Columnist Josh Satlers NFL Picks for Week 17

From: Josh Salter –

As we come into the final weekend of the regular season, it’s time to finish out our solid year of best bets before we head into the playoffs, where the competition gets a whole lot tighter, as do the spreads, normally.

Best Bet

1. Atlanta Falcons (-14) vs. St. Louis Rams. The point spread is large, but so has been the margin of defeat for the Rams in numerous games this season. And this will be no different. The Falcons are playing for a potential No. 2 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye. They will be very motivated to make that happen.

Look for a strong outing by QB Matt Ryan and Co., and for the defense to apply numerous amounts of pressure and create havoc for Bulger and this Rams’ offense. Blowout.

Next in Line

2. New England Patriots (-6.5) vs. Buffalo Bills. There are only a few teams in the NFL that have consistent success against Belichick and the Bills are not one of them. The Bills found a way to pull out the upset over the inconsistent Broncos last Sunday but won’t be able to tap into that magic this week.

Look for the Pats to bury their rivals and put themselves in a position to make the post season.

3. Miami Dolphins (+2.5) vs. New York Jets. In what has to be the feel good story of the year, the one-win Dolphins of a year ago are on the verge of winning the AFC East. And in the process, Pennington has a chance to stick it to his former team. We like Miami to pull out the mini-upset and send Eric Mangini to the unemployment line and Brett Favre into retirement.

4. Seattle Seahawks (+6) vs. Arizona Cardinals. See money line analysis.

Others we like

1. San Diego Chargers (-8) vs. Denver Broncos. The Chargers are ready to extend their four-game winning streak to finish off the season and advance to the playoffs, and in the process, bury the hopes of their rivals from Denver. Look for Rivers and Tomlinson to come up big on Sunday as Denver will be unable to keep up with the scoring.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (+3) vs. Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals haven’t been playing too poorly lately, but how they could be favorites against anybody is beyond me. And the Chiefs have been quite competitive of late.

In fact, they might have found their future QB in Tyler Thigpen and Tony G. has been on fire the past month. Look for this game to be won on offense, and for the Chiefs to do a little more in the end than the Bengals.

3. Houston Texans (-3) vs. Chicago Bears. The Bears are a very fluky 9-6 and very lucky to still have a chance at the division title and post season. The Texans motivation is that they could finish with their first 8-8 record in franchise history. Look for the Texans’ offense to overwhelm this Bears defense and win this one going away.

Money Line

1. Seattle Seahawks (+220) vs. Arizona Cardinals. With the way that the Cardinals have played the past few weeks, it’s a shock that they’d be favored over anybody.

Of course that was against two playoff teams, and this is not, but with Arizona hosting a playoff game next week, we don’t see HC Ken Whisenhunt taking any chances and playing his starters for more than a half.

And with this being Mike Holmgren’s final game as the Seahawks’ coach, we see the players wanting to send their coach out on a high note. An upset is definitely in order.

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