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Old 12-31-2010, 03:21 AM   #2
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 17 Picks



Last week: 11-5. Season totals: 116-116-8, Pct. .500. Best Bets: 22-25-1, Pct. .469.

Home team in capital letters; point spreads (opening line) in parentheses after underdog team; selections with point spreads in bold.


SUNDAY

N.Y. JETS
24, Buffalo 17 (+1) - Maybe Rex Ryan thinks the Steelers might lose in Cleveland and the Jets can presumably avoid a first-round playoff game at a team that's unbeaten at home this year. How else to explain Ryan's decision to have Mark Sanchez start? On the other side of the quarterbacking coin, the Bills are going to need to land one in the spring - via either the draft (Jake Locker?) or a trade (Kevin Kolb?) - if they hope to cancel their lease on the AFC East basement anytime soon.

N.Y. Giants 28, WASHINGTON 21 (+3) - Rex Grossman can't possibly cover three in a row, can he? And cover, as well as win, is exactly what the Giants have done in each of their last four in the nation's capital, and by a combined 62 points to boot.

Miami 16 (+1 1/2), NEW ENGLAND 13 - Tom Brady can't have his 26-game regular-season home win streak as a starter snapped if he doesn't start. So he won't.

Pittsburgh 23, CLEVELAND 10 (+6) - The Browns started 1-5, then made a middle move of sorts, but have since flattened out. Steelers claim the AFC North and a first-round bye.

ATLANTA 59, Carolina 7 (+14 1/2) - Why this line isn't at least three touchdowns is a mystery. Falcons send a huge message as they wrap up home field throughout in the NFC.

Minnesota 23 (+3), DETROIT 16 - I'd say that after the way they played Tuesday night, third place in the NFC North must mean something to the Vikings (a loss gives Detroit that spot due to a better division record). And despite now being clearly headed in the right direction, the Lions have a big decision to make in the off-season regarding Matthew Stafford and his ongoing shoulder issues.

BALTIMORE 28, Cincinnati 13 (+9 1/2) - The Bengals have actually applied themselves the last two weeks, but both of those games were at home. The Ravens move one playoff win from a potential postseason game at Foxboro, where they have an overtime loss and a win (in a 2009 first-round playoff game) in their last two visits.

Tampa Bay 23 (+8), NEW ORLEANS 20 - As Atlanta pours it on, Sean Payton will start pulling his first-stringers out of the game; and besides, Josh Freeman is a cosmic 10-2 against the spread on the road.

KANSAS CITY 17, Oakland 16 (+4) - Teams rarely pull out all the stops if all they're playing for is a third seed as opposed to a fourth seed, and the Raiders have covered seven straight at Arrowhead. A field goal, made or missed, decides this, one way or the other.

Dallas 13 (+6 1/2), PHILADELPHIA 10 - The last time the Eagles were in a corresponding situation, they lost 38-10 to Cincinnati at home to end the 2004 regular season. And Jason Garrett's three losses have been by three, three, and one point.

INDIANAPOLIS 31, Tennessee 17 (+8 1/2) - Remember that the Colts didn't cover when they won at Tennessee in the first meeting three weeks ago - and we all saw how that angle played out last week in the New England and Baltimore games. And I can't believe that Bud Adams is actually going to choose a retarded psycho quarterback over the longest-serving head coach in the NFL. Adams must be senile.

GREEN BAY 23, Chicago 3 (+10) - I'm sure Todd Collins, et al, will do their best - but it won't be anywhere near good enough to keep the Packers from nailing down the NFC's final wild-card berth. And here's a cautionary tale for Lovie Smith: No team that has gotten shut out in its regular-season finale has ever made it to a conference championship game. Ever.

HOUSTON 21 (+2 1/2), Jacksonville 17 - The Jaguars will definitely be without David Garrard, and very likely, Maurice Jones-Drew as well. Still, I'm not sure how much I trust the Texans, even if they can evade the AFC South cellar with a win plus a victory by the Colts that they need to clinch the division title.

DENVER 31 (+3 1/2), San Diego 24 - Make no mistake about it: The Tim Tebow era is under way - and rather surprisingly, Alex Spanos has already announced that the Norv Turner era will not be coming to an end.

SAN FRANCISCO 20, Arizona 17 (+6 1/2) - Guess it didn't matter to the oddsmakers that Mike Singletary was fired. One last time for them to morbidly overrate the 49ers - so that means one last time for me to pick against them.

St. Louis 24, SEATTLE 0 (+1 1/2) - Since God can longer watch his team through the hole in the roof at Texas Stadium, he can go about assuring that a 7-9 team doesn't win a division title; so Matt Hasselbeck's injury - a pain in the butt if ever there was one! - can be seen as part of a divine plan. Without him, the Seahawks don't stand a chance, even if the Rams have lost five in a row at their place by 96 points.

BEST BETS: ATLANTA, TAMPA BAY, ST. LOUIS
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