Houston Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the second half of an NFL football game Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Houston Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (59) sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the second half of an NFL football game Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)|Associated Press
NFL

Mike Kern's NFL Week 17 Picks: Eagles vs Giants, Bengals vs Browns, Falcons vs Bucs, Colts vs Jaguars and a 2-team teaser

Mike Kern

Mike Kern

I hate this week for the pros, since it’s sometimes hard to figure out exactly who’s playing and/or who’s playing for what. That being said, and since we’re off to a pretty good start with the college bowls, we’ll try to at least come up with a few things that might be worth looking at before the playoffs are here.

But be forewarned, I don’t know how hard I would go with any of these. This might be a week to be careful more than anything. Just noting.

Bengals (+3) over Browns

I, like a lot of folks, have simply had it with the Browns. Maybe they’ll actually come up big for a change against a team that already has the No. 1 pick in the draft locked up. Or maybe their minds have already checked out. I’ll take a shot that the Bengals, who’ve won only once but have at least shown a little sign of life, came come up with an effort at home.

Giants (+4) over Eagles

I don’t usually play the Eagles one way or the other, and maybe I’d be better off not doing so here. But given their personnel situation, I think this might be another one of those games where they find a way to somehow win it at the end. Barely. As was the case with Washington and the first meeting with the Giants. I’m almost hoping I’m wrong, but I just think the home team can keep it close in this quick turnaround rematch. Maybe it even goes overtime again. Or ends in a tie, which would be enough for the Birds to win the division anyway.

Two-team teaser

Rams (-1) over Cardinals with Chiefs (-2.5) over Chargers

With nothing at stake and Cards quarterback Kyler Murray maybe playing with a bad hammie or even not playing at all, I’m thinking the Rams can at least win this one at home. Same with the Chiefs, mostly because I don’t think the Chargers are much, even though they do tend to play a bunch of close ones. And if you want to make this a three-teamer instead and move the line three more points in your favor, you could always look to put in the Cowboys at -3.5 over the visiting Redskins or the Packers, also on the road, once more to -3.5 over the Lions. But they do call them teasers for a reason. I’ve been told they could just as easily call them suckers.

Falcons (+1) over Buccaneers

Falcons lost to Bucs in first meeting. But they’ve won three straight, and Matty Ice is looking like his old self. You never know with Jameis Winston. He could hurt you, or he could just as easily hurt his guys. I’ll give Matt a shot, I just wouldn’t get too carried away with it.

Colts (-6) against Jaguars

I’m a little concerned that the line has gone from 3.5 to a half-dozen now that the Jags, who have mostly stunk lately, have said their coach is gone. He’s never done much for me anyhow. Go light, but Frank Reich should be able to come up with a somewhat comfortable win here, even on the road.

That’s enough, especially with this card. If you really need a bit more action I might lean towards the Dolphins getting 16.5 at the Patriots. But the Pats are still the Pats, albeit a bit more mortal, and they do have something to play for. So maybe they only win but something between like 10 and 14. Or maybe you just stay away and have some more eggnog. Spiked, of course.

I’ll be back tomorrow or Monday with some more bowl stuff.

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