NFL Week 17 Preview and Predictions

Falcons at Buccaneers (-7)

Neither team really has much to play for here but the Falcons have come off a back breaking loss and with Morris likely to be leaving after this game, it’s more likely they’ll not be playing as hard as Tampa who need to stay hot heading into the playoffs. Tampa also have a home crowd to be playing for and with the Falcons missing their center, the defense should be able to get to Ryan often enough to make sure he struggles. I like the Bucs to win this one by 10.

Buccaneers 31-21 Falcons

Ravens (-14) at Bengals

The Ravens should win this one easily enough, but the Bengals actually are playing well on D quietly over the last few weeks and with Tyler Boyd back, I can see them getting a backdoor cover here with the spread being so high, especially since they’re at home. There isn’t too much to talk about here, the Ravens will run well and game manage a win here with Allen likely to have a tough day until the 4th quarter.

Ravens 27-14 Bengals

Cowboys (-1.5) at Giants

I like the Giants here. They’re better in the trenches and the Cowboys are getting overhyped on the betting market after blowing out the Eagles but that was mainly due to Fletcher Cox leaving the game with an injury when the Eagles were 2 scores ahead making it easier for the Dallas offense. With home advantage and a deeper D-line, the Giants should take advantage of an injured Dallas O-line and give themselves a chance of making the playoffs.

Giants 24-20 Cowboys

Dolphins at Bills (-1)

Based on the market the Bills will be resting players so I’m going along here with the assumption that either Allen doesn’t play or he gets hooked at HT. If he doesn’t start then this should be an easy Dolphins win as their secondary will easily stop Matt Barkley but if Allen plays for a half then this becomes awkward. I’m not particularly sold on Tua creating too much offense here as he’s struggled a bit on the road so if Allen played early and got the Bills to 14 at HT then they may still win. This is a no bet for now but if Allen is confirmed to be out then the Dolphins are the way to go.

Dolphins 21-7 Bills

Vikings (-4) at Lions

I like Detroit here. They seem to always play well in week 17 for some odd reason and with Stafford back, they can keep this one close enough. The Vikings D is embarrassing so moving the ball should be no problem and this feels more like a coinflip game than the Vikings being over a field goal favourite. This will likely be a shootout and will probably be a case of whoever gets the ball last wins so I’ll take my chances with Detroit since Vikings by 3 is a likely result and we would get the cover in that case.

Lions 31-28 Vikings

Jets at Patriots (-3)

Nobody should bet or watch this game. It will likely be extremely boring and I’m taking the Jets just because I believe they have the better QB here and they are still playing hard for whatever reason unlike New England. The Patriots look to have given up for the season and I can see them losing here due to that but I’m not betting this game at all.

Jets 17-14 Patriots

Steelers at Browns (-9.5)

In theory, the Browns should walk this with Pittsburgh resting their starters but I can’t shake the feeling that they’ll make this far more difficult for themselves than this needs to be. This either is a 20 point Browns win because the Steelers offense is tragic or the Browns give up 10 points early through turnovers and make this far more of a grind than need be. The Browns are the logical side to be on but I’m taking the Steelers to keep it close and force them to need a late TD to save their season.

Browns 21-17 Steelers

Cardinals (-2.5) at Rams

I think the wrong team is favoured here. If Goff was playing this would be Rams -3 and I definitely don’t see how he makes a team 5 points better than without him. The backup they have in for him looks like a passable QB and with McVey coaching him, I don’t see why he can’t game manage in a similar way to which Goff does. The Cardinals look a bit listless at the moment and are really struggling against the run so the Rams should be able to create enough offense and their D is good enough to stop an out of form offense. I’ll take the Rams outright here by 4.

Rams 20-16 Cardinals

Packers (-4.5) at Bears

I like the Packers here. The Bears have played 4 really poor teams lately which makes them look better than they actually are though the Packers losing their left tackle for the season makes this a slightly less confident play than before but their defense improving is good enough for me to bet them here, especially as they need to win to take the number 1 seed. The Packers can get ahead early and navigate to a 10 point win on the back of their D.

Packers 24-14 Bears

Jaguars at Colts (-14)

The Jags are playing a skeleton team at this point and will get blown out here because of that. With no Robinson or Chark, they’ll have no offense and the Colts will just run the ball as much as possible to avoid Rivers having to get hit. I expect the Colts to pull away in the 3rd quarter and not look back.

Colts 31-10 Jaguars

Chargers (-5) at Chiefs

This is basically a battle of backups with a lot of big names sitting and while the Chargers are seeing money, I’m going to take Kansas because the coaching mismatch is huge here. The Chiefs have one of the best coaches in the league right now while the Chargers have the worst. I’m not confident enough to bet this but I’ll pick Kansas to send Anthony Lynn to the job centre with one final loss.

Chiefs 23-20 Chargers

Raiders (-2.5) at Broncos

The Broncos can’t seem to stop speed built teams and with that in mind, I’m taking the Raiders to win here even though neither team has anything to play for. The Broncos are missing their entire defensive line and that should give Carr time to find his guys deep down field and score enough points to win this one easily enough.

Raiders 31-20 Broncos

Saints (-6) at Panthers

This game has been ruined by offensive injuries and shouldn’t be bet on. Saying that, I like the Panthers. Brees isn’t doing it for me and he struggles on the road while Bridgewater is playing nicely this season. With so many skill position players out for the Saints, the Panthers D has a decent chance of making some stops and I like them to get the upset here even if they don’t have their first string RBs on offense.

Panthers 21-20 Saints

Seahawks (-7) at 49ers

Seattle should win this for me. The 49ers have so many players out for this one that other than Kittle, they’ll have no offense and they have around 10 guys still injured on defense. Seattle are due to get rolling again with players coming back from injury and this could be the start of it for me with Wilson bouncing back to form. I like them to blow out the 49ers and make a statement here in time for the playoffs.

Seahawks 30-17 49ers

Titans (-7) at Texans

This line feels like it should be skewed more to the Titans based on how badly Houston have played as of late which means I’ll take Houston because of that. The offense is still doing ok and the Titans D is atrocious still so with home field advantage and the potential for an early lead, they can keep this game inside of a score even though Henry will run all over them again. The Titans will likely get going in the second half on offense but the Texans can definitely give them a scare before then if they come out motivated.

Titans 28-24 Texans

Washington (-4) at Eagles

I liked the Eagles a lot for this before they announced they were sitting guys on offense for this. I still like them though just because they have homefield advantage and the Washington offense is very hobbled with players like Gibson and McLaurin not practicing all week meaning that even if they play, it’s unlikely that they’ll be fresh for this one and Smith may not be fully fit for this. This feels like a big litmus test for Hurts as he’ll need to carry the entire offense in this one but I can see him doing it and possibly pulling off the upset that sends the New York Giants to the playoffs.

Eagles 20-17 Washington

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