Sliced Spread: 2011 NFL Football Week 17 Picks and Predictions

Welcome to SLICED SPREAD, the place on Inside Pulse Sports for weekly NFL picks against the spread, head to head survivor picks, and score prognostications.

Christmas was not kind to me in terms of ATS prognosticating, though I did fare well in locks (2-1), survivor (Carolina), and head to head picks (11-5).

Without delay during this holiday week, let’s go directly into Week 17 in this final edition for SLICED SPREAD for 2011, and move…

Onto the breakdown!

SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 16 BREAKDOWN

WEEK 16 ATS: 6-10
WEEK 16 LOCKS ATS: 2-1

WEEK 16 H2H: 11-5
WEEK 16 H2H SURVIVOR PICK: WIN (Panthers over Bucs)

THIS SEASON ATS: 126-114
THIS SEASON LOCKS ATS: 26-22

THIS SEASON H2H: 163-77

H2H SURVIVOR TEAMS USED:
Chargers (Week 1, Win)
Lions (Week 2, Win)
Steelers (Week 3, Win)
Packers (Week 4, Win)
Giants (Week 5, Loss)
Raiders (Week 6, Win)
Cowboys (Week 7, Win)
Niners (Week 8, Win)
Texans (Week 9, Win)
Eagles (Week 10, Loss)
Patriots (Week 11, Win)
Jets (Week 12, Win)
Saints (Week 13, Win)
Seahawks (Week 14, Win)
Falcons (Week 15, Win)
Panthers (Week 16, Win)

SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 17 PICKS

SUNDAY:

PHILADELPHIA (-9.5) over Washington — The Eagles might not have much to play for on the surface since they have now been officially eliminated from playoff contention. However, I’m sure 8-8 sounds a lot better than 7-9 to both the players and Andy Reid, and I think a few Rex Grossman interceptions will give Philly a comfortable win to cap off their topsy-turvy year. Eagles win 28-13

Detroit (-3.5) over GREEN BAY — The Packers have everything they possibly could want locked up heading into the playoffs, and so I don’t expect Aaron Rodgers to play very much beyond the Packers’ opening drive. Therefore, the Lions will keep things close in a battle against the Green Bay backups, and in my gut feeling pick of the week… Lions win 24-20

Chicago (-0.5) over MINNESOTA — The Bears and Vikings are both completely decimated by injuries, and so the only thing left to play for in this one is pride. With that said, the Vikings also may not be as hungry as Chicago here because the Bears are fighting for a .500 record while Minnesota may not want to compromise their draft position any further than they did by winning last week. I also think the Bears’ veteran defense tilts this one in Chicago’s favor when all is said and done. Bears win 20-10

Carolina (+9.5) over NEW ORLEANS — This could very well be the most entertaining matchup of the week with Cam Newton and Drew Brees lighting up the scoreboard in another New Orleans shootout at the dome. I think the upstart Panthers end on a high note and keep things close, but it will only be a moral victory since the Saints will win outright. Also, whatever the OVER is in this game, I’d take it here. Saints win 38-34

*LOCK IT UP: San Francisco (-10.5) over ST. LOUIS — The Niners will play hard here to make sure New Orleans doesn’t sneak up on them and snatch the number 2 seed in the NFC (and a first round bye) away from them. And, with SF’s elite defense going up against the Rams’ paltry offense, this one could get ugly early for St. Louis. Niners win 30-3

*LOCK IT UP/H2H SURVIVOR PICK: MIAMI (-1.5) over NY Jets — The Jets have backed into the playoffs plenty of times before and if Gang Green beats Miami here they would still have a chance at securing the number 6 seed in the AFC if the Bengals, the Titans, and either the Raiders or Broncos lose their respective games. However, I just don’t think that this Dolphins team that has played very hard recently is going to lay down for the Jets, and frankly I don’t think this Jets team has it in them to fix all of their issues on the fly and escape Miami with a win. Dolphins win 24-20

Buffalo (+11.5) over NEW ENGLAND — It’s wacky week 17, so wacky things will happen for no logical reason. Chalk this one up to illogic as I feel that the Bills will play closer than the rest of the world thinks and cover the points. Patriots win 31-24

Indianapolis (+3.5) over JACKSONVILLE — Peyton Manning clearly wants Indianapolis to win this game so that Indy will be removed from the Andrew Luck sweepstakes once and for all. Otherwise, things could get murky for Manning’s future with the Colts, and so I guess it’s a blessing that their opponent this week is a Jaguars team that just couldn’t compete anymore after suffering some huge defensive injuries during the midseason. Ultimately, the well-rested and suddenly streaking Colts will zip by the Jags, and zip will be the chances that Andrew Luck ends up with a horseshoe on his helmet next season <— how fitting that would have been… Colts win 21-18

HOUSTON (+2.5) over Tennessee — The predominant theory heading into Week 17 for this game is that the Titans will win simply because they need to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Meanwhile, many folks feel that the Texans may not have too much invested in the outcome of this game and so they will take a breather for four quarters. There are two reasons why I disagree with these sentiments: 1. The Texans do not want to go into the playoffs following three straight losses (Panthers, Colts, and if they lose here the Titans); and 2. The Texans and Titans simply HATE each other, so if one team has a chance to put the other down and out for good, they won’t hesitate to do so. Taking all of this into account, I am going with Houston here in a tough win, which will make the Texans all the more confident next week when they host their first playoff game in franchise history. Texans win 21-17

ATLANTA (-12.5) over Tampa Bay — The Falcons have already clinched a playoff spot, but I don’t think they will be content to limp into the postseason by losing at home to a putrid Bucs team that quit on their coach weeks ago. Therefore, Atlanta cruises at home. Falcons win 31-16

CINCINNATI (+1.5) over Baltimore — The Ravens might be the most inconsistent 11-4 team I’ve ever seen. As a result, the Bengals will wrestle this one away from Baltimore late and win at home to complete their improbable journey to the AFC playoffs. Bengals win 17-14

CLEVELAND (+7.5) over Pittsburgh — Big Ben’s status is still up in the air for this game, and while the Browns are simply playing out the string here, wacky week 17 will rear its wacky head once again and keep the Browns within one score, barely. Steelers win 10-3

Seattle (+3.5) over ARIZONA — The Seahawks and Cardinals have both been tough outs over the second half of this season. I just happen to think that Seattle has a tad more momentum and so I am rolling the dice with the Hawks on the road. Ironically, if Seattle does win, they’ll finish with a better regular season record (8-8) than they did last season when they won the NFC West with a 7-9 record. Seahawks win 23-19

Kansas City (+3.5) over DENVER — How sweet would it be for Kyle Orton to eliminate his former team — and Tim Tebow — from playoff contention? I think that’s exactly what will happen, too (except that the Broncos will back in later on). Chiefs win 27-21

San Diego (+3.5) over OAKLAND — The Chargers have nothing left to play for in terms of Playoffs, but in what I will deem NORV’S LAST STAND, I think Philip Rivers out-duels Carson Palmer and with three AFC West teams tied at 8-8, the Broncos will miraculously back into the division title despite losing to the Chiefs. Call it divine intervention. Chargers win 28-24

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:

*LOCK IT UP: NY GIANTS (-3.5) over Dallas — I just don’t trust Tony Romo in big spots in December, and as a result I am running with Eli Manning and the Giants in this classic NFC East clash with the division title and final NFC playoff spot on the line. And since Tom Coughlin has been nothing but a class act during his time in New York, I’d like to see him get another lifeline by making the playoffs, and I’m sure his players do, too. Giants win 28-23

That’s it for this YEAR’s season of SLICED SPREAD.

See you next year everyone … and thanks again to the thousands of you for reading each and every week. I really couldn’t do this without your support, and I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year – CB.

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