There are just two weeks left in the regular season, as teams are jockeying for position to set themselves up for a potential Super Bowl run. For those teams that are out of the hunt, they might not have much to play for, but the players are still fighting for a spot in the league for years to come.
For the first time all year, there are no games before Sunday. A full slate takes place on Sunday, with a final Monday matchup between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. This is a look at the Week 17 Sunday NFL picks against the spread.
Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills -14
There doesn’t seem to be much of a chance for Atlanta going to Buffalo and pulling out a victory. They are two-touchdown underdogs, which seems about right, making this a challenging bet against the spread.
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Buffalo did recently lose to the Buccaneers, but they crushed teams like New Orleans and Carolina. Atlanta might not be any better than those teams, so getting run off the field seems likely.
For Buffalo to put up enough points to win easily, they’ll need Josh Allen to be at his best. The weather could play a little bit of a factor, but Buffalo still wins and covers against a Falcons team just playing out the rest of the year.
Pick: Buffalo Bills -14
New York Giants at Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears -6
There are still some question marks as to who will start at quarterback for both teams. However, with the knowledge we know right now, the Bears look like a more complete team on paper.
A lot of that has to do with the consistent running game from David Montgomery. He’s been able to excel in the last few weeks, opening up opportunities for the passing game enough to have team success.
On the other side of the ball, Chicago’s overall defense is better than the New York Giants. They’ll be able to contain Saquon Barkley to some degree, which will give them about a touchdown edge.
Pick: Chicago Bears -6
Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals
Kansas City Chiefs -4.5
This has the potential to be the biggest game of the week. The Kansas City Chiefs have been red hot lately, and they travel to Cincinnati to take on a franchise eyeing that first playoff berth with this new crop of talent. The Chiefs’ defense will look to slow down the Bengals on offense, but they’ve been extremely versatile the last few weeks.
All signs point to this being a shootout overall. Patrick Mahomes is the more seasoned of the two quarterbacks, but Joe Burrow has been proving people wrong all year long.
Although Kansas City seems like the favorite to win the game, Cincinnati should be able to keep it closer or even pull out the upset. They have more to play for since they don’t have the division locked up, and their home crowd will be able to push them as well.
Pick: Cincinnati Bengals +4.5
Miami Dolphins at Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans -3.5
Every single week, it looks like the Miami Dolphins win streak could come to an end. However, they continue to add to it, being one of the most surprising stories in the NFL this year. Can they go to Tennessee and pick up yet another win?
To do so, they’ll have to fight adversity coming off of a short week. They’ve played very physically over the last few weeks, and it could be starting to catch up to them. To make matters worse, Tennessee is benefiting from a lot of rest since they haven’t played since last Thursday.
With all that being said, it’s really hard to go against Miami at this point. They are road underdogs, so even if they don’t win, they can still keep close enough to cover. Until Miami eventually loses, they are the best money pick against the spread.
Pick: Miami Dolphins +3.5
Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts -6.5
The defense for Las Vegas is going to be in for a tough one going up against the Indianapolis Colts. They are dodging a bit of a bullet with Carson Wentz potentially missing Sunday’s game due to COVID-19. However, they will still have to figure out a way to stop Jonathan Taylor from running the football.
On the other side of the ball, Indianapolis is much better at defending teams. They’ll look to limit the Josh Jacobs and Derek Carr combination, keeping Las Vegas out of the score column for most of the game. Even without Wentz, Indianapolis should win on their home turf.
Pick: Indianapolis Colts -6.5
Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots
New England Patriots -15.5
It was a letdown loss for the New England Patriots last week. They had the perfect bounce-back game against Jacksonville, and they won’t be slipping up at home. Even with a huge point spread at this time, New England is going to crash the Jaguars on Sunday.
Trevor Lawrence has not had a very typical rookie season in the NFL. Although he has high expectations, coaching changes and personal decisions have him in a tough spot. He’ll simply get outclassed by Mac Jones in this one, and it wouldn’t be surprising if New England won by three or more touchdowns.
Pick: New England Patriots -15.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -13.5
It should be a pretty easy game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 17. Yes, Tampa Bay is dealing with some injuries that are hurting the passing game, but they have enough of a running attack that they should be able to take control of the game early against the Jets.
Another key to Tampa Bay winning and covering is their defense. It’s not like the New York Jets have a potent offense, but they will be able to get next to nothing against the Buccaneers. Even if Zach Wilson tries to take a few chances, Tampa Bay can force turnovers and cruise to victory pretty easily.
Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -13.5
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Football Team
Philadelphia Eagles -4
These two teams face off once again for the second time in a few weeks. Philadelphia will look to stick to a similar game plan, but this time, possibly without Miles Sanders. Expect a lot of running against Washington, but will get the job done on the road?
The key here will be Jalen Hurts gaining more and more confidence as a passer. At first, he was only running the football for the Eagles. They didn’t trust his passing game much at all. Since then, he’s taking more chances than at the beginning of the year, which could lead to an extra score or two.
It’s always challenging taking a road favorite that is not that great, but Philadelphia wins and covers.
Pick: Philadelphia Eagles -4
Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore Ravens
Los Angeles Rams -3.5
If the Los Angeles Rams use a very similar game plan that Cincinnati used last time out against Baltimore, they should be able to cruise to victory. Baltimore’s pass defense has just not been there. Even their defense against the run is showing signs of being worn down, as injuries have started to pile up for the franchise.
They have a lot of motivation to win this game since this is effectively an elimination contest, but the Rams are just too talented. If Baltimore falls behind, they don’t have anything on offense to get them back into it fast. Mark Andrews has shown some level of consistency, but not enough to get the victory.
Pick: Los Angeles Rams -3.5
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers -6
It was a tough loss for the Los Angeles Chargers last week against the Houston Texans, as now they see their playoff hopes fade away quickly. Now they host a Denver Broncos team that’s better than Houston on paper, so will they be able to pull off a win?
As six-point favorites, it seems unlikely that they will be able to cover. However, Justin Herbert settles down and cuts down on some of the mistakes he’s made in recent games. They also run the football a little more consistently to pull off a close win. Take Denver as the safer pick against the spread, even though they have a lot of problems of their own that will keep them from winning.
Pick: Denver Broncos +6
Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers -15
After a stunning victory last week, Houston is looking to pull off a similar shocker in San Francisco. Unfortunately, the 49ers are playing a little more consistently, so that’s unlikely to happen. They are 15-point underdogs, and it’s asking a lot for Davis Mills to be successful against the San Francisco defense.
Despite some holes in the secondary, San Francisco should limit Houston when they have the ball. It doesn’t help that Houston has no answers to stopping matchup nightmares like Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle. Take San Francisco to win and cover.
Pick: San Francisco 49ers -15
Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys -4.5
It seems like the Dallas Cowboys are coming together at just the right time. They have been on fire lately, putting up points with a passing offense while dominating on defense. Meanwhile, Arizona’s stalled a bit. This all seems like a Cowboys victory with relative ease.
There’s always the wildcard factor of Kyler Murray. If he has a big game, he can keep it close or even pull off the upset victory. That just seems like the unlikely scenario at this point. Take Dallas to win by a touchdown or more.
Pick: Dallas Cowboys -4.5
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints -7
This is not a good matchup for the Carolina Panthers. Not only are they struggling all around, but they have been particularly having problems stopping the run. Alvin Kamara comes to town looking to put up a big night.
It’s not like New Orleans is incredible, but they are just a little bit better on their home turf. They still have playoff hopes as well, which will propel them to the win. Getting seven points is a pretty big point spread, but they barely make it work.
Pick: New Orleans Saints -7
Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks -6.5
Seattle has shown to be pretty consistent in the last few weeks thanks to Rashaad Penny helping out with the running game. He has a great matchup for himself this week, as Detroit’s struggled against the run all season long. Russell Wilson also has the veteran know-how to navigate any upset opportunities.
Detroit’s still not sure who they’re going to start a quarterback, but they will at least be competitive to give Seattle a bit of a scare. However, at the end of the day, Seattle can win and cover. Seattle sitting at -6.5 could be the difference-maker, as it seems like they could win by just a touchdown.
Pick: Seattle Seahawks -6.5
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers -6.5
The Sunday night game pits Minnesota vs. Green Bay in another divisional rivalry game. Minnesota has been pretty solid all year long, but now they go up against the best team in the conference on their home soil.
Minnesota will be relying on Kirk Cousins to have a truly remarkable game. Expect a lot of Justin Jefferson targets, as this could turn into a shootout.
Green Bay has the better quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, and he’s going up against a defense that’s had trouble stopping anyone downfield. They also have trouble against the run, meaning Green Bay will score more consistently.
Pick: Green Bay Packers -6.5