THE first day of 2017 coincides with the first NBA games of the year and the last NFL games of the regular season. A full slate of NFL and plenty of NBA games means that I’m putting my reputation on the line with a BIG edition of Sunday Picks. Finger crossed I can boost my numbers back to respectability.
Last Week: 3-4
San Antonio Spurs @ Atlanta Hawks
I have a sneaky suspicion that Atlanta will get over the line here, but you can’t not tip the Spurs, especially considering how good they have been on the road this year.
Verdict: Spurs W
Detroit Pistons @ Miami Heat
THE battle of the Easts cellar dwellers is tough to predict. I’m giving Miami the edge because they are at home. Drummond v Whiteside should be interesting though.
Verdict: Heat W
Orlando Magic @ Indiana Pacers
ANOTHER match between two struggling teams in the bottom half of their conference. Paul George will be the difference, boosting Indiana to a win.
Verdict: Pacers @
Portland Blazers @ Minnesota Timberwolves
PORTLAND have struggled severely this year and without Lillard they have dropped two out of three. Even if he return from injury the young Wolves should take care of business.
Verdict: Timberwolves W
Toronto Raptors @ Los Angeles Lakers
THE last NBA game on New Year’s Day will see Toronto take a W when they square off with the young, inconsistent Lakers team. Spoiler alert: DeMar DeRozan will have a massive game.
Verdict: Raptors W
Image from lakeshowlife.com
Baltimore Ravnes @ Cincinnati Bengals
THIS AFC North rivalry match means very little but pride for the two teams involved. The Baltimore defense will be the difference and help hand the Bengals loss number 10 for the year.
Verdict: Ravens W
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
WE live in a world were Tom Savage and Matt Cassell will be the starting QB’s for this game. Just let that sink in for a minute. Texans
Verdict: Texans W
Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
SUPER Cam has been anything but in season 2016. He and the Panthers end their depressing season in Tampa this weekend against Jameis’ Bucs. Even though it means nothing I’m expecting Newton to finish the year on a high with a win.
Verdict: Panthers W
Image from usatoday.com
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts
WINNER of the most un-watchable game this weekend goes to the Jags and Colts. The only reason to watch this is if Andrew Luck is your starting QB in your fantasy SuperBowl.
Verdict: Colts W
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
IT will be interesting to see if the Pats and Dolphins rest any players with playoff spots sewn up for both clubs. Brady will no doubt drop some more dimes to further push his MVP case though.
Verdict: Patriots W
Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings
LUCKILY for Minnesota the painful season is almost over. After starting 5-0 everyone expected big things, but instead a 7-8 season eventuated. Ouch
Verdict: Vikings W
Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets
THE Buffalo Bills have said that Tyrod Taylor won’t be seeing the field this weekend because of a ‘business’ decision. This plays well into the hands of the Jets
Verdict: Jets W
Image from sportingnews.com
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
HEADLINED by the fact that Tony Romo will see the field in this match, the Eagles v Cowboys will be interesting. Even if Dallas eases the workload of some players as they prepare for the playoffs, they are too good to not defeat Philly.
Verdict: Cowboys W
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers
CLEVELAND played their ‘SuperBowl’ last weekend and will be facing a skeleton Steelers team who can’t move from the #3 seed in the AFC. They will still be good enough to top the Browns.
Verdict: Steelers W
New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons
WITH the early afternoon games finished the Falcons and Saints play with the game holding some relevance for the Falcons. If they win they can secure a fist round bye, which is enough motivation to go for the win over a Saints team just making up the numbers
Verdict: Falcons W
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins
WASHINGTON will be playing for a playoff spot, and if they win they can leapfrog the loser of Detroit/Green Bay. The Giants have started to emerge as SuperBowl competitors and I think they are too good for the Redskins, even with the elevated significance of the match.
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams
A battle of two teams who have had a miserable season will go the way of the Cardinals thanks to David Johnson, who is attempting to become the 1st player with 100+ yards from scrimmage in every game of an entire season.
Verdict: Cardinals W
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos
THIS game looked good on paper a few weeks ago, but with the Broncos eliminated from the playoffs and Derek Carr’s broken leg it quickly lost all intrigue. Flip a coin.
Verdict: Broncos W
Image from milehighmaniac.com
Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers
MY tip for the AFC SuperBowl representatives play off against the Chargers who are trying to avenge a lowly loss to the Browns. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure this one out.
Verdict: Chiefs W
Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers
SEATTLE are a much better team than San Francisco. Like wayyyyy better, that’s all you need to know.
Verdict: Seahawks W
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions
OUR last game is the most important one of the season for Green Bay and Detroit. It’s simple the winner secures the division title and the loser is left to hope other results swing their way. Expect Aaron Rodgers to deliver.
Verdict: Packers W