Swinger’s Week 17 NFL Picks

New Orleans Saints player

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, December 29, 2016 7:40 PM GMT

The Swinger is looking to enter the postseason on a winning note and has four big plays poised to sweep the board with his Week 17 NFL Picks. With teams perhaps phoning it in, and others fighting for life, there might be some surprising value throughout Sunday.

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Swinger's Overall 2016 NFL Record: 29-30-1 ATS

I guess if you had a season’s worth of NFL picks and found yourself down only a unit plus the vig, it could be chalked up to an inexpensive hobby that provided hours upon hours of excitement. That’s how I am trying to spin this 2016 NFL regular season in order to appease my readers and convince them not to hurl daggers at me for an underwhelming season-long performance. It has been a long, strange trip indeed with mercurial performances by some of the game’s biggest stars coupled with bad bounces, bad beats and poor officiating.

Last week the NFL odds makers got the best of us (1-2 ATS) as the Carolina Panthers looked positively toothless in a 33-16 loss to the Falcons. Where the hell did the Cam Newton go who torched the Redskins the week before? Our other money burner came via the under 37 ½ in the Denver/Kansas City tilt as the Chiefs put up more points than anticipated en route to their 33-10 shellacking against one of the best defenses in the league. Our lone winner was the steamrolling Green Bay Packers who kept chuggin’ along with a 38-25 victory over the Vikings.

Let’s get over the hump and into the postseason on a winning note, shall we?

 Panthers vs. Bucs

The Panthers are poised to rebound against a Bucs’ defense that has been regressing recently and has injuries down in the trenches. Carolina looks like a solid inclusion in our Week 17 NFL Picks.

I am going back to the poisoned well with the Panthers in the final week of the regular season. Yes, the Bucs still have a glimmer of hope to creep into the postseason which is why the public is drooling all over them. But I ask you to think back to all the times you have bet a team based on their “motivation”. How’s that worked out for you over the long haul?

Tampa defeated the Panthers 17-14 back in October when it was becoming apparent that Superman’s cape was starting to fray and his Panthers were growing increasingly toothless. However, the Bucs defense appears to be going backward as they have endured consecutive losses to the Cowboys (26-20) in Week 14 and the Saints (31-24) last week. Conversely, Carolina is 4-1 against the spread in their last five meetings in Tampa Bay and 5-2 ATS in their last seven overall.

I look for Carolina to establish the run against a Bucs team that will be playing without two key defensive linemen and will also be absent the services of Doug Martin (suspension) on offense. This will allow Newton time and space when targeting his receivers. Don’t forget, as lousy as Carolina looked against the Raiders in Week 16, they did have only a short week to prepare for the prolific passing attack of the Falcons. They will face no such threat this week and should be competitive against a Bucs’ team that is banged up in the trenches.

Free NFL Pick: Panthers +6Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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Browns vs. Steelers

The NFL oddsmakers have watched the line plummet on the Steelers as Roethlisberger, Brown, and Bell will see limited, if any, action in this one. Nevertheless, the hapless Browns won’t do any damage against Pittsburgh’s second-stringers

Cleveland’s Joe Haden said the Browns won their “Super Bowl” last week in defeating the Chargers at home. No Joe, you won your first game of the season and nothing more than that. The Brownies will tote their newly minted 1-14 record (3-12 ATS) to the Steel City where the Killer B’s - Big Ben, Brown, and Bell - will most likely kick their feet up and watch the festivities.

I have no fear that their backups, getting a chance to showcase their wares, are infinitely more talented than a team that will be content to revel in their first win in 15 attempts. Though the Pittsburgh defense has been far removed from their legendary predecessors they are certainly equipped to handle an offense that has been rather offensive this season if you are a Browns’ fan. In addition, Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson may want to see what his second and third-stringers can do. Oh, the horror.

Lastly, Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin has a 7-2 ATS mark in December since he’s been coaching in Pittsburgh and I can’t see him allowing the Browns to even sniff a win in front of the rabid fans who pay his salary.

Free NFL Pick: Steelers -6 Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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Saints vs. Falcons (Side and Total)

Here we have both a side and a total all wrapped into one game as we look for a pair of winners in our NFL picks down in Hot-Lanta.

Here we have two lousy defenses with the Saints ranked 30th of 32 surrendering an average of 27.2 points per game while the Falcons clock in with the 25th ranked defense, allowing 24.9 points per game. However, both offenses can flat out kill and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Drew Brees and the boys stay even with Matty Ice and his crew. Home field means nothing to the Falcons who are 14-16 straight up and 13-17 ATS over the last three years at home. On the flipside, we have the Saints who are 8-1 ATS in their last nine road games and 9-3 against the number in their last 12 games overall.

I am looking for a shootout just like the last time these teams met when the venue was down on the Bayou. Gunslingers Brees and Ryan helped combine for 77 points as the Falcons topped the Saints 45-32 back in September. The Saints have won their last two and these teams historically play even. Since 2009 these meetings in Atlanta and under a dome (like the Saints) have been decided by four points per game and if you ignore the outlier when the Falcons won a Thursday night affair by 10 points, that margin of victory falls to 3.1 per contest.

Let’s take the dog and the over here.

Free NFL Pick: Saints +7 ½ & Over 56 Best Lines Offered: at 5Dimes & Bookmaker

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The Woodman’s Corner (8-8 ATS)

The Woodman nailed a big dog last week as he backed the Cardinals over the Seahawks in Seattle last week. The Redbirds not only covered as nine-point road hounds but won the game outright 34-31. That would have rendered a +310 money line winner if you had the cajones to spit in the wind, eschew the points and bet Carson’s crew to win.

This week the sagacious Woodman is reversing course and backing a big favorite…on the road no less! We knew the Wise One would ultimately dig out of his early-season hole and into the black. Here’s to Tom Terrific and the New England Patriots crushing their AFC East rivals, the Miami Dolphins.

Free NFL Pick: Patriots -9 ½ Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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