My Week 17 picks reflect the do-or-die nature of the last regular season games of the NFL campaign. For some teams it is long over, and for others the pain and sacrifice is just beginning. Some teams have already clinched playoff spots and even first round byes, while others must face off in a “two teams enter, one team leaves” scenario.
I always consider Week 17 picks to essentially be part of the NFL playoffs as some games are wild card games to the few remaining precious wild card spots! Just as important is the fight for the restorative first round bye, which is a huge advantage as teams can rest and heal. So with further ado lets take a look at some Week 17 key matchups.
Week 17 Picks – Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos
The Oakland Raiders storybook season continues and a win in Week 17 could see them clinch the AFC West. In fact, if the Miami Dolphins can also beat the New England Patriots then the Raiders would win the AFC and have home field advantage in the rest of the playoffs. A couple small speedbumps to this scenario- Derek Carr’s broken leg and, well, the Dolphins beating the Pats.
However winning the AFC East is possible but my Week 17 picks do not see things going well for Oakland. Denver is angry at not being in the playoffs and are playing at home. Carr is out and someone called Matt McGloin is in. Take the Denver Broncos at -1.5 on the pointspread as they play for pride at home.
Week 17 Picks – Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions
This classic NFC North grudge match sees the surprising Detroit Lions and the talented but erratic Green Bay Packers in a showdown on 9-6 teams. The loser of this game then has to hope that the Washington Redskins lose to the New York Giants, because if the Redskins win they will automatically claim the last NFC Wild Card spot. So this will be a fantastic game to watch with tons of drama.
If we look at the numbers we have Green Bay as -3.5 pointspread favorites in Detroit. The Lions are +155 dogs against the -175 fave Packers on the moneyline. Over/Under for the game total is set at 49.5. This could very well be a shootout and if so they edge goes to Aaron Rodgers. However if the Lions D can just down the passing game then anything is possible. My pick here is Green Bay on the -175 moneyline.
NFL Week 17 Betting Picks – New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins
I must say it is nice to see the NFC East getting more competitive this year and not just because everyone has a terrible record. With the resurgent Dallas Cowboys having clinched their division and the NFC, it falls to the Washington Redskins to control their own destiny. A win by the Redskins against the playoff bound New York Giants will ensure them a NFC Wild Card spot, while a loss let’s the loser of the Packers/Lions game go through.
The New York Giants have lots of reasons to rest starters and avoid injury as they are in the playoffs. So how hard will they play is the question? The Redskins are -7.5 favorites which seems high until you factor in that they are at home, control their playoff destiny, and the Giants have nothing to really gain here. The Giants are +255 on the moneyline and the Redskins are -310 with the O/U set at 45. It’s hard to bet the Skins on a -310 ML and I am almost tempted to take the Giants +255. I think this could be a bit of a sloppy game in some ways so the Over 45 is possible. Tread with caution here and maybe take a look at the prop bets for opportunity.
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