NFL Picks Against the Spread for Week 17: Let’s Keep Winning!

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Jaylen Waddle #17 of the Miami Dolphins reacts after catching a pass against the New Orleans Saints. Chris Graythen/Getty Images/AFP

Each week Swinging Johnson delivers his NFL picks and predicts the score for each game on the NFL slate.

Last week he went 10-6 against the number so let’s see what Swinger thinks of this week’s upcoming games!

  • Swinger’s 2021 Pick All Record (60-46 ATS)

Atlanta Falcons vs. Buffalo Bills

Sunday, January 02, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at Highmark Stadium

Matt Ryan has been a human pinata this season due to an offensive line that has incorporated the matador protection scheme – ole’! The Falcons have lost by double digits to every decent team they have faced this season and were actually outgained, 338-254, by the lowly Lions last week.

The question is not if the Bills win, it’s by how much? How many points would you need to bet on the Falcons? Are you hesitant to bet Buffalo because you’ll be just another square sending it in on the big home chalk? I’ll answer. I’d need +24½ to bet the Falcons and, yes, I am deathly afraid of being on the public side but they don’t always lose and they won’t lose here.

Score Prediction: Bills 41 – Falcons 17

NFL Pick: Bills -14½ (-104) at GTbets (visit our GTbets Review)

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Bills -14½ (-104)
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New York Giants vs. Chicago Bears

Sunday, January 2, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at Soldier Field

This game was the subject of my weekly tête-à-tête with fellow BMR capper, Doug Upstone, in our Point/Counterpoint series. The Bears will not be doing anything after the regular season is over except making vacation plans but they have shown a bit of life down the stretch, having pulled a 25-24 upset of the Seahawks in Seattle.

Now they get to take on arguably the worst team in the league without their starting quarterback at Soldier Field. Yes, scary to lay six with the Bears but scarier to bet the Giants plus any number of points.

Score Prediction: Bears 24 – Giants 14

NFL Pick: Bears -5½ (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Bears -5½ (-108)
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Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals 

Sunday, January 02, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at Paul Brown Stadium

The Chiefs have come alive and flexed big time on national television in their 36-10 destruction of the Steelers on Sunday night. That kind of performance catches the attention of their adoring public, the line begins to swell, and before you know it we have one of the better teams in the league getting five points in their own sandbox.

Don’t be surprised if the Bengals pull the upset in this AFC showdown as they need it more than the Chiefs and Joe Burrow is playing as well as anyone, including Patrick Mahomes.

Score Prediction: Bengals 31 – Chiefs 28

NFL Pick: Bengals +5½ (-115) at Everygame (visit our Everygame Review)

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Bengals +5½ (-115)
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Miami Dolphins vs. Tennessee Titans 

Sunday, January 02, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at Nissan Stadium

The Dolphins' seven-game winning streak is impressive but a bit misleading considering the teams that they have beaten. Let’s name names: the Texans, Ravens, Jets, Panthers, Giants, Jets again, and a decimated Saints squad last week. Now they get a real test and one that will see their streak snapped.

Last week the Titans got back A.J. Brown and his presence energized the offense. They should be able to do much the same as they did last Thursday when they upset the 49ers and will have ten days to prepare.

Score Prediction: Titans 24 – Dolphins 19

NFL Pick: Titans -3½ (-104) at GTbets

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Titans -3½ (-104)
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Las Vegas Raiders vs. Indianapolis Colts 

Sunday, January 02, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at Lucas Oil Stadium

The Colts are becoming this year’s Cinderella story after knocking off a pair of legitimate threats in New England and Arizona with their eyes now squarely on wresting the AFC South crown from the Titans. But their offensive line has been racked by injuries and the Raiders do a decent enough job getting after the quarterback.

It wouldn’t surprise anyone if the Colts are still reveling in their 22-16 win over the Cardinals in the desert and overlooking the boys from Sin City. Let’s take advantage of a slightly inflated number and bet the road pup here.

Score Prediction: Colts 21 – Raiders 17

NFL Pick: Raiders +7 (-108) at Heritage Sports

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Raiders +7 (-108)
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Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New England Patriots

Sunday, January 2, 2022- 01:00 PM EST at Gillette Stadium

The Patriots are in the midst of a two-game losing streak but they have the cure that ails them in the Jacksonville Jaguars coming to Foxboro this week. Like the Falcons/Bills game, it’s not a question of who wins, it’s by how much. One would tend to think that the Evil Genius is salivating at the prospect of torturing what many consider to be the very worst team in the league.

The NFL odds at many of the top sportsbooks are showing the Pats as 15 to 15½ point favorites and although they are not an offensive juggernaut, their defense should give young Trevor Lawrence and his porous offensive line absolute fits. Lay it and like it.

Score Prediction: Patriots 36 – Jaguars 10

NFL Pick: Patriots -15 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Patriots -15 (-110)
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New York Jets

Sunday, January 02, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at MetLife Stadium

How are the Jets going to run against an immoveable Bucs run-stop unit? They won’t which means Zach Wilson will have to throw for his supper while he’s running for his life. We should note the Bucs will be missing their top two wideouts in Chris Godwin (out for the season) and Mike Evans (COVID) while bulldozing running back Leonard Fournette (hamstring) will still remain sidelined.

And while those absences will diminish the scoring opportunities, I’m still unconvinced the Jets will score enough to hang within the margins against Tom Terrific and the Bucs.

Score Prediction: Buccaneers 27 – Jets 9

NFL Pick: Buccaneers -13 (-108) at Heritage Sports

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Buccaneers -13 (-108)
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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Football Team

Sunday, January 02, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at FedEx Field

The betting public has a short-term memory which is why this line is askew. The Eagles hammered the Giants last week, 34-10, while the WFT was getting hammered by the Cowboys, 56-14. But the No-Namers are healthy for the first time in a long time for this matchup and should keep pace with the enigmatic Eagles.

Score Prediction: Eagles 23 – Washington 21

NFL Pick: Washington +3½ (-108) at Heritage Sports

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Washington +3½ (-108)
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Los Angeles Rams vs. Baltimore Ravens

Sunday, January 2, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at M&T Bank Stadium 

If Matt Stafford is on, the Rams win this one going away. But if his chronic back issue flares up, he will have a tough time getting through the afternoon.

I don’t have a crystal ball but I do know the Ravens are getting north of a field goal at home and I will side with the home pup as Stafford looked lousy last week in tossing three picks and could do the same here. This is a crapshoot so take a pass on this one.

Score Prediction: Rams 27 – Ravens 24

NFL Pick: Ravens +4½ (-105) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Ravens +4½ (-105)
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Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Sunday, January 02, 2022 – 04:05 PM EST at SoFi Stadium

The Broncos defeated the Chargers, 28-13, earlier this year and it wouldn’t surprise me if they swept the season series. They simply match up well because they have two runners that can do serious damage to a woeful run-stop unit and that will keep the clock ticking, the chains moving, and Justin Herbert off the field.

Grab the points and cash with the Broncos.

Score Prediction: Chargers 24 – Broncos 23

NFL Pick: Broncos +6½ (-108) at Heritage Sports

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Broncos +6½ (-108)
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Houston Texans vs. San Francisco 49ers

Sunday, January 02, 2022 – 04:05 PM EST at Levi’s Stadium

The Texans pulled a huge upset last week over the Chargers and that mojo could carry over as they face the 49ers who will hand the reins of the offense to the rookie, Trey Lance, in place of the injured Jimmy Garoppolo. The oddsmakers are giving us too many points to turn down backing a road pup that showed some bite last week.

Score Prediction: 49ers 29 – Texans 20

NFL Pick: Texans +13 (-115) at Everygame

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Texans +13 (-115)
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Arizona Cardinals vs. Dallas Cowboys

Sunday, January 2, 2022 – 04:25 PM EST at AT&T Stadium

The Cowboys looked like the greatest team ever assembled last week in their thorough destruction of Washington while the Cardinals looked perfectly mortal as they lost their third consecutive game, 22-16, to the Colts. Therefore, the line has skyrocketed and it is now a perfectly feasible value bet on the road underdog.

Kyler Murray will get his starting center back and that will help smooth the offense that has struggled since DeAndre Hopkins has been sidelined. We will keep our fingers crossed that Arizona stays within the margins with the generous head start.

Score Prediction: Cowboys 27 – Cardinals 23

NFL Pick: Cardinals +6 (-108) at Heritage Sports

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Cardinals +6 (-108)
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Carolina Panthers vs. New Orleans Saints

Sunday, January 2, 2022, 04:25 PM EST at Caesars Superdome

We might have gotten a lucky break because the Saints didn’t just lose last week but got stoned by the Dolphins defense when they fell, 20-3, resulting in a line that is likely a bit lower than it would normally be in this matchup. This week New Orleans should see the return of Trevor Semian or Taysom Hill after rookie Ian Book stumbled in his career debut.

The Saints will get well in this game and should easily cover the number with Alvin Kamara tearing apart a subpar Panthers’ run-stop unit.

Score Prediction: Saints 31 – Panthers 14

NFL Pick: Saints -6½ (-108) at Heritage Sports

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Saints -6½ (-108)
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Detroit Lions vs. Seattle Seahawks

Sunday, January 02, 2022 – 04:25 PM EST at Lumen Field

Jared Goff should be returning to the fold after his absence last week on the COVID list and the Lions are in a good spot to keep this one close. The Seahawks have the second-worst pass defense in the league and that will allow Goff to get into a groove.

Seattle has been eliminated from postseason consideration and Russell Wilson has been erratic since returning from surgery to his injured finger. Too many points are being given here to the Lions.

Score Prediction: Seahawks 18 – Lions 17

NFL Pick: Lions +7 (-110) at BetOnline

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Lions +7 (-110)
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Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers

Sunday, January 2, 2022 – 08:20 PM EST at Lambeau Field

This is one game where the line is just a hook short of making this a decent play on the underdog. The Vikings defeated the Packers last year on the frozen tundra of Lambeau and will give the Pack a run for their money as Minnesota should be able to take advantage of the injury-plagued Green Bay offensive line.

On the flip side, Dalvin Cook will return and should have an outstanding game against the Packers’ middling-at-best run-stop unit. Grab the points and fade the public action that will be squarely on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

Score Prediction: Packers 30 – Vikings 26

NFL Pick: Vikings +7 (-115) at Bovada

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Vikings +7 (-115)
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Cleveland Browns vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Monday, January 03, 2022 - 08:15 PM EST at Heinz Field

I look for Baker Mayfield to rebound after an absolutely heinous performance in Cleveland’s 24-22 loss to the Packers in which he tossed four interceptions and essentially gave the game away.

He will be assisted by a dynamic ground game that will allow him more time in the pocket while the Steelers focus on stopping Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Big Ben’s final game will end with a whimper rather than a bang.

Score Prediction: Browns 31 – Steelers 20

NFL Pick: Browns -3 (-125) at Bovada

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Browns -3 (-125)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.