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NFL Picks for Week 17

It’s the worst week to pick games when only a handful of them really matter. Throw logic out the window and grasp at straws here. I’ll bet on the four things that I mention at the end, but other than that it’s a quiet betting week for me. I’m not THAT stupid. Am I? Note that there are no more Monday night games this year. That’s a bit of a letdown. After all, who is going to tell me that “THIS GUY” or “THAT GUY” is a heck of a player like Jon Gruden does? I’m going to be so lost the rest of the way without knowing the skills of THAT GUY.

Last week: 10-6
Season: 155-85 (.646)

All game times are Eastern. Note that there’s no Monday nighter this week. The regular season ends on Sunday.

Indianapolis at Buffalo 1:00 PM
I have little faith in the Colts backups to win even against a crappy team like the Bills. By the way, how funny is it that the Bills are so excited this week about moving forward with a new GM and the guy they hire is 70 years old? Moving forward…slowly. Bills 24-13

Jacksonville at Cleveland 1:00 PM
I don’t know here. The Browns have shown a lot of heart of late while the Jags have faded after being in the driver’s seat for a playoff spot. I’ll go Jags in one of those high scoring, no defense kind of games where everybody lets loose in the last game of the year. Jaguars 31-27

Chicago at Detroit 1:00 PM
You know what? I’m going Lions. No reason. I just am. Bears will have a new head coach next year too. My boy Lovie Smith (former DC on the Rams) is out. Lions 24-23

San Francisco at St. Louis 1:00 PM
Thank God, the worst season in Rams history is over. I’ve never seen a team blow more close games in the fourth quarter. They really should have four or five wins. Me and the 13 other people that watch all the Rams games know this. Niners 31-10

Pittsburgh at Miami 1:00 PM
Pittsburgh will win, but the Ravens and Jets will also win meaning the Steelers will miss the playoffs after winning the Super Bowl for the second time in the last four years. Way to defend the crown, Men of Steel. To be fair, if Alge Crumpler didn’t crumple Troy Polamalu’s knee in week one they’re probably in the playoffs. I think he’s the most valuable defensive player in the NFL and his absence this year proved that. Steelers 24-20

NY Giants at Minnesota 1:00 PM
The Vikes want to win this game to get the #2 seed that was in their grasp the whole way. I think they’ll do it in part because the Giants have given up weeks ago. I’d love to see Adrian Peterson have a big day too just because I’ve got him in a fantasy NFL league where we count playoffs and I need him to get hot during January. So do the Vikings. Vikings 31-17

Atlanta at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM
Congrats Falcons, two straight winning years. Too bad that doesn’t mean a playoff berth. And if not, who cares. If you’re out of the playoffs that’s what matters. The Bucs could win here. They are playing with a lot of heart, I give them that. Falcons 34-24

New Orleans at Carolina 1:00 PM
With Drew Brees relegated to #3 QB status this week, the starting QB for the Saints? Mark Brunell. That would be great…in 1996. They are not going into the playoffs on the right note. By the way Panthers, you’ll end the year at 8-8 after this win. Why wouldn’t you pull Jake Delhomme earlier in the year when he was playing so bad? I’ll never understand. Panthers 28-13

New England at Houston 1:00 PM
Great, another meaningless game. The Pats are the 3 or 4 seed. It really doesn’t matter where you end up because you get a home game in playoff week one and have to travel in week two. Do you want to go to Indy or San Diego? Bigger question is do you want to risk the health of your guys? I say no. The Pats have said that Brady will play, but I have my doubts. There are no greater liars in the NFL than the Pats. This is the team that has had Brady on the injury report listed as “probable (shoulder)” for like six years now. You trust them to start their guys all game? I don’t. Texans 31-20

Philadelphia at Dallas 4:15 PM
The winner of this game doesn’t matter that much in the sense of home field advantage like most people think. What’s so great about home field when 3 of the 4 teams that had byes last year got bounced in their first playoff game? The important thing is momentum. Both of these teams are playing well over the last month and considering that they’ll be playing hard in this game bodes well for them should they play the slumping Saints or Vikings in playoff week two. It’s all about the big MO, momentum. Win or lose, they both have it. I’ll go Cowboys here. Cowboys 27-20

Kansas City at Denver 4:15 PM
How many teams have started 6-0 and then missed the playoffs? I don’t know, but even after they win this week you can add Denver to that list. Of course if you told a Broncos fan they’d be 9-7 before the year they’d think you’re insane, so they have overachieved in that sense. The Chiefs, despite their best efforts, just aren’t very good on the road. Broncos 24-10

Baltimore at Oakland 4:15 PM
If Baltimore wins this game they get in the playoffs. I know the Raiders are a pesky team and they’ve knocked off some pretty good teams this year. Not this week. The Ravens are the better team. They’ve been erratic a little bit, but they know what’s at stake and with a lot of veteran leaders on both sides of the ball I see them getting up for this game big time. Too much of Ray Rice for the Raiders to handle. Ravens 24-17

Green Bay at Arizona 4:15 PM
Who cares less about winning this game? I have no idea. I’ll go Packers just because I think they believe in that whole momentum thing and they might want to win this game to keep their hot play going. It would be fun to see this game next week too. Packers 23-17

Washington at San Diego 4:15 PM
I think Washington’s so bad that even the Chargers backups are going to beat them. Then on Monday morning at about 9am you’ll read: “Redskins fire Zorn; hire Mike Shanahan to be new head coach.” They may do it after the game. Maybe DURING the game. That’s how much they dislike Zorn right now. Go Redskins! Chargers 17-13

Tennessee at Seattle 4:15 PM
If Chris Johnson gets 146 rushing yards he eclipses the 2000 yard mark (252 to break my boy Eric Dickerson’s 2,105 from 1984). That means the Titans will do everything possible to get him that number of yards. Bad news for the Seahawks although do you think they even care at this point? I don’t. Titans/Chris Johnson 31-20

Cincinnati at NY Jets 8:20 PM
If the Jets win they get in the playoffs. The Bengals will have Palmer at QB, Jordan Palmer – the backup that’s the brother of Carson Palmer. I’m sure the Jets are scared. The Jets will limp into the playoffs after a hot start, a mediocre middle and then having the luck of playing against two playoff teams that lay down for them in weeks 16 and 17. What a way to get in. That’s like having pocket twos, you go all in, another guy has pocket aces, he flops an ace, then you get your two on the turn and river to suck out the win. Congrats on the pocket twos, Jets. Jets 23-10

JC’s Money Picks
Every week I’ll pick four games against the spread or using the over/under. I was 2-2 last week. These odds come from pinnaclesports.com as always.

Season: 38-29-1 (.567)

Titans -4 over SEAHAWKS. Betting against Seattle more than anything.
Niners -9 over RAMS. And against my Rams. Not like home field matters.
TEXANS -8 over Patriots. The Pats don’t care despite what they say.
COWBOYS -3 over Eagles. I wanted at least one pick on a game that matters.

Thanks for reading.

I’ll see you next week for wildcard weekend. Like I said last week, I will continue doing the picks all the way through to the Super Bowl.

Enjoy the games.

John Canton

  1. bryan
    January 2, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    don’t count on the vikes getting the 2 seed. if philly wins(and i pray they do) then philly gets the 2

  2. Edswoggle
    January 3, 2010 at 1:26 AM

    What about the Cards? I thought that they were in the possible race for getting the number 2 seed?

  3. January 3, 2010 at 1:29 AM

    Home field doesn’t matter! Last year 3 of the 4 teams that got the bye lost. My team won 1 game this year! One!

    Man, you guys should have known me when the Rams were good. I was the happiest fucker alive.

  4. bryan
    January 3, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    look on the bright side. atleast jericho is still tag champ…he could have lost to 2 old guys and a midget….oh wait

  5. Aaron
    January 4, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    Going to need Playoff/super Bowl predictions. I wish I was posting ehre pre-season, becuase my pre-seasons selections of Chargers/Vikings looks mighty strong…

    People are once again sleeping on the Cardinals as well this year, worst record in the NFC playoff picture… they could run again like last year if the pieces fall.. but I don’t see them, hosting an NFC championhsip game this year like last.

    Damn shame about Welker.. really give the Ravens a huge edge in the first round.. plus Baltimroe is bitter over some questionable calls in their previous game this year… (Then again, Baltimore is always bitter over officiating).

    Hey My Lions aren’t picking number 1 this year… that means we improved.

  6. January 4, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    I’ll have a playoff preview on Wednesday or Thursday. I’m going Chargers AFC. Maybe Packers NFC. I had Pats/Pack preseason, so I want to stick with one of my picks.

    For this week:
    1/9 4:30 ET At Cincinnati -3 NY Jets
    1/9 8:00 ET At Dallas -4 Philadelphia
    1/10 1:00 ET At New England -4 Baltimore
    1/10 4:30 ET At Arizona -2.5 Green Bay

    My gut instinct is to pick four dogs to cover. I like Cincy to win and cover, Dallas to win with a Philly cover (3 point game), Baltimore to win and Green Bay to win. I need to do some research, though.

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