NFL 2011 Week 17 Picks

Happy New Year!

It’s all downhill from here for NFL fans. Week 17 in the NFL represents a passing of the season and the realization that after today there are only 11 games left.

Here are the Super Wynner standings after week 16. I give myself a chance to notch G-Dub by winning 14,15 or 16 games this weekend, so note I am taking the opposite of G-Dub in just about every game or vice-versa. Hey, I created the contest, I can change the rules if I see an injustice. And the fact is G-Dub should be .500, but has inexplicably torn it up, so we are going to manually attempt a “regression to the mean”:

The Super Wynner Contest Standings Week 16

Contestant Last Week Record
G-Dub 5-11 129-104-7 (.569)
Juana Wynner 7-9 121-112-7 (.525)
Colin Wynner 8-8 115-118-7 (.493)
Megan Wynner 10-6 115-118-7 (.484)

LVHSC: 2-3, 35-42-3 (Tied for 421st)

Note: I use the Las Vegas Hilton Lines from The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

G-Dub’s Week 17 Picks

Tennessee, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, St. Louis, Jacksonville, NY Jets, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Oakland, Kansas City, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Philadelphia

“Are the bookies effing with me?”

Tennessee (-1.5) @ Houston

Detroit (-3.5) @ Green Bay

Wouldn’t it be funny if one week the odds-makers went all bizarro on us by posting crazy lines like the ones above? My guess it would make a handicappers head explode trying to figure out what inside information the bookie. Think about – nobody trusts the “easy money” games, in fact I believe more people would fall on the side of the odds-makers, trusting them blindly, not wanting to be suckers. Think about it – let’s take the Packers at the Giants in week 13. Let’s say the odds-makers made the game Giants -3, my initial thought would be “wait I get points and the better team, sign me up”. That thought would be followed by “hang on, last time I went into a casino that had a homeless guy holding up a sign that read Free Money – inquire inside, I couldn’t sit down comfortably for a month”. Eventually, I would talk myself into the Giants minus the points – yeah, that’s a telling sign about my below average handicapping skills!

The fact that the Packers are resting their starters essentially gifting the Lions a win deprives NFL fans of the dream Schwartz/Harbaugh reunion during next weekend’s wildcard round.

Juana Wynner’s Week 17 Picks

Carolina @ New Orleans (-8.5) Some peoples New Year’s resolution is to stop jacking off. Drew Brees, who has the most passing yards for the 2011 season, definitely doesn’t jack off when it comes to football. He gets the job done if he wants to win.

New Orleans -8.5

Colin’s Comment – To clarify, by “jacking off” she means wasting time or procrastination. At least, I hope that’s what she means.

Buffalo @ New England (-11) – One of my personal New Year’s resolution is to get in better shape and be a major factor on my soccer team. Wes Welker is a major factor on the Patriots. He works his butt off to receive that ball and get a touchdown.

New England -11.0

Chicago @ Minnesota (-1.5) – Some peoples resolution is to run more and more often. Jared Allen, from Minnesota, obviously works on running a lot. He finds ways to get around the defense and sack the quarterback. This is an important skill to have on any football team but that’s not the only factor that you have to have.

Chicago +1.5

Washington @ Philadelphia (-8.0) – Some people have the resolution to quit smoking. This takes will power to not smoke again. London Fletcher has the top tackles in the NFL for 2011 and he most definitely has the will power to shut down Philadelphia.

Washington +8.0

The Rest: Tampa Bay +10, San Francisco -10.5, Green Bay +3.5, N.Y. Giants -3, Houston +1.5, Baltimore -2, Pittsburgh -6.5, Jacksonville -3.5, N.Y. Jets +3, Oakland +3, Denver -3, Seattle +3

Picks: Houston +1.5 and Detroit -3.5

“Records are meant to be broken, just not within a week”

Buffalo @ New England (-11.0)

Carolina @ New Orleans (-8.5)

One of the more interesting sub-plots of week 17 is the potential of NFL passing yardage record being broken for a second time in a week. If the 49ers can take of business early against that glorified FCS team, the Saints will have nothing to play for. The Patriots on the other hand are playing for the number one seed in the AFC. Brady trails Brees by 190 yards or roughly a little over a half of football for Brady, which is likely exactly what Brady will get over Brees, if the Saints are smart.

The big question is – would the Saints bring Brees back into the game if they got word that Brady was close or passed him? I think they would. I based on that on watching the Saints this season and seeing them a. blitzing like crazy when they were up 50 points on Colts; b. Piling on the points via the passing game against the Giants when they owned comfortable, insurmountable lead; and c. watching them put Brees in a vulnerable situation last week against the Falcons, with the sole purpose of breaking the record. So, yeah I think it’s that important to the Saints, that they would bring Brees back into the game. If they do, then that is screwing with the football karma god a little too much. There isn’t enough “Voodoo” in the Bayou to overcome the wrath of the angered football karma god. True dat!

The other factor that might be at play here is that Patriots might play a base defense to a. not show anything more than they need for potential playoff opponents; and b. give Brady a reason to throw for 800 yards.

Picks: Buffalo +11.0 and Carolina +8.5

“If we lose, we win”

San Francisco (-10.5) @ St. Louis

Megan Wynner’s Week 17 Picks

Seattle @ Arizona (-3) – My new year’s resolution is to be nicer to my sisters. So I pick Seattle because Arizona has Alex field that is mean!

Pick: Seattle +3

Pittsburgh (-6.5) @ Cleveland – My new year’s resolution is to get better in soccer. Since Cleveland has Lebron, I pick Pittsburgh!

Pick: Pittsburgh +6.5

Indianapolis @ Jacksonville (-3.5) – My new years resolution is to think before I say something hurtful. Therefore I pick Jacksonville because Indianapolis has Cameron who says hurtful things to people!

Pick: Jacksonville -3.5

N.Y. jets @ Miami (-3) – My new year’s resolution is to eat better. Since the N.Y. Jets has Mark Sanchez who tries to stay away from bad food I pick Miami.

Pick: Miami +3

Colin’s Comment – With one game to go, Megan is throwing a perfect game of incoherent thoughts.

Buffalo @ New England (-11) – My new year’s resolution is to obey. Therefore I pick Buffalo because Tom Brady and Bill O’Brien fight and don’t obey!

Pick: Buffalo +11.0

Colin’s Comment – Just when you think it’s a lock that the next comment is going to make absolutely no sense, she shows up with 1. A factual statement, albeit three weeks old; and 2. A back handed slap at Belichick, the dictator.

The Rest: Denver -3, San Diego +3, Cincinnati +2, Tennessee +2, Carolina +8.5, Dallas +3, Detroit -3.5, Chicago +1.5, San Francisco +10.5, Atlanta -10, Philadelphia -8.0

Indianapolis @ Jacksonville (-3.5)

I think the Rams should play the Colts/Jaguars game live on the big screen; they could even pipe in the audio in from the broadcast over the PA. That would be way more entertaining than watching Kellen Clemens try to maneuver the Rams pathetic offense through the 49ers defense.

Sure, the Rams don’t need Andrew Luck but they need what other teams would be willing to pay for Luck. If somehow the Colts players rally around Peyton Manning and blow the number one pick, the Rams could end up with a couple young players with reasonable upsides – like a linebacker and an interior offensive lineman, draft picks – 1st in 2013, 3rd and 4th in 2012 and Justin Blackmon, that would be a step in the right direction. And all of a sudden the division is getting better in a hurry – the 49ers are a legit contender, the Seahawks and Cardinals have some on strong, the Rams need this pick, period!

Picks: San Francisco -10.5 and Indianapolis +3.5

“We’ll be on the beach in 24 hours.”

Chicago @ Minnesota (-1.5)

Washington @ Philadelphia (-8.0)

Seattle @ Arizona (-3.0)

With nothing on the line, these games figure to have little defense and a tons of excitement, that way each team can build fans hope for next year. Imagine Bears fan talking himself into Kahlil Bell as a viable replacement to Forte or the Vikings fan base telling each other, “even if AP doesn’t make it back, this Toby Gerhart can play”. Eagles fans will leave “the Linc” telling themselves that “Mike Vick finally gets it, he has to play smarter and keep himself healthy”, while Redskins fans will be asking themselves, “What if the John Beck phase never happened?” because Grossman could lead us to the playoffs.

And in Arizona, the rabid Cardinals fans will leave the 2011 season thinking quarterback is not an area of concern for 2012. Lastly the Seahawks fans will talk themselves into Tavaris Jackson, provided that the front office does whatever it takes to re-sign Marshawn Lynch.

Picks: Minnesota -1.5, Washington +8.0 and Seattle +3.0

“If you don’t lock the back door, you leave yourself vulnerable”

San Diego @ Oakland (-3.0)

Kansas City @ Denver (-3.0)

Back in October, about the time the St. Louis Cardinals were going from playoff spectator to WS champs, I took when the Broncos were 1-4 I took note of their inflated odds to win the AFC West and thought of all the long-shots left on the board, they were the most interesting. They were interesting because it seemed like they could win a division that had a perennial under-achiever; a dysfunctional head coach and a team that hasn’t been good for nine years standing in their way. After staring at the number for a few minutes I concluded that even with the divisional advantages, the Broncos could never get the eight wins necessary to have a chance. So, I passed. Now I am rooting for the Raiders and Chiefs, so it doesn’t seem like a loss for me.

Picks: Denver -3.0 and San Diego +3.0

“So, you’re saying there’s a chance?”

NY Jets @ Miami (-3.0)

Yup, the Jets have a chance they only need the Raiders, Titans and Bengals to lose for them to back into the playoffs for the third straight year. Oh, and they also need to win their game against the Dolphins. So add it all up and the Jets have about a 10% chance of sneaking in into the post-season party. The problem with that is that I give them 0% chance of winning today, and you know what you get when you multiply anything times 0, right?

Pick: Miami -3.0

“Complete indifference”

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta (-10.0)

The big question here is will the Falcons value the five seed? If not, they show up, rest their starters and barely cover the double digits. If they do, and based on the ass whipping they got last week in New Orleans they should do whatever it takes to avoid the Saints, they crush the Bucs. So, either way, it’s a Falcons cover.

Pick: Atlanta -10.0

“Free Money”

Pittsburgh (-6.5) @ Cleveland

Baltimore (-2.0) @ Cincinnati

How can the mighty Ravens be less than a field goal favorite at Cincinnati, in game that means everything to them? I get that it means everything to the Bengals, but for the Ravens to put themselves in position to, finally, win the division and get a home playoff game, but blow it to a team that is running on fumes, starts a rookie quarterback and needed break after break to eke by the Cardinals at home last week doesn’t seem fathomable. Yet the odds-makers want are willing to accept essentially pick’em money on the Ravens.

Or maybe the line is representative of the fact the Ravens and Steelers agreed to both rest their starters today, so the NFC North could get three teams in the playoffs. It also might be representative of the fact that this Ravens team is garbage on the road or that their banged up all over the board.

Picks: Cincinnati +2.0 and Cleveland +6.5

“Winner takes it all”

Dallas @ NY Giants (-3.0)

This is the marquee match-up on the Sunday card as the only game where both teams have something to play for. Sadly, the NFC East has gone from NFC Beast to NFC Least this season. The division will send a single playoff team for the second time in as many seasons.

On one hand, you have the Giants at home, which is not an advantage in fact it’s a disadvantage. On the other hand you have the Cowboys, who have no ability to run the ball and therefore no ability to protect Romo. Eli Manning is wretched in home games while the Cowboys are not a good road team. You see where I am going with this? Yup, it’s a coin flip – and it’s a perfect flip, a 3600, triple axel and it bounces and settles on the . . .

Pick: NY Giants -3.0

Happy New Year from Colin Wynner, who calls roughly 1 out of every 2 winners!

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