We didn’t have a straight-up loser until the Broncos done us dirty at the No. 7 spot by losing to the Raiders last week, but we wound up with a stellar 13-3 Confidence Pool mark. Let’s move on and wrap the season in style as we check out Week 17 where we rate our most confident straight up pick from (16) all the way to our least confident (1). The point spread on each game is in parentheses but these picks are not against the spread.
Week 16 Straight Up Record: 13-3 (103 of possible 120)
16. Chiefs: Raiders at Chiefs (-13 ½): The best online sportsbooks, all hanging their numbers at Sportsbook Review, have installed the Chiefs as nearly two-touchdown favorites and even that may not be enough as Kansas City is bent on locking up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, while the Raiders will be content in the knowledge that they actually won a game last week.
15. Patriots: Jets at Patriots (-13½): Although this edition of the New England Patriots is not the steamrolling juggernaut we’ve seen over the past two decades, they certainly have enough oomph to beat the Jets at home.
14. Steelers: Bengals at Steelers (-14): There is too much at stake for Pittsburgh to take the Bengals lightly this week, and Big Ben will make short work of a Cats team that has bowed twice to the Browns and lost earlier this season at home to the Steelers.
13. Rams: 49ers at Rams (-10): The Rams still have the NFC’s No. 2 seed to play for and will have no trouble at home against the lowly Niners.
12. Chargers: Chargers (-6½) at Broncos: The Broncos showed little heart in their loss to the Raiders last week and now they face a Chargers team with the AFC’s top seed possible (but not likely) with a victory. Mile High just isn’t the same anymore.
11. Packers: Lions at Packers (-8½): The Packers season is all but a painful memory but at least they have two things going for them that the Lions don’t: Aaron Rodgers and pride.
10. Eagles: Eagles (-6½) at Redskins: The Eagles have won four of their last five straight up and if we take a look over at Sportsbook Review, we can see that all the best online sportsbooks are offering Philadelphia as 6½- point road chalk over the depleted Redskins. Philly must win in order to have a shot at a wild-card berth and we say they will.
9. Texans: Jaguars at Texans (-7): The Texans can clinch the AFC South title in front of their home crowd with a win over the toothless Jags this week and it could very well be a repeat of their 20-7 victory in Jacksonville earlier in the season.
8. Ravens: Browns at Ravens (-6 ½): Baltimore could be susceptible to a letdown this week after coming off of a huge win on the road against the Chargers. However, this week isn’t just any old week as a win could seal the deal for them as the AFC North champs. A loss and they miss the playoffs.
7. Seahawks: Cardinals at Seahawks (-13½): Seattle could very well snooze through this one as they have a wild-card slot locked down with no chance at winning the NFC West. However, they’re playing the Cardinals so what else do you need to know?
6. Giants: Cowboys at Giants (-7): This looks like the oddsmakers have the wrong favorite, but the Cowboys will simply want to escape Week 17 healthy as they have secured an NFC East title and will play host to most likely the Seahawks in the opening round of the playoffs. The Giants will want to wrap the season on a high note against the Dallas bench squad.
5. Saints: Panthers at Saints (-9): The Saints have clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs so don’t expect them to be considering anything but remaining injury free as they take on the Panthers in the season finale. With that said, the way Carolina has been playing lately, even the New Orleans scrubs should be able to take care of business.
4. Bills: Dolphins at Bills (-3½): Neither team has anything to play for except pride, but at least the Bills showed a little resolve last week in bowing to the Patriots while the Dolphins’ offense was unable to get out of neutral in their loss to the Jags last week. Plus, Buffalo has payback on their mind from their loss to Miami earlier in the season and now owns the home-field advantage in this one.
3. Vikings: Bears at Vikings (-5): The Vikings need to win this one if they have visions of postseason aspirations dancing in their heads. We believe they do and they will.
2. Falcons: Falcons (+1½) at Bucs: The Falcons have shown signs of life lately after a season of malaise, while the Bucs continue to free-fall. Atlanta is 4-1 straight up over their last five meetings with Tampa Bay and this should be no different.
1. Titans: Colts at Titans (+3): We’re not sure if Marcus Mariota will play, but in a game as critical as this we believe the Tennessee defense will stand strong against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. Grab the live home dog here.