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Old 12-24-2019, 09:38 PM   #1
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Cool Anthony's Week 17 NFL Pointspread Picks

Last week: 9-7. Season totals: 114-122-4, Pct. .483. Best Bets: 24-23-1, Pct. .510.

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


BUFFALO 16, N.Y. Jets13 (+5) - The Bills overcame a 16-0 deficit to win 17-16 at Club Med in Week 1, but their starters will likely come out early with no way to either move up in the seeding with a win or move down with a loss so take the points.

Philadelphia 20, N.Y. GIANTS 10 (+4) - And speaking of Club Med, since 2008 the Eagles have actually done more covering against the Giants there (9-3 against the spread) than at home (6-6). After facing Eli Manning at Lincoln Financial Field three weeks ago, it will be Daniel Jones here - and Jay Ajayi was cut Monday, making Jordan Howard's return this week a fait accompli. Philly clinches the NFC East with a win in a game that has been moved to the late time slot, as has the Washington at Dallas game so that the two games can be played concomitantly.

NEW ENGLAND 38, Miami 3 (+16) - Tom Brady is 15-1 straight up and 12-4 against the spread lifetime at home versus the Dolphins, and Miami has lost nine straight by a combined 290-152 as a visitor in cold weather, and the Pats won 43-0 at The Pigeon-Toed Orange Bowl in Week 2. And while New England is a league-best 8-2-1 against the line in Week 17 since 2008, Miami is a co-league-worst 2-8 pointwise in Week 17 since 2009. With a first-round bye on the line for Bill Belichick and the Cheaters, best bet despite the steep price.

New Orleans 27, CAROLINA 7 (+12) - Playing on grass (on which they're 16-9 against the spread since 2015) or outdoors (where they're 10-1 straight up and 9-2 against the spread in 2018-19) won't faze the Saints, who need a win plus either a win by the Seahawks or a loss by the Packers for a first-round bye (they can even back in if they lose and the Seahawks and Packers both win), or a win by them and the Seahawks plus a loss by the Packers for home field throughout the playoffs. The Panthers have already approached former Green Bay and Super Bowl ring-wearing head coach Mike McCarthy about their vacant position - a wise move indeed on Carolina's part.

Atlanta 34, TAMPA BAY 28 (+1) - True, the Bucs did win 35-22 at the Georgia Dome in Week 12. But Jameis Winston, who threw five interceptions last week, would become the first quarterback to serve up 30 picks since Richard Todd in 1980 if he throws at least two here. Winner gets second place in the NFC South - and if it's the Falcons, it will be a repeat of last year, when they got up for second with victories in their last three games.

CINCINNATI 27 (+2 1/2), Cleveland 17 - They have saying in politics: People who don't care don't vote. They're ought to be a saying in the NFL: Teams that don't care in Week 17 don't win in Week 17 - and Cleveland has a league-high nine-game losing streak in Week 17, and is also 6-25 straight up and 10-20-1 against the line since 2012 as a visitor on the carpet. Already assured of Joe Burrow in the 2020 draft, the Bengals are free to go all out and try to make Andy Dalton's last start in the City Of Satan, if not, indeed, the NFL, a winning one.

Green Bay 31, DETROIT 0 (+13) - What goes around, comes around: In Week 17 last year, the Lions shut out the A-Rod-less Packers 31-0. Now Detroit doesn't have Matthew Stafford - and it's a first-round bye for Green Bay with a win; if also Seattle wins in the night game, home field throughout the playoffs in the NFC.

Chicago 17 (+2 1/2), MINNESOTA 13 - Monday night was typical of how Kirk Cousins plays on prime time and/or against an over-.500 team - 16 out of 31 for 122 yards, one touchdown, one interception, sacked five times, 58.8 passer rating - and this year and last combined the Bears are 4-1 both ways on rugs and 4-0 straight up and 3-1 against the spread in domes.

KANSAS CITY 34, L.A. Chargers 14 (+7) - This game is in the same time slot as the New England game, and warm-weather and domed-stadium teams are a crazy 2-18 straight up and 5-15 against the spread in cold weather entering the final week. Even if the heavily favored Pats win, the Chiefs will still need a victory to assure themselves of evading dangerous Buffalo in the wild card round.

Indianapolis 24, JACKSONVILLE 10 (+3) - These teams are all but mirror images of each other in Week 17 in this decade - the Colts 8-1 straight up and 6-3 against the spread, the Jags 1-8 and 3-5-1. And even though they themselves are eliminated from playoff contention, how the Colts fare in this game affects the playoff fates of the three teams who are battling for the last spot - Tennessee, Pittsburgh, and Oakland. Perhaps as soon as Monday, Doug Marrone will receive the full recompense of his actions, namely, his destruction of Nick Foles' confidence - a pink slip.

Pittsburgh 20 (+1), BALTIMORE 14 - Robert Griffin III - or, as Will McDonough would have called him, "Ah Gee Three" - who is 6-19 as a starter after his rookie year and has not started in a game since 2016, gets the start here as the Ravens clinched the AFC's number one seed with their win last week. Pittsburgh's Week 17 skills, leading the league in that week with an active 11-game winning streak, contrasts starkly with Baltimore's 2-8 Week 17 spread record since 2009, tied with Miami for the NFL's worst.

Tennessee 21 (+1), HOUSTON 17 - There was this episode of the TV series COPS from Las Vegas many years ago in which the fugitive task force called known fugitives on the phone, using the information that they had won a brand new big screen TV (a big-ticket item at the time the episode aired) as bait. When the fugitives answered the door, a whole squad of detectives barged in and arrested them. They called it "Operation Dewercs" - "screwed" spelled backwards. If you bet on the Texans you will know that same feeling - because if the Chiefs win their early game (this one is late) you won't see much if at all of Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins etc. in this game, since in that case Houston can't play anybody but New York State's Only Team next week. So don't bet on the Texans!

DALLAS 35, Washington 13 (+13 1/2) - Bill Callahan hasn't done enough to get the Washington job on a permanent basis, but a loss will give his successor a clear shot at Chase Young of THE Ohio State (don't you just love it when they say that?) in the draft. And Jason Garrett has no right to hold onto his job either - but since Garrett is in Jerry Jones' "reverse doghouse" (and has been there for so many years it's not funny) he will probably hang on.

DENVER 31, Oakland 17 (+4 1/2) - The last of the three "cold weather" games - but if they win, the Steelers and Titans both lose, and the Colts and Patriots (or Chargers, or Bears, or Lions) both win, the Raiders make the playoffs. But Oakland is 1-17 straight up and 4-13-1 against the line since since 2012 as a visitor in cold weather and there might not be a serious effort to keep Derek Carr, a 2020 free agent; by contrast, Drew Lock is the undisputed quarterback of the future in Denver.

Arizona 24 (+7). L.A. RAMS 23 - There was a TV show/Was on a while ago/I really loved it so/It was my favorite show/Sunday at 4 o'clock/The TV set I'll watch/Then I'll see the sign/It's pity party time.

SEATTLE 30 (+2 1/2), San Francisco 13 - Beast Mode is back (although the Seahawks probably would have been better off signing Ajayi instead) and the 49ers haven't been in Beast Mode in Jeremy Bolt's hometown for the longest time, as in eight consecutive losses by a combined 232-96. And for that matter, San Fran is 3-13 versus Seattle regardless of where the games have been played since 2012, including a 27-24 overtime loss at Candlestick II in Week 10. But it is Russell Wilson's far more extensive experience in big games that will be the decisive factor.

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