I have found two games that definitely fall into that category, so follow along as I release my final two NFL Picks of the 2013 regular season.
Texans vs. Titans
Houston is probably one of those teams that can’t wait for this season to be over with, however they have one last road trip to take, and it’s into Nashville, TN to play the Titans. The NFL Odds have Tennessee as a -7 favorite, with a total of 44. While Houston will likely use this game as an evaluator like they have recently, the Titans are going to want to come out on top to at least get their final record to 7-9 SU.
I could easily see it happening, and that’s why I am backing the Titans. Houston is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games dating back to last season, and even though the Texans won their first meeting with the Titans in Houston, a lot has changed since then. The Texans have sustained some injuries since then, including their all-pro running back, Arian Foster.
Tennessee’s defense has been pretty underrated all season, and it starts with their secondary. They have two very good corners, and even though they aren’t a top-10 defense this season, going into Week 17 they are ranked 15th in total defense. I see them stifling a struggling offense, and covering the spread.
My Pick: Titans -7
Rams vs. Seahawks
St. Louis is the next team up in Seattle, and after taking their first loss at home in Russell Wilson’s career, the Seahawks will want to head into the playoffs right. Because of their loss in Week 16, they have to win in Week 17 to guarantee their #1 overall seed in the NFC. However, they have the distinct advantage of knowing the outcome of the Panthers game before their kickoff, which could indirectly lead to a little bit of value for St. Louis in this game.
Obviously it’s a small stretch, because the 49ers could still steal the NFC West crown with a win in Arizona because of their divisional record, but that would only happen if the Seahawks lose this week. The Niners have a tougher game ahead of them this week, as they are facing a Cardinals team fresh off of a huge win, and playing for their playoff lives in Arizona.
This could all indirectly lead to the Rams being the play this week if all goes well for the Seahawks outside of their control. While I doubt Pete Carroll will be doing much scoreboard watching, someone within that staff or front office will, and I’m sure they will get a detailed report of the 49ers’ game with the Cardinals at half time. If things are going badly for San Francisco, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Hawks fold late and not cover this spread.
The Rams are still good on their own. They have the 7th ranked road defense in the NFL, and they are 3-0 ATS in their last three games against the Hawks. St. Louis has won four of their last six SU, and I see them at the very least, playing good enough defense to give themselves a chance in this one. Even if the Hawks are up big at the half, that could be the time to pull some of the more essential starters, especially if things are going their way down in Arizona and Atlanta this week.
My Pick: Rams +11