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Old 12-27-2018, 07:04 PM   #1
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Cool Anthony's Week 17 NFL Pointspread Picks

Last week: 10-4-2. Season totals: 107-122-11, Pct. .469. Best Bets: 24-21-3, Pct. .531.

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


N.Y. GIANTS 17, Dallas 14 (+6) - Picking 11 underdogs and only five favorites last week yielded me one of my best weeks of the season - and while the Cowboys have nothing to play for and a kickoff-time temperature of 36 with a wind chill of 32 is forecast for this game (Dallas is 27-36 straight up and 27-33 against the line going back to 1995 as a visitor in cold weather), their defense will probably be able to at least keep this one close so take the points, especially with them having outscored the Giants 69-26 en route to wins and covers in the last three meetings.

NEW ENGLAND 28, N.Y. Jets 10 (+13) - Thanks to the Eagles continuing their mastery over the Texans last week, the Patriots once again control their own destiny for a first-round bye, and can even get home field throughout the playoffs in the AFC if they win and both the Chiefs and Chargers lose. They should certainly do their part: They have beaten the Jets five in a row by a combined 140-56, including outscoring them 67-9 in the last two at Occam's Razor.

BUFFALO 27, Miami 7 (+3) - Rarely does a game that has no playoff implications warrant best bet designation in Week 17. But this game does: Buffalo is clearly headed in the right direction, while Miami is 7-20 straight up and 8-19 against the line since 2013 as a visitor on the carpet and 20-45 straight up and 26-38-1 against the line since 1995 as a visitor in cold weather (the Dolphins are also 1-5 both ways in their last six on the road versus New York State's Only Team) - and a temperature of 33 with a wind chill of 24 is on tap for New Era Field (at least it's not New Age Field - because everybody knows that "New Age" rhymes with "sewage"!) at kickoff time.

Atlanta 34, TAMPA BAY 24 (+2) - Last game for at least one and quite possibly both of the head coaches - but like Atlanta's diligence the last two weeks, and the Falcons have won four in a row over the Bucs by a combined 135-98.

GREEN BAY 31, Detroit 14 (+7 1/2) - Detroit has won the last three meetings, but two of them were at Ford Field and the one at Lambeau was over Brett Hundley - and dating back to 1994 the Lions are 9-31 straight up and 13-25-2 against the spread in "Triple Witching Hour" games, which arise when a domed-stadium team has to play outdoors, on natural grass and in cold weather, all in the same game (the forecast kickoff-time temperature is 35 with a wind chill of 25). Detroit becomes the latest team to fall victim to the "20th Pick Jinx" (the Lions had that pick in the 2018 draft by virtue of finishing best among the 20 teams that didn't make the playoffs the year before): Since the 20 non-playoff teams have been guaranteed the top 20 picks in 2011, the eight teams getting the 20th pick have gone from a combined 77-51 "the year before" to 51-77 "the year after" (assuming the Packers do win this game), with four of them finishing last in their division, including this year's Lions.

NEW ORLEANS 23, Carolina 6 (+9) - Even if the Saints, who have wrapped up home field throughout the playoffs in the NFC, rest many if not most of their starters including Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater rates a huge edge over Taylor Heineke, who must have really made Panthers fans want to get drunk with his three interceptions and 58.2 passer rating last week against Atlanta. Furthermore, since 2008, Carolina is 15-30-1 straight up and 15-31 against the spread on rugs, and 11-22 straight up and 12-20-1 against the spread in domes.

HOUSTON 16, Jacksonville 10 (+9) - All the incentive lies with Houston - but there isn't an offense in the league that the Jags defense can't at least contain. Take the points.

Philadelphia 38, WASHINGTON 28 (+7) - A win plus a Minnesota loss puts the Eagles in the playoffs, and Josh Johnson probably won't be able to fully exploit a Philly pass defense that ranks last in the league. And Mike Wallace was reactivated off injured reserve on Monday. But will he play the full 60 minutes? Meanwhile, Washington free safety D.J. Swearinger was cut - cut! - for daring to criticize defensive coordinator Greg Manusky's anything-but-manly scheme used in last Saturday night's game in Nashville, and Josh Norman was being Josh Norman again after the game, showing all the class of a dude wearing a bowling shirt to a wedding.

PITTSBURGH 24, Cincinnati 13 (+14 1/2) - The Steelers have won 10 in a row in Week 17, which is the longest active streak in the NFL - and while they have beaten the Bengals seven times in a row, they have only done so by a combined 52 points, while the Bengals are 26-16-2 versus the points on grass since 2011. One episode of The Untouchables had the title "You Can't Play This Number." Well I say you can't lay this number!

BALTIMORE 27, Cleveland 17 (+6) - If the Browns don't keep Gregg Williams on, they're more incompetent than even they have shown for the last 15 years, and they have lost eight in a row in Week 17. The Ravens, 4-5 after nine games, can make it six wins in their last seven (the lone loss at Kansas City in overtime three weeks ago) and cap an improbable run to the AFC North title with a win.

MINNESOTA 26, Chicago 13 (+4) - But the Eagles won't get the help they need: Chicago has dropped six straight in Minnesota by a combined 156-80, and is 3-10 straight up and 6-7 against the line since 2016 as a visitor on the carpet and 4-12 straight up and 5-10-1 against the line inside NFL domes since 2013. And if that's not enough, the Vikings have won six in a row in Week 17 (4-2 against the spread) while the Bears have ended their last five seasons with losses (1-4 against the spread).

KANSAS CITY 38, Oakland 14 (+13 1/2) - The Chiefs have lost to four teams that are 42-18 among them. In other words, losers need not apply - and speaking of losers, the Raiders have been losers of their last five at Arrowhead (1-4 against the spread), of their last seven in Week 17 (2-5 against the spread) and of 14 out of 15 in cold weather (forecast kickoff-time temperature 39, wind chill 32) since 2012 (4-10-1 against the spread). Fat Boy finally clinches home field throughout the playoffs. But how far will he go?

L.A. Chargers 20, DENVER 17 - If the Chiefs are blowing the Raiders out early, Anthony Lynn will start pulling his starters out of this game - and even if he doesn't the Chargers have lost eight of their last 10 to the Broncos (including the first meeting in Carson in Week 11), and a kickoff-time temperature in the low 40s is estimated at kickoff, with the temperature dropping steadily during the game (the Chargers are just 3-5 straight up in cold weather since 2015 despite wins in it at Pittsburgh and Kansas City earlier this year). Another game where going against the incentive grain may pay off.

L.A. RAMS 31, San Francisco 24 (+10) - This game figures to have an indirect but massive effect on the NFC wild card picture: If the Rams, who have lost a staggering 11 in a row in Week 17 (the NFL's longest active streak), jump out to a big early lead, Bears head coach Matt Nagy will start pulling his starters, essentially handing the conference's last wild card playoff berth to the Vikings. But if the 49ers hang tough at least early despite Green Bay's win last week leaving them as the lone winless team on the road in the NFL, and having gotten plastered 70-25 in their last two road games? And to add to the intrigue, Todd Gurley may not play again this week (knee).

SEATTLE 24, Arizona 14 (+13 1/2) - In 2012, the Cardinals lost 58-0 in Seattle. Since then, they're 4-1 both ways there, all as underdogs, and there is little if any point to them tanking (a loss guarantees them the top pick in the 2019 draft) since it seems unlikely that they will give up on Josh Rosen after one year, and with no quarterback even resembling a franchise type available in the 2019 draft, the chances of Arizona getting to trade down in exchange for a bonanza of other draft picks is unrealistic. If they do win, it will be only the second time in NFL history that every team has won at least four games; the other such season was 2003, when the Cards were among four teams that finished 4-12, and (wouldn't you know?) won their season finale (beating Minnesota).

Indianapolis 30, TENNESSEE 19 (+3) - Andrew Luck is 10-0 straight up and 8-2 against the spread lifetime against the Titans, outscoring them 297-190 in the ten games - and since 2012, the year Luck was drafted, the Colts are 18-12 straight up and 18-11-1 against the spread on grass when Luck has played, and 2-7 outright and 4-5 pointwise on grass when he hasn't.


Last edited by Anthony; 12-27-2018 at 07:33 PM.
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