All the picks in one place! The BookieSmash team breaks down every NFL game for Week 17, and offers the best bet for each game using our wide array of betting sites. Read on before placing your bets this week!
SUNDAY, JAN. 1
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans
The Texans have little to play for and are facing a Titans team without any motivation either, their season effectively over and their QB nursing a broken leg. That means the battle of QBs in this game will be between Matt Cassel and Tom Savage, and that's assuming the Texans want to get their new QB some reps. Expect a pile of field goals in this one, and it goes under even a low total.
Buffalo Bills at NY Jets
The Bills already announced they'll be putting Tyrod Taylor on ice for the remainder of the season. With Rex Ryan having packed his bags and an interim coach calling the shots, it's a bit head-scratching to see the Bills listed as good-sized road favorites in this spot. EJ Manuel is probably going to have to make some plays for the Bills, considering the one thing the Jets can do is stop the run. Sure, Shady McCoy could carve this defense up if they don't come to play, but the Jets at least have a coach to play for still.
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
Jimmy Smith might be one of the most valuable players in football, if the way the Ravens have played without him is any indication. The secondary got completely clowned once again last week when the Steelers took to the air late, as this team just can't stop any decent QB without Smith. Dalton qualifies as decent, so the Bengals should put up some points as long as they don't come out and try to pound Jeremy Hill. Joe Flacco and the Ravens will respond with points of their own against a below-average D to send this over.
NY Giants at Washington Redskins
There's not much reason for the Giants to take this game seriously at all, while Washington has everything to play for with a playoff berth potentially on the line. Yet, Giants coach Ben McAdoo has made some noise about playing his starters this game. If that proves to be the case, getting +7 with this solid defense against the turnover-prone Kirk Cousins is like stealing. Pay attention to the beat writer leading up to this one and see if the Giants are bringing the intensity or not.
Jacksonville Jags at Indianapolis Colts
The Jags defense has picked it up and now ranks in the top half of the league. They should be able to do some work here against the Colts, who struggled on offense against the improving Raiders defense. Young stud corner Jalen Ramsey will minimize the impact of TY Hilton, and Blake Bortles and the offense are playing loose on the other side of the ball. They're pulling out trick plays and finally utilizing Marqise Lee, so we like the Jags to keep this one tight and cover.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
This game just comes down to the fact that the Cowboys have absolutely nothing to play for. This team can only risk injury by coming out and playing hard with starters. Further making things tilt in the Eagles' favor is that not even the Cowboys backup QB will be used. The team already announced Tony Romo will stay sidelined, so it will be a third-stringer out there. The Eagles might not seem to have much reason to go hard, but they still need to give QB Carson Wentz as many reps as possible, so they'll be looking to close the season strong while Dallas rests.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Matt Barkley was looking like an against the spread monster as he led Bears backers to a number of cashed tickets, but the train came off the tracks in a big way last week against Washington with five picks. The interceptions have been a major problem recently as he also threw three the week before that. When it comes to defenses that hawk the ball, the matchups don't come much rougher than the Vikings, with their shutdown corners, elite safety, and aggressive defensive ends. Expect Barkley to give it away a few more times en route to a Vikings cover.
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Bucs
Short of Cam Newton taking a seat this week, this line doesn't make too much sense, especially considering the attrition the Bucs are dealing with on their offense. Starting RB Doug Martin is reportedly checking into drug rehab, and TE Cameron Brate, who had emerged as a top target, is out injured. It's pretty much down to Jameis Winston and Mike Evans, and while that's a solid combination indeed, the Panthers figure to at least keep this close against a Bucs team that might be deflated with playoff hopes all but dead.
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are another team with nothing to gain and everything to lose by playing their starters, especially considering the injuries guys like Ben Roethlisberger and Le'Veon Bell have sustained in the past. They're expected to rest most of the key players on offense, meaning this should be close to a wash talent-wise with Browns starters facing off against Steelers backups. If anything, the Browns might have the edge. Landry Jones has been really unimpressive when he has filled in for Roethlisberger, and Cody Kessler might be able to get something moving with some decent weapons against the Steelers D.
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
The highest total we can remember seeing all year is on the board this week with the Saints and Falcons matching up in the dome. There should definitely be some points in this one with high-flying offenses facing less-than-stellar defenses, but all that needs to happen for a total to go under 56 is for teams to settle for a few field goals here and there. Both teams also figure to mix in solid doses of the run here, and we like under in a game everyone will be firing over.
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
The Patriots need to win to clinch home field advantage, and the Dolphins have some potential seeding at stake here. Miami is getting zero respect from the books here as double-digit home favorites, and that's a spot that we automatically look for in most cases. The Patriots certainly have played efficient football lately, but it's come against mostly putrid competition. The Dolphins won't be a walkover in the way teams like the Jets have been, and they can at least backdoor this one if they fall behind big.
Arizona Cardinals at LA Rams
The Rams secondary has been completely torched in recent weeks, giving up piles through the air ever since their ill-fated meeting with the Saints where Brees and Co. put up 49. Carson Palmer figures to keep that going with his numerous weapons, including elite tailback David Johnson, who is killing teams out of the backfield. A Cards defense that was once among the league's best has slipped up as well with injuries and inconsistent play, sorely missing Tyrann Mathieu. We like another Rams over after they collapsed late last week to cash for us in the Niners game.
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers
The Chiefs offense impressed in shredding the outstanding Broncos D last week, but a sneaky tough matchup is on deck against a Chargers unit that's been the seventh-best in football. The Chargers are especially strong against the pass, and that's where the Chiefs have made their bacon recently with increased volume going to Travis Kelce. After what Kelce did to the Broncos, you can bet the Chargers will have some coverages ready to take away the middle of the field. The Chiefs shouldn't have much trouble getting after the fading Philip Rivers on the other side of the ball, and it's easy to see him throwing some picks as the ball-hawking Chiefs secondary will be coming after his weak floaters.
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
In a surprising finish, the 49ers came alive and managed to beat the Rams last week after laying down for most of the game. They'll face a Seahawks team that will be playing for a chance at a bye if the Falcons should slip up against the Saints. Seattle is expected to roll over the Niners here, but their offense mostly sputtered until garbage time against a Cardinals defense that's playing really poorly lately. If the Niners are ready to hit the links, this is going to get ugly, but if they come to play, they can definitely cover 10 in this spot against a Seahawks team that's dealing with a pile of key injuries.
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos
It's another battle of two awful QBs here when Matt McGloin and the Raiders face Trevor Siemian and the Broncos. In fact, it could be a trifecta of bad QB play if Paxton Lynch gets some clock, as expected. The Raiders will be going hard on defense at least, knowing they can still grab home field for at least one game and a bye. It's probably going to come down to which QB can protect the ball better, and we'd have to lean to the home team in this case, although anything can happen with players of this caliber.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
Nobody's stopping Aaron Rodgers right now. It's really that simple for the Packers, who have smartly gone mostly away from the run and decided correctly that their best hope lies with giving Rodgers the rock over and over and letting him sling. The Lions certainly figure to be pretty helpless against that strategy since they own the league's worst defense. Rodgers is going to get his, so Matt Stafford and the Lions offense will be passing plenty in return to try to keep up. This one goes over even a high total of 49.5.
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