Week 17 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)
Here are my Week 17 NFL picks against the spread:
New York Jets +5.5 (over Miami Dolphins)
The Jets and Dolphins are one of the great rivalries in the league, and of course, nothing would save Rex Ryan's job more than by beating Miami and knocking them out of the playoffs. The Jets will have history on their side going into this game, as they are 8-2 in their last 10 games against the spread in Miami.
The Dolphins will be hard pressed to run the ball this week, as the Jets only allow 88 yards per game and 3.3 yards per carry on the ground. No other offensive line has given up more sacks than Miami, and of course, the Jets have one of the best front fours in the league that have tallied 41 sacks on the year.
I love getting the 5.5 points, as I believe the Jets will play hard for their coach and keep this one close.
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New England Patriots -8 (over Buffalo Bills)
Perhaps no other team heading into the playoffs is as banged up as the Patriots, but they can take a huge step towards healing by winning tomorrow and getting a first-round bye. The Patriots know what is at stake, and I think this will be a classic game where they will not take their foot off the gas for the entire 60 minutes.
The Patriots will be able to exploit a Buffalo run defense that allows 119 yards per game, and 4.2 yards per carry. Also, New England will have to deal with backup quarterback Thad Lewis, so I foresee them loading eight in the box to stop Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. The Patriots also have the Bills number, as they have gone 10-1 straight up in their last 11, and of course not one team finishes better than the Pats.
Philadelphia Eagles -7 (over Dallas Cowboys)
Wow, losing Tony Romo is not only a huge blow, it also swung this game's line by almost 10 points. This is the classic win and you're in scenario, and while Kyle Orton is one of the better backups in the league, he doesn't stand a chance.
The problem is that Dallas has one of, if not the worst defenses in the league, and Orton will have to put up 40 points to hang with the Eagles, and I just don't see that happening. The Cowboys will be hurt by the league's leading rusher in LeSean McCoy, as they give up 127 yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry. Also, the blur offense under Nick Foles will shred a Dallas secondary that gives up 291 yards per game and 31 touchdowns on the year.
The main bright spot for the Cowboys is DeMarco Murray, but he will have a tough go against a rush defense that allows 3.8 yards per carry and caused a league-high 14 fumbles. I love the road favorite here, and I think the Eagles will handle the Cowboys easily with a trip to the playoffs on the line.
Five of our contributors make three weekly picks ATS every week and they will be posted here.