The regular season is winding down in the NFL, with only two weeks of action remaining. Week 18 is almost always a disaster when it comes to handicapping, simply because of all the uncertainty with motivation and player deployment. A bit of that is creeping in with Week 17 this time around, but Week 16 was relatively kind to us with a 3-2 mark that even withstood an objectively bad beat with the Eagles (+4.5) against the Cowboys.
Before we get into the Week 17 picks, let’s take stock of the first 80 (!) selections of the season.
- Week 16: 3-2
- 2022 Season: 41-37-2
Come get these winners.
Miami Dolphins (+3) over New England Patriots
I’m definitely lower on the Patriots than consensus, which informs this selection. Also, grabbing the full three is important. In addition, Teddy Bridgewater is money against the spread historically, and I don’t think the gap between him and Tua is as big as you might think. Bridgewater is 42-22 against the spread in his career, including 24-8 as an underdog and an absurd 19-4 mark as a road underdog. Give me the points.
New Orleans Saints (+6.5) over Philadelphia Eagles
The Saints aren’t exactly a public side here, and the Eagles don’t have overwhelming urgency in this spot. It isn’t pretty, but this is too many points with New Orleans still alive in the NFC South race.
TEASER: Pittsburgh Steelers (+8.5) over Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks (+8) over New York Jets
I like this one. Pittsburgh going through two key numbers against a Ravens team that could be without Lamar Jackson is enticing, especially with a total in the mid-30’s. New York is obviously much better with Mike White than Zach Wilson, but Seattle getting eight at home is valuable as well.
TEASER: Cleveland Browns (+8.5) over Washington Commanders and Los Angeles Chargers (-0.5) over Los Angeles Rams
Two teasers!? Yes, two teasers. I couldn’t choose between four legs that I really like, so why not give them all? Cleveland isn’t playing for anything, which is mildly scary, but Washington’s offense is anything but scary. Also, the Browns clearly want to establish some offensive chemistry and the total is 4o.5 as of Thursday evening. The battle of Los Angeles should lean in the direction of the Chargers, and I think this line is a point or two short after what happened last week with the Rams blasting the Broncos.
Las Vegas Raiders (+10) over San Francisco 49ers
This is absolutely disgusting. Suffice to say I take no pleasure in backing Jarrett Stidham against a great defense, but this line is just too much for Brock Purdy and company on the road. Prayers appreciated.