Wednesday, March 29, 2023

NFL expert pick, predictions for week 17 straight

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Six playoff spots are still open heading into the final week of the NFL regular season.

The AFC wildcard race and the NFC home court advantage race are some of the big stories heading into the final week.

There are four team matches with record wins, and these are some of the more interesting pieces of the puzzle. Pittsburgh and Cleveland meet at 1 pm with the Browns looking to clinch their first playoff spot since 2002. Miami are also looking to advance to the AFC playoffs with rookie Tua Tagovailoa, but they must beat their rival Buffalo to get there.

In the NFC, Arizona and Los Angeles meet in a huge NFC West showdown; a Jared Goff could miss a thumb injury. Chicago is also trying to squeeze into the NFC playoffs, but Green Bay is looking for a field advantage with MVP contender Aaron Rodgers.

Week 17 should therefore be fantastic, and this is one last chance to improve our record of direct picks:

  • Last week: 11-5

  • Season: 116-7

With that in mind, here are our picks and predictions for week 17:

MORE: NFL Power Week 17 Rankings

  • Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

    Tom Brady has averaged 311.3 passing yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions in his last three games. He’s warming up in time for the playoffs, and Tampa Bay is handing Atlanta their 10th scoring loss of the season.

    To choose: Boucaniers 31, Falcons 24

  • Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

    The winner of the NFC East clash will pressure Washington to win in prime time. The Cowboys have averaged 36 points per game over the past three weeks. The Giants struggled to score. Andy Dalton puts Dallas close to qualifying for the playoffs. Will they get some help?

    To choose: Cowboys 30, Giants 20

  • Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

    The opening line lost 5.5 points; a nod to the improvement of the Jets over the past two weeks. The Patriots offense has collapsed in the home stretch, and BillBelichick has an interesting offseason ahead. New England ends with a victory.

    To choose: Patriots 23, Jets 13

  • Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX

    Detroit has little incentive to play Matthew Stafford here. Dalvin Cook is a bit too far behind Derrick Henry for the title on floor, but he still closes the Lions with a big performance.

    To choose: Vikings30, Lions 23

  • Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

    The line jumped 3.5 points, which is a bit of a surprise considering the Steelers won the first game 38-7. Which Cleveland players will be excluded due to COVID-19? Will the Steelers sit down or try to take out their AFC North rivals? It’s a game we would stay away from because of these variables, but there’s no better time for the Browns to break through than now.

    To choose: Browns 26, Steelers 23

  • Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

    The Ravens need this one to keep their playoff hopes alive, androokie JK Dobbins offered a spark in the running game to compliment Lamar Jackson. Cincinnati hasn’t folded for the past two weeks and is capable of being a spoiler. Jackson won’t let it happen.

    To choose: Ravens 34, Bengals 21

  • Sunday, 1 p.m., CBS

    Miami needs a win to qualify for the playoffs, and that could be the whole thriller the Week 2 31-28 shootout had against the teams. The Dolphins cause the first real upheaval of the day, and TuaTagovailoa enjoys his first signing victory.

    To choose: Dolphins 28, Bills 24

  • Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX

    The Seahawks won the first meeting 37-27, but they have to be careful here. CJ Beathard threw three TD passes last week, and Jeff Wilson and George Kittle can give Seattle some defensive problems. Russell Wilson delivers a clutch drive, however, and that puts pressure on the Packers and Saints in the afternoon window.

    To choose: Seahawks 28, 49ers 25

  • Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS

    The Rams are favored now, but that line could change drastically if Jared Goff (thumb) is unable to play. John Wolford is backing up the Rams, and Los Angeles is tasked with keeping up with Kyler Murray. The Cardinals have their own issues, but Murray does enough to secure a victory.

    To choose: Cardinals 24, Rams 19

  • Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS

    The Colts are in dire straits, and they’ll be counting on rookie Jonathan Taylor against a fragile Jaguars’run defense. Jacksonville has the No.1 pickup locked down, so the future of this AFC South rivalry looks much brighter. Philip Rivers is playing a clean game.

    To choose: Colts 31, Jaguars 20

  • Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS

    The Titans are still in control of their playoff destiny, and they’ll need a win over rival Texans to get there. Houston is 31st in defense, and Derrick Henry needs 223 yards to reach 2,000 rushing yards for the season. . It is not impossible.

    To choose: Tennessee 31, Houston 23

  • Sunday, 4:25 p.m., CBS

    The Broncos have won one of their last five games and the Raiders have lost three straight games. Derek Carr leads Las Vegasto with a record .500 in Jon Gruden’s third season, which will raise expectations for 2021.

    To choose: Raiders 28, Broncos 21

  • Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX

    The Chiefs have little incentive to play starters in this game, making it difficult to face the Chargers and rookie quarterback Justin Herbert – who ends a record season in style with a fourth straight win.

    To choose: Chargers 29, Heads 24

  • Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX

    In the opening meeting on November 29, the Packers took a 27-3 first-half lead, but Mitchell Trubisky found something in the second half of a 41-25 loss. It has been hot since and the offensive slams. The problem? Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are also clicking, and they need this win to have the advantage on the pitch. Trubisky is 1-5 against Green Bay. The Packers are off in the fourth quarter, but it will be close.

    To choose: Packers 33, bear 26

  • Sunday, 4:25 p.m., FOX

    The Saints still have a chance to take the field advantage with a little help. Alvin Kamara totaled 148 yards in the first meeting, and he’ll make the difference on the road in another one-point loss to the Panthers.

    To choose: Saints 30, Panthers 23

  • Sunday, 8:20 p.m., NBC

    Washington needs a road win here, but the question remains whether Alex Smith will be healthy enough to start as a quarterback in a must win situation. Dwayne Haskins’ release on Monday means Kyle Allen would start if Smith couldn’t play. Jalen Hurts has a chance to play spoiler, and with the Cowboys keeping a close watch, it will be close. Washington, however, comes in with a late roll to clinch the division.

    To choose: Washington 24, Philadelphia 21


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