(40-37-3 against the spread this season)
By Danny Picard
BOSTON — I went 3-2 last week. Can’t believe it’s already Week 17. I’ll keep this short and sweet because I’ve been sick as a dog.
Here are my picks for Week 17:
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (+14.5) over Buffalo Bills
-The 9-6 Bills are trending in the right direction, having won three straight. They can clinch a playoff berth with a win and some help, so I do expect Josh Allen to take care of business at home against the 4-11 Patriots. But the Pats have shown some fight here down the stretch with Bailey Zappe under center, which makes the high spread somewhat dangerous. Bills win, but Patriots cover.
LOS ANGELES RAMS (-6) over New York Giants
-Here come the Rams. After starting 3-6, LA has won five of its last six games. At 8-7, the Rams would be in the playoffs if the season ended before Week 17. They can clinch a playoff berth with a win over the 5-10 Giants in New Jersey, plus a Seattle loss to Pittsburgh. The Rams have averaged over 30 points scored in their last five games. Big day for Kyren Williams here. Rams win by 10.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-2.5) over New Orleans Saints
-The 8-7 Bucs can clinch the division with a win at home over the 7-8 Saints. Tampa has won four straight, and has already beaten the Saints, in New Orleans, earlier this season. Baker Mayfield had a big game in that win, throwing three touchdown passes. With a division title in their sights and a spread under three, give me the Buccaneers all day here to win and cover.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (+4.5) over Seattle Seahawks
-Mason Rudolph turned some heads last week with a big win over the Bengals. Can he go into Seattle and do the same this week? The Seahawks are 8-7 and are fighting to hold onto a playoff spot in the NFC. The Steelers are 8-7 and are fighting to get in the playoff picture in the AFC. It’s a must-win for both teams. I like Pittsburgh’s pass rush here to keep it close. Seattle wins at home by a field goal, so I’ll take the points.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-6.5) over Cincinnati Bengals
-The 9-6 Chiefs don’t look the same. It feels like something’s wrong. Doesn't it? But after their loss to the Raiders last week, I do think that serves as a wake-up call. I expect Patrick Mahomes to bounce back at home against the 8-7 Bengals this week. Kansas City can clinch the division with a win. They’ll do that. Chiefs by 10.
Follow Danny on instagram @DannyPicard.