NFL Picks Week 17: Advice on Final Regular-Season Vegas Odds and Spreads

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistDecember 24, 2019

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson looks to pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Lindsey Wasson/Associated Press

There's just one week remaining in the NFL regular season, and it's likely to be an unpredictable one. Looking ahead at the schedule, it's difficult to discern which playoff-bound teams are going to rest key players.

Only the Baltimore Ravens have secured a first-round bye to this point, but several games will be meaningless, especially by the late afternoon—eight of the 16 games will be after the 1 p.m. window. If the Kansas City Chiefs win in the early afternoon, for example, the Houston Texans will have no reason to play their starters in a bid for a higher playoff seed.

The Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills are already locked into their playoff positions.

With this in mind, we're going to take a look at how Week 17 might unfold. We'll run down the full schedule, make predictions for each contest and examine the latest lines and over/unders from Caesars.


Week 17 Lines, Over/Unders and Predictions

Atlanta Falcons (even, 48.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Atlanta 30-27

Cleveland Browns (-3, 45) at Cincinnati Bengals: Cincinnati 24-20

Chicago Bears (no line) at Minnesota Vikings: Chicago 20-17

Los Angeles Chargers (+9, 46.5) at Kansas City Chiefs: Kansas City 31-21

Miami Dolphins (+16, 45) at New England Patriots: New England 27-14

Green Bay Packers (no line) at Detroit Lions: Green Bay 33-20

New Orleans Saints (-13, 47.5) at Carolina Panthers: New Orleans 28-20

New York Jets (+1.5, 37) at Buffalo Bills: Buffalo 18-13

Indianapolis Colts (-3.5, 43.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars: Indianapolis 30-20

Oakland Raiders (+3.5, 41) at Denver Broncos: Oakland 26-24

Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5, 45) at New York Giants: Philadelphia 28-26

Pittsburgh Steelers (-2, 38) at Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore 16-13

Tennessee Titans (-4, 46) at Houston Texans: Tennessee 27-17

Washington Redskins (+11, 44.5) at Dallas Cowboys: Dallas 30-18

Arizona Cardinals (no line) at Los Angeles Rams: Los Angeles 28-26

San Francisco 49ers (no line) at Seattle Seahawks: San Francisco 26-23


Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

Mark Tenally/Associated Press

The New York Giants proved in Week 16 that they still have plenty of fight in them. They escaped the Washington Redskins in overtime thanks to strong performances from rookie quarterback Daniel Jones (352 yards, 5 TDs) and second-year back Saquon Barkley (279 total yards, 2 TDs). 

Expect New York to cherish the spoiler role against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17. If the Eagles win, they'll be division champions and in the playoffs. If they lose, the Dallas Cowboys will have a chance to take the NFC East.

Expect the Giants to keep this one very close, even if the Eagles ultimately escape with the win. The fact that Philadelphia may not have star tight end Zach Ertz isn't going to help Philadelphia run away with this one. Ertz suffered a fractured rib against Dallas last week, and his status is uncertain.

"He's hurt pretty bad," a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Don't be shocked if Carson Wentz and Co. have to engineer a late-game drive for the third time in four weeks.


Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

As previously mentioned, the Texans may have nothing to play for by the time they take the field at 4:25 p.m. ET. Houston has already clinched the AFC South and can only move from the four seed to the No. 3 slot if the Chiefs lose in the early afternoon.

Since Kansas City still has a shot at a first-round bye, the Chiefs are unlikely to coast through their finale.

This means that Houston will likely play plenty of backups against the rival Tennessee Titans. Tennessee, meanwhile, needs a win to get into the postseason.

This could lead to a big win for Tennessee, especially since the Titans may have star running back Derrick Henry in the lineup. The Titans decided to sit him in Week 16 due to a hamstring injury.

"That was an organizational decision that we thought was best for the football team," head coach Mike Vrabel explained, via the team's official website.

The Titans are far less likely to rest Henry with the season on the line. Expect him and the Titans offense to rumble in Houston on Sunday.


San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks

Tony Avelar/Associated Press

This is the big one. The NFL scheduled the San Francisco 49ers versus Seattle Seahawks matchup for the evening because it's the single most impactful game of Week 17. Not only will the winner claim the NFC West, but this game could also determine which teams get first-round byes.

If the 49ers win, they'll take the No. 1 seed. The second seed will then go to either the Green Bay Packers or the New Orleans Saints. Should the Seahawks win, they'll have a shot at a bye only if Green Bay loses their finale. Otherwise, the Packers and the Saints will take the top two spots. 

Unfortunately for Seattle—and for fans hoping to see an even playing field—injuries are likely to be a significant factor. The Seahawks will be without starting left tackle Duane Brown and running backs Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise.

At running back, it looks like the Seahawks will instead have Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin. Neither has played since Week 6 of the 2018 season.

This should still be a competitive game, but San Francisco seems to have a clear edge.