: Falcons by 4
The dirty birds are in the driver’s seat. Win, and you’re in. Lose, and you can still get in if Arizona pulls off the upset. Carolina would like nothing less than to knock the defending NFC Champs out of the playoffs and win the division. Will be hard on the road, though.
Smooth’s Pick – Atlanta (27-21)
Cincinnati at Baltimore
Line: Ravens by 9½
This is Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis’ ‘swan song’. He will step down after the game is over. Disappointing season for the Bengals. For the Ravens, a win will clinch a wild card.
Smooth’s Pick – Baltimore (34-9)
Jacksonville at Tennessee
Line: Titans by 3½
Big game for the Titans, a win over the Jags will put them into the playoffs. But Jacksonville, enjoying its best season in 10 years, will want to have a say in it. Titans have lost three straight and need to break the streak.
Smooth’s Pick – Jacksonville (24-17)
Kansas City at Denver
Line: Broncos by 3½
The Chiefs managed to stop the bleeding enough to recover and win the AFC West. Head coach Andy Reid will give Alex Smith a rest and start Patrick Mahomes, having locked the #4 seed. The Broncos try to end the season with a win.
Smooth’s Pick – Denver (21-18)
New Orleans at Tampa Bay
Line: Saints by 7
The Saints clinched a playoff spot, but still need a win this weekend for the NFC South division crown. They’ve dominated the Bucs both at home and on the road the last few years. But this could be different.
Smooth’s Pick – New Orleans (27-24)
Oakland at LA Chargers
Line: Bolts by 8
The Raiders end their season on a low point, having lost three in a row to knock them out of the playoffs. The Bolts need a win and some help to get to the playoffs. This should be a win, but as for help, that’s another story.
Smooth’s Pick – LA Chargers (31-10)
San Francisco at LA Rams
Line: Niners by 2½
The Niners are beginning to look like a team that wants to challenge for the NFC West next season. QB Jimmy Garopalo has turned the offense on having scored 44 points last weekend. He’ll get a real test verses the newly crowned NFC West champs.
Smooth’s Pick – LA Rams (27-19)
Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblersanonymous.org.