Browns Coach Will Take Plunge In Lake Erie
The Cleveland Browns have made a frustrating habit out of losing.
They are about to become the second franchise in the history of the NFL to finish a season at 0-16. The Detroit Lions were the first to accomplish that feat in 2008.
After finishing 1-15 last year, head coach Hue Jackson said people would find him “swimming in (Lake Erie)” if the Browns were that bad again in 2017.
Jackson said this week he will honor his words, all in the name of charity. He won’t have to worry about any crowded beaches this time of year — more like ice and snow.
The New England Patriots, who have won at least 12 games eight seasons in a row, have lost 26 total games in that amazing run — four less than the Browns in their two years of ineptitude.
***VGB’s Week 16 record against the spread: 5-9-2
Here are the Week 17 picks against the spread for all 16 games on New Year’s Eve (odds provided by bovada.lv).
Lions Will Likely Win Meaningless Game
Green Bay at Detroit — This game means absolutely nothing to either team. The Lions (8-7) made sure of that with a horrible effort in Cincinnati last weekend. The Packers (7-8), without Aaron Rodgers, had trouble beating the Browns. Now that’s bad. Detroit always seem to play well when games don’t matter. This will just be another example to add to the list. The Packers are 7-8 against the spread (ATS), while the Lions are 7-7-1.
VGB’s pick — Detroit (-7), Over (43.5)
Eagles Could Finish With 14 Victories
Dallas at Philadelphia — The Eagles (13-2) are about to cap off a tremendous season with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. But no one is going to fear Nick Foles in the postseason, and that could be a huge problem for the NFC East champs. The Cowboys (8-7) got a huge boost with the return of Ezekiel Elliott last week, and they went out and dropped the ball at home against Seattle. Now, they are just playing for their coach’s job.
VGB’s pick — Dallas (-3), Over (39.5)
Jets Often Cover Spread As Underdogs
New York Jets at New England — The Patriots (12-3) are 3-1 against the spread as double-digit favorites. This isn’t their biggest spread of the season as they were 16.5-point favorites (and covered) in Week 12 against Miami. It’s also the eighth straight year in a row the Patriots have won at least 12 games. A victory here at home would clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC postseason. The Jets are 8-5-2 ATS.
VGB’s pick — New York Jets (+15), Over (43.5)
Redskins Look To Finish Season At .500
Washington at New York Giants — You would really have to hate the Giants (2-13) to have predicted a two-win season for 2017. Where did this come from and how did it happen? These are questions management will have to answer in the offseason. The Redskins (7-8) have won two straight at home and can get back to .500 for the first time since Nov. 5. The Redskins, 7-8 ATS, won their first meeting against the Giants in Week 12.
VGB’s pick — Washington (-3), Over (37.5)
Bears Winless Against Division Rivals
Chicago at Minnesota — Even though the Vikings (12-3) have clinched the NFC North title, they are still looking to lock up a first-round bye. Minnesota is 6-1 at home, while Chicago is 2-5 on the road. The Bears (5-10) are winless against division opponents and just 1-10 versus NFC rivals. The Vikings have won two straight and 10 of their last 11. They could also become the first team ever to play at home in the Super Bowl.
VGB’s pick — Minnesota (-11), Over (39.5)
2008 Lions May Have Company At 0-16
Cleveland at Pittsburgh — The Browns (0-15) might have a shot at win No. 1 if the game meant nothing to the Steelers (12-3). But it does, as Pittsburgh still has a chance at home-field advantage in the AFC. The Browns will likely become the second franchise in NFL history to go 0-16. That would make it one win in two years of suffering in Cleveland. The Steelers are 7-8 ATS. It’s the biggest spread they have had to overcome all year.
VGB’s pick — Line not available due to injuries.
Both AFC Teams On Huge Losing Streaks
Houston at Indianapolis — This just shows you how bad the Texans (4-11) are at the quarterback position. The Colts (3-12) have only been picked to win once this year, but they are four-point favorites against Houston. Even Cleveland was favored against Indy. The Texans have lost six straight, while the Colts have lost five. Both teams are 7-8 ATS. This game won’t be fun to watch.
VGB’s pick — Houston (+4), Under (40.5)
Bills Must Win To Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
Buffalo at Miami — This is the season for the Bills (8-7). Win and they have a shot at the playoffs. Lose and they’re done. The Dolphins (6-9) would like nothing better than to ruin the New Year’s Eve party for Buffalo. Both teams have similar records against division rivals and AFC foes. This game will likely come down to turnovers and the quarterbacks — Tyrod Taylor and Jay Cutler. And neither player inspires a lot of confidence.
VGB’s pick — Miami (+3), Under (42.5)
Seahawks Need Some Help To Make Playoffs
Arizona at Seattle — Here’s another game where the home team has to win, but the Seahawks (9-6) will need some help from the Panthers to reach the playoffs as a wild card team. Surprisingly, the Seahawks are only 4-3 in front of the 12th Man in Seattle. They are 4-1 within their division and 7-4 within their conference. The Cardinals (7-8) are 2-5 on the road and 2-3 within their division. Both teams have sub-.500 records against the spread.
VGB’s pick — Arizona (+9.5), Over (39)
Mahomes To Make First Career Start For KC
Kansas City at Denver — It seems the Chiefs (9-6) are taking Week 17 off. Coach Andy Reid said earlier this week that rookie Pat Mahomes will get his first career start against the Broncos (5-10). Many other starters will get the week off as well as the Chiefs have locked up the No. 4 seed in the AFC. The Broncos have lost nine of their last 11, and yet their favored for the ninth time this year in the season finale.
VGB’s pick — Denver (-3), Over (38)
NFC Rivals Scored 80 Points In First Meeting
San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams — The last time these two division rivals met in September, they scored 80 points. Now, the Rams (11-4) are just trying to get into the playoffs healthy, while the 49ers (5-10) are trying to win their fifth in a row. Jimmy Garoppolo has not lost since he was acquired from the Patriots. His team seems to get better every week, especially in recent victories over Tennessee and Jacksonville.
VGB’s pick — Line not available due to injuries.
This Could Be Last Game For Head Coach
Cincinnati at Baltimore — If it wasn’t for a one-point loss to the Steelers three weeks ago, the Ravens (9-6) would be shooting for their seventh straight win. Currently the No. 6 seed in the AFC, Baltimore needs to finish off the Bengals (6-9) and get ready for a playoff road game. Cincinnati has losing records on the road and in divisional games. This could be Marvin Lewis’s last game as head coach of the Bengals.
VGB’s pick — Cincinnati (+10), Over (39.5)
Bucs Have Lost Last Three By A Field Goal
New Orleans at Tampa Bay — The Bucs (4-11) have lost five in a row, but the last three have been by a field goal. Three of their four wins this season have come at home, while the Saints (11-4) are 4-3 on the road. New Orleans won the Week 10 matchup 30-10. The Saints, currently the No. 4 seed in the NFC, can capture the South Division title with a victory. The Bucs are one of the worst in the league against the spread at 5-9-1.
VGB’s pick — New Orleans (-7), Under (50)
NFC South Rivals Battle For Playoff Position
Carolina at Atlanta — This is the only game on the last day of 2017 that means something to both teams. The Panthers (11-4) need a win to possibly win the NFC South title. The Falcons (9-6) need a win to grab a wild card spot. If the Panthers lose, they will be a wild card team. If the Falcons lose, they are done for the year. Both teams are 3-2 against division rivals and both have good conference records. The Panthers are 9-6 ATS, while the Falcons are 6-9.
VGB’s pick — Carolina (+4), Under (45)
Chargers Need Help To Reach AFC Playoffs
Oakland at Los Angeles Chargers — Everything has to go their way for the Chargers (8-7) to earn a wild card spot. They must beat the Raiders (6-9) and hope for a Tennessee loss against Jacksonville. The Chargers have won five of their last six, but that one loss two weeks ago in Kansas City was huge. These divisional games tend to be a lot closer than just normal conference matchups. L.A. beat Oakland 17-16 in Week 6.
VGB’s pick — Oakland (+8), Over (42)
Titans Need To Halt Losing Streak Now
Jacksonville at Tennessee — The Titans (8-7) can end all the mystery surrounding their wild card spot and just win. That seems easier said than done, though, as Tennessee has lost three in a row. The good news is that the Titans destroyed the Jaguars (10-5) 37-16 in Week 2. Both teams are 4-1 against division rivals. This should be a close game with so much on the line. The Titans are 7-7-1 ATS, while the Jaguars are 9-6.
VGB’s pick — Jacksonville (+3), Under (42)