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NFL Picks Against the Spread 2014: Week 17

Here are my suggestions when trying to beat Las Vegas.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Before Week 17 of the 2014 NFL season kicks off, I thought we would have some fun by taking a look at the spreads for this week's round of games. (Click here for NFL Week 17 picks without regard to the spread.)

Here are my suggestions when trying to beat Vegas. You can find all of today's NFL betting lines and more at the SB Nation odds page. My record so far this season: 98-114-6. (Last week's picks.)

I finished below .500 last week with a 5-9-1 record. Just awful. But that won't stop me from continuing to look foolish. Let's get to the picks.


New Orleans Saints (-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Can you trust the Saints to really beat the Bucs on the road here? I would say yes. The Bucs can clinch the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft with a loss here. It's absolutely a must-lose game for them. Pick: Saints -4

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-10): Why would anyone bet on the Jaguars. They're bad, they're on the road, and the Texans are still fighting for a playoff berth. Houston is the pick. Pick: Texans -10

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (-3): These teams are trending in opposite directions: the Eagles have lost their last three while the Giants have won their last three. New York's wins have come over Tennessee, Washington, and St. Louis. Hardly the most impressive stretch. I know the Eagles haven't looked great in recent weeks and don't have much to play for but I can see them at least making this close. Pick: Eagles +3

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-5): The Patriots have already clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC so I don't see them having much to play for. I think Buffalo can win this game outright, but for the sake of this activity let's just take the points. Pick: Bills +5

Dallas Cowboys (-4) at Washington Redskins: Washington showed signs of life in Week 16 against the Eagles and effectively ended their season. It's hard to say they won't be up for this Cowboys game but I doubt they can win two in a row. Pick: Cowboys -4

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-13.5): Yikes, this is a huge line. Connor Shaw is starting and Josh Gordon is out. Baltimore needs to win and get help elsewhere in the league to make the playoffs. I don't like touching lines this big in division games, but considering the circumstances... the home favorite has to be the pick here. Pick: Ravens -13.5

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-6): The Vikings should be able to cover at home. The Bears showed some life with Jimmy Clausen, weirdly enough, but now Jay Cutler is back and I don't think Chicago will look good on the road. Pick: Vikings -6

Indianapolis Colts (-7) at Tennessee Titans: The Colts really have nothing to play for. The Titans are bad, for sure, but they might accidentally be able to find a way to keep this within a score. Pick: Titans +7

NY Jets at Miami Dolphins (-6): The Jets played the Patriots tough last week but I don't think that willl be the case in this game. Only six points seems like a bit of a steal. Pick: Dolphins -6

San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (+0): This game has moved to a pick 'em due to the injury to Alex Smith. Chase Daniel won't be able to out-duel Philip Rivers in this one and the Chargers will win in KC. Pick: Chargers +0

St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-13): The Seahawks look just as dangerous as the team that won the Super Bowl last year. They could very well be repeat champions. But before that happens, I think this is their one last slip up. The Rams won't win but they'll make this game a little tougher than the line suggests it will be. Pick: Rams +13

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (-14): Tempted to take the Raiders but can't trust them enough. Denver is playing their starters so it's hard not to go with the Broncos. Pick: Broncos -14

Detroit Lions at Green Bay (-7.5): These seems like a pretty big line considering: it's a division game, the outcome will determine a first round bye, and the Lions already beat the Packers earlier in the season. But the Packers have been that good at home this year. It's hard to see the Lions being able to keep up with how often Green Bay scores when they play at Lambeau. Pick: Packers -7.5

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3): The NFC South title game. Who can be the least worst? Probably the Falcons, considering they'll be at home. Pick: Falcons -3

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-7): Really weird to see an 11-5 team as seven point underdogs on the road against a 7-8 team, but that's where Arizona's quarterback situation has brought them. Just can't trust Ryan Lindley in this spot, and I think the 49ers will get one last win before Jim Harbaugh scurries off to Michigan. Pick: 49ers -7

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5): I haven't really trusted the Steelers all season. They're faced the easiest schedule in the entire NFL based on strength of schedule. I think a lot of people will be taking the Steelers here but I'll go the other way and take Cincy with the points. Pick: Bengals +3.5

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