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NFL Best Bets for Week 17
December 30th 2011- Old Man Winner             

NYJ +2.5 @ Mia, Sea +3 @ Ari, and NYG -3 vs. Dal

Here is what you are looking for in week #17, either 1) teams that have something to play for vs. teams that have mentally packed it in, or 2) games where everything or nothing is on the line for both teams. Try to avoid those games where there is any question about which players on a playoff team may or may not play.

With that in mind I like the Jets, the Seahawks, and the Giants

The Jets need to win to try and get into the playoffs. The Dolphins are out of the playoff picture. Those facts, alone, are enough. However, there are a couple of additional factors in the Jets favor. The two most important Dolphins players have been ruled out for this game - LT Jake Long, the leader of the offensive line, and Reggie Bush, their reborn rushing phenom. Without these two their rushing game will be significantly diminished and they will need to revert to a passing game that, albeit improved, is just average. This will play right into the strength of the Jets defense. Although Brandon Marshal had a good game playing on Revis island in their last meeting, I don't expect to see Revis lose this battle again. The other holiday gift is that the Jets are getting 2.5 pts. in this game. I would have expected them to be giving about that many.

I expect the Jets to try and get back to their running ways and take the ball out of Sanchez hands a bit more in this one.

NYJ 20 Mia 13

Neither team has anything to play for when Seattle travels to Arizona - so playoff motivation is a wash.

However, the Seahawks have Marshawn Lynch, and he is an absolute beast. He is tearing it up no matter what team the Seahawks face. Even in last week's loss against the 49's #1 rush defense, he ran for over 120 yards (the first 100+ yard rusher in over 2 seasons against SF) and scored the first rushing TD against the 9ers this year. They have put up over 30 points in three of their last four games. Their defense has also been very opportunitstic. The arrow for the Seahawks is definitely pointing up.

I think Fitz will get his, but it won't enough.

Sea 24 Ari 16

In another game where the motivation is pure, the Giants will host the Dallas Cowboys in a game that will determine the NFC East Champ and the team that will make it into the playoffs.

In these games, I look at the game in many ways. One way is to compare key positions and groups. Here is my breakdown:

Coaches: Advantage NYG
QB's: Advantage NYG (Romo's hand is still very swollen and should definitely cause issues)
Offensive lines: Even
Defensive lines: Advantage NYG
Home Team: Advantage NYG

Anytime I can get 4 out of 5 of these, I'm confident in my pick.

I expect the Giants to get to Romo more than the Cowboys will get to Eli.

NYG 27 Dal 17

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