NFL Picks Week 17: Washington Redskins and Teams Guaranteed to Cover the Spread

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIDecember 29, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 23:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins prepares to take the snap against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 23, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

It's the final week of the NFL regular season, and it's time to get those last-minute bets in before the playoffs roll around.

The Washington Redskins feature prominently in gambling this week as they host the Dallas Cowboys with the NFC East crown on the line, and they are among the teams who are the safest bets this week.

When it comes to betting against the spread, nobody beats these teams in Week 17.


New England Patriots (-10 via Bovada)

The Pats play the Miami Dolphins this week in Foxborough. I'd say that's already enough reason to take the Patriots, but let's look at it a bit closer.

New England is fighting for a first-round bye. The team absolutely must win to get one, but also needs either the Texans or Broncos to lose in order to get one. Houston has a very difficult matchup with the Indianapolis Colts this week, so the Pats have a good chance to get a bye week with a win.

The Dolphins are among the worst teams in the NFL against the pass, ranking No. 25 in passing yards allowed per game. Led by Tom Brady, the Patriots rank fourth in passing yards per game and will pick the Dolphins apart in this one.

Brady is hot, throwing for 355.0 yards per game in his last two games, one of which came against the stingy defense of the San Francisco 49ers. Against a Dolphins secondary that has been horrible this season, I expect the Patriots to win by at least two touchdowns.


Denver Broncos (-16 via Bovada)

Denver is fighting for the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC this year. With a win and a Texans loss to the Colts, Peyton Manning and the Broncos would secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

This week the team hosts the 2-13 Kansas City Chiefs. Nothing has gone right for the Chiefs this year, and playing Denver to end the season fits under the category of things that make Chiefs fans want to cry.

The Broncos are going to come into this game looking to make a statement at home and will likely jump out early.

Manning is going to pick apart a Chiefs defense that gave up nearly 300 yards to the Broncos last time the two teams played. Meanwhile, the team's backfield looks as healthy as it's been in months and will have a field day against a Chiefs defense that ranks No. 26 against the run.


Washington Redskins (-3.5 via Bovada)

Not only do I think the Redskins are going to beat the Dallas Cowboys to win their seventh consecutive game and win the NFC East, but I expect them to do it in style.

The Redskins already beat the Cowboys on the road on Thanksgiving. Now the team plays its most important game of the year in front of its own fans against a squad that it has proven it can beat.

Washington's defense is going to completely stop the run once again. It ranks fifth against the run and will be facing a backfield that ranks second-worst in the NFL in rushing yards per game. Throw in the fact that Washington only gave up 35 rushing yards to the Cowboys last time, and you can see that Dallas will be one-dimensional in this one.

Robert Griffin III has his first playoff appearance on the line, and the rookie will surely step up when it matters most. Last time he threw for over 300 yards and four touchdowns against the Cowboys, and this time around he will be even better.

I see the Redskins winning this game by at least 10 points.