WEEK 17

Again, some small movement in my LEO’S LOSERS column but, unlike Week 16, this week we’re going in the opposite direction. Here’s why I’m posting my selections early Sunday morning instead of the usual Friday reveal.

Being that the Outback Bowl was moved back to January 2nd, and I’m only choosing NFL teams, we made a decision to back my prognostications up a day because all 16 pro contests will be played on Sunday. Also, that allowed our entire contingent to attend the 35th holiday tilt on Saturday. Now that you know the reasoning behind the change, let’s get to what transpired in Week 16.

LEO’S LOCK (12-4) was just that and that increased my winnings by 200 pesos. LEO’S LOSERS (52-28) was a respectable 3-2 and that added 175 Euros to may bank account. LEO’S OTHERS (95-65) was a pedestrian 5-5 and, because it was the wrong handful of incorrect picks, I had to return 200 greenbacks to my short term investment banker.

When the dust settled on Week 16, I posted a 9-7 log. That put 200 rubles on the plus side of the ledger.

Let’s compute where I stand with one week to go. My record is now at 160-96 and that puts my season-to-date winnings at 7,700 Swiss francs (obviously, money in Switzerland) and that will pay a lot of bills.

So, here’s my losers for the Week 17 finale. Enjoy.

LEO’S LOCK

Pittsburgh (+9 1/2) loses to CLEVELAND
Before you think I lost my mind, let me make a couple salient points. First, the Browns need to win to stay in the playoff picture. Second, the Steelers are resting Big Ben for the second season. That’s enough for me. CLE, 27-16, as Baker and Company wait to see if there’s another game to be played.

LEO’S LOSERS

Los Angeles Chargers (-3 1/2) loses to KANSAS CITY
I don’t care if the Chiefs are resting Mahomes. There’s still way too much talent still at HC Andy Reid’s disposal. Do you think the defending Super Bowl champs want to go into the playoffs coming off a home loss? I think not. KC, 19-13, in a defensive slugfest.

Dallas (-3) loses to NEW YORK GIANTS
Winner takes the NFC East with a Washington loss. The Cowboys defense is decimated and the G-Men on the offensive side of the ball are in the same predicament. So the deciding factor will be Mother Nature in Jersey and that favors the home team. NYG, 19-16, and the Giants now have to wait and see if they’re hosting a Wild Card Game or heading to the off season.

HOUSTON (+7 1/2) loses to Tennessee
Titans need a win or they may be on the outside looking in when it comes to a spot in the playoffs. Texans just can’t wait for the season to end and Houston will cooperate. TEN, 35-13, in a game that’s decided early.

CHICAGO (+4) loses to Green Bay
Interesting scenario playing out here in The Windy City. Packers need a win to secure the bye. The Bears need a win to make it to the Wild Card round. I’m betting on the Cheeseheads but it won’t be easy. GB, 23-21, with Rodgers coming to the rescue with a late TD for the win for the Pack.

CAROLINA (+5 1/2) loses to New Orleans
Similar situation here but for only one team. The Saints need a win and some help to get the bye. A loss could drop The Big Easy Gang to the third seed. The Panthers have been playing hard and don’t expect that to change. NO, 30-24, with a late stop to seal the deal.

LEO’S OTHERS

Jacksonville (+14) loses to INDIANAPOLIS

CINCINNATI (+13 1/2) loses to Baltimore

New York Jets (+3) loses to NEW ENGLAND

DETROIT (+6 1/2) loses to Minnesota

Miami (+2) loses to BUFFALO

Las Vegas (-2 1/2) loses to DENVER

SAN FRANCISCO (+7) loses to Seattle

Washington (3 1/2) loses to PHILADELPHIA

Arizona (-3) loses to LOS ANGELES RAMS

Atlanta (+7) loses to TAMPA BAY