NFL picks, predictions in opposition to unfold Week 17: Cowboys clip Cardinals; Patriots, 49ers roll; Steelers cease Browns

Week 16, with all of the COVID-19 conditions and late-season damage attrition, made Sporting Information’ weekly NFL sport picks and predictions in opposition to the unfold troublesome. Though there was a good stage of success to encourage, Week 17 will solely current extra challenges. 

Some groups are enjoying with playoff implications on the road. Some groups are enjoying for subsequent season. The extent of motivation displays the numbers small and large.

There are a pair weeks left of the common season to complete robust. With out additional ado, this is moving into our newest fearless forecast of professional pigskin prognostications:

(Recreation odds mirror opening odds for Week 17, courtesy of Sports activities Interplay)

NFL POWER RANKINGS:
Cowboys, Payments, Eagles rise; Patriots, Steelers, Browns fall for Week 17

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NFL picks in opposition to the unfold for Week 17

The Cowboys are feeling it in every single place once more with Dak Prescott and their passing offense going again to exploding and their protection dominating in each which means. The Cardinals have misplaced their big-play juice on either side of the ball, from Kyler Murray to their as soon as swarming protection. Dallas can deal with this restricted model of Arizona’s assault and that is additionally an opportunity to get its operating sport rolling once more with Ezekiel Elliott.

Decide: Cowboys win 27-20 and canopy the unfold.

The Chiefs’ protection has been getting the job executed within the second half however the Bengals’ offense is just too a number of and versatile to include in every single place. Joe Mixon can run effectively and Joe Burrow will maintain liking his vast receiver matchups. Patrick Mahomes ought to be ready for a shootout and the Bengals do wrestle with fast receivers and tight ends, comparable to Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. The AFC West champions will get an thrilling battle from the AFC North leaders, however Kansas Metropolis simply has somewhat extra expertise to drag by means of in a sport like this than Cincinnati.

Decide: Chiefs win 34-31 however fail to cowl the unfold.

The Patriots are well-coached by Invoice Belichick. The Jaguars have been poorly coached by City Meyer and a few of the residual results of his philosophy are being felt to tug down Trevor Lawrence and the protection. Belichick will befuddle Lawrence and his crew’s strengths of the protection and the operating sport are additional boosted by Jacksonville’s obvious weaknesses. Lawrence loses vs. Zach Wilson and Mac Jones in consecutive weeks and desires his state of affairs may get loads higher in 2022.

Decide: Patriots win 34-10 and canopy the unfold.

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The Steelers and Browns nonetheless have a shot at profitable the AFC North, particularly with the 2 groups in entrance of them, the Bengals and the Ravens, having their arms full in residence video games in opposition to NFC powerhouses. This can mark the probably final residence sport for Ben Roethlisberger in prime time, dealing with the crew in opposition to which he has a 25-2-1 profession document. Pittsburgh remains to be able to grinding out video games vs. different groups with restricted offenses. That was the case within the first assembly in Cleveland, a 15-10 win. With loads of feelings, the Steelers overcome their evening underdog standing to win straight up.

Decide: Steelers win 20-17.

The Raiders can’t spot the run often. Additionally they wrestle with containing the downfield passing sport once they cannot get to the quarterback. These parts play proper into the arms of Jonathan Taylor and their passing sport behind their robust offensive line. Indianapolis’ protection additionally stops the run and protects in opposition to stretching the sphere. That is additionally unhealthy for Josh Jacobs and Derek Carr. 

Decide: Colts win 27-20.

The Bears are displaying some ultimate life for the Matt Nagy period, as they will persistently run the ball with David Montgomery and maintain discovering new various weapons within the passing sport, regardless of who’s at quarterback. Additionally they will need to tough up the Giants to indicate some pleasure defensively, which they will do after giving up some chunks to Saquon Barkley. The Mike Glennon potential revenge sport is extra concerning the Bears eager to destroy their former temporary starter.

Decide: Bears win 24-14 and canopy the unfold.

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Tom Brady is having Tampa Bay alter to being extra of a operating crew to shut out the schedule and reset for the playoffs. It is smart given the vast receiver accidents to go in that route. Brady has had enjoyable many occasions earlier than in opposition to the Jets enjoying within the AFC East, and he can full a sweep of his former division foes together with his new crew. The Bucs’ protection stays on level with some key gamers lacking, so the complementary dashing strategy is smart. The Jets don’t have any probability to maintain up even with Zach Wilson enjoying free.

Decide: Buccaneers win 33-14 and canopy the unfold.

Here is yet one more lopsided NFC South vs. AFC East affair, this time in favor of the house crew. The Payments misplaced to the Buccaneers, however they smashed the Saints and Panthers. The Falcons have been ripped by the Patriots and edged by the Dolphins. Buffalo is rolling with Josh Allen and there is not a lot the Falcons’ protection can cease when he is getting good assist from the operating and intermediate passing video games. Matt Ryan steps right into a brutal cross rush and protection state of affairs, one that may take away rookie tight finish Kyle Pitts.

Decide: Payments win 34-17 and canopy the unfold.

The Eagles could have one other shakeup within the backfield with out Miles Sanders however they’ll keep on with a run-heavy sport plan that simply labored in opposition to Washington lower than two weeks in the past. However final week, in addition they gained extra confidence in Jalen Hurts throwing downfield when he and his operating mates could not produce at will in opposition to the Giants. The Eagles open it up once more to win, whereas Washington digs deep to indicate some wanted battle for Ron Rivera.

Decide: Eagles win 23-20 however fail to cowl the unfold.

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The Dolphins will probably be coming off a troublesome quick week, having performed the bodily and well-coached Saints on the street. Nashville is not removed from New Orleans, however it’s nonetheless a frightening turnaround, given the Titans performed on Thursday evening in Week 16 and will probably be significantly better rested. That stated, Brian Flores’ protection can maintain the sport shut and the offense has sufficient to obtain a punch to remain within the sport. The Titans win once more with A.J. Brown being the important thing difference-maker.

Decide: Titans win 20-17.

The Rams ought to have seen what Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ offense did below former offensive coordinator Zac Taylor and adopted swimsuit for Sean McVay, as a result of getting Matthew Stafford to aggressively throw downfield to his vast receivers is second nature. Operating on the Ravens could be powerful, however they’re getting worn down and breaking down in every single place. The Ravens’ offense would not have a lot working past Mark Andrews for the time being and that will not lower it in a must-win sport.

Decide: Rams win 27-20.

The Chargers blew an enormous alternative in opposition to the Texans and at the moment are clinging to their playoff lives. They turned in a sloppy sport in Denver not way back, so it is on Justin Herbert to quiet down, remove errors and take the short-to-intermediate features when the large performs aren’t there. Los Angeles sticks with the run somewhat extra to ease the burden by itself run protection and Herbert delivers backloaded with all of his key weapons.

Decide: Chargers win 24-20 however fail to cowl the unfold.

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The Texans shocked the Chargers however they will not catch the 49ers in the identical means on an extended street journey. Davis Mills returns near Stanford to throw passes and may have some success vs. San Francisco’s secondary. However Houston can’t cease the 49ers’ operating sport and the mixture of Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk all could cause matchup nightmares.

Decide: 49ers win 30-14.

The Panthers have gone into the tank on the finish of Matt Rhule’s second season. They’ve wilted in opposition to the run, which is unhealthy in opposition to Alvin Kamara. Additionally they cannot cease a lot within the intermediate passing sport. The Saints are nonetheless enjoying as arduous as they often do for Sean Payton. The “House Staff” is simply put collectively higher in every single place and can have better motivation with some playoff possibilities alive.

Decide: Saints win 20-16.

The Lions already bit the Cardinals from the NFC West and the Seahawks already skilled a tough residence upset in opposition to one other lesser NFC North crew within the Bears. Seattle has discovered one thing with Rashaad Penny and the operating sport, and Detroit cannot gradual that down a lot. Russell Wilson additionally will probably be made comfy to maintain throwing effectively downfield. Whoever’s QB for the Lions, the passing sport flashes will not be fairly sufficient once more.

Decide: Seahawks win 24-17.

The Vikings cracked in opposition to the Rams and did not even make it a detailed sport ultimately, regardless of three interceptions of their favor. Minnesota’s offense is predictably sound, based mostly on the operating sport but additionally locked with a dominant No. 1 receiver in Justin Jefferson. Kirk Cousins’ passing will maintain his crew in it for some time, however the massive downside for Minnesota is a protection that can’t cease the run or cowl a lot of something exterior downfield. Aaron Rodgers makes certain one other playoff-desperate crew would not also have a probability to steal one at Lambeau.

Decide: Packers win 31-24 and canopy the unfold.

Vinnie Iyer’s 2021 picks:

  • Week 16 document in opposition to the unfold: 10-6
  • Week 16 document straight up: 11-5
  • Season ATS: 133-105
  • Season straight up: 160-79