NFL Week 17 Picks: San Francisco 49ers and Favorites Certain to Cover the Spread

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 04:  Alex Smith #11 hands off to Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers against the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park on December 4, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With one last NFL regular season game left, it's the final chance to make up for previous losses. In Week 17, there are a number of favorites sure to shine. 

Of course there will be some upsets and a few big surprises from underdogs, but some favorites will have no trouble covering. 

It can be fun to root for the underdog at times, and it has paid off a lot in this crazy season. However, some of them don't stand a chance in the final game of the year. 

With that said, here are three favorites certain to cover the spread. 


San Francisco (-10.5) 

Simply put, the St. Louis Rams are not a very good team. Even though they'll be hosting the 49ers this Sunday, it won't be a contest because the 49ers are a much better football team. 

Home field advantage is typically a plus for a team, but it will be no help for the Rams in Week 17. They're averaging just over six points in their last four games, which is pathetic. 

The 49ers have allowed one rushing touchdown all season, which is bad news for Steven Jackson, the Rams' only offensive weapon. 

San Francisco shut out the Rams in their first meeting this season, and there's a strong chance it happens again. St. Louis will muster up some points, but this is no challenge at all for the 49ers. 

Prediction: 49ers 27, Rams 10 


Atlanta (-11.5) 

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 26:   Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons throws a pass against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 26, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Saints defeated the Falcons 45-16.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Get
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Another example of a bad team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the unfortunate task of trying to beat the Falcons in the Georgia Dome. 

Matt Ryan excels at home, and since the Falcons will be extra motivated in this game, the Buccaneers are in for some trouble. 

Atlanta is angry it was thrashed by the New Orleans Saints last week, plus the Falcons lost a close one to the Buccaneers earlier this season. They want this win so badly they can taste it. 

Tampa Bay has lost nine games in a row and soon it will become 10. The Buccaneers are playing awful football and the Falcons will have no trouble tearing them apart. 

Prediction: Falcons 38, Buccaneers 20 


Tennessee (-3)

The Titans must win on Sunday in order to reach the playoffs. They do need help from other teams as well, but first and foremost they have to beat the Houston Texans. 

That shouldn't be too difficult considering Houston has lost its last two games to subpar teams. The Texans will more than likely be resting their star players, which is good news for Tennessee. 

The Texans don't have anything to play for since they've already won the division and recent losses knocked them out of contention for the No. 2 seed.

The Titans are hungrier for a win, and they'll easily get it on Sunday afternoon. 

Prediction: Titans 24, Texans 17 


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