Mike Ivcic’s Week 17 NFL Preview and Free Picks

include(“../CBB/includes/base_url.php”); ?>

Mike Ivcic’s Week 17 NFL Preview and Free Picks ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>


By Mike Ivcic, UltimateCapper Contributing Writer

Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Patriots by 11
In week three, Buffalo picked off Tom Brady four times en route to a huge upset. Think Brady and company will have that in the back of their minds as they paste the Bills and earn homefield throughout the AFC playoffs?
Pick: New England 38, Buffalo 17

Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Saints by 8
The Saints will still be playing for a first round bye, but with the 49’ers playing the hapless Rams, it’s a pretty long shot for New Orleans to get that two seed. Still, I think Sean Payton will play to win, because that’s just how he coaches, and because of that I think the Saints will prevail in a high-scoring affair.
Pick: New Orleans 38, Carolina 31

Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings
Sat, 1pm, FOX
Line: Vikings by 1.5
Not sure how a Christian Ponder-led team that will be without Adrian Peterson managed to be a favorite in a game. Oh wait… yes I do. They’re playing the Bears without Cutler and Forte.
Pick: Minnesota 20, Chicago 13

Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Lions by 3
Clearly Vegas doesn’t think the Packers starters will play, and neither do I – but they should. They’ll already get a week off with the bye, so at least play Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the starting group for a half. Even if they do, though, I still think the Lions will be heading to the NFC East winner next weekend.
Pick: Detroit 34, Green Bay 24

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Jaguars by 3.5
“With the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select… Andrew Luck!”
Pick: Indianapolis 21, Jacksonville 13


New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Dolphins by 3
This game means nothing if the Bengals win at 4:15 – and the same goes for the Texans and Titans game below. That said, it never should have gotten to this point for the Jets. Two years ago, they were able to control their own destiny by simply winning the game against the Bengals. That’s not the case here, and ultimately, while I think they’ll win this game just as they did two seasons ago, it won’t be enough to earn a postseason berth.
Pick: New York 27, Miami 16

San Francisco 49’ers @ St. Louis Rams
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: 49’ers by 11
The real question for the Rams is what to do with Sam Bradford once they draft Andrew Luck. Think the Redskins might want a QB?
Pick: San Francisco 23, St. Louis 6

Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Titans by 3
I don’t think the Texans are good enough at this current point in the season to think about taking a week off for any reason. This team needs to play well and gain some confidence and momentum heading into the postseason, so I think they play hard and win. And if this sounds like me trying to talk myself into the Jets making the playoffs… you’re right.
Pick: Houston 24, Tennessee 20

Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Eagles by 9
There’s no more frustrated fan base in the entire league right now than Eagles fans. Too bad early to make the playoffs, but too good late to get a high draft pick or bring about any real definitive change. But Philly fans need only to look across the sidelines on Sunday to realize it really could be much, much worse.
Pick: Philadelphia 31, Washington 15

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals
Sun, 4:15pm, CBS
Line: Ravens by 3
It’s actually possible for Cincinnati to get in with a loss, but it’s not worth laying out the scenario here. Let’s just call this a “must-win.” I said in this very space a month and a half ago that there was no way the Bengals would make the postseason without at least one win against either Pittsburgh or Baltimore. They’re 0-3 with one more shot, but let’s just say I think Baltimore has a better chance to lock up the two seed than Cincy does of making the playoffs.
Pick: Baltimore 28, Cincinnati 24


Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos
Sun, 4:15pm, CBS
Line: Broncos by 3.5
The storyline of Kyle Orton ending the Broncos season is a wonderful one, until you realize that you’re betting on Kyle Orton on the road against a good defense. It’s then that you begin to come to grips with the fact that Tebow-mania will be around for at least another week.
Pick: Denver 17, Kansas City 12

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
Sun, 4:15pm, CBS
Line: Steelers by 4
I don’t care if the Steelers play their starters, rest their starters, or tell their starters to go to Mexico and party with Tony Romo for a week. Cleveland isn’t winning this game.
Pick: Pittsburgh 27, Cleveland 17

San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders
Sun, 4:15pm, CBS
Line: Raiders by 3
The really sad part about my picks for this week is that if they all pan out exactly as I predict, both the Raiders AND Broncos will make the playoffs out of a terrible AFC West. And, since I have never gone 16-0 straight up, I’m taking Oakland and hoping that’s where I’m wrong, because if I go 15-1 with this as the mistake, the Jets make the playoffs.
Pick: Oakland 31, San Diego 21
And leave me alone for making picks based upon my rooting interest. If you disagree, make your own picks and see if you do better than 84 games above .500 straight up.

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals
Sun, 4:15pm, FOX
Line: Cardinals by 3
I’m pretty sure there were bowl games between teams from the MAC and the WAC that were more interesting than this game.
Pick: Seattle 21, Arizona 15

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons
Sun, 4:15pm, FOX
Line: Falcons by 11.5
If Detroit beats Green Bay (and obviously I think they will) then this game means nothing to Atlanta and probably means employment for Raheem Morris. As such, I’ll take the Bucs to at least cover this large spread and maybe keep the job of a guy I think is actually a pretty good coach.
Pick: Atlanta 23, Tampa Bay 20

Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants
Sun, 8:20pm, NBC
Line: Giants by 3
And then there’s this game. I honestly think Ravens-Bengals is a better game because it means so much to so many more teams, whereas this means nothing to 29 fan bases. Giants fans will root for New York, Cowboys fans will root for Dallas, and Lions fans will root for injuries to whichever team wins. Me? I’ll root for a different play-by-play guy for NBC next year.
Pick: New York 34, Dallas 28

Straight Up: 162-78
Against Spread: 119-109-12

Send questions or comments to webmaster@ultimatecapper.com


include($base_url . “/includes/footer.htm”); ?> ]]>