It’s the final week of the season and the NFL’s experiment of making it all divisional games has yielded us exactly one truly meaningful “the one for all the marbles” game. And that’s… Rams vs Seahawks? Yep, what most would have picked as an early favorite for Top 5 worst games of the year is actually the best game of Week 17. Maybe it’ll end 4-2 and make history.
This week, we’ll see which of the 4 experts wins the Locks of the Week contest for the season. Also, this is the last week to brush up on your regular season betting prowess before the playoffs next week. Before you know it, we’ll all be eating 3000 calories, actually paying attention to commercials and putting cash on completely ridiculous (yet absolutely compelled to throw money at) Super Bowl prop bets like “which Black Eyed Pea will sell out hardest” and “whether the Super Bowl MVP is gonna thank God, the fans, or his psychiatrist first.” Dammit, I can’t wait. Don’t worry too much that most of the games this week are useless, just consider it a hungover appetizer for the real games.
The featured games this week are Bucs at Saints, Giants at Redskins, Bears at Packers, and Rams and Seattle.
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NFL Week 17 2010 Picks
|Bucs @ Saints||Saints||Saints||Saints||Saints|
|Dolphins @ Patriots||Dolphins||Dolphins||Patriots||Patriots|
|Steelers @ Browns||Steelers||Steelers||Steelers||Browns|
|Bengals @ Ravens||Ravens||Ravens||Ravens||Ravens|
|Vikings @ Lions||Lions||Lions||Lions||Lions|
|Raiders @ Chiefs||Chiefs||Raiders||Chiefs||Chiefs|
|Bills @ Jets||Bills||Jets||Bills||Jets|
| Panthers @ Falcons
|Cards @ Niners||Niners||Niners||Cards||Niners|
|Cowboys @ Eagles||Cowboys||Cowboys||Cowboys||Cowboys|
|Chargers @ Broncos||Chargers||Chargers||Broncos||Chargers|
|Giants @ Redskins||Redskins||Redskins||Giants||Giants|
|Bears @ Packers||Packers||Packers||Packers||Packers|
|Titans @ Colts||Colts||Colts||Colts||Colts|
|Jaguars @ Texans||Jaguars||Texans||Texans||Texans|
|Rams @ Seahawks||Rams||Seahawks||Rams||Seahawks|
|Prev Week||7-9 (.438)||8-8 (.500)||8-8 (.500)||11-5 (.688)|
|Overall||146-94 (.608)||138-102 (.575)||143-97 (.596)||135-103 (.567)|
Against the Spread
|Bucs @ Saints (-7.5)||Bucs||Bucs||Bucs||Saints|
|Dolphins @ Patriots (-3.5)||Dolphins||Dolphins||Patriots||Patriots|
|Steelers @ Browns (+6)||Steelers||Steelers||Steelers||Browns|
|Bengals @ Ravens (-9.5)||Bengals||Ravens||Ravens||Ravens|
|Vikings @ Lions (-3.5)||Lions||Lions||Lions||Lions|
|Raiders @ Chiefs (-3.5)||Chiefs||Raiders||Chiefs||Chiefs|
|Bills @ Jets (-1.5)||Bills||Jets||Bills||Jets|
|Panthers @ Falcons (-14.5)||Falcons||Falcons||Panthers||Falcons|
|Cards @ Niners (-7)||Niners||Niners||Cards||Niners|
|Cowboys @ Eagles (-6.5)||Cowboys||Cowboys||Cowboys||Cowboys|
|Chargers @ Broncos (+3.5)||Chargers||Chargers||Broncos||Chargers|
|Giants @ Redskins (+4)||Redskins||Redskins||Giants||Giants|
|Bears @ Packers (-10)||Packers||Bears||Bears||Bears|
|Titans @ Colts (-10)||Colts||Colts||Colts||Colts|
|Jaguars @ Texans (+2.5)||Jaguars||Texans||Texans||Texans|
|Rams @ Seahawks (+3)||Seahawks||Seahawks||Rams||Seahawks|
|Prev Week||7-9 (.438)||8-8 (.500)||8-8 (.500)||8-8 (.500)|
|Overall||110-122-7 (.474)||117-115-7 (.504)||117-115-7 (.504)||98-134-7 (.422)|
* The peso is a coin flip of an old peso to pick the game.
Locks of the Week
Vegas Vinny: (7-9, Balance =$1040): On the podcast, I said my Lock of the Week was Atlanta over Carolina by more than 14.5 points. I still like that game but I’m switching my lock to the Cowboys +6.5. Even in a meaning game, I’d have to think long and hard about the Cowboys getting 6.5 against a divisional rival. Toss in the fact that the Eagles are locked into the 3rd seed and Vick is sitting and you have an easy call here. This isn’t about the matchups and the xs and os. This is all about Andy Reid going completely vanilla for a game that means absolutely nothing. Conversely, Jason Garrett is making his final audition for the head coaching role and you better believe he’s going to go all out. The Cowboys will win this game outright but I’ll happily take the 6.5 points that the offshore casinos are giving. I’m putting $330 to win $300 on the Cowboys (+6.5).
BostonMac: (6-9-1), Balance =$675): Time to put up or shut up. Burton is locking up St. Louis this week, but I’m going the opposite direction. I’m betting against Sam Bradford in the hostile environment of Qwest Field in what is essentially a playoff game. Plus, it is inevitable that a 7-9 team makes the playoffs and finally gets the NFL to reconsider its playoff seeding rules. Without Matt Hasselbeck, Pete Carroll coaches the pants off Steve Spagnuolo and locks up a playoff berth. I’m doubling up, too. $660 to win $600 on SEATTLE (+3).
RJ: (8-5-1, Balance =$955):
I wouldn’t call it a Belichick-like Revenge Tour, but the 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers have gone through their schedule correcting the mistakes they made during 2009 in a very eerie and efficient manner. Every situation they were in last season turned out the opposite this year. For example, a blown coverage on a 4th-and-11 cost them a late lead in Cincinnati last year and they were about to do so again this year, only to make that one stop they needed to win the game. Last year in Baltimore, a critical turnover cost them a three-point loss. This year, they got the turnover and won by three. This takes us to our last stop on the F*** You AFC North Adventure of 2010: Cleveland, OH. A year ago The hurting Steelers went up to Lake Erie on a bitter Thursday night and played quite possibly the worst game in their 77-year franchise history. Desperately needing a win, they scored six points, were out-rushed by 100 yards and sacked eight times by a two-win Browns team.
This season, the Browns and their fans are doing everything they can to remind Pittsburgh of this. More significantly, the Steelers are reminding themselves. They’re in the playoffs, but a loss would drop them from a two seed with a home game and a bye to a sixth with a long road ahead that they can’t handle. The rested (Thurs. night winners are 6-2 the following week) and motivated Steelers (-6)will put it on their rivals and go into the playoffs on solid ground. $440 to win 400 says Bizarro Year continues.
Burton: (8-7, Balance =$1288): What’s there to discuss? Seriously, is there anything? Seattle has been anemic for the last 10 weeks against teams that had even a shred of competence. Since beating Chicago in Soldier Field week 6, the Seahawks are 3-7. Those three wins include a pair over Arizona and a darting of the worst team in football, Carolina (I don’t know what darting means here, but it sounds good). The seven losses include a 19-point succumbing in San Francisco, a 30-point sewage on the other side of the bay to Oakland, and a 34-point snoozer to the Giants in Seattle. Two other division champions came in and handled Seattle, with the Chiefs prevailing by 18 and the Falcons by 16 in two games that weren’t as close as the scores indicated. No matter how you look at it, the Seahawks are a bottom-10 team on both sides of the ball.
I know you want to root for Seattle so that a 7-9 embarrassment can get into the playoffs, but think about it: do you really want the Saints to win their first game by 40? No, you don’t. At least the Rams showed a sign of life against New Orleans before a 100-yard pick six just before halftime turned the tides. Seattle? They were held to under 60 yards rushing in a game that they never really had life in. Seattle would be BY FAR the worst team ever to make the playoffs. They have no capable QB, their WRs are banged up, their offensive line is torn asunder, and their running game is as believable as Bill Belichick’s soul. Their defense could give up yards to the Guam National Basketball Team. Honestly, I’d put Seattle on par with Carolina as the second-worst team in football, ahead of only the Cardinals. I want to win, and I’m making a play that will clinch it for me: $770 to win $700 on St. Louis (-3) to take the NFC West in a whitewash. Last year on SNF Week 17, the Jets eliminated the Texans within the first five minutes. Danny Amendola won’t make viewers wait that long. St. Louis returns the opening kickoff to the house and rolls from there, 55-3. It’s a statement, not that the Rams are decent, but that the Seahawks truly are awful.