NFL Week 17 Upset Picks

Packers Vs Steelers Line & Expert Pick

NFL Week 17 Upset Picks

Welcome to the final week of NFL action this regular season. Don’t fret, that just means you have a full slate of NFL games to bet on. So let’s not waste any time and get started. My Week 17 NFL Upset Picks are all about teams with momentum. Sometimes a team suffers a bad loss and that bad loss can carry over into another bad loss.

That’s how I approached this week’s upset picks. Pittsburgh takes on Cleveland in a game that the Steelers have to win. Tampa Bay travels to Carolina to battle the 14 and 1 Panthers while Minnesota travels to Green Bay in a game that will determine the winner of the NFC North Division. Remember that all picks are moneyline wagers. 

A Closer Look At My NFL Week 17 Upset Picks

What: Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6) at Cleveland Browns (3-12)
When: Sunday, January 3, 2015
Kickoff: 1:00 PM ET 
Where: Cleveland, OH
Stadium: FirstEnergy Stadium
Spread: Steelers -11
Moneyline: Pittsburgh -525 vs Cleveland +415
Game Total: 47.5
Watch: CBS
Stream: CBS Sports
Listen: Pittsburgh vs Cleveland

Analysis: It turns out that Johnny Manziel knows how to play some football. His QB ratings have been horrible, but Manziel made enough plays with his feet to keep the Browns in the game against the mighty Kansas City Chiefs in Week 16. Cleveland lost 13 to 17 as a huge +11.5 point dog.

Manziel should be able to use his feet, and maybe even his arm a few times, in order to keep the Browns in the game against Pittsburgh. Pitt destroyed the Browns 30 to 9 on Nov. 15. In that game, Manziel threw for 372 yards and a TD. If the Browns can provide a better defensive game to bolster Manziel’s efforts on Jan. 3, Cleveland can end any talk of Pitt making the playoffs.

Pick: Cleveland

What: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-9) at Carolina Panthers (14-1)
When: Sunday, January 3, 2015
Kickoff: 4:25 PM ET 
Where: Charlotte, NC
Stadium: Bank of America Stadium
Spread: Panthers -11.5
Moneyline: Tampa Bay +450 vs Carolina -600
Game Total: 46.5
Watch: FOX
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Listen: Tampa Bay vs Carolina

Analysis: Carolina is a good team. But Panther fans have to be worried about how Carolina let Atlanta’s Matt Ryan pass for 306 yards and a TD. Ryan was unreal against the Panthers in Week 16. The Falcons had been terrible for weeks. Another problem for Carolina is that Cam Newton only passed for 142 yards when going 17 out of 30.

Carolina beat Tampa 37 to 23 earlier in the season. In that game, Bucs QB Jameis Winston threw for 287 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also threw 4 picks. Winston’s TD to interception ratio in the Buccaneers last 6 games is 12 to 4. He’s obviously improved as has the Bucs rushing attack, which averages close to 140 yards per game. Tampa has a big shot to upset the rival Panthers on the moneyline on Sunday.

Pick: Tampa Bay

What: Minnesota Vikings (10-5) at Green Bay Packers (10-5)
When: Sunday, January 3, 2015
Kickoff: 8:30 PM ET 
Where: Green Bay, WI
Stadium: Lambeau Field
Spread: Packers -2.5
Moneyline: Minnesota +135 vs Green Bay -155
Game Total: 46.5
Watch: NBC
Stream:  NBC Sports Live Extra
Listen: Minnesota vs Green Bay

Analysis: These 2 teams are going in opposite directions. If you are a Cheese Head, the last thing you wanted to see is the 38 to 8 beat down that the Arizona Cardinals put onto the Packers in Week 16. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers hasn’t had a QB rating of at least 100 since Week 6. His QB rating on the season is 93.7. He’s completing only 60.4% of his passes.

If you are a Minnesota fan, you are delighted by the 49 to 17 win over the Giants in Week 16. Although QB Teddy Bridgewater doesn’t have an exceptional QB rating on the season, he hardly makes mistakes. He’s thrown 6 TD passes to 0 interceptions in Minnesota’s last 3 games. This includes a close 20 to 23 Minnesota loss to Arizona 3 games ago. Bridgewater fits this team like a glove. The Vikings defense has really turned it on lately. Green Bay is in trouble.  

Pick: Minnesota