By Eric Schmidt

And just like that, the 2012 NFL regular season is coming to a close. NFL fans seemingly wait all year for what turns out to be the shortest season in professional sports that slips right through the hour glass. Perhaps it’s because I’m getting older, but it simply seems as if each season goes by faster and faster. It’s now time to take a look at Week 17  of the NFL. Wagering on week 17 games is a very risky proposition. You have no idea how long key players will play, if at all. If you must wager though, here’s a look at this week’s games.

Week 17 NFL Against the Spread Picks and Predictions-

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills -3.5 39 over/under

The forecast is for snow in Buffalo this afternoon. Shocking I realize, snow in December in Buffalo. Mark Sanchez gets another shot as the starting quarterback. This should be a ground game, I like Buffalo and C.J. Spiller. Buffalo 23-16

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals -2.5 41

Both of these teams are in the playoffs and cannot further advance their seedings. Baltimore’s offense needs to find a rhythm however heading into next week’s playoff game. Baltimore 27-24

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers -10 34.5

Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson will not play for the Browns this week. The Steelers are eliminated from post-season play and will be angry. Pittsburgh 26-10

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts +7 46.5

The Texans have never won on the road against the Colts. Granted, the majority of those games were playing against Peyton Manning, but….. Houston wins but Colts cover. Houston 26-23

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans -4.5 41.5

Jacksonville is limping into this game on the road as they desperately wish to end this season. Tennessee 23-9

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants -7 46

Michael Vick makes the Eagles season finale start and perhaps his last in Philly. The Giants cannot seem to get a grip on their late season spiral. Vick throws for 300 and 3 scores in Andy Reid’s farewell game. Upset of the week, Philadelphia 27-20

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions +3 45

The Bears are banged up and I like the Lions at home trying to get WR Calvin Johnson to 2,000 yards. Detroit 26-20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons -3.5 45.5

How long do the Falcons starters play? Can Greg Schiano stop the five game losing streak for the Buccaneers? Tampa Bay 29-21

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints -4.5 54

The Panthers have been on a tear late in the season while the Saints can’t wait to close the books on a disastrous year. Carolina 31-27

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots -10 46

Snow is forecast for Foxboro this afternoon, will the snowplow guy on work release be ready in the event of a potential game winning field goal? The Patriots won’t need him. New England 27-12

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings +3 46

Adrian Peterson needs 208 yards to set the single season rushing record. He rushed for over 200 in the first meeting but don’t look for that to happen again this afternoon. Green Bay 30-20

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos -16.5 42

The Broncos said this week that Peyton Manning would play the entire game this week. We’ll see about that, I have a feeling he’ll have a baseball cap on by the third quarter. That being said, I can’t swallow the 16.5 points. Denver 30-17

Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers -9.5 39.5

The Chargers giving 9.5 points at home? Seriously? Both teams are a mess, but 9.5 points? San Diego 27-20

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers -16.5 39

I feel sorry for the Cardinals having to face the Niners after the beatdown they received last week in Seattle. Arizona didn’t magically find a quarterback somewhere this week. San Francisco 27-9

St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks -11 42

The Rams defense is underrated. St. Louis has nothing to play for. Seattle 26-19

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins -3 49.5

This one is for all the marbles. Is RG III healthy enough? Can Tony Romo pull off a win? Washington 24-20

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