Week 17 in the NFL is usually a mix of teams resting starters, teams fighting for their playoff spot or seed and teams that have given up. This Week 17 is much of the same, which makes it more difficult try and make solid prognostications for game outcomes, especially when you consider the point spread. You get very good teams as underdogs and some lines that are tough to gauge.
We will give you our picks for the early Week 17 games after the jump.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (+3.5): Both teams have locked up their spots in the playoffs, but we know that backup Matt Flynn will get playing time for the Packers. They will be looking to get healthy and rested before their bye week. As hard as is looks to pick a Packers opponent to cover as favorites, that's what we are doing. Pick: Lions, -3.5.
San Fransico 49ers at St. Louis Rams (+10.5): San Fran is still playing for something as they need a win to lock up a bye for the first week in the playoffs. The Rams have nothing left to play for except for pride, and they haven't had much pride in the 16 previous weeks. Why change now? Pick: Niners. -10.5.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-2.5): This is an interesting line having the Fins favored. I guess no one trusts Mark Sanchez. He was good enough a year ago. He will get his team back into the playoffs. Pick: Jets, +2.5.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-1.0): Josh McCown held his own against the defending champs, why can't he do the same against a bad Vikings team? Sure, the Bears have lost five straight, but it is the Vikings. Pick: Bears, +1.0.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-8.0): Since San Fran will be playing at the same time, Drew Brees and company will need a win and hope for a Niners loss to get that first-round bye. Playing at home, they just demolish teams, even good ones. Cam Newton, welcome to the Superdome. Don't expect much. Pick: Saints, -8.0.
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-8.5): That is a lot of points to give up for a team that no longer has playoff hopes and has the rep of mailing it in. Plus, Washington has a habit of close games. Too many points, we say. Pick: Redskins, +8.5.
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5): The Colts wouldn't go and mess up their sure pick of Andrew Luck, would they? Would you? Nope, neither would we. Plus, the Jags need to capitalize on the opportunity to pound a team that normally pounds other teams. Pick: Jags, -3.5.
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (+3.0): Has there ever been a playoff team that looked as hopeless as Houston? They will try and bounce back from some recent losses. They have responded to adversity well this season. This will be a great way to get ready for the playoffs. Pick: Texans, +3.0.
Stay tuned for our late game picks coming up later today.