Week 17 of the 2013 NFL schedule provides football fans with a strange mixture of unadulterated joy and utter sadness as they pick the winners for the final week of the regular season.
While there are several marquee divisional bouts with major playoff implications on the line, the fact that this is the last time fans will have a full slate of games until next September has people wondering where the time went.
With the help of analysts like Frank Schwab of Yahoo! Sports, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, here is what the experts expect to happen when the Week 17 schedule kicks off.
|Experts' Week 17 Picks|
|Week 9 Matchup||Frank Schwab (Yahoo! Sports)||Jason La Canfora (CBS Sports)||Matt Miller (Bleacher Report)|
|Carolina at Atlanta||Panthers||Panthers||Panthers|
|Baltimore at Cincinnati||Bengals||Ravens||Bengals|
|Houston at Tennessee||Titans||Titans||Titans|
|Jacksonville at Indianapolis||Colts||Colts||Colts|
|NY Jets at Miami||Dolphins||Jets||Dolphins|
|Detroit at Minnesota||Vikings||Lions||Lions|
|Washington at NY Giants||Redskins||Giants||Giants|
|Cleveland at Pittsburgh||Steelers||Steelers||Steelers|
|Green Bay at Chicago||Bears||Packers||Bears|
|Denver at Oakland||Broncos||Broncos||Broncos|
|Buffalo at New England||Patriots||Bills||Patriots|
|Tampa Bay at New Orleans||Saints||Buccaneers||Saints|
|San Francisco at Arizona||49ers||Cardinals||49ers|
|Kansas City at San Diego||Chargers||Chiefs||Chiefs|
|St. Louis at Seattle||Seahawks||Rams||Seahawks|
|Philadelphia at Dallas||Eagles||Eagles||Eagles|
Where Experts Agree
Week 17 features an interesting slate of games with all sorts of playoff implications at stake, and football fans want to decipher which team will win their respective matchups during one of the biggest weekends of the season thus far.
The experts agreed on six of the weekend’s matchups, including picking Carolina, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Denver and Philadelphia to win. All six picks are the betting favorites, according to Covers.com.
That should be a good indicator that these games should be considered locks.
The Panthers are playing the lowly Atlanta Falcons and should have no problem pulling out the victory. The same can be said for the Colts (vs. Jacksonville), Steelers (vs. Cleveland), Titans (vs. Houston) and Broncos (vs. Oakland).
Of all the unanimous picks, the biggest surprise comes in the Eagles vs. Cowboys game. With Tony Romo possibly out with a back injury, according to Dan Hanzus of NFL.com, the experts are predicting that Philadelphia will win the NFC East.
These NFL insiders didn’t agree on everything, though.
Where Experts Disagree
The experts disagreed on 10 games in Week 17. With teams possibly resting their starters after cementing their spot in the postseason and fierce divisional battles happening across the league, anything can happen in the final week of the season.
Starting in the AFC, Schwab and Miller agreed on Cincinnati beating Baltimore, Miami over the New York Jets and New England over Buffalo. La Canfora took the latter in each case.
The CBS Sports NFL insider was going out on a limb on several of his NFC picks this weekend as well, standing alone by picking Green Bay over Chicago, Tampa Bay over New Orleans, St. Louis over Seattle and Arizona over San Francisco.
La Canfora and Miller agreed on the remaining games, but it was Schwab who put his neck on the line with arguably outrageous picks, taking Minnesota over Detroit, Washington over the New York Giants and San Diego over Kansas City.
While it’s acceptable for fans to use the experts' picks as a guide, the ultimate decision is in the hands of those making the wagers. Take the advice with a grain of salt, and use it to help you make your own educated choices.
*All stats via NFL.com.