Week 17 of the 2021 NFL season is here! With just two weeks to go in the season, the playoff races are getting tighter and tighter. There will be many eliminations and clinching scenarios this week. There are also quite a few great games on the schedule, including my personal favorite: Chiefs vs Bengals.
I’ve continued stacking W’s late in the season, as I followed up my best week ever with a strong 11-5 performance in Week 16. That brings my shortened season record to a respectable 83-59-1. It’s time to finish strong. Read on for my picks and predictions for Week 17’s games!
Philadelphia Eagles (8-7) at Washington Football Team (6-9)
The pick: Eagles (-180)
Spread: Eagles -3.5 | Over/Under: 45 | Moneyline: Eagles -180, WFT +155
There are no Thursday Night Football games this week, so we’re going straight into the Sunday slate. An NFC East clash that looked spicy just a few weeks back has lost quite a bit of its luster. The Eagles have managed to continue playing at a solid level, but the WFT has fallen far behind in the Wild Card race. I don’t think Washington gets dominated like they did against Dallas, but I still see Philadelphia winning this one.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-4) at New York Jets (4-11)
The pick: Bucs (-675)
Spread: Bucs -12.5 | Over/Under: 45 | Moneyline: Bucs -675, Jets +475
While the Bucs are not at full strength, they’re still plenty of capable of taking down lesser opponents with relative ease. The Jets are not as bad as they were to start the season, but they’re still bad.
Miami Dolphins (8-7) at Tennessee Titans (10-5)
The pick: Titans (-180)
Spread: Titans -3.5 | Over/Under: 39.5 | Moneyline: Titans -180, Dolphins +155
This could be one of the games of the week, and there is plenty of intrigue going into this matchup of AFC playoff contenders. Miami has had a meteoric rise following a 1-7 start, and they’re close to completing a legendary comeback to make the playoffs. To get there, they’ll have to get through a Titans team that is finally getting healthier. I think Tennessee has the edge in this one, but it’s a tough call.
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13) at New England Patriots (9-6)
The pick: Patriots (-900)
Spread: Patriots -16 | Over/Under: 41.5 | Moneyline: Patriots -900, Jaguars +600
One of the AFC’s best takes on one of the AFC’s worst in one of the most lopsided matchups of the season. The Patriots have looked mortal in recent weeks, but Belichick isn’t losing to Jacksonville.
Las Vegas Raiders (8-7) at Indianapolis Colts (9-6)
The pick: Colts (-310)
Spread: Colts -7 | Over/Under: 44.5 | Moneyline: Colts -310, Raiders +245
The Colts have recovered from an early-season disaster to become arguably the hottest team in the AFC. After dispatching the Cardinals last week, Indianapolis gets to take on a hot-and-cold Raiders team. Las Vegas is thoroughly mediocre, and I don’t believe they’re much of a match for the Colts.
Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) at Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)
The pick: Chiefs (-210)
Spread: Chiefs -5 | Over/Under: 51 | Moneyline: Chiefs -210, Bengals +175
The game of the week is going down in Cincinnati, where two of the AFC’s biggest contenders go head-to-head in what could be a playoff preview. The Chiefs are red hot after their early-season offensive struggles, and seem to be getting their weapons back from the COVID list. Meanwhile, the Bengals have outperformed all expectations and taken full control of the AFC North. I can’t pick against Kansas City, but I expect this to be a great game.
New York Giants (4-11) at Chicago Bears (5-10)
The pick: Bears (-235)
Spread: Bears -5.5 | Over/Under: 37 | Moneyline: Bears -235, Giants +190
It’s possible that both of these struggling NFC teams will be starting backup QBs in Week 17. One of them is much better, and that’s Andy Dalton in Chicago. The Bears aren’t good, but they’re better than the Giants.
Atlanta Falcons (7-8) at Buffalo Bills (9-6)
The pick: Bills (-1000)
Spread: Bills -14 | Over/Under: 44 | Moneyline: Bills -1000, Falcons +650
The Falcons are massive road underdogs to the Bills, and it’s not at all a surprise. While the Bills have been prone to letdowns this season—most notably against the Jaguars—Atlanta simply hasn’t shown they can compete with good teams. Buffalo is assuredly a good team, and they’re likely to win this one handily.
Los Angeles Rams (11-4) at Baltimore Ravens (8-7)
The pick: Rams (-195)
Spread: Rams -3.5 | Over/Under: 46.5 | Moneyline: Rams -195, Ravens +165
This game looked much spicier a few weeks ago, but since then Ravens QB Lamar Jackson has been hurt and Baltimore has lost four straight. It seems unlikely Jackson will play this week, which means backup Tyler Huntley is in line to start. Huntley has played well, but I don’t think this depleted Ravens team can keep up with the Rams for four quarters.
Houston Texans (4-11) at San Francisco 49ers (8-7)
The pick: 49ers (-630)
Spread: 49ers -12 | Over/Under: 44 | Moneyline: 49ers -630, Texans +450
The Texans deserve credit for a gutsy win over the Chargers last week—perhaps Davis Mills has a real shot at being an NFL starter. Can they do it again this week against another playoff contender in the 49ers? I don’t think so.
Denver Broncos (7-8) at Los Angeles Chargers (8-7)
The pick: Chargers (-280)
Spread: Chargers -6.5 | Over/Under: 45.5 | Moneyline: Chargers -250, +200
These are two of the most maddening, inconsistent teams in the league...and it showed once again in Week 16. The Broncos dropped a bad game to the Raiders, and the Chargers fell completely flat against the lowly Texans. Both are in line for bounce-back performances, but Los Angeles is the more talented team.
Carolina Panthers (5-10) at New Orleans Saints (7-8)
The pick: Saints (-280)
Spread: Saints -6.5 | Over/Under: 37.5 | Moneyline: Saints -280, Panthers +225
The kiss of death worked again—once more and it will knock the Saints out of the playoff race altogether. It seems that Taysom Hill will once again be behind center for New Orleans as they take on the disheveled Panthers. Carolina has to hope for a masterful defensive performance to keep the Saints down, and a good day from their own QB corps.
Detroit Lions (2-12-1) at Seattle Seahawks (5-10)
The pick: Seahawks (-300)
Spread: Seahawks -7 | Over/Under: 42.5 | Moneyline: Seahawks -300, Lions +235
The turnaround Seahawks fans were hoping for after Russell Wilson’s return never materialized, with the team continuing to struggle down the stretch. Playoffs are entirely out of the picture for Seattle now, but they can still get a few more wins. While the Lions are very good at playing teams close, they haven’t been good at actually winning. Seattle gets another W this week.
Arizona Cardinals (10-5) at Dallas Cowboys (11-4)
The pick: Cowboys (-260)
Spread: Cowboys -6 | Over/Under: 52 | Moneyline: Cowboys -260, Cardinals +210
I really wanted to pick the Cardinals in an upset here, but I just can’t. Arizona isn’t the same team that they were early in the season. They’re getting worse while the competition is getting better—and while I don’t think that knocks them out of the playoffs, they probably won’t get far. How they fare against Dallas will tell us a lot.
Sunday Night Football: Minnesota Vikings (7-8) at Green Bay Packers (12-3)
The pick: Packers (-300)
Spread: Packers -7 | Over/Under: 46 | Moneyline: Packers -300, Vikings +235
This looks like a good one on paper, and the Vikings have a habit of giving us exciting games. Using my foolproof method of predicting Minnesota games, I have determined this will be a loss. In seriousness, the Packers are heavy favorites for a reason: they’re one of the best teams in the NFL right now. Wacky things can happen in division games—Minnesota won the previous matchup—but I think Green Bay leaves as the victor.
Monday Night Football: Cleveland Browns (7-8) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1)
The pick: Browns (-180)
Spread: Browns -3.5 | Over/Under: 41 | Moneyline: Browns -180, Steelers +155
Both of these teams have been painful to watch this season, but I need the Browns to formally eliminate the Steelers from playoff contention. Pittsburgh is the most boring team in existence and they should be nowhere near the playoffs at this point. Do it for all of us, Cleveland.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.