NFL picks, predictions for Week 17: Chiefs fend off Bengals; Raiders upset Colts; Ravens rebound

NFL picks, predictions for Week 17: Chiefs fend off Bengals; Raiders upset Colts; Ravens rebound


Week 17 of the NFL schedule is a mixed bag.

There are four games with double-digit spreads, and those could be rough for a few teams trying to break in the New Year. 

There are some great matchups that could be playoff previews. Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes II roll into Cincinnati to face the red-hot Bengals and Joe Burrow. Arizona will try to get back on track at Dallas, which is trying to catch Green Bay for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The Packers, meanwhile, can use the Sunday Night Football spotlight to avenge a Week 11 loss to the Vikings. 

The Raiders need to win at Indianapolis to keep their hopes alive. Will Lamar Jackson return for the Ravens in time to save their season against the Rams? Monday Night Football is a de facto elimination game between the Browns and Steelers. 

It’s a mixed bag, but it’s full of tough games to pick. Here is a look at our track record heading into Week 17: 

  • Week 16: 12-4
  • Total: 151-87-1

POWER RANKINGS
Cowboys, Bills, Eagles rise; Patriots, Steelers, Browns fall for Week 17

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NFL picks, predictions for Week 17

  • Philadelphia Eagles (-4) at Washington Football Team 

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX 

Washington is coming off its worst loss of the season, and the Eagles won the last meeting between the teams 27-17 on Dec. 21. Washington could rise up in a spoiler role at home, but that’s tough to envision after watching the SNF disaster. Philadelphia has rolled up 184.3 rushing yards per game in its last three victories.  

Pick: Eagles 28, Washington 22

  • Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-6.5) 

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX 

Impossible to predict the quarterback situation on either side at this point. It’s two teams looking to press the reset button. The Panthers are 3-4 on the road, and perhaps Cam Newton turns back the clock to beat an old division rival on the road. 

Pick: Panthers 23, Saints 20

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-13.5) at New York Jets 

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX 

Zach Wilson led the Jets to a victory in Week 16, but the Buccaneers are a different beast. Tom Brady will lean on Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski in the passing game, but Ronald Jones II is in line for success against a Jets’ defense that allows 141.3 yards per game on the ground. The Buccaneers’ momentum keeps building here. 

Pick: Buccaneers 38, Jets 12 

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  • Miami Dolphins at Tennessee Titans (-3.5) 

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS 

The Dolphins are one of the hottest teams in the AFC, but they are up against a Titans team that is 6-2 at home. This is Ryan Tannehill’s first start against his former team. Former Bill Belichick assistants Mike Vrabel and Brian Flores engage in a tight one that comes down to a last-second field goal. 

Pick: Titans 24, Dolphins 21 

  • Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots (-15.5) 

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS 

Here is another game with a remarkable spread. It’s another battle of rookie quarterbacks between Trevor Lawrence and Mac Jones. Look for the Patriots to take advantage of a Jacksonville team that has a -19 turnover ratio. That won’t play well on the well, and Jones gets back on track with a pair of TD passes. 

Pick: Patriots 30, Jaguars 14 

  • Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts (-8) 

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

The Colts found a way to win without four starters on the offensive line, and they have a chance to move up the pecking order in the AFC around MVP candidate Jonathan Taylor. The Raiders have found a way to win ugly the last two weeks with Derek Carr, and this feels like a spot where they could pull that off again with Colts starter Carson Wentz on the COVID-19 list. This is the surprise upset of the early games. 

Pick: Raiders 28, Colts 27 

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  • Kansas City Chiefs (-4) at Cincinnati Bengals 

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

Who knew this would be the best game of the week? The Bengals can clinch the AFC North with some help this week, but they need a home victory against the Chiefs. Kansas City has regained its Super Bowl form with eight straight victories, and they covered in the last six games. The Bengals are 4-4 S/U at home this year. Mahomes and Burrow put on a show, but the Chiefs seal the deal with a late TD in a game with divisional playoff flavor. 

Pick: Chiefs 31, Bengals 24

  • New York Giants at Chicago Bears (-6) 

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

It’s two of the first worst scoring offenses in the NFL, and it’s tough to consider taking the Giants considering they have scored 10 points or less in four of their last six games. Chicago is playing out the last days of coach Matt Nagy, and the quarterback switching continues. The Bears win ugly at home. 

Pick: Bears 19, Giants 13 

  • Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills (-14.5) 

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

The Bills got back on track against the Patriots, and Josh Allen will take advantage of an Atlanta pass defense that allows 244 passing yards per game. The Falcons have won five games on the road this season, but don’t be fooled. None of those teams they beat have a winning record. 

Pick: Bills 30, Falcons 16

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  • Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers (-12.5) 

Sunday, 4:05 p.m., CBS

The Texans showed fight in a win against Los Angeles this week, and the 49ers are lamenting a close loss to the Titans on Thursday Night Football. San Francisco had extra time to heal, however and Eli Mitchell could return from a knee injury this week. The Niners keep it simple on the ground at home, but the spread is too high. Davis Mills has just one interception in his last three starts. 

Pick: 49ers 27, Texans 20 

  • Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-7.5) 

Sunday, 4:05 p.m., CBS

The Broncos are fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive against a division rival. The Chargers are coming off an inexplicable loss to the Texans. Los Angeles is just 4-4 at home this season, too, but we’re trusting Justin Herbert to get it done against Denver’s top-five pass defense. The Broncos won the first meeting 28-13. 

Pick: Chargers 26, Broncos 20 

  • Los Angeles Rams (-6) at Baltimore Ravens 

Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX 

Will Lamar Jackson return and help the Ravens avoid a potentially devastating loss? That’s Baltimore’s best hope. The Ravens have allowed 29 points per game through a four-game losing streak, and the Rams are rolling in a four-game win streak. If Jackson comes back, however, we’ll say he saves the day in a classic. 

Pick: Ravens 33, Rams 30 

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  • Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks (-7.5) 

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX 

The Seahawks will be home against the Lions, which lost another close one in Week 16 but have not quit under first-year coach Dan Campbell. The Seahawks are 30th in total offense (305.2), and the Lions are 29th in scoring offense (17.3). This game won’t be pretty. 

Pick: Seahawks 20, Lions 17 

  • Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys (-6.5) 

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX 

The Cowboys opened eyes with 56 points on SNF, and Dak Prescott has this team looking like a legit Super Bowl contender. Kyler Murray is trying to get the Cardinals back on track, especially in the passing game. Remember, Arizona won 38-10 at Dallas last season, but Prescott wasn’t on the field for that one. We’re still calling for the upset here. 

Pick: Cardinals 30, Cowboys 27 

  • Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-13.5)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m., NBC 

The Vikings are the last team to beat Green Bay at Lambeau Field in the regular season, and if Dalvin Cook returns that will be the recipe for success on the road — especially with Kirk Cousins ruled out. The Packers have allowed 28.8 points per game in their last five games, and that defense has lived on the edge. Aaron Rodgers makes up the difference with a late TD pass to Davante Adams in a SNF thriller. 

Pick: Packers 31, Vikings 28 

  • Cleveland Browns (-3.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday, 4:05 p.m., CBS

The Browns ended the Steelers’ season in the AFC Wild Card round last year. Can they do it again on the Monday Night Football spotlight? This is a gotta-have-it game for both Baker Mayfield and Ben Roethlisberger, but the Browns stick to Nick Chubb this time against a porous Steelers run defense. That sets up a huge game with the Bengals in Week 18. 

Pick: Browns 23, Steelers 18





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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.