We’ve reached the conclusion of the 2012 NFL regular season as we are now headed to Week 17. In the AFC the six playoff teams have already been determined. However, it is still an open race for which teams will be the #1, #2 and #3 seed. In the NFC only 4 teams have punched their ticket with 5 teams competing for the remaining 2 slots. In this post I share my week 17 picks and predictions against the spread.
Baltimore Ravens +3 -120 @ Cincinnati Bengals -3 +100
This is a tough game to handicap for the reason it means little to either team. The Ravens can move up to the #3 seed if they win this game and the Patriots lose. The Patriots however have a chance to get a #2 seed if either the Broncos or Texans lose and the #1 seed if both lose and they win. With the Patriots hosting the Dolphins it is unlikely they lose this week. However, the game means literally nothing to the Bengals. It would be foolish to risk injury just for the purpose of finishing the season strong. Win or lose the Bengals are the AFC’s 6 seed. It is tough to know what to expect in a game with so little meaning, however the Ravens are getting 3 points, and are the only team the game might mean anything to. For that reason I’m picking the Ravens.
Free pick #1: Ravens +3 -120 at www.bovada.lv.
Dallas Cowboys +3 @ Washington Redskins -3
This is the game with the most meaning this weekend. The winner of this match clinches the division and will host the #6 seed to open the playoffs. For the Cowboys it is do or die. If they win they are in the playoffs. If they lose they are eliminated. The Redskins can lose and still be the wild card if the Vikings and Bears also lose. The bottom line, this is a numbers play.
The fan in me wants to pick the Redskins. The fact they have the opportunity to clinch the division with a week 17 home win makes this a Cinderella season in of itself. This team was not predicted to be a threat. The bettor in me however sees the numbers. The Cowboys shouldn’t be less than a 2.5 point underdog in this one, and it is possible right now to get +3 +105. That’s a price too good to pass on making Cowboys my pick.
Free Pick #2: Dallas Cowboys +3 +105 at www.bookmaker.eu
Chicago Bears -3 +100 @ Detroit Lions +3 -120
It is amazing that after the Bears started the season 7-1 they can now only make the playoffs with a win this week and a Vikings loss. Luckily for them the Vikings are playing the Packers and the game is important to the Packers as they are attempting to clinch a #2 seed which carries with it a first round bye. The Lions are motivated to play spoiler for a division opponent and finish the season on a high note. I however like the Bears to get the job done in this one and still feel they’re going to squeak into the playoffs. As far as the numbers go, I have this one before intangibles at Bears -3 even money. That’s exactly the line and the motivation factor still favors the Bears.
Free Pick #3: Chicago Bears -3 +100 at www.5dimes.eu
3-team 10.5 point teaser
My final pick this week is a 3-team 10.5 point ties lose teaser at www.5dimes.eu. There are two reasons for this play. 1) 5dimes is offering a favorable point spread on key numbers for each selection and 2) each of my selections is playing a playoff team. It does not make sense for their opponents to risk injury by keep starters in the game with a massive lead late. This provides added chance for backdoor cover. The selections are:
Tease Indianapolis Colts +7 to +17.5
Tease St Louis Rams +11.5 to +22 (this 21.5 because ties lose)
Tease Miami Dolphins +11 to +21.5
Free Pick #4: Colts +17.5 / Rams +21.5 / Dolphins +21.5 @ www.5dimes.eu.