ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 11: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants celebrates a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter at Cowboys Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Week 17 is upon us, place your bets!
Whaddup football fans? How's your Friday going? There are some nice matchups in this final regular season week around the NFL, and I've been bestowed the honor of making some predictions for you. Here follows what I believe will happen, and the current odds are posted as they come courtesy of Odds Shark because I know that you probably don't trust me.
It's your choice if you want to ridicule my picks or put your car pink-slip down on them, but in case you're wondering, I went 12-4 straight up in Week 12, 11-5 in Week 13, and 13-3 Week 14, 11-5 Week 15, and 11-5 again last week. Soooooo..... so so.
Regardless, get out your wallets and call up your favorite bookie, 'cause here we go...
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-11.5): The Patriots look to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs so they won't be letting off much in this one. The Bills have looked a little better of late but without Fred Jackson their offense isn't quite as dynamic. C.J. Spiller has finally come out of his shell but I don't think that will be enough to hang with the Patriots offense. Pick: New England.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings: This is a divisional and historical rivalry but both teams are so racked with injuries it's very uninteresting to a west coast fan like myself. The Bears lack much of an offense and the Vikings are led by a rookie quarterback in Christian Ponder who now faces the specter losing his best weapon in Adrian Peterson. This is honestly a toss up, but I'm going to go with the home team in this one. Why not? Pick: Minnesota
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (+3): The Packers have clinched their division, a first round bye and homefield advantage. Really, they have no reason to play their stars, and likely won't, more than a couple of series or maybe the first half. The Lions will be looking to hold on to their 5-seed and are hot, coming off their dismantling of the December-excellent Chargers. I believe this is the first and last time the Packers will be underdogs this season. Pick: Lions.
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (+2.5): The Texans are home underdogs to the Titans? Oh, right, the whole Matt Schaub thing. Houston has lost two in a row and apparently Vegas has lost a little faith in them. Me? I still think they're pretty dangerous - a tough defense, a strong running game, and hopefully Andre Johnson back in the mix. The Texans may save him for the playoffs but regardless, I don't have a ton of faith that Tennessee will waltz into Reliant Stadium and take care of business. I'm going with Houston. Pick: Texans
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5): I know that Maurice Jones-Drew is a freak of nature and he's the face of the franchise, but right now the most interesting thing I find about Jacksonville is Shahid Khan's mustache. Indianapolis is even less intriguing. I'm glad this game isn't on Sunday or Monday Night football, but that said it's probably going to be a close one. I'm going to go with the Colts - the Indianapolis pass rush will cause problems for Blaine Gabbert and you know the Colts players aren't in this for the number one pick. Dan Orlovsky is playing well enough to get them over the top of the Jags. Pick: Colts
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-3): The Dolphins is on fiya. I like this team, actually. Reggie Bush is lighting it up and Matt Moore has rejuvenated the offense, and I could see them giving New York a run for their money. The Jets seem a bit frazzled lately with the Mark Sanchez might not be the franchise QB we were hoping for rumors going around, and I think Miami will take advantage. Pick: Dolphins
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-9.5): This game is super compelling and probably a preview of a great rivalry to come as the upstart Panthers travel to the Big Easy to take on the white-hot Saints. Brees and the Saints are still fighting for the NFC's 2nd seed and first round bye so they won't let up, meaning this game is likely to be a shoot-out. I'm looking forward to it, and I'm hard pressed to bet against the guy that just got the NFL's passing yards record, so I'm going with the Saints. Pick: New Orleans.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-12.5): The Falcons were annihilated last week by the Saints but still have a playoff spot locked up. They'll look to play strong this week to gather back some momentum and rhythm heading into the post-season. The Bucs haven't been impressive this season and that's unlikely to change here with low morale and a probable departure of Raheem Morris. Pick: Falcons
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals: Love this matchup. The Bengals get the Ravens at home and are playing for a playoff berth. The Ravens are playing for the division title, possibly. This has the makings of a playoff atmosphere and is one of the more meaningful games of the weekend. The line is even and had a tough time landing on which horse to back in this one, but I'm going to go with the home team here. Pick: Bengals.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns: The Steelers will win. Pick: Pittsburgh.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (-3.5). I haven't looked yet but my guess is that this game is going to be force fed to the entire nation via the magic of television, with that not-really-that-interesting storyline of Kyle Orton's return to Denver. Regardless, for some reason I think the Chiefs are going to play spoiler in this one, but that just might be because I'm annoyed with the whole Denver debacle/miracle this season. Pick: Chiefs
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders (-2.5): The Chargers are historically very, very good in December. The Raiders are a very talented team but they aren't very consistent. To me, this game is a toss up, as is any game that involved the Chargers because you just never know which of their split personalities is going to show up. But, for whatever reason, I'm leaning towards the Chargers this weekend. Pick: San Diego.
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (-1.5): Both teams are hot right now but both teams are out of the playoffs. This game comes down to pride and divisional bragging rights, and I think the Seahawks have the advantage at quarterback, as weird as that seems. Marshawn Lynch will run well, opening up some passing lanes, and the Seahawks defense will bottle up Beanie Wells and John Skelton. The Larry Fitzgerald factor will be interesting to watch, but ultimately I think that Seattle will come out on top. Pick: Seahawks.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (-3): Hell, I have no idea. Do you? This should be a great game, but I find it exceedingly impossible to predict. Two inconsistent teams. Two inconsistent quarterbacks. Lots of injuries. Both teams fighting for the playoffs. Both teams have a lot of potential but have fallen short for a multitude of reasons. If you're a betting person, I'd stay the hell away from this one but for the sake of finishing this article, I'm going to go with the Giants. Pick: New York