Week 17 NFL Picks: Predictions and Advice for Season-Finale Vegas Odds

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistDecember 26, 2019

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers warms up before an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Monday, Dec. 23, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig)
Craig Lassig/Associated Press

We have reached the final week of the 2019 NFL regular season. For many teams, it's already time to focus on the offseason. For the 15 teams still in the playoff hunt, however, this final week will be drenched in drama.

Three of the league's first-round byes are up for grabs, as are two divisions and one wild-card spot.

Even the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings will be interested in this week's proceedings. While they're already locked into playoff positions, their postseason opponents have not been settled.

Here, we'll examine some of the top matchups with playoff implications, along with the latest lines and over/unders from Caesars.


Week 17 Lines, Over/Unders and Score Predictions

Atlanta Falcons (+1.5, 47.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Atlanta 30-27

Cleveland Browns (-3, 44.5) at Cincinnati Bengals: Cincinnati 24-20

Chicago Bears (+1, 36.5) at Minnesota Vikings: Chicago 20-17

Los Angeles Chargers (+9, 44.5) at Kansas City Chiefs: Kansas City 31-21

Miami Dolphins (+15.5, 44.5) at New England Patriots: New England 27-14

Green Bay Packers (-12.5, 43) at Detroit Lions: Green Bay 33-20

New Orleans Saints (-13, 46) at Carolina Panthers: New Orleans 28-20

New York Jets (+1.5, 36) at Buffalo Bills: Buffalo 18-13

Indianapolis Colts (-4, 43) 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 (-1.5, 37.5) at Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore 16-15

Tennessee Titans (-3.5, 45.5) 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 (-3, 47) at Seattle Seahawks: San Francisco 26-23


Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens

Adam Hunger/Associated Press

While Week 17 means nothing for the Ravens, it's huge for the Pittsburgh Steelers. With a win and a Tennessee Titans loss, Pittsburgh can sneak into the playoffs.

However, the Steelers could have a hard time with their part of the equation, even against a Baltimore team expected to rest its starters. The Steelers offense hasn't exactly been humming along this season, and it could once again be without starting running back James Conner.

Conner didn't practice on Wednesday, and according to ProFootballTalk.com's Josh Alper, head coach Mike Tomlin has called his status "very much in question."

Pittsburgh will also be without center Maurkice Pouncey and will likely have to lean on Devlin Hodges, even if he plays poorly. Mason Rudolph was placed on injured reserve earlier in the week. Paxton Lynch will be the backup.

This means that while the Ravens will sit many of their star players, neither team will be at full strength. With home-field advantage and the chance to end a rival's season, the second-string Ravens could well pull off the upset.


Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions

This isn't the most important game in the NFC playoff race, but it will be a pivotal one. If the Green Bay Packers win, they'll be assured a first-round bye. They'll earn the No. 1 seed if the Seattle Seahawks win on Sunday night and the No. 2 seed if the San Francisco 49ers take the final game of the season.

However, if the Detroit Lions manage to pull off the upset, the New Orleans Saints will have a crack at the No. 1 or No. 2 seed—again, dependent on the outcome of the 49ers-Seahawks tilt.

"I think our guys understand what's at stake," Packers coach Matt LaFleur said, via the team's official website. "This game has huge implications. You get that bye you're automatically one round further in the playoffs, and certainly we'd love for every game to come through Lambeau."

Expect the Packers to give a maximum effort against the overmatched and undermanned Lions. Detroit is already without quarterback Matthew Stafford and has starting tackles Taylor Decker and Rick Wagner on the injury report.

Even with a large betting line, the Packers have a strong chance to cover.


Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

Michael Perez/Associated Press

If the Philadelphia Eagles defeat the New York Giants on Sunday, they'll be NFC East champions and in the playoffs. Philadelphia is also likely to be a dangerous postseason team, given the momentum it has generated during its three-game winning streak.

The Eagles have leaned on new playmakers, like wideout Greg Ward and tight end Dallas Goedert, to put themselves in playoff position. However, they are no lock to beat the Giants.

New York has weapons of its own, like quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley. Both youngsters shined in Week 16—Barkley had 279 yards of offense by himself—and could carry that momentum into this matchup.

The Eagles are also on the road and could be without star tight end Zach Ertz, who is dealing with a rib fracture. According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, Ertz is pushing to play. If he can't, though, Philadelphia will be missing its best pass-catcher.

Don't be shocked if the Giants keep this game close through to its conclusion—possibly even getting the surprise win.