NFL Picks Against The Spread: New Orleans Saints Push For Number One Seed; Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Giants Claw To Keep Their Dreams Alive

Week 17 is just chock-full of tantalizing matchups, and there is certainly plenty more to analyze for our NFL picks against the spread. The Vegas odd-makers seem to have their work cut out for them as several teams enter desperation mode over the next few days. Count the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants as teams that still have something to play for.

New York Giants -4 @ Washington Redskins

The Giants are on the precipice of one of the most outlandish collapses that this sportswriter can remember. Once seven minutes away from being 10-4 and in the playoffs, New York now finds themselves sitting on a 9-6 record and one Packer victory away from vacation. Somehow, the Eagles having seemingly beat them two weeks in a row, first physically, now mentally/emotionally. The Giants looked lethargic last week against Green Bay, and may have already given up on Tom Coughlin.

Meanwhile, Washington has actually showed some signs of life since the switch from Donovan McNabb to Sexy Rexy (file that under sentences I never imagined I would write). There are trap games a-plenty on the Week 17 schedule, and this looks like one of them. Never bet against the home dog.

Prediction: Redskins 30, Giants 27. The Giants complete an epic collapse and the New York media implodes on itself in a fury. 

New Orleans Saints -7 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

If we've learned anything from this season, it's that the Buccaneers will continue to fight as long as their playoffs aspirations are still alive, no matter how slim. Because of New Orleans' Monday night win, the only way Tampa Bay can make the postseason is if they defeat the Saints, AND Green Bay loses to Chicago, AND New York loses to Washington. It probably won't happen, but still, they have accomplished something incredible this year. A team devastating by injuries, and coming off of a 3-13 season, could end up with ten wins. That's something to be proud of.

Unfortunately, this is the end of the line. The Saints have been picking up steam as the season has progressed, and finally looked like the defending champions against Atlanta last week. It's hard to think they will lose this game.

Prediction: Saints 27, Bucs 20. The Buccaneers fight valiantly, but in the end the defending champs are just too much.

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