NFL Week 17 Previews

THE NFL WEEK 17 KEY PREVIEWS - WE TELL YOU WHAT’S ON THE LINE & WHAT TO WATCH, PLUS THE ALL-IMPORTANT SPREAD NOTES TOO

The National Football League is about ready to pull down the curtain on this 2012 regular season and betcha didn’t think it was gonna end with the Indianapolis Colts having already clinched a playoff berth or with the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants needing a bevy of miracles just to make it back to the post-season ... but here we are!

In this weekend edition of Jim Sez, we’ll zoom in on three big-time games and give you the skinny from a different perspective with Three (3) Key Categories:

  1. What’s on the Line;
  2. What to Watch; and
  3. Spread Notes.

Hope you like it ... and an early Happy New Year shout-out to all our terrific customers.

P.S., before we get into the games, a quickie note that NFL Betting Favorites this year enter Week 17 play at 106-123-9 with 2 Pick ‘Em games - that’s a .463 winning rate for chalk-eater sides this year and far below what we usually get and that’s right around a .500 rate for both Favs and Underdogs. Just sayin’!

Now, here’s the key NFL Week 17 Previews for Sunday, December 30th  ...

GREEN BAY (11-4) at MINNESOTA (9-6) - 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox
The best game on the day-time board comes from the Twin Cities where there are mucho post-season implications involved and - while everyone will be checking out the health and well-being of Vikings’ mega-star RB Adrian Peterson (abdomen) and his pursuit of Eric Dickerson’s NFL single-season record of 2,105 rushing yards - you should also be paying strict attention to Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers who is starting to draw some late-season MVP attention and keep in mind last year’s league MVP has thrown six TDs and 0 INTs the past two weeks in wins against Chicago and Tennessee.

What’s on the Line - A Packers win and they lock up the NFC’s #2 seed and thus a first-weekend bye (and whoever thought that was possible after Green Bay’s tepid 2-3 start?) while it’s a win and you’re in the playoffs scenario for the Vikings who otherwise need Chicago, Dallas and the aforementioned NY Giants all to lose in order to gobble up a wild card berth.

What to Watch - Peterson rampaged his way to a 210-yard rushing performance in that earlier meeting with Green Bay (a 23-14 Packers’ home win back on December 2nd) and he might need to equal or better that in order to KO Mike McCarthy’s club here.

Spread Notes - Green Bay has covered eight of its last 10 games this year (including the past four in a row) while Minnesota rides a three-game ATS winning streak into this NFC North tilt.

DALLAS (8-7) at WASHINGTON (9-6) - 8:25 p.m. p.m. ET, NBC
Lights, cameras, action!

When old-time NFC East rivals Dallas and Washington square off in the Week 17 prime-time affair the division crown will be on the line and that’s nothing new for the Cowboys who have played similar season-ending road games at the Giants and at the Philadelphia Eagles in recent years and come up short on both occasions.

Now, the Cowboys must deal with a red-hot Redskins crew that’s won six games in a row and did you happen to notice that Mike Shanahan’s team has won its last four games in a row that were decided by a touchdown or less?

What’s on the Line - The winner gets the NFC East crown but no first-weekend playoff bye but note the ‘Skins could have clinched a playoff berth by the time they take the field here as losses by Chicago and Minnesota would catapult them into the playoff mix.

What to Watch - All eyes will be on Dallas QB Tony Romo and Washington’s hot-shot rookie QB Robert Griffin III (yes, a Pro Bowl invitee) but gotta believe Redskins rookie RB Alfred Morris (1,413 yards rushing to rank fourth in the NFL) holds the key after he rushed for 113 yards and a “touch” in that 38-31 hang-on-for-dear-life win in Arlington back on Thanksgiving Day.

Spread Notes - Washington has covered its last six consecutive games and the ‘Skins are a perfect 5-and-oh spreadwise against fellow NFC East foes this year while Dallas has covered 11 of its last 18 games when placed in the underdog role.

HOUSTON (12-3) at INDIANAPOLIS (10-5) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
No doubt the Chuck Pagano story remains a riveting one here as the Indy Colts’ first-year head coach is back on the sidelines for this Week 17 affair after a three-plus month absence due to his battle with leukemia - but let’s keep our focus on the visiting Houston Texans who really have played some spotty football in recent weeks.

Gary Kubiak’s crew scored just 14 points in a lopsided loss in New England three weeks ago and last Sunday were brutal in that 23-6 home loss to Minnesota - will RB Arian Foster be “himself” here after getting removed last week in the third quarter with what was termed an “irregular heartbeat” and can QB Matt Schaub find his rhythm ... note the veteran slinger has thrown a grand total of one touchdown pass the last three weeks.

What’s on the Line - The Texans will wrap up the AFC’s #1 playoff seed and home field throughout the post-season with a victory here and keep in mind Houston still could clinch that top seed with losses by New England and Denver (although both are heavy/heavy duty betting favorites in their respective games against Miami and Kansas City). The Colts are firmly entrenched in the #5 playoff seed spot and will play at the AFC’s #4 seed - most likely Baltimore - next weekend.

What to Watch - Schaub might have to carry the burden if Foster’s simply not himself here but look for the Houston defense to bring major pressure on Colts’ rookie QB Andrew Luck ... maybe this is a 3-sack (and record-breaking) day for defensive end J.J. Watt.

Spread Notes - Home teams are 14-7 spreadwise in the last 21 games played in this AFC South rivalry and note the Texans have failed to cover four of their last six spread verdicts overall this year since mid-November.

Extra, extra ...

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will light it up with the NFL Week 17 card on this final Sunday in 2012 plus get all the NBA and NCAA Basketball Winners each and every day too - and make you’re all aboard right now with America’s #1 Handicapper to cash in big with all the College Football Bowl Games that roll on right in the New Year and beyond and remember there are Four (4) Bowl Games on Monday, December 31st and another Six (6) Bowl Games on Tuesday, January 1, 2013.

Don’t you get left out in the cold!

Check in with us on Game Days either right here online at www.jimhurley.com or at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 for all the winners and note the check-in times are after 1 p.m. ET for weeknight action and after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays.

NOTE: More College Football Bowl Previews in the next Jim Sez.

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