NFL Spreads Week 17: Biggest Locks to Cover in Final Weekend of Regular Season

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2013

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 22:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos waits near the bench before the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on December 22, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Time is quickly running out for you to cash in on the NFL regular season.

With so much of the season gone already, you'd think that placing bets would be easy. Each team has played 15 games, and if that isn't enough time to make judgments, then nothing would be.

However, quite a few games have playoff implications that serve to muddy the waters. The would-be heavy favorites aren't the sure things that you'd expect because their opponents are fighting for their postseason lives.

It makes for plenty of tricky decisions when you're weighing on whom to throw your money. In order to make things easier for you, here's a look at the picks against the spread for each game.

NFL Week 17 Odds
Home TeamAway TeamO/ULinePick ATS
Pittsburgh SteelersCleveland Browns44PIT -7PIT
New York GiantsWashington Redskins45.5NYG -3.5NYG
Cincinnati BengalsBaltimore Ravens44.5CIN -5.5CIN
Tennessee TitansHouston Texans44TEN -7HOU
Indianapolis ColtsJacksonville Jaguars45.5IND -11.5IND
Miami DolphinsNew York Jets41MIA -6.5NYJ
Minnesota VikingsDetroit Lions51.5MIN -3MIN
Atlanta FalconsCarolina Panthers45.5CAR -6.5CAR
New Orleans SaintsTampa Bay Buccaneers47NO -13TB
New England PatriotsBuffalo Bills47NE -9BUF
Seattle SeahawksSt. Louis Rams43SEA -10.5SEA
Chicago BearsGreen Bay PackersTBDTBDTBD
Arizona CardinalsSan Francisco 49ers43SF -1.5SF
Oakland RaidersDenver Broncos53.5DEN -11.5DEN
San Diego ChargersKansas City Chiefs45SD -9.5KC
Dallas CowboysPhiladelphia Eagles52.5PHI -6.5PHI
Betting lines via ScoresAndOdds.com

 

Philadelphia Eagles

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 22:  Cary Williams #26 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after breaking up a pass during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field on December 22, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Vegas isn't stupid. As soon as news of Tony Romo's injury broke, the lines took a significant jump, per ESPN's Adam Schefter:

Jerry Jones' semi-threatening endorsement of Kyle Orton on his radio show doesn't do anything to make you think the Dallas Cowboys have a chance (via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Clarence E. Hill Jr.):

We paid a lot of money several years ago for just this very circumstance. Should we be in a situation where a game or a possible intermittent time when Tony couldn’t play, we get the very best we can, and that’s why we signed Kyle Orton for over $10 million a few years ago, just for this very occasion. Kyle has a very strong arm, he’s very experienced. If required, he’ll be able to step in and do as good under the circumstances as you could expect.

It's too bad that Orton can't play defense, because that's where the Cowboys will have the most trouble. Football Outsiders ranks Dallas 30th in the league in defensive DVOA, which is an improvement from 31st in Week 15.

The only hope that the Cowboys had was to counter Philadelphia's offense with offense of their own and hope for the win, which was the strategy against the Denver Broncos in Week 5. Without Romo, Dallas doesn't have a chance of keeping pace with the Eagles.

This one won't be close.

 

Denver Broncos

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 22:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos celebrates with Joel Dreessen #81 and Orlando Franklin #74 after Manning set the NFL record for touchdown passes in a season with 51, in a 37-13 defeat of the Houston Texans at Reliant S
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The one thing that could've slowed down Peyton Manning in Week 17 was cold weather. Playing in Oakland, weather shouldn't be a factor whatsoever. That will allow Manning to shred what's been a below-average Raiders defense.

When these two teams met in Week 3, Manning threw for 374 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 37-21 win for the Denver Broncos.

Losing Von Miller for the rest of the season will hurt in the playoffs, but in Week 17, it shouldn't play a major role. Oakland's offense has been pretty anemic this season, so the Raiders don't present too much of a threat.

Denver should get up early and keep pouring it on. The Broncos need to win to secure home-field advantage in the AFC, so it's unlikely they'll call off the dogs too early.

 

New York Giants

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 22: Josh Brown #3 of the New York Giants celebrates his overtime game winning filed goal to beat the Detroit Lions 23-20 with Steve Weatherford #5 and Bear Pascoe #86 while playing the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 22, 201
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Which team wants this one the least?

Among the 16 games on tap this weekend, this one is possibly the least interesting. Both teams are awful, and there's nothing on the line.

Basically, just go with the team that's less awful.

In that case, it would be the New York Giants.

The numbers aren't good for the Washington Redskins. They're 1-6 on the road, 0-5 against the NFC East and losers of their past seven games.

The Giants, on the other hand, are riding a one-game winning streak, tied for their second longest on the season. With momentum like that, how can you count them out?

In all seriousness, the Redskins secondary has been really bad this year. As long as Eli Manning doesn't throw three interceptions, New York should win this game comfortably.

The Giants showed some fight and determination in their win over the Detroit Lions last week. They haven't completely abandoned the 2013 season yet. A similar effort would serve them well on Sunday.