2010 Weekly Predictions: Week 17

December 31st, 2010 - 11:26 am

I had a rough week last week as several upsets derailed my predictions. Arizona over Dallas, Washington over Jacksonville, Detroit over Miami, Cincinnati over San Diego, and Minnesota over Philadelphia were the big surprises. I had a pretty good week against the spread, though. Let’s see how I do in Week 17, which is often difficult to predict due to many teams resting starters and other teams with players who have already made their offseason plans.

Point spreads come from Vegas.com as of Friday morning.

Last Week: 9-7
Last Week against the spread: 11-5

This Week: 11-5
This Week against the spread: 8-8

Overall: 171-85
Overall against the spread: 142-107-5

Miami Dolphins (7-8) at New England Patriots (13-2)
The Patriots have home field advantage so have nothing to play for, but I still think they beat the Dolphins at home.
Prediction: New England 20, Miami 13
Actual Score: New England 38, Miami 7
Spread Pick: New England -4
Actual Score: New England 38, Miami 7

Cincinnati Bengals (4-11) at Baltimore Ravens (11-4)
Baltimore will try to take a step closer to winning the AFC North with a victory over the Bengals.
Prediction: Baltimore 20, Cincinnati 16
Actual Score: Baltimore 13, Cincinnati 7
Spread Pick: Cincinnati +9 1/2
Actual Score: Baltimore 13, Cincinnati 7

Carolina Panthers (2-13) at Atlanta Falcons (12-3)
Although the Bears could use a massive upset, I don’t see the Panthers coming close to beating the Falcons in Atlanta.
Prediction: Atlanta 27, Carolina 13
Actual Score: Atlanta 31, Carolina 10
Spread Pick: Carolina +14 1/2
Actual Score: Atlanta 31, Carolina 10

Minnesota Vikings (6-9) at Detroit Lions (5-10)
The Lions have a chance to move up into third place in the division and I think they do just that with a home victory over the Vikings.
Prediction: Detroit 24, Minnesota 17
Actual Score: Detroit 20, Minnesota 13
Spread Pick: Detroit -3 1/2
Actual Score: Detroit 20, Minnesota 13

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4) at Cleveland Browns (5-10)
The Steelers are still trying to win the division so they have a lot to play for against the Browns. I think they pull off the road victory.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 23, Cleveland 20
Actual Score: Pittsburgh 41, Cleveland 9
Spread Pick: Cleveland +5 1/2
Actual Score: Pittsburgh 41, Cleveland 9

Oakland Raiders (7-8) at Kansas City Chiefs (10-5)
The Raiders knocked off the Chiefs in Oakland a few weeks ago; I think Kansas City returns the favor this time around.
Prediction: Kansas City 21, Oakland 17
Actual Score: Oakland 31, Kansas City 10
Spread Pick: Kansas City -3 1/2
Actual Score: Oakland 31, Kansas City 10

Buffalo Bills (4-11) at New York Jets (10-5)
The Jets are already in the playoffs and don’t have much to play for, but they should knock off the Bills at home.
Prediction: NY Jets 20, Buffalo 14
Actual Score: NY Jets 38, Buffalo 7
Spread Pick: NY Jets -1 1/2
Actual Score: NY Jets 38, Buffalo 7

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-6) at New Orleans Saints (11-4)
The Bucs not only need to do the improbable and beat the Saints in New Orleans, but they need the Giants to lose to the Redskins and the Packers to lose to the Bears to make the playoffs. I don’t see any of those three happening as the Saints, who still have a shot at the No. 1 seed, should win here.
Prediction: New Orleans 24, Tampa Bay 17
Actual Score: Tampa Bay 23, New Orleans 13
Spread Pick: Tampa Bay +7 1/2
Actual Score: Tampa Bay 23, New Orleans 13

New York Giants (9-6) at Washington Redskins (6-9)
The Giants need a win and a Packers loss to get into the playoffs. I think they’ll beat the Redskins to do their part, but might not get any help from the Bears over the Packers.
Prediction: NY Giants 23, Washington 17
Actual Score: NY Giants 17, Washington 14
Spread Pick: NY Giants -4
Actual Score: NY Giants 17, Washington 14

Dallas Cowboys (5-10) at Philadelphia Eagles (10-5)
Philadelphia has nothing to play for in this game as they’re locked into the No. 3 seed. I think Dallas pulls off the upset.
Prediction: Dallas 22, Philadelphia 20
Actual Score: Dallas 14, Philadelphia 13
Spread Pick: Dallas +6 1/2
Actual Score: Dallas 14, Philadelphia 13

Arizona Cardinals (5-10) at San Francisco 49ers (5-10)
Blah. Two NFC West losers. I have no interest in this game, nor do I care who wins. I like the way Arizona played last week and I’ll take them here.
Prediction: Arizona 24, San Francisco 23
Actual Score: San Francisco 38, Arizona 7
Spread Pick: Arizona +6
Actual Score: San Francisco 38, Arizona 7

San Diego Chargers (8-7) at Denver Broncos (4-11)
One could argue that both of these teams are disappointments this year, but Denver traded Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall in back-to-back years, so they had this coming. I like San Diego’s defense to help them win this game.
Prediction: San Diego 23, Denver 16
Actual Score: San Diego 33, Denver 28
Spread Pick: San Diego -3 1/2
Actual Score: San Diego 33, Denver 28

Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7) at Houston Texans (5-10)
The Jaguars are still hoping to sneak into the playoffs and they’ll give all they have against a bad Texans team that collapsed this year. I like Jacksonville.
Prediction: Jacksonville 24, Houston 20
Actual Score: Houston 34, Jacksonville 17
Spread Pick: Jacksonville +3
Actual Score: Houston 34, Jacksonville 17

Tennessee Titans (6-9) at Indianapolis Colts (9-6)
The Colts need a win to secure the division title and get into the playoffs. They’re playing at home and I like Peyton Manning in this big game.
Prediction: Indianapolis 27, Tennessee 20
Actual Score: Indianapolis 23, Tennessee 20
Spread Pick: Tennessee +9 1/2
Actual Score: Indianapolis 23, Tennessee 20

Chicago Bears (11-4) at Green Bay Packers (9-6)
The Bears don’t have much to play for because it’s highly doubtful the Panthers will upset the Falcons and the Bucs will beat the Saints. I think Green Bay gets into the playoffs with a win here.
Prediction: Green Bay 27, Chicago 17
Actual Score: Green Bay 10, Chicago 3
Spread Pick: Green Bay -10 (would be a push by my prediction)
Actual Score: Green Bay 10, Chicago 3

St. Louis Rams (7-8) at Seattle Seahawks (6-9)
What a dud of a Sunday Night Football game for any fan of the 30 other NFL teams. Nobody cares about the NFC West and it’s a disgrace that either a .500 or a sub-.500 team will win the division. Whoever does win this game will be one-and-done in the playoffs, anyway. I think the Rams are the better team and should win.
Prediction: St. Louis 23, Seattle 20
Actual Score: Seattle 16, St. Louis 6
Spread Pick: St. Louis -3 (would be a push by my prediction)
Actual Score: Seattle 16, St. Louis 6