Week 17 of the NFL season is always a tough one to bet. Because only a handful of games have playoff implications, it's hard to know who's going to play and for how long. But let's take a look at some of the games that can still affect who gets in and at what seeding.
Games With Playoff Implications
Pittsburgh (-6) at Cleveland
Baltimore (-9.5) vs. Cincinnati
Green Bay (-10) vs. Chicago
Jacksonville (-2.5) at Houston
Indianapolis (-8.5) vs. Tennessee
Washington Redskins (+3) vs. New York Giants (-130)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+8) at New Orleans
St. Louis (-1.5) at Seattle
- Let's start with the Steelers, who are six-point favorites over the Browns. With Peyton Hillis dinged up a bit from last weekend's game against the Ravens, the Browns might turn to Colt McCoy more in the season finale. We'll see how the rookie bounces back from his three interceptions against Baltimore, but regardless, I think Ben Roethlisberger will stay hot and do more than enough to cover the six and help the Steelers clinch the No. 2 seed in the AFC.
- The Cincinnati Bengals have won two in a row heading into their final game against the Ravens, including a win over the Chargers last Sunday that knocked San Diego out of the playoff picture. Can the Bengals finish strong against a Ravens team that still can win the division and earn a first-round Bye themselves? I'm not sure they can win outright, but I do like the Bengals to cover the 9.5 against a team they've beaten three consecutive times.
Lock Of The Week
- Last week, I felt pretty confident in the Ravens covering against the Browns. Not sure I feel the same way about any one game this week, but if so, here's one that might not be on your radar. Arizona (+6.5) at San Francisco. Sure, teams have fared well this year after firing their coach in-season. But this is different than the situations in Dallas and Minnesota. There's not much to play for at all for the 49ers in Week 17, and something tells me they'll play uninspired football against the Cardinals.
- Denver could take down San Diego, who's bound to be emotionally flat after being eliminated from playoff contention a week ago.
- Arizona as I mentioned, might be a good play to win outright over San Francisco.
- Could the Giants complete their late-season collapse with a loss to the lowly Washington Redskins? Way stranger things have happened, and there's some good value to be had on a money line bet on Washington.