Mike Ivcic’s Week 17 NFL Preview and Free Picks

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


By Mike Ivcic, UltimateCapper Contributing Writer

The theme for this week – go with the team that has more on the line. From playoff berths to draft positions to coaching changes (or non-changes), the team with more at stake will always prevail in week 17.


Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Bengals by 2.5
We’ll start with a tough one – a Bengals win assures them of avoiding the Ravens next week, but since seeing is irrelevant to Cincinnati (locked into sixth) and Baltimore could still move up to third, it’s almost as if it’s the Ravens that have more on the line here.
Pick: Baltimore 21, Cincinnati 17

Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Saints by 5
Ron Rivera’s job is probably already safe, but a win here gives the Panthers a share of second place in the NFC South. Not bad for a team that just a month ago was in discussion for possibly getting the number one overall pick in the draft – even if they will lose this one.
Pick: New Orleans 35, Carolina 27

Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Bears by 3
Based on my picks for this entire week, I actually think the Bears secure the final wild card spot in the NFC and get to go to San Francisco next week. Now that is a playoff game that I would pay to watch.
Pick: Chicago 24, Detroit 17

Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: OFF
It may only register as a “moral victory,” but having spent significant time surrounded by Browns fans, I can tell you with 100% certainty that a season sweep of the Steelers would be better than a first round playoff loss to more than half of all Cleveland supporters. But, alas, the Browns probably won’t get either one. After all, they ARE the Browns.
Pick: Pittsburgh 16, Cleveland 13

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Texans by 7
Indianapolis is locked in as the fifth seed in the AFC playoffs, and quite honestly they’re really not as good as the Texans. Arian Foster has a bounce-back game, and the road to the Super Bowl out of the AFC will run through Houston.
Pick: Houston 33, Indianapolis 24


Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Titans by 4
Sadly, this isn’t even the most unwatchable game on the board this week.
Pick: Tennessee 17, Jacksonville 10

New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Bills by 3
This is. Mark Sanchez playing against a team that two weeks ago lost 58-0? Is CBS even sending an announcing crew to this game?
Pick: Buffalo 9, New York 5 (no one’s scoring a touchdown in this one)

Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Giants by 7
At kickoff, the Giants will still have playoff hopes. At the final horn, their chances at repeating at champions will be just like Andy Reid’s career in Philadelphia – over.
Pick: New York 23, Philadelphia 14

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: OFF
Perfect example of a “who cares more” week 17 matchup. Atlanta has everything locked up and probably won’t play many key starters, while Tampa’s trying to snap a five-game losing streak and end Greg Schiano’s first season on a high note. Bucs win this one.
Pick: Tampa Bay 24, Atlanta 20


Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49’ers
Sun, 4:25pm, FOX
Line: 49’ers by 16.5
Yes, I’m going against my cardinal rule of the past three weeks (pick straight up without looking at the line, then assume all the favorites selected will cover) and yes, I know Arizona is dreadful, but 16.5 points? That’s just too high when the Niners are likely going to have to play against next week.
Pick: San Francisco 27, Arizona 13

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
Sun, 4:25pm, FOX
Line: Packers by 3
Adrian Peterson should be co-MVP with a guy from the next game down with the last name of Manning, but since his quarterback is more well known as the guy who just married a good-looking ESPN sideline reporter than he is for anything he’s done on the field, I just can’t takr the Vikings seriously as a playoff team.
Pick: Green Bay 28, Minnesota 20

Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos
Sun, 4:25pm, CBS
Line: Broncos by 16
Unlike the 16.5 Cardinals-Niners line, I’ll take my pick for co-MVP to cover this massive sprea at home and lock up a first-round bye.
Pick: Denver 37, Kansas City 10

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots
Sun, 4:25pm, CBS
Line: Patriots by 10
Since a first-round bye will still be possible as this game gets started, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will be in full form. Not good news for Miami.
Pick: New England 34, Miami 17

Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers
Sun, 4:25pm, CBS
Line: OFF
For the fourth year in a row – this could be Norv Turner’s last game! This time, though, it might actually be the last time Norv leads the Chargers onto the field. We’ll just give him a “going-away” win and move on.
Pick: San Diego 24, Oakland 14

St. Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks
Sun, 4:25pm, FOX
Line: Seahawks by 11
The Seahawks will still have a lot to play for – with wins by the Cardinals and Vikings, they would actually earn a first-round bye – and they have spent the last three weeks dominating the opposition. Eleven points is high, but I see one more stellar performance from this group before the postseason.
Pick: Seattle 38, St. Louis 10

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins
Sun, 8:20pm, NBC
Line: Redskins by 3
This will be a close game, one that will determine the final playoff spot, but only one of these teams will earn a berth. The Redskins haven’t lost since Mike Shanahan started “evaluating for next season,” so why think it would start now?
Pick: Washington 27, Dallas 23

Straight-Up: 161-78-1
Against Spread: 124-109-7



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