Sunday, Jan. 1
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5)
NB: Baltimore Ravens. Fair warning. Week 17 is a terrible week to pick. Too many teams have meaningless games, and no one really knows what to expect. I’ll take the points in this one.
RH: Baltimore Ravens. Week 17 really is the worst. I could see the Ravens not getting up for this one after the brutal loss to Pittsburgh last week. We’ll be taking the points a lot this week.
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-3)
NB: Tennessee Titans. Matt Cassel vs. Tom Savage! Get excited! The Texans will be taking it easy since they are already locked into the 4 seed. Tennessee can achieve their first winning season since 2011 with a win. That should be enough motivation.
RH: Houston Texans. The brutal injury Marcus Mariota suffered last week can crush a team with nothing to play for. We’re taking Tom Savage in this one!
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5.5)
NB: Carolina Panthers. Carolina is a better overall team up and down. And take those 5.5 points.
RH: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs still aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs just yet which should give them just enough motivation to put this one away.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-4.5)
NB: Jacksonville Jaguars. I think the Jags stay frisky and keep this one close. This will likely be Pagano’s last game in Indy.
RH: Indianapolis Colts. The fighting Doug Marrone’s had their Super Bowl last week. Colts win big in this one.
New England Patriots (-9.5) at Miami Dolphins
NB: New England Patriots. The Pats squandered the 1 seed in Week 17 last year and it probably cost them a trip back to the Super Bowl. They won’t be making that mistake again.
RH: Miami Dolphins. I could regret this pick by the end of the first quarter, but the Pats aren’t going give it their all in this one. They know they’ll be able to beat Miami at half speed.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-5)
NB: Minnesota Vikings. The real Matt Barkley showed up last week. The Bears benefit from losing to secure a better draft pick. Sadly, the Vikings traded their 1st rounder for Sammy Sleeves.
RH: Chicago Bears. The Vikings are done.
Buffalo Bills (-3.5) at New York Jets
NB: Buffalo Bills. The Bills have had a lot of turmoil this week, but we are still talking about the LOLJets. Maybe we’ll finally see my boy Hack though! (which means take the Bills)
RH: New York Jets. Benching your starting quarterback for what is essentially a business decision won’t go over well in the locker room. I could see the Bills falling apart in this one.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-4)
NB: Philadelphia Eagles. Neither team needs this game, but I like the Eagles’ front line going after the Cowboys against their 2nd string offensive line. There is a reason the best team in the NFC is 4 point dog.
RH: Dallas Cowboys. If the Cowboys are dumb enough to play their starters in a meaningless game they’ll cover in this one. Congrats Jerry.
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5)
NB: Pittsburgh Steelers. Lightning rarely strikes twice. The Browns won their Super Bowl last week. They will go back to their losing ways this week to secure the worst record in the NFL.
RH: Cleveland Browns. Steelers have nothing to play for and the Browns are finally in the win column. Take the points.
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (-6.5)
NB: New Orleans Saints. I really like the Saints in this one. This will be a shoot-out and I think Brees will want to pad his stats to get over 5,000 yards for the season and try to spoil Atlanta’s playoff seeding.
RH: Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons can smell a first round bye and won’t let this one slip away.
New York Giants at Washington Redskins (-7.5)
NB: Washington Redskins. The Giants are locked into the 5 seed and the Skins are fighting for their playoff lives. This shouldn’t be close, but wouldn’t it be funny if the Skins blew this game?
RH: Washington Redskins. I can see the Giants trying in this one so they don’t let their division rivals sneak into the playoffs, but I expect them to pull their starter as soon as Washington throws the first haymaker.
Arizona Cardinals (-6) at Los Angeles Rams
NB: Los Angeles Rams. I don’t know why, but this feels like a sneaky Week 17 win for the Rams. The Cardinals should thump them, but weird things happen in Week 17.
RH: Arizona Cardinals. The Rams are pathetic. If it wasn’t for the Browns I would consider them the worst team in the league.
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (-1)
NB: Oakland Raiders. My boy Matt ‘Moxie’ McGloin at QB! Look he isn’t Derek Carr, but he can still make plays. Also, it’s not exactly John Elway behind center for the Broncos. Oakland needs to win to get a bye (and an extra week of practice reps for Moxie). Don’t sleep on the Raiders quite yet.
RH: Denver Broncos. The Denver secondary is licking their chops at the thought of Matt McGloin attempting to throw on them. The poor Raiders just cannot have nice things.
Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5) at San Diego Chargers
NB: San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs should win big, but this seems like another weird Week 17 game to me. For the second year in a row, this could be the last Chargers game in San Diego. I think that does enough to keep it close.
RH: Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs could end up with a first round bye if they win and the Raiders stumble. KC looks as if they are now the second best team in the AFC with Derek Carr’s unfortunate injury.
Seattle Seahawks (-9.5) at San Francisco 49ers
NB: Seattle Seahawks. This is a get right game for Seattle before the playoffs. It also benefits the Niners to lose to get a better pick (they could be going for #1 if they didn’t win last week).
RH: Seattle Seahawks. The Niners had their Super Bowl last week and Seattle needs to get clicking before the playoffs start. This one could get ugly.
Green Bay Packers (-3.5) at Detroit Lions
NB: Green Bay Packers. This pick seems way too obvious. I’m worried Vegas knows something that we don’t. The Pack have been red hot and the Lions are limping into this game. Does Matty Stafford have some magic in him? I would stay away if I were you.
RH: Green Bay Packers. The poor Lions. Other than a bunch of crazy turnovers or special teams plays I just do not see how they win this game. They’ll be praying for a Giants win to save their season.
NB: 118-116-6 (5-11 last week)
RH: 101-133-6 (9-7 last week)
-Nick Bair & Randy Haines
Odds according to Westgate Las Vegas
Photo credit: The Sporting News