Image Credit: (Stephen Lew/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-mullick-354076184/
Last week there were a lot of games that I was on the edge of my seat watching. Crazy ending results which resulted in some upsets. So we are back here yet again to make spread picks for week 17. Before we do that, let's take a look at how I did last week.
Spread Picks Record Week 1 (8-8) Week 2 (9-7) Week 3 (9-6-1) Week 4 (6-8-2) Week 5 (4-11-1) Week 6 (8-6) Week 7 (9-5) Week 8 (7-8) Week 9 (7-5-1) Week 10 (7-7) Week 11 (5-9) Week 12 (12-3-1) Week 13 (8-7) Week 14 (6-7) Week 15 (6-10) Week 16 (7-6-3)
Superlock Record (8-8) - Week 1: Baltimore Ravens, Week 2: Cleveland Browns, Week 3: Atlanta Falcons, Week 4: Houston Texans, Week 5: Philadelphia Eagles, Week 6: Jacksonville Jaguars, Week 7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Week 8: Tennessee Titans, Week 9: Seattle Seahawks, Week 10 Dallas Cowboys, Week 11: Washington Commanders, Week 12: San Francisco 49ers, Week 13: Houston Texans, Week 14: Miami Dolphins, Week 15: Cincinnati Bengals, Week 16: Arizona Cardinals
The game was close, but Arizona should have won that game. Tampa Bay is horrendous and 8 points as a favorite was just way too many points.
Now that I looked back on how I did Week 16 let's get to it with my spread picks for Week 17. As a reminder the spreads of each game are on DraftKings.
Thursday Night Football
Dallas Cowboys at Tennessee Titans (+10) If it has not been obvious the Titans season is absolutely on life support this season. Not only with the injuries they have suffered, but the Jaguars are catching up with there winning streak. I will say this now, if the Titans don’t win this division or make the playoffs, not only should Vrabel be out of a job, but they really should consider blowing it up in the offseason. It is panic mode especially as it looks like Ryan Tanehill is not coming back until maybe the playoffs (If they are lucky). At the time I was shocked that Malik Willis fell to the third round, but with the way he has played it starts to paint a bigger picture. Willis is super raw as a player and is not ready for the full time role. He is so raw that I can hear Gordon Ramsay shouting from one of his restaurants. Maybe he would be better if Todd Downing was not the offensive coordinator. The Cowboys are such a better team and it is not even close. I think that Dallas will not only win, but cover this game. I am even using them as my superlock too.
My Pick: Dallas Cowboys (-10) *Superlock Pick of the Week*
Sunday Football (1:00 PM) Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)
Ahh many see this as the battle of the NFC South. I kind of see it that way, but there is another battle I see. Welcome to the 21st Tank Game in the Tournament for the 1st Overall Pick. Nobody in the NFC South deserves to make it into the playoffs. I got to say both teams are pretty garbage, but I really went back and forth. For Carolina, I am concerned with their secondary with Jaycee Horn out for the season with his wrist injury. That is a big loss as Horn is the best cornerback on this team no question. I find it funny that the Panthers think past his prime Josh Norman is going to help out. For Tampa, What is there really to say that has not? They are poorly coached, there defense is garbage, o-line is injured and RB Leonard Fournette is playing with a Lisfranc injury. I really don’t have a strong lean here, and I will probably pass betting the game, but I will take the points with Carolina as I see this game being close.
My Pick: Carolina Panthers (+3)
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles (-7) It looks like Jalen Hurts is yet again not going to play for the Eagles which is smart. Gardner Minshew to me is the most dependable backup in the NFL today. I will say that the Saints run defense is pretty solid and could stop Miles Sanders, but besides that there are a lot of issues with the Saints. This is a must win for the Saints in order for them to have a chance at playoffs. Worse for worse if the Saints lose their first round pick will be higher to help build the team, well for Philadelphia as they own their 1st round pick. I am taking the Eagles here and I may even bet on this game.
My Pick: Philadelphia Eagles (-7)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (+4.5) Well this went from potential Tank Game, to meaningful for the Jaguars. The Jags need to win in Week 18 to fully clinch, but if they win this week that makes it very important and gives momentum to the Jaguars. Especially as I don’t see the Cowboys losing to the Titans this week. Speaking of the favorites in the Tournament for the 1st Overall Pick we have the Texans who are playing hard the past few weeks. I mean the Texans players at this point are playing for jobs next season whether in Houston or on another team. I think this game will be closer than what other people think. Jacksonville should win this game, but I am taking the points here with the Texans.
My Pick: Houston Texans (+4.5)
Indianapolis Colts at New York Giants (-5.5)
Okay, this spread makes no sense whatsoever. The Colts looked freaking horrendous last week and I got to say it stuns me that Sam Ehlinger is not starting with the way Nick Foles played last week. I understand that Ehlinger stinks too, but he will be on this team longer as he is young than both Ryan and Foles. The Colts have quit on the coach and are not even trying anymore. Give me the Giants here as they lock up their spot in the playoffs. This is another potential Superlock game if you want, but I feel more comfortable and confident taking Dallas as the Titans have an insane amount of injuries right now.
My Pick: New York Giants (-5.5)
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-13.5) What a complete disaster piece of a season for the Denver Broncos this season. Not only has Russell Wilson regressed, but with fights happening on and off the field it was not a good look for the team. After losing to the Rams that way, they have to fire Hackett and I don’t know if they will. Hold up let me check my phone
So you finally fired Nathanial Hackett huh. Honestly should have happened in Week 5 after that disgraceful game against the Colts. Hackett may be the worst one and done coach that did not get hired from college. Urban Meyer and Bobby Petrino have the top 2 spots, but they came from college. Hackett was out of his league as the head coach and let's be real, he was only brought in because the Broncos thought they were going to get Aaron Rodgers. When they did not, that was a big problem. Nathaniel Hackett will get another coaching job and I would not be shocked if he goes back to Green Bay.
As for his replacement the Broncos interim head coach is Jerry Rosenberg
Why was it not defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, well apparently he declined to take the role, which can you really blame him. This team is an absolute mess and he is a head coaching candidate for other teams and the Broncos job is going to be the one with the lowest interest. Plus I think Everyone is going to get another role as the defensive coordinator somewhere else if he is not retained.
As for this game it is pretty much a bye week for the Chiefs. I would not be shocked if they play their starters 50% of this game. I think they will win this game by 3 or 4 touchdowns, so give me the Chiefs.
My Pick: Kansas City Chiefs (-13.5)
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (-6) This game will be very telling as Detroit needs this one badly after they were awful against the Carolina Panthers. If it was not for that patriots game, their performance against the Panthers would have been the Lions worst performance all season. The Bears have been in full tank mode this season. The Lions should win this game, but 6 points is way too many for me to trust Detroit. Could they destroy them because they are indoors? Yes, but something is fishy surrounding Detroit. I will take Chicago, but I will not be betting on this game.
My Pick: Chicago Bears (+6)
Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5) Yuck, two teams who are mathematically eliminated facing off against each other. That just sounds like a snooze fest. Until you realize the importance in draft capital, as it is the 22nd TANK GAME in the Tournament for the 1st Overall Pick. Two teams with one goal in mind, to lose to get a higher draft pick to help long term. Whoever loses this game is the clear winner. As for this game, I mean I don’t know where to go here so I will flip a coin. Heads for the Cardinals and Tails for Falcons. The coin I flipped is on the Head Side, so I will take the Cardinals in this game.
My Pick: Arizona Cardinals (+3.5)
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-2.5)
You know, has a team mishandled a single player concussion wise more than the Miami Dolphins have done with Tua Tagovailoa? I don’t want to say injury wise as that distinction will go to the Indianapolis Colts for the way they ruined Andrew Luck’s career. If you don’t know by now, apparently Tua Tagovailoa suffered a concussion last week against the Green Bay Packers and played with one in the 2nd half of that game.
That revelation to me explains two things to me. First, that explains why Tua made those horrendous interceptions at the end of that game against the Packers. Second, it really makes you wonder if the Dolphins truly care about his health. This is the 4th time that we know of where Tua was forced to play while dealing with a bad concussion. I hope that is not the case due to ethical reasons and long term medical issues. I doubt Tua plays in this game and I don’t even think he will play week 18 with the amount of Concussions he has suffered this season.
If Tua is out I think they are going to start Teddy Bridgewater in this game, but it has not been confirmed yet.
Even with Tua’s injuries, I don’t think I can even lean New England here as favorites either. Especially with how poorly coached this offense has been and if I am the Patriots, you do not bring Matt Patricia or Joe Judge to run this offense next season. The Patriots have injuries on offense and it looks like both Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. I get the Patriots are home and all, but I kind of want to take the points here. I am not going to bet it, but I am leaning towards picking Miami.
On a side note can the NFL please suspend Mac Jones for the way he has been playing dirty. Just look below, he has played dirty so many times and if they don’t punish Jones quickly he will become the Vontaze Burfict in this decade.
My Pick: Miami Dolphins (+2.5)
Cleveland Browns at Washington Commanders (-2.5)
I will be real, I debated making this game an honorable mention in my survivor pick article. Then news came that Taylor Heniecke was benched for Carson Wentz and that took it out of the running.
However, despite who the QB of the Commanders will be, I still like the Commanders in this game. Excluding the running game with the Browns and the o-line, this Browns team is garbage. Also, I want to ask a question, Is it wrong for me to say that the Commanders have the edge at quarterback over the Browns? Watson has been extremely rusty this season and it is concerning. Like I said the Browns better hope he shakes this rust off next season or else they will suffer badly from it.
One thing is for sure this defense is an absolute mess. How Joe Woods is still employed as the defensive coordinator still confuses me and I think he may be the worst defensive coordinator in the league. If the Browns retain him then they are making a massive mistake.
With the Commanders being the home team (Technically because FedEx Field is the worst stadium in the league) and on paper being better than the Browns, I am taking the Commanders. I am also going to bet on this game as well.
You know, it is a shame that the organization keeps digging themselves into a grave with the amount of controversies the organization has gone through. Now lets add yet another lawsuit to the Commanders organization.
I will keep saying this until the day comes, Sell The Team Snyder!
My Pick: Washington Commanders (-2.5)
Sunday Football (4:05 PM)
San Francisco 49ers at Las Vegas Raiders (+6)
Another easy pick, give me the 49ers here. The Raiders while technically still alive to make the playoffs are pretty much done. Both LB Denzel Perryman and DE/EDGE Chandler Jones are done for the year with their respective injuries. I have no idea what the Raiders are thinking in their decision to bench QB Derek Carr for the rest of this season. He is not the problem, the incompetent head coach is the main issue. With this benching going on I doubt Carr is a Raider next season.
So now the Raiders will be starting Jarrett Stidham at QB who was awful during his time in New England. All I got to say is that the 49ers would have easily been my survivor pick if I was alive in survivor pools. So I am taking them here.
My Pick: San Francisco 49ers (-6)
New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks (+2)
Now this became a game now that Mike White has been cleared to start for the Jets. If White did not play, then their season was pretty much over. After everything that has happened this season, the Jets have to re-sign Mike White to a contract as remember his contract expires at the end of the season. Flacco is likely going to retire next season, Chris Steveler does not have the arm strength to succeed in the league, and Zach Wilson is pretty much done as a Jet. I would be shocked if Wilson is a Jet next season. But I got to say with how beaten up Seattle is on offense, I really like the Jets in this game. I don’t like an east coast team playing on the west coast, but with the Injuries growing for the Seahawks, I am going to take them here.
My Pick: New York Jets (-2)
Sunday Football (4:25 PM)
Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5)
The battle of Los Angeles and this got flexed out from Sunday night football. Mainly because the Rams have been bad this season. I like this game a lot and contemplated using this game in my superlock, but I decided against it because the Titans have like half the team injured. Give me the Chargers here. Look, the Rams may have embarrassed the Broncos last week, but the Broncos are a trainwreck. The Chargers on the other hand, while I still am not a Brandon Staley guy coach wise, he is a lot better of a coach than Nathanial Hackett was. Plus the Chargers are a more talented team than the Broncos are on offense. I am not going to say defense as the Broncos in my opinion are a Top 5 defense. I think the Chargers will destroy the Rams here and I am absolutely going to bet on this game.
My Pick: Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5)
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-3)
Look I get the Vikings are frauds, but there is no way the Packers should be 3 point favorites. They were trying to give that game away last week to the Dolphins, but if Tua was not concussed, they would have lost that game. Green Bay needs to win the rest of the season to have a chance to play in the playoffs. One thing about the Packers is that there run defense is terrible. If the Vikings were smart, they should run all over them in this matchup. I am leaning towards the Vikings. If they can’t beat the Packers, then Minnesota needs to rest their starters Week 18 regroup and fix their issues for the playoffs.
My Pick: Minnesota Vikings (+3)
Sunday Night Football
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-3)
This game was flexed into this spot as the Ravens and Steelers are a divisional rivalry. I really don’t know what to think of this game. No Lamar Jackson in this game, which is probably a good to ensure that he is 100% when it comes to the playoffs. I have been outspoken about how poorly coached coordinator wise the Steelers have been, but Baltimore is catching up in that category. Greg Roman's job is not safe at all as this offensive all season has not looked prepared and that is even with Lamar Jackson at QB. They luckily clinched a playoff spot, but they have a shot to win this division, but they have to beat the Steelers.
The Steelers last week were pulling a classic Mike Tomlin tradition, by playing down to competition against the Raiders. Like seriously the Steelers played like garbage and if it was not for them facing a Josh McDaniels led team, they would have lost. I am a Kenny Pickett guy and he has played pretty well this season. He has a very tough opponent as Baltimore’s defense is excellent. You can make an argument that they are a Top 3 defense in the NFL right now. This spread is very fair and I kind of think this game will be a field goal game. I am leaning with taking the points with the Steelers, but I am not confident. I probably won’t bet on this game either.
My Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers (+3)
Monday Night Football Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals (+1.5) This is clearly the game of the week and it is very important for both squads. The Bills need to win to lock up the number 1 seed and the Bengals need to win to have a chance at winning the AFC North Division. Let's be real, the spread is meaningless as this game is pretty much a Pick’Em. This game is close one to bet, but the Bengals are starting to get so many injuries and they are adding up both on offense and defense. They already have a playoff spot locked up and I can see the Bengals resting players the next few weeks. So I will take the Buffalo Bills in this spot.
My Pick: Buffalo Bills (-1.5)