Very few teams have much more than pride to play for in NFL Week 17, making the stronger teams even better bets. Your best picks against the spread.
No week during the NFL season is particularly “easy” to bet. However, Week 17 supplies tricks that no other week does because there will be teams who do not need to give their full effort. Factoring in which teams are resting and which are going all-out is the key to wagering in the regular season’s final week.
No Thursday, no Saturday, and no Monday games this week. It’s all business on Sunday heading into the playoffs. These are your best picks against the spread for NFL Week 17.
Two brothers from New York, Dan Salem and Todd Salem, discuss the best picks against the spread in today’s NFL Sports Debate.
2016 Record Against the Spread:
Dan Salem: 12-19-1 Todd Salem: 15-16-1
The season wraps up and some teams will have given up entirely. Pick carefully.
Todd Salem’s Week 17 Best Picks ATS
Pittsburgh Steelers -6 vs. Cleveland Browns
The Pittsburgh Steelers are locked into the three seed in the AFC. They cannot get a first-round bye and cannot drop to the fourth spot. They fit the epitome of someone resting in Week 17…and yet, will they really lose at home to the Cleveland Browns?
In some respects, the Browns have even less to play for than Pittsburgh because a loss actually benefits them. Cleveland wanted to win one game this season very much to avoid 0-16. However, it has no incentive whatsoever to win two. A loss clinches the top pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. With their desire to win gone, the Browns have reason to lose. They are also much, much worse than Pittsburgh. Even two quarters of effort from the Steelers should cover six points.
Denver Broncos Pick’Em vs. Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders have a lot on the line in this game. Unfortunately, they have no quarterback and were not a dominant team even with Derek Carr behind center. They were elite on the road and great in close games, but something tells me that will no longer be the case with Matt McGloin throwing against the Denver defense.
Denver is eliminated from the postseason, but spoiling the Raiders’ chance at a division title is something worth playing for. There is no line to cover. This is just one team lining up against the other, and Denver attempting to defend its home turf. I like their chances.
Dan Salem’s Week 17 Best Picks ATS
Kansas City Chiefs -5.5 at San Diego Chargers
It’s tricky picking games in NFL week 17 because so many teams only have pride left to play for. Or they are choosing to rest their stars. Regardless, I’m picking against a really bad Chargers team in this game. Nothing is more guaranteed than poor play continuing to be so. Couple this with a dominant Chiefs team playing for a division title and you have a great pick.
I love Kansas City, despite their ability to allow bad teams to stay in games. The Chiefs always seem to pull away and beating San Diego by a touchdown is a safe bet. Is this the Chargers final game in San Diego? Do fans even care? Give the points and jump on the KC bandwagon before it’s full.
Arizona Cardinals -6 at Los Angeles Rams
This is another game featuring a really bad football team against one that has played okay overall this season. The Rams stink this year, losing again to San Francisco in week 16, while Arizona managed to win on the road in Seattle last week. Two teams going in opposite directions. You know who to pick.
Usually six points are a lot for the Cardinals to give up, but they have pride left to play for. Los Angeles is thoroughly outmatched in this contest, so give up the six points. Arizona wins easily by a touchdown.