Matty Football Challenge: Week 17

So we finally get to Week 17 and the fate of every football team in America will be decided. Some team’s fates have already been decided. This makes betting on the final week of the season a little tricky. Teams who have locked up a position in the playoffs may opt to rest players and teams that have narrowly missed may just give the game away after getting so close and yet being so far away (eg: The Eagles…)

Then there’s the really bad teams who have players and coaches still looking to impress owners and GM’s and are desperate for a new contract. Funny things usually happen in Week 17.

We went 9-7 last week to leave us 3 games above .500.

Picks in bold………….each pick must cover the spread for a win..

Browns (+10.5) @ Ravens

The Ravens were awful last week and really don’t deserve to make the playoffs the way they’ve been playing the past fortnight. Joe Flacco had possibly his worst career game and the secondary just didn’t turn up. The Ravens are flat track bullies and because of their poor loss last week, now need the Chargers to lose to the Chiefs for them to have any chance of making it.

No Johnny Football this week, and maybe for awhile, but the Browns turn to rookie Connor Shaw and even though I don’t think the Browns can win I do think Connor Shaw will be a massive improvement on Johnny Football.

Interesting Stat: Joe Flacco is 12-1 lifetime against the Browns..

Cowboys @ Redskins (+6.5)

This looks a typical Week 17 game. Cowboys have nothing to play for with a division win and home field advantage locked up. The Redskins on the other hand are trying to back up their win last week and leave the Washington fans with at least a little bit of hope that 2015 might be a year to look forward to after all. RGIII and Jay Gruden want to impress the owner and Cowboys fans just want the team to get through unscathed before the first week of the playoffs.

Interesting Stat: DeMarco Murray needs 27 more yards to break Emmitt Smith’s Cowboys’ rushing record for a season.

Interesting Stat: The Cowboys are unbeaten on the road this season, 7-0. Only 5 teams have gone unbeaten on the road through the regular season. 4 of them made the Super Bowl.

Colts (-7) @ Titans

Jaguars @ Texans (-9.5)

Chargers @ Chiefs (-2.5) 7Mate Monday 5.00

Big game with playoff implications this Sunday in Kansas City. The Chargers have come back and won two huge games on the road in the last month: the late drive from Philip Rivers to win the game against the Ravens and the coming from 21 down against the Niners last week in San Francisco. Both teams are banged up. Alex Smith has been ruled out by the Chiefs and will be replaced by Chase Daniel. Daniel is no stranger to the Chargers, having started for the Chiefs against them last year and losing a narrow one 27-24. He played well and did it with no Jamaal Charles in the backfield. Charles plays this week and even though he has been hampered by an ankle injury, he gets a chance to run against one of the worst run defenses in the league. The Chargers gave up a league record 355 yards on the ground last week against the 49ers.

All the Chargers have to do is win and they’re in the playoffs. I think the Chiefs fight hard at home and get a win.

Interesting Stat: The Chargers have won 5 of last 7 in Kansas City.

Jets (+6.5) @ Dolphins

Bears @ Vikings (-6.5)

Bills @ Patriots (-4.5)

The Pats have nothing to play for in Week 17, but that doesn’t mean Belichick doesn’t want to win. There are whispers Gronkowski, Edelman and Blount will all sit but the Bills are coming off a poor loss against the Raiders and are now missing a couple of key men on their deadly O-Line.

Think the Pats win a low scoring contest.

Eagles @ Giants (-3)

The Eagles have blown it. After a promising start they have lost 3 in a row down the stretch and will miss the playoffs. Mark Sanchez isn’t all to blame but his 14 turnovers in 8 games seals the deal for Nick Foles to resume as the starting QB next season.

As for the Giants, their play over the last month has secured Tom Coughlin another season as head coach and there’s also a lot of optimism around this team for next year. Their defense is solid and the excitement machine that is Odell Beckham has made the Giants relevant again after a sloppy start to the season which had fans calling for the head of coach and QB. I like the Giants to finish on a high note…

Saints @ Buccaneers (+4.5)

Panthers @ Falcons (-4.5) 7Mate Monday 8.30

Yes, the NFC South has been a joke all season and the winner of this division will get a home playoff game with a losing record. But these two teams have been playing pretty good football the last month. I’m going with the Falcons at home, I like the way they played scoring 30 in the 2nd half at Green Bay and they have carried that form over to the past couple of weeks.

Interesting Stat: Panthers coach Ron Rivera is 14-3 in December since 2011. Only Bill Belichick has a better record.

Lions (+8.5) @ Packers

Winner gets a bye and home field. Think the Packers win, but the Lions will turn it into a slow grind. Detroit starting Center Domenic Raiola is suspended, meaning Matt Stafford will have a rookie handing him snaps which worries me. But I don’t think the Packers offense has been fully in sync the last 2 weeks and against one of the better defenses in the league this might be closer than a lot of people think. Packers by a field goal

Interesting Stat: Lions have won the last 2 against the Packers

Raiders (+14.5) @ Broncos

Broncos need to win for a playoff bye. If they lose they could fall to the 3 seed.

Cardinals @ 49ers (-6.5)

Rams @ Seahawks (-12.5)

Bengals @ Steelers (-3.5) ESPN Monday 12.30

Big AFC North game in Pittsburgh on Sunday night. Whoever wins gets home field for week 1 and I’m sticking with the Steelers. They won ugly against the Chiefs last week, but the Bengals have a short week, have to travel and have had a flu bug go through the team this week, so I think that puts everything in the Steelers’ favor. Andy Dalton hasn’t practiced but is expected to play. Steelers by 10.

Last week: 9-7

Season:  121-118

Lock of Week:  49ers (-6.5) vs Arizona

About Matthew Proctor

As a fan of American Football and gambling this is a wonderful time of year. Working for a large European betting firm for years covering NFL and College football I was lucky enough to go head to head with some of the planets best football gamblers. Each week I'll do my best to tip you a winner but more importantly give you vital information for each game before putting down a wager. Good Luck and Good Punting!!

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