NFL Lines: Spread and Over/Under Predictions for Every Week 17 Matchup

Stephen Sheehan@@StephenPSheehanCorrespondent IDecember 27, 2012

Robert Griffin III will take the Redskins to the playoffs.
Robert Griffin III will take the Redskins to the playoffs.Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The final week of regular-season football is fast approaching and with that comes some intriguing matchups with serious playoff implications. 

With prime matchups like the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Washington Redskins set for Sunday, it's time to examine the spreads and over/unders of Week 17. 

Let's take a look at all 16 matchups for Sunday and my score predictions for each game. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. ET 

Over/Under: No lines currently available

Spread: N/A 

Score Prediction:  
Atlanta 27, Tampa 20 

With the No. 1 seed wrapped up, the Falcons don't need to put their starters in harm's way. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez probably won't play their usual slate of snaps, although it'd be best for Atlanta to let them get two a quarter or two of quality snaps in as a final tuneup. 

The Buccaneers are playing for pride at this point, but it will be a long day for Greg Schiano's team, which fields the league's worst pass defense. 

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. ET

Over/Under: 39

Spread: Buffalo (-3)

Score Prediction: Buffalo 19, New York 13 

Both cellar dwellers of the AFC East have been huge disappointments in 2012, but they have a chance to beat up on each other in the regular-season finale.

Unlike the New England Patriots or Miami Dolphins, neither the Bills nor the Jets have a franchise quarterback in place. And yes, that is an indictment on Mark Sanchez

It's hard to have any faith in the Jets offense anymore (not that there ever was), so expect Mario Williams, Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus to beat up on Greg McElroy and the Jets as Buffalo closes out the season with a home victory.

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals 

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. ET

Over/Under: 41

Spread: Cincinnati (-3) 

Score Prediction: Cincinnati 20, Baltimore 17

In a heavyweight battle between the two best teams in the AFC North, it'll be the Bengals who emerge as Week 17 winners. Cincinnati is one of the hottest teams in football, winning six of its last seven games. 

With quality wins against the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers, the only hole in the Bengals' resume is their 44-13 loss to the Ravens in the season opener. 

Expect the Bengals to be highly motivated and ready to avenge that loss in preparation for a playoff run. 

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. ET

Over/Under: 45

Spread: Chicago (-3)

Score Prediction: Chicago 24, Detroit 16

Chicago is battling for a playoff spot, and with the Lions in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, expect Jay Cutler and the Bears to come out swinging. 

The Bears offense is still too inconsistent to make serious playoff noise, but their defense is one of the best in the game. 

Cornerbacks Charles "Peanut" Tillman and Tim Jennings are two of the better ball hawks in the game, with Tillman forcing an eye-popping 10 fumbles and scoring three touchdowns while Jennings leads the league with eight picks. 

Turnover-prone Matthew Stafford might be dishing out some late Christmas gifts to the Bears defense Sunday. 

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. ET

Over/Under: 41.5

Spread: Tennessee (-4)

Score Prediction: Tennessee 14, Jacksonville 13

Chalk this one up as the snooze fest of Week 17. Both of these teams are near the bottom of the AFC and for good reason.

The Titans forgot how to play defense in 2012, surrendering a league-worst 30.1 points per game. 

Unfortunately the Titans get one of the easiest matchups in the lowly Jags, who boast the league's second-lowest scoring offense. 

Chris Johnson should break off a few long runs and open things up for promising second-year quarterback Jake Locker in a close Titans win. 

Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts 

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. ET

Over/Under: 46.5 

Spread: Houston (-6.5)

Score Prediction: Houston 27, Indianapolis 20

The Texans have been vulnerable the past few weeks, but look for them to close the season with a win against division-rival Indianapolis. 

Sunday is a must-win for the Texans if they hope to hold on to the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. 

J.J. Watt is chasing Michael Strahan's sack record and should be nearly impossible for the Colts' shaky offensive line to handle. Expect Watt to re-write the record books Sunday as the Texans re-establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with this postseason. 

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints 

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. ET

Over/Under: 54

Spread: New Orleans (-6)

Score Prediction: New Orleans 28, Carolina 21 

Like their Week 2 showdown, expect a high-scoring, tight affair between these two AFC South squads. 

Drew Brees and Cam Newton are two of the most exciting quarterbacks in the NFL, but neither signal-caller has been able to lead his team to the playoffs in 2012. Newton has improved his play of late, scoring 14 total touchdowns in his last five games. 

Brees and the Saints have been on a tear offensively, but face an underrated Panthers defense that ranks 10th in the NFL in sacks and eighth in passing yards allowed. 

However, New Orleans is a different beast at home and should end the season with a .500 record. 

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants 

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. ET 

Over/Under: 45.5 

Spread: New York (-7)

Score Prediction: New York 27, Philadelphia 14 

If the Giants have any hope of defending their Super Bowl crown, it begins Sunday. 

The 2011 champs have been sleepwalking the past month, losing three of their four December games and are now in the unenviable position of trying to squeeze their way into the final wild-card spot. 

New York's offense has suffered from injuries all season, as star receiver Hakeem Nicks has been banged up with various leg ailments. 

With Michael Vick drawing the start, expect the Giants to try and put consistent pressure on the brittle QB and hit him as often as possible. If New York's defensive line plays up to its capabilities, it'll be a long day for Vick and the Eagles offense.  

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers 

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. ET

Over/Under: N/A

Spread: N/A

Score Prediction: Pittsburgh 21, Cleveland 7 

It's rare that the Pittsburgh Steelers will be in the same place as the Cleveland Browns after Week 17—out of the playoffs. 

Inconsistency and injuries derailed the Steelers' 2012 season, as stalwarts like Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor all missed time with injuries.

Pittsburgh was still in position to make the playoffs until Roethlisberger tossed game-changing interceptions the past two weeks. 

Cleveland's rookie class showed flashes of future greatness, but the Browns' two first-round picks, Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden, suffered injuries last week and a decision has yet to be made about their availability.

With either one out of the lineup, it'll be a long day in Cleveland.

Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 4:25 p.m. ET 

Over/Under: 42

Spread: Denver (-16)

Score Prediction: Denver 35, Kansas City 6 

Peyton Manning will cap off his MVP season with a lights-out performance against the hapless Chiefs. 

With Denver still in position to overtake the Texans for the No. 1 seed, don't expect the Broncos to take their foot off the gas pedal Sunday. Manning should continue to find No. 1 receiver Demaryius Thomas and complementary wideout Eric Decker all day against the Chiefs' 25th-ranked scoring defense. 

Von Miller should feast on whatever quarterback Kansas City throws out there, making it another painful Sunday for Chiefs fans. 

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings 

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 4:25 p.m. ET 

Over/Under: 46

Spread: Green Bay (-3)

Score Prediction: Green Bay 26, Minnesota 17 

This game means everything for the Vikings and nothing for the Packers, who have already wrapped up the NFC North title. 

With no chance of catching Atlanta for the No. 1 seed, Green Bay will probably use this game as a chance to get guys like Jordy Nelson and Charles Woodson ready for the playoffs

Minnesota desperately needs a win to wrap up the final wild-card spot, but with cornerback Antoine Winfield battling a broken hand and Christian Ponder just not showing enough at quarterback, the Vikings will end up on the short end of the stick Sunday. 

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots 

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 4:25 p.m. ET 

Over/Under: 46

Spread: New England (-10)

Score Prediction: New England 31, Miami 17

The Patriots threw up a stinker in Jacksonville last Sunday, but expect a totally different team to show up after Tom Brady ripped into his team for their poor effort and execution against the Jaguars. 

New England has a chance at the No. 2 or even No. 1 seed, so this game definitely has meaning for the defending AFC champions. 

After the offense looked out of sync last week in a 23-16 win, the Patriots will use this game to get back on track and iron out issues along the offensive line and in the passing game. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, they're going to get the wrath of an angry and motivated Brady. 

Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers 

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 4:25 p.m. ET 

Over/Under: N/A

Spread: N/A

Score Prediction: San Diego 17, Oakland 14

Hopefully the Chargers don't keep trending down otherwise they'll end up like the Raiders—a perennially bad team drafting in the top 10 and miles away from the playoffs.  

San Diego simply isn't the high-powered squad that made them a playoff regular in the earlier part of the decade, as Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates have slipped into mediocrity in recent years. 

Oakland continues to be a dysfunctional franchise that lacks consistency at the QB position and has one of the league's most underachieving defenses. 

Rivers should be able to move the ball enough to put points on the board against Oakland's porous pass defense.

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 4:25 p.m. ET 

Over/Under: 39.5

Spread: San Francisco (-17)

Score Prediction: San Francisco 28, Arizona 3 

The Cardinals will be lucky to get across the 50-yard line in this one. San Francisco has been lit up the past six quarters, but the 49ers get a juicy matchup in the lowly Cardinals. 

Arizona's offensive line is among the worst in the league, and it's quarterback play is by far the worst. 

Aldon Smith, Ahmad Brooks, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman should have a field day rushing the quarterback and bottling up Arizona's "running game." 

Look for San Fran to redeem itself after one-and-a-half games of poor play. 

St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks 

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 4:25 p.m. ET

Over/Under: 41 

Spread: Seattle (-10) 

Score Prediction: Seattle 24, St. Louis 13 

No team is hotter in the NFL right now than the Seattle Seahawks, who have outscored their opponents 150-30 the past three weeks.

Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch anchor a much improved offense that is becoming more potent by the week. 

Complementing that offense is one of the league's most aggressive defenses, which can rush the quarterback and cover like no other. 

The Rams have been playing well lately, but they're about to run into the train that is the Seahawks. 

Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins

When: Sunday, Dec. 30 at 8:20 p.m. ET 

Over/Under: 49.5

Spread: Washington (-3)

Score Prediction: Washington 24, Dallas 21

In the game of the week, the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys battle for the NFC East crown. 

While Tony Romo and Dez Bryant have been a lethal combo in the second of the season, it'll be rookies Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris who march their team into the playoffs. 

Dallas' defense has star power, but injuries at linebacker will prove too big to overcome as the powerful Morris anchors a strong ground game for the Redskins. RGIII should be able to test Dallas deep and make plays with his legs. 

Once again, it'll be Tony Romo receiving criticism for failing to take Dallas to the postseason. 

He can thank RGIII for that. 


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