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Old 12-30-2016, 10:48 AM   #1
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Cool Anthony's Week 17 NFL Pointspread Picks

Last week: 5-10-1. Season totals: 106-109-8, Pct. .493. Best Bets: 22-22-1, Pct. .500.

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


14 (+5), Buffalo 13 - This is the first of six games this week in which a team has to go on the road and play a division rival they have already lost to at home - and such teams are on the business end of a current ten-game losing streak straight up. And can't figure out for the life of me why Rex Ryan was fired when he could have led New York State's Only Team to a third consecutive non-losing season for the first time since 1998 through 2000 with a win in this game. And E.J. Manuel gets the start for them - allegedly because any injury to Tyrod Taylor here would have some sort of dire salary-cap consequences.

PHILADELPHIA 21 (+2), Dallas 16 - Four days extra preparation time for the Eagles - and what will they need to prepare for? Tony Romo would have been bad enough - but it will actually be Mark Sanchez taking most of the snaps. Maybe one of them will result in a butt fumble - especially in the cold weather.

PITTSBURGH 13, Cleveland 10 (+11) - And the awful Landry Jones will be taking all of the snaps in this one because Mike "The Cheerleader" Tomlin will not risk an injury to Big Ben. Neither Le'Veon Bell nor Antonio Brown will play either. Only the fact that the Steelers won the first meeting in Cleveland keeps me from picking the Browns from finishing 2-14 after starting 0-14.

TAMPA BAY 31, Carolina 17 (+3 1/2) - I won't even get into all of the things that would need to happen for the Bucs to get into the playoffs, except to point out that one of them is having the Giants-Washington game end in a tie. But Tampa Bay nonetheless has the chance to go from 2-14 two years ago to 6-10 last year to 9-7 this year with a win, proving that the Chuck Noll school of rebuilding is still alive and well in the NFL. What possible incentive could the Panthers - who lost at home to Tampa Bay in Week 5 - have?

New England 27, MIAMI 23 (+6) - After engineering two wins on the road, on artificial turf, and in cold weather, Matt Moore comes home in a series in which the home team has covered seven in a row. The Patriots are looking to clinch the top seed in the AFC, while the Dolphins will be seeking to keep their hopes of facing Tom Savage instead of Big Ben in their wild card game - and staying out of still another cold-weather game - alive.

Baltimore 23 (+2 1/2), CINCINNATI 20 - The Ravens can salvage a winning season with a victory. The only way the Bengals can salvage anything out of their season is if Marvin Lewis gets fired.

INDIANAPOLIS 21, Jacksonville 17 (+7) - One of the hallmarks of a franchise quarterback is that a team will rarely if ever have a losing season with him. Dan Marino had only one such year, in 1988; Andrew Luck can keep himself losing-season-free with a win in this game. But after getting blasted 161-43 in five straight losses to the Colts, the Jaguars have covered the last three in the series, winning two outright. Take the points.

TENNESSEE 16, Houston 10 (+3) - Tom Savage didn't cover in either of the games in which he started or took most of the snaps, and both of those games were at home - and it is generally a very different and much sadder story when quarterbacks like this have to go on the road. True, the Titans lost Marcus Mariota in last week's carnage too - but they can pretty much do in one year (they were 3-13 in 2015) what it will have taken Tampa Bay two years to do, if they win.

MINNESOTA 24, Chicago 20 (+6 1/2) - If the Vikings lose, Sam Bradford will still have not led a team to even a .500 season. The Bears are 0-7 on the road but have covered in their last two road games.

WASHINGTON 27, N.Y. Giants 14 (+5) - It has already been announced that the Giants will rest most of their starters, or they will at best make cameo appearances. Washington, a winner at MetLife Stadium in Week 3, is in the playoffs with a win unless Sunday night's Green Bay-Detroit game ends in a tie.

ATLANTA 34, New Orleans 20 (+6 1/2) - The Falcons pulled their surprise act one year too late for my liking, and won in New Orleans the night after Washington won the game alluded to in the previous pick. A win here means a first-round bye for Atlanta - and it could be bye-bye to Sean Payton in bayou country, possibly via a trade.

DENVER 24, Oakland 17 (+3 1/2) - Not thrilled at laying this key number, but Matt McGloin is 1-5 as a starter and Oakland is 1-9 straight up (albeit 4-6 against the line) since 2012 as a visitor in cold weather. This would open things up for the Chiefs in the AFC West.

Kansas City 27, SAN DIEGO 10 (+4 1/2) - Not knowing where they are going to play next year has ruined "this year" for the Chargers for the second year in a row. After three second-place finishes, Fat Boy wins his first AFC West title after all.

Arizona 21, LOS ANGELES 20 (+7) - No team has been playing worse than the Rams over the past three months, but this is probably letdown time for the Cardinals after their win in Seattle and Los Angeles did win the first meeting in the desert in Week 4 so take the points.

Seattle 28, SAN FRANCISCO 17 (+9) - Even if the Falcons jump out to an insurmountable lead early in their game, the Seahawks are still going to want to win in order to evade a wild-card matchup against the dangerous Giants. Chip Kelly's return to Philadelphia next year should make for an awesome media spectacle - especially if the Eagles do get DeSean Jackson back.

Green Bay 35, DETROIT 14 (+3) - The Packers are so much more clutch than the Lions it isn't funny. This game will be over by halftime.

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