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NFL Pro Football 2012 Week 17 Picks

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Pro Football Week 17 Picks - late games

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 17 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | December 30, 2012

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

NY Jets at Buffalo (-3 1/2, 39) 1:00 pm - The Jets are one of only a handful of teams that the 5-10 Bills would be favored over, but this just could be the sucker game of the week. The Jets have won six straight against Buffalo and are 5-1 ATS during that run.

While the Jets are nothing like the team that won at home, 48-28, in Week one over the Bills, they do seem to have their number.

This is truly an awful representation of the NFL and skipping this one entirely is highly advised, though the Jets may convert more than a few turnovers into points and win going away. Buffalo has lost three straight and seven of their last nine.

Prediction: Jets 31 Bills 20


Baltimore at Cincinnati (-2, 41) 1:00 pm - This line has been all over the place, from -1 to -3, but at no time have the Ravens been favored to win. There's good reason for that, being that Baltimore has already wrapped up the division and may have no impetus to playing hard.

The same is true for the Bengals, having already clinched a playoff spot.

With the main focus being not getting anyone hurt, this game is one everybody should skip, though, since a pick here is a must, we'll side with the home team.

Prediction: Bengals 24 Ravens 17

Cleveland at Pittsburgh (-11, 34 1/2) 1:00 pm - This game has little meaning, as both teams are just looking to end their 2012 seasons. For Pittsburgh, missing the playoffs is a major disappointment; for Cleveland, it's business as usual.

For the 5-11 Browns, this is their second straight road trip, after losing at Denver last week, 34-12, the Browns are just 1-6 away from home. Pittsburgh is 4-3 at Heinz field this season.

The Browns topped the Steelers in their first meeting this year, winning at home, 20-14, on November 25. The Stellers have lost three straight, including last week's demoralizing, 13-10, loss to the Bengals, which officially pushed them out of playoff contention.

With a lot of regulars figuring to sit this one out, the Browns, with points, seems a reasonable proposition.

Prediction: Browns 24 Steelers 16


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Houston (-6 1/2, 48) at Indianapolis 1:00 pm - Another game with limited meaning, since both teams are already qualified for the playoffs. Houston has already wrapped up home field throughout the playoffs and the #1 seed, and a bye for the first week, so there's no reason for the Texans to play their starters, especially since the Colts are secure as a wild card and probably aren't interested in choosing where they will go next weekend depending on the outcome here.

Houston won their first meeting when the game actually mattered, just two weeks ago, winning 29-17.

Neither team has any motivation to win and cover. Good chance that Andrew Luck will see limited or no action. Flip a coin.

Prediction: Colts 26 Texans 17

Jacksonville at Tennessee (-4, 42) 1:00 pm - A division rivalry with nothing on the line except players' health heading into the off-season.

Jacksonville won the first game at home, 24-19, one of just two wins all season, so there may be some Tennessee players looking to even the score. It's another risky opportunity for any plunger, but home field may prove more meaningful.

Prediction: Titans 28 Jaguars 17


Chicago (-3, 44 1/2) at Detroit 1:00 pm - The Bears need to win and have the Vikings lose later in the day to the Packers, so, the Bears will be all out to hand the Lions their eighth straight loss.

Sounds easy enough, but, back in October, the Bears beat the Lions by just six points, 13-7, in the open air of Soldier Field.

At home, under the dome, the Lions may have other plans for the Bears, like sending them home with the rest of the NFL scrub teams. The Lions have nothing to lose by going for fourth downs, faking punts, etc., in addition to getting Megatron (Calvin Johnson) over the 2000-yard receiving mark, something no player has ever accomplished. He needs just 108 yards, which is well under his per-game average.

The Bears have a sub-par offense and the Lions will probably be inspired at home, for a change.

Prediction: Lions 27 Bears 20


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Philadelphia at NY Giants (-7, 46) 1:00 pm - Hard to believe the Giants are favored here, after the way they've played the last two weeks.

Their defensive secondary has fallen completely apart and the rest of the team isn't far behind. The Giants can still get into the playoffs with a win and losses by the Cowboys, Vikings and Bears.

While all of that could happen, it's unlikely, and, making matteres even more complicated, Mike Vick will be starting for the Eagles.

Buh-bye, Giants.

Prediction: Eagles 27 Giants 24


Tampa Bay at Atlanta (-3 1/2, 45 1/2) 1:00 pm - With absolutely nothing on the line for the 13-2 Falcons, since they've already clinched home field for the duration of their stay in the playoffs, many Atlanta starters will see limited action, getting some extra down time in preparation for the post-season.

With that in mind, it needs to be pointed out that the Buccaneers are riding a five game losing streak. At mid-season, they were 6-4 with an eye for the playoffs, but the wheels fell off after losing at home to these same Falcons, 24-23.

After that, a 31-23 loss at Denver and a 23-21 defeat by the Eagles preceeded the final unraveling, a 41-0 defeat at New Orleans and last week's 28-13 home loss to the Rams.

The Bucs stopped playing two weeks ago, and, even against Atlanta's second string, they probably can't produce enough emotion to muster up a win.

Prediction: Falcons 27 Buccaneers 13

Carolina at New Orleans (-5 1/2, 54) 1:00 pm - Neither team has a shot at the playoffs, so pride is on the line, and this could be a fun game to watch, if one enjoys scoring and no defense.

That said, the Panthers beat the Saints way back in week two, when things like winning actually mattered to both teams.

However, that was the first Carolina win over New Orleans in their last five meetings and the Panthers haven't won in New Orleans since 2008.

In a game like this, in which the Panthers are 4-1 over their last five games and the Saints 2-7 ATS their last nine against Carolina, the points make a ton of sense.

Prediction: Panthers 38 Saints 34

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2012, 2013, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.

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