Cue the montage. The end of the 2015 NFL regular season has arrived.
There isn’t that much drama lined up for Week 17, aside from the battle for the final playoff spot in the AFC. A couple of division titles are up for grabs, however, and the No. 1 seed in each conference remains undetermined, with the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers each controlling their own destinies.
The super-picking trio of Ben Watanabe, Mike Cole and Ricky Doyle — known as “Tom Brady’s Emails,” NESN.com’s entrant into the Westgate SuperContest as part of Team OddsShark — couldn’t care less about the level of intrigue surrounding the final Sunday of the season, though. Their civic duty is to provide you with the best NFL picks each week, and they’ll be damned if they don’t finish strong.
Every week, we lock up five games against the spread and compete against media personalities nationwide for bragging rights in the world’s largest football handicapped competition.
Let’s see who we’re locking up in Week 17.
Seattle Seahawks (+6.5) vs. Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. ET
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
The Cardinals have won nine in a row and still have a chance to seize the NFC’s top seed with a win and a Panthers loss. But the Seahawks also were rolling before last week’s slip-up against the St. Louis Rams, winning their previous five games in convincing fashion. Even if Arizona pulls out a victory Sunday, a 6.5-point spread seems high for two dangerous divisional opponents.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+10.5) vs. Carolina Panthers, 4:25 p.m. ET
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
The Bucs have been trending in the wrong direction since late November, losing four of their last five games. Just keep in mind the Panthers also are coming off a loss — their first of the season — and could rest players if they build an early lead, allowing the Bucs to sneak in the back door and cover. This is all about taking the points.
New York Giants (-3) vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1 p.m. ET
MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
The Eagles are in total disarray. Firing Chip Kelly could help in the long run, but it should only compound Philadelphia’s issues this week, even with the Giants having their own problems. The G-Men are 8-6-1 ATS this season while Philadelphia is 6-9 ATS. Odell Beckham Jr.’s return from a one-game suspension should help the Giants take care of business at home.
St. Louis Rams (-3.5) vs. San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m. ET
Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif.
It has been a disappointing season for both teams, but the 49ers (4-11) have been a bigger train wreck than the Rams (7-8). San Francisco comes in riding a three-game losing streak, whereas St. Louis enters on a three-game win streak (also 3-0 ATS) that includes an upset victory over Seattle in Week 16. The Niners are 6-15 ATS in their last 21 games and 5-12 ATS in their last 17 home games, neither of which is good.
New York Jets (-3) vs. Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. ET
Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, N.Y.
The Jets are 0-4 SU and ATS in their last four games against the Bills, but New York is riding a five-game win streak, during which Todd Bowles’ bunch is 4-0-1 ATS. The Bills are claiming this week’s game is their “Super Bowl,” but it actually means something to the Jets, who are looking to punch their ticket to the playoffs. It also should be noted Buffalo is 1-6 SU and ATS in its last seven January games.
Thumbnail photo via Mitch Stringer/USA TODAY Sports Images