NFL Confidence Pool Picks Week 17: Expert Pick'em Predictions No Point Spread
With all due respect to the 32 teams playing this weekend, there are only three games I am excited to watch and that actually mean anything in terms of the playoff race. Because of that, this year's Week 17 is one of the dullest in recent memory, and it's going to take something miraculous to happen for it to even be considered anything other than the worst week of the football season. As always, I will be giving you my confidence picks for this week. However, with a lot of teams playing for nothing, and some teams resting their starters, the confidence won't be as high as it has been for the other 16 weeks of the football season.
Week 17 Confidence List (my selection listed first)
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions: Aaron Rodgers or David Blough? Who would you rather have your money on? The Packers are still playing for playoff seeding, while the Lions are just hoping they don't get embarrassed this week. The Packers roll in this one and put up 35+ points.
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins: The Patriots are good. The Dolphins are bad. The Patriots are still playing to secure a first-round bye. The Dolphins need to lose in order to get a better draft pick in the upcoming draft. That's enough for me to pick the Patriots.
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers: This game is likely to get out of hand, and the Saints should pull away early and beat the Panthers by a bunch of points. The Saints will want to head into the playoffs with momentum, and Will Grier will not stand in their way. The Panthers have made their game plan abundantly clear - they want to get the ball to Christian McCaffrey every chance they get, and we believe the Saints will be ready for that and will be able to contain him. Saints win this game going away.
Kansas City Chiefs vs Los Angeles Chargers: This is potentially the last game for Philip Rivers in his career. And despite the Chargers likely showing up and playing hard for the leader of the team, the Chiefs will win this game and it won't be close. The Chargers have invented new ways to lose football games. And with essentially a fully healthy Chiefs squad, the Chiefs are the better team.
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills: The Bills are locked into their playoff seeding and as such have no reason to play their starters at all in this game. I believe they will treat this game as a preseason game. The starters will get a few snaps, but it will ultimately be the backups for Buffalo. The Jets are coming off a good win vs. Pittsburgh. And since they'll be playing their starters, we believe they can get a good win to end the year and build some momentum heading into the offseason.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals: Does anyone care about this game? The Browns suck and the Bengals secured the No.1 overall pick in the upcoming draft with their loss last week to the Dolphins. The only thing that interests me in this game is to watch and see how many times we see a Browns player explode on the sidelines with frustration. I guess if I'd have to choose a side, I'd lean Browns because they are more talented, but please don't bet on this game.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings:
This game could go either way
as the Bears will be looking to build momentum
to head into the offseason, while the Vikings are locked into the No. 6
seed and as such will likely have their backups in for the majority of the
game. I'll take a pissed off Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky over a Sean
Mannion-led Vikings squad.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Atlanta Falcons: This game is going to see a lot of points, and we like the Bucs to be the ones to do the majority of the scoring as Winston and the offense will bounce-back from an off performance last week vs. the Texans. Both teams are just playing out the final game with nothing to play for, but Jameis and his supporting cast is better than the Matt Ryan and his.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens: We have to go with the Steelers here as they need a win in order to get into the playoffs. The Ravens are resting their starters, and we don't see how RG3 can win football game despite not getting meaningful snaps in quite some time. The Steelers are going with Duck Hodges at QB and will be getting Juju Smith-Schuster back and a healthy James Conner.
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans: If the Chiefs beat the Chargers at 1 p.m., this game means nothing to the Texans and as such they will rest their starters. The Chiefs will definitely win, which means we are taking the Titans in this spot as they need to win to get into the playoffs.
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars: Two teams with nothing to play for tangle when the Colts head to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars. The Colts had an impressive win last week vs. the Panthers, while the Jags laid an egg at Atlanta. Indianapolis has the better players, and we like them to win this game to finish the season.
Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins: The Cowboys beat bad teams, and that's what the Redskins are. The Cowboys will need a win vs Washington and a loss by Philadelphia to capture the NFC East - a division they were in full control of before the calendar flipped to November. The Cowboys do their part behind Ezekiel Elliott's big day running the football. Which leads me to…
New York Giants vs Philadelphia Eagles: This is a win or go home game for the Eagles. And while they have been anything but efficient over the last four weeks, they have a chance to win the division and sneak into the playoffs. The problem for the Eagles is that they are banged up and still have no wide receivers to take advantage of weak Giants' secondary. The Giants moved the ball last week with great efficiency, and we believe, with a healthy Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, the Giants can win this game and do the Cowboys a huge favor.
Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders: For the Oakland Raiders to make the playoffs, approximately 1.5-million things need to go right for them. Okay, I'm exaggerating a little bit, but they need four teams to help them out, and we just don't see it happening. The Broncos have shown fight over the last few weeks with Drew Lock under center, and so we'll side with them to end the season on a positive note.
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams: Neither team has anything to play for, and for the Cardinals that was expected but for the Rams the fact that they are going to miss the playoffs after being in the Super Bowl last year must sting. It's unsure if the Rams will play their starters the entire game, and we aren't sure the health of Kyler Murray but building momentum to head into the offseason with is more critical for the Cardinals. Give me them in what could be Larry Fitzgerald's last NFL game.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks come into this game with several key guys missing through injury. They had to sign Marshawn Lynch off the streets to run the football for them and as such, the 49ers - who will be looking to exact some revenge on the Seahawks, are the right side in this one. The Seahawks home field advantage is not what it once was. And with the 49ers healthy and the Seahawks not, the Niners roll into Seattle and win this game outright.
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