NFL picks, predictions for Week 17: Chiefs crush Bengals; Raiders help Texans overtake Colts; Seahawks stave off Steelers

For the second straight week, the NFL schedule will provide a pair of blockbuster showdowns between teams with double-digit wins. 

Saturday Night Football will be fantastic. Detroit clinched the NFC North in Week 16 and still has a chance at the No. 1 seed in the NFC. To do that, Lions coach Dan Campbell will have to beat the Cowboys, where he was a tight end from 2003-05. It’s a battle of top-five scoring offenses. Dallas (30.1 ppg.) and Detroit (27.5 ppg.) rank third and fourth, respectively, in that department. 

Miami travels to Baltimore in the 1 p.m. slot Sunday, a rematch of last year’s 42-38 shootout the Dolphins won last season. It’s a matchup that should determine home-field advantage in the AFC, so look for quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Lamar Jackson to put on a show. 

An early Sunday NFC North showdown between the Saints and Buccaneers and a prime-time New Year’s Eve matchup between the Vikings and Packers also are highlights of the Week 17 schedule. 

Each week, Sporting News picks every NFL matchup by the spread. A look at our track record this season heading into Week 17: 

  • Straight up: 148-91 (9-6 in Week 16) 
  • ATS: 119-112-8 (8-7 in Week 16)

Here are our straight-up picks for Week 17 (Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook)

POWER RANKINGS: Ravens rout 49ers for undisputed top spot; Chiefs slip behind Browns, Bills for Week 17

NFL picks, predictions for Week 17

  • New York Jets at Cleveland Browns (-7) 

Thursday, 8:15 p.m., Prime Video 

The Browns are 5-0 ATS as a home favorite this season, and they still have an outside shot at a AFC North championship. The Browns lead the league in turnovers, but Cleveland is even in turnover margin since Joe Flacco took over as starter. The Jets are -7 the last four weeks. If this line moves up before kickoff, then take the value in New York. 

Pick: Browns 24, Jets 16 

  • Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys (-6) 

Saturday, 8:15 p.m., ABC/ESPN

 Dallas, however, is 6-1 ATS as a home favorite and they have won those by an average of 24.4 points per game. This line could push toward seven by kickoff, but we’ll take a chance on a playoff-type close game. Give us Prescott leading another potential game-winning drive with a touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb in the clutch. 

Pick: Cowboys 27, Lions 24 

  • New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (-12) 

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

The Bills have found their stride through a playoff push, and it’s possible this is the last time Buffalo will see Bill Belichick as the Patriots’ head coach. Belichick is 37-12 against Buffalo all time, and that includes a 29-25 victory in Week 7. Buffalo wins, but it’s by no means comfortable. 

Pick: Bills 28, Patriots 17 

  • Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears (-3) 

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

The Falcons are a game back in the NFC South race, but they are just 2-5 S/U and average 13.5 points per game on the road. Justin Fields put up an average of 196.5 passing yards and 77.5 rushing yards in the last two home starts, both victories. Look for  the Bears to thrive in the spoiler role as a home favorite.  

Pick: Bears 23, Falcons 18 

  • Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts (-3) 

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS 

The Raiders are playing a tough brand of football with a physical rushing attack and dominant pass rush led by Maxx Crosby, and that could give an up-and-down Colts’ team problems – even at home. Indianapolis ranks 28th against the run at 130.7 points per game. This line is going to drop before Sunday. 

Pick: Raiders 24, Colts 20 

  • Los Angeles Rams (-6.5) at New York Giants

Sunday, 1 p.m., Fox

Will it be Tommy DeVito or Tyrod Taylor against the Rams? It might not matter. The Rams have averaged 32.4 points and 433.8 yards in their last five games. Los Angeles has covered the spread each of the last five weeks, too. Even with the early trip from the West Coast, the Rams keep it rolling with Matthew Stafford. 

Pick: Rams 30, Giants 20 

  • Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles (-12) 

Sunday, 1 p.m., Fox

The Cardinals are 1-3 ATS as a double-digit underdog, but the Eagles have shown enough issues on defense that it’s possible for Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts to engage in a shootout for at least three quarters. Philadelphia is 0-5 ATS when favored by more than six points this season. At some point they will break that trend, but the Cardinals find a way to hit the back-door cover late. 

Pick: Eagles 29, Cardinals 18 

  • New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) 

Sunday, 1 p.m., Fox

Derek Carr and Baker Mayfield are two of the streakiest quarterbacks in the league. Carr has eight TDs and two interceptions the last three weeks. Mayfield has eight TDs and no interceptions the last three games and has led the Bucs to a four-game winning streak. That adds some spice to this NFC South rivalry, where Tampa Bay takes control of the division.  

Pick: Buccaneers 28, Saints 21 

  • San Francisco 49ers (-13.5) at Washington Commanders 

Sunday, 1 p.m., Fox

San Francisco is in the mix for home-field advantage, but they cannot afford a slipup with the Eagles and Lions also in the hunt. The 49ers are 3-2 ATS as double-digit favorite and have eight victories of more than 14 points this season. Look for a bounce-back game from Brock Purdy. Will Jacoby Brissett get the start for Washington? 

Pick: 49ers 35, Commanders 20 

  • Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars (-6.5) 

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

The Jaguars have lost four straight games, and they have 10 turnovers the last three weeks. Carolina – which is winless on the road – should provide the opportunity for Jacksonville to get back on track just in time with Trevor Lawrence. The Panthers have just 11 takeways this season – fewest in the NFL. 

Pick: Jaguars 30, Panthers 17 

  • Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens (-3) 

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS 

Rewind to that 2022 matchup. Tagovailoa passed for 469 yards and six TDs. Jackson had 318 passing yards, 119 rushing yards and four total TDs. Baltimore has scored 30 or more points in six games this season, so they are more than willing to get in a shootout. This will be the best game of the week. 

Pick: Ravens 31, Dolphins 27 

  • Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (-3.5) 

Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

This is a rematch from a Week 15 matchup the Texans won 19-16, and C.J. Stroud (concussion) could return after a two-game absence. Ryan Tannehill took six sacks last week in his return to the starting job, and the Titans have suffered seven one-score losses this season. We’ll trust the Texans to keep their AFC South hopes alive. 

Pick: Texans 26, Titans 21 

  • Pittsburgh Steelers at Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) 

Sunday, 4:05 p.m., Fox

Kenny Pickett might return for the Steelers, but would it be worth giving Mason Rudolph another start on the road? The last two meetings between these teams have been decided by a combined total of five points. Another close call seems inevitable between long-time coaches Mike Tomlin and Pete Carroll – who somehow have their teams hanging in the playoff race. 

Pick: Seahawks 21, Steelers 18

  • Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (-5.5) 

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS

The Broncos are still in the playoff mix, while the Chargers are on the brink of elimination. Denver had a shocking loss to New England at home on Christmas Eve, which broke a string of four straight home wins. The Broncos have won the last four home meetings against the Chargers by an average of 5.5 points per game. That’s how they came up with that spread, right? 

Pick: Broncos 30, Chargers 22 

  • Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (-8) 

Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS

The Chiefs continue to struggle with a 2-3 S/U record since their Week 10 bye. Kansas City has averaged 239 passing yards per game in that stretch, and a stop-and-start running game might be without Isiah Pacheco (concussion) again. Patrick Mahomes II had 10 rushing attempts in the Christmas Day loss to the Raiders. The Bengals are 2-1 ATS as a road underdog and are in desperation mode. 

Pick: Chiefs 28, Bengals 23

  • Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (-2) 

Sunday, 8:20 p.m., NBC

Both NFC North teams are clinging on to their playoff hopes. Jordan Love has 13 TDs and one interception in the Packers’ last six games, but a much-maligned defense has allowed 401.3 yards per game in the same stretch. Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens has thrown six interceptions the last two weeks. That is the difference here, too. 

Pick: Packers 28, Vikings 25

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