Lock’em Or Leave’em: Our Predictions For NFL Week 17

Above: The Broncos' Peyton Manning after he set an NFL record with his 51st touchdown pass
Above: The Broncos' Peyton Manning after he set an NFL record with his 51st touchdown pass

With 16 games last week, and 7 dogs rearing their ugly heads, I bet you’re wondering what everyone is wondering – how can anyone call games in December? Well boys and girls – it’s time to right this ship, chart a course to Lock-land, and enjoy the spoils of our journey! Our NFL analyst and sports bettor, Jeff Bjarnarson, went without any sort of holiday fun these past few days to prepare for another week of Lock’em OR Leave’em!

The playoff picture has become increasingly clear though there are still a few teams that control their own destiny, and others whose post-season is in the fates of the violent and meddlesome football gods. For Week 17, we’ve got a handful of teams that win. All they do is win. Win no matter what. And every time they step up into the building, everybody’s hands go up. (I am so, so sorry I put you through that!)

Lock’em

In their last 20 games against the 11-4 Patriots, Buffalo (6-9) has lost 19 of them. In fact, the last time Buffalo left Foxborough with the W, was Nov. 5th, 2000. To put this into perspective, the first crew arrived at the International Space Station a few days before. Now, I’m not saying it can’t be done, but when you take Brady and Belichick’s Home record + New England’s Overall Scoring (5th) against Buffalo’s Overall Defense (15th), locking down the Patriots is where the smart money’s at. Taking the OVER is just the gravy on the side.

On January 2nd, 2011, Tampa Bay rolled into New Orleans and beat the Saints 23-13. The Saints have made them pay dearly for that, losing only 1 of their last 5 games against the Bucc’s. On Sunday, an abysmal 4-11 Tampa Bay team who is at the very bottom of their division, marches into the Mercedes Benz Superdome where the 10-5 Saints are unbeaten this year. Look for the same trends as Brees heavy Home Passing attack (2nd) tears apart Tampa Bay’s Road Passing Defence (15th). Lock in Saints to take the W!

I couldn’t end the year without grabbing Mr. 51 and the Bronco’s one last time. If you take Denver’s Road Passing (1st) against vs Oakland’s Home Defence (31st), add a quarterback with the most Touchdown passes ever (with one more game to add to that total), and a kicker with the longest field goal ever, you’ve got the makings of one of the easiest Locks I’ve had the pleasure of taking this year. Oh, and they’re playing the 4-11 Raiders who have given up 150 pts in ONLY their last 4 games. Ouch! How high can Manning go?! 55? 60?! Lock down the Broncos and watch Peyton continue to make history!

Leave’em

The 11-4 Panthers head to Atlanta to take on the 4-11 Falcons. Matt Ryan is pathetic this year, leading the charge with a team that had hopes of winning their division. Why is this game not in the Lock’em category? Atlanta is 15-6 in their last 21 games at home AND unbeaten in their last 5 games when playing Carolina in Falcon territory. Seems like an easy one for the Panthers, but my money is not touching this game! 

In another game that seems like easy money, my wallet has convinced me to stay away from the San Fran / ‘Zona game. The Come-out-of-Nowhere Cardinals have a respectable have a 10-5 season record and are only 1 game shy of the 11-4 49’ers. Not only that, they snatched a win last week in Seattle’s 12th Man stadium! Now, while San Francisco is 8-1 in their last 9 games when playing Arizona, ‘Zona has only lost once in their last 7 at home. Kaep finds points hard to come by on the road, as San Francisco’s Road Passing ranks only 31st vs Arizona’s Home Defense (7th). At 42 pts. as the posted total, I’d like to think the game goes OVER, but that’s the only way I’ll touch this game. Leave’em!

Jets 8-7. Dolphins 7-8. Both teams can beat great teams. Both teams can lose to horrible teams. Miami is 7-3 in their last 10 games when playing the New York Jets BUT only 2-5 in their last 7 games when playing at HOME against the Jets. The posted total is only 41, so go ahead and grab the OVER. Other than that, one team will win and one team will lose and neither of them really care that much either way. 

Got a lock? Leave it in the comments below. Totally against our predictions? We’d love to hear from you! May you be among winners this weekend!

Jeff Bjarnarson

As cliche as it sounds, Jeff Bjarnarson is a jack of all (fun) trades. Growing up in rural Manitoba, Jeff moved to Toronto 3 years ago to carve more footsteps on this planet and broaden his horizons. He finds enjoyment diving into digital strategy with clients at Stone Canoe, a digital shop on Queen West; pushing his physical limits as a participant in this year’s Agency Wars, and most recently, being elected to Business Insider‘s “50 Sexiest Advertising Executives Alive” list, which he humbly accepted. For fun, Jeff eats, breathes, and sleeps NFL football.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>