NFL Tipsheet: Mini previews and recommended bets for all Week 17 fixtures

Luca fancies the New York Jets to go well in Miami
Luca fancies the New York Jets to go well in Miami

The final weekend of the regular season is upon us. Can our man Luca Bercelli go out with a bang?

"The Jets +6pts looks just like another mince pie with lashings of cream on top to me. Stand clear, I'm going in"


Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots
Sunday 18:00

This is a tricky one as neither side has much to play for. New England will want to keep their stars out of harms way, and the Bills will want to prove a point for next season. Problem is, they're poor offensively and all the defense in the world probably won't get it done against the Pats. I'm happy to take the Unders.

Recommended Bet
Back under 44pts @ 2.01/1


Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings
Sunday 18:00

I'm banking on Chicago's car-crash season to continue, especially now that everybody's favourite punchbag, Jay Cutler, is back at quarterback. All he wants to do is get out of dodge asap and he might not have to wait until the end of the first quarter if he gets off to a bad start. On the other side is Teddy Bridgewater - young, clever, dependable and not a Grinch. He should take advantage of Chicago's dodgy D and get the W.

Recommended Bet
Back the Minnesota Vikings -6pts @ 1.9520/21


Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
Sunday 18:00

Johnny Football's star burned very tamely for a couple of weeks, but he's now back in his box playing tiddlywinks rather than the main game due to a minor injury. That gives a chance to Connor Shaw who is not the biggest, quickest or strongest according to his coach, but is a gamer. He'll need to be, and even against a stuttering Ravens, he's got his work cut out to make an impact straight off the practice squad.

Recommended Bet
Back the Baltimore Ravens -8.5pts @ 1.635/8


Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins
Sunday 18:00

RG III turned his career around last week against the Eagles with an unexpected (in some quarters) win, but he seems to have lost most of the mobility that made him such an exciting prospect. The wheels have literally fallen off; but with a starting job to earn, he is still dangerous.  If this was a mid-season game I'd be all over the 'Boys, but with the post-season in mind, their approach is impossible to call. Classic no-bet territory, but if pushed I'd take the 'Skins and the points.

Recommended Bet
Back the Washington Redskins +6.0pts @ 1.84/5


Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
Sunday 18:00

I'm confident the Colts will bounce back from their embarrassing 42-7 pounding at the hands of the Cowboys last week. The Cowboys are a decent team, with some tip top playmakers, so it wasn't as if they lost to a load of turkeys. Which brings us nicely to the Tennessee Turkeys, quite possibly the worst team in the league. I'll be astounded if they keep this one close.

Recommended Bet
Back the Indianapolis Colts -7 @ 2.01/1


Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
Sunday 18:00

Houston might need some powerful binoculars, but they do have the play-offs in their sights, no matter how remotely. On top of that J.J. Watt will be out to make his league MVP case even stronger with a sack or three. Jacksonville though, have shown signs of life of late, and with a proven loser opposing them at quarterback, and a juicy 10 points start, they're worth a shout.

Recommended Bet
Back the Jacksonville Jaguars +10pts @ 2.01/1


New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday 18:00

This is another 'approach with extreme caution' fixture. Both teams have nada to play for, unless you include the first overall pick in the draft, which Tampa need a loss to secure. I hate this match from a betting viewpoint but at least with New Orleans there are flashes of quality. They have to be the play on the handicap.

Recommended Bet
Back the New Orleans Saints -3.5pts @ 2.01/1


New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins
Sunday 18:00

On paper this is a stroll in the park for the fish, but Rex Ryan in possibly his last game as head coach for the Jets, is not going to want to go out with a whimper. To his credit, he's kept a poor squad in the hunt in many tough match-ups this season, and I reckon he will have his players super-pumped for this one. The Jets +6pts looks just like another mince pie with lashings of cream on top to me. Stand clear, I'm going in.

Recommended Bet
Back the New York Jets +6pts @ 2.0811/10 Best Bet


Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants
Sunday 18:00

The main reason the Eagles are not in the post-season is Mark Sanchez. There's nothing I enjoy more than slagging off the league's most sackable quarterback; but to be honest, even I didn't think he'd be so effective in bringing down such a talented group and coach so quickly. My big payday opposing him in the play-offs is not now going to happen, but some slight consolation might be provided by another circus-like performance by Odell Beckham Jr. and a Giants win at decent odds.

Recommended Bet
Back the New York Giants to win @ 1.834/5


San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday 18:00

This is an interesting one with post-season carrots dangling in front of both outfits. The Chargers' carrot is a big fat tangible orange thing that a win will deliver; whereas the Chiefs are straining to make out a wishy-washy mirage that will only materialise with a win and plenty of help from elsewhere. This is hunch-time, and my hunch is that the Chiefs will ride superstar running back Jamaal Charles all the way to the win; and Philip Rivers, despite a sackful of medals for courage, will end the season up one without a paddle.

Recommended Bet
Back the Kansas City Chiefs to win @ 1.910/11


Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons
Sunday 21:25

This is a huge game for two below-par teams. The winner advances to the play-offs, the loser reflects on a season full of lowlights. Cam Newton for the Panthers rates himself lucky to be alive after his recent pick-up prang, so he should have an even happy-go-luckier attitude than he normally has. Do I believe in miracles? Well, with injuries to the Falcons adding to Cam's prospects, you betcha.

Recommended Bet
Back the Carolina Panthers +3.5pts @ 1.774/5


Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers
Sunday 21:25

I like Detroit +7.5 points in this one. Yes they haven't won in Green Bay for yonks, but records are there to be broken, and they seem to match up pretty well on this occasion. Rodgers will get pressured more than normal, and the Pack might also have to contend with a revitalised running game courtesy of Reggie Bush. Not one to cash your gift tokens in for, but a solid bet nevertheless.

Recommended Bet
Back the Detroit Lions +7.5pts @ 1.9620/21


Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos
Sunday 21:25

The Raiders tore the guts out of my carefully crafted multiple nfl wager last week and I'll never forgive them for that. How they beat the Bills I'll never know. They can do something to repair the considerable financial damage caused by that upset and prove it wasn't a flash in the pan by making life difficult for the slumping Broncos. Peyton should have enough left in the tank to win this and earn a first round bye but giving up 14 points might just be beyond the old fella.

Recommended Bet
Back the Oakland Raiders +14pts @ 1.9720/21


St Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks
Sunday 21:25

The 'Hawks are looking like repeat Superbowl winners more and more each week. Their defense is special, no doubt, but it's Russell Wilson that really sets them apart. What an absolute monster at quarterback, almost impossible to contain; I love the guy.  Seattle needs the win to secure home field advantage, so I've no doubts that they'll get it. Wilson won't have it all his way against the Rams solid D, however, and with a couple of key injuries to the Seahawks this could be closer than the experts think. The safe bet is the Unders.

Recommended Bet
Back under 41.5pts @ 2.01/1


Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Monday 01:30

The last regular season game promises to be a corker. Both teams battling for AFC North supremacy and both in tip-top form. Points have been easy to come by for both sides in recent weeks so with the outright a toss-up, a buy of the points seems very tempting with the total set at a manageable 47.5.

Recommended Bet
Back over 47.5pts @ 2.01/1


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