NFL Office Pool Picks Week 17 with Expert Analysis and ATS Predictions
The NFL season is winding down, and each team is making its final push for the playoffs or preparation for next year. In Week 16, favorites went 10-6 straight up and 8-7-1 against the spread. Most notably, The Texans upset the Titans despite coming in with just one win. The Rams put forth the biggest blowout of the week by taking down the Broncos, 51-14, which was the final straw in Nathaniel Hackett’s Denver tenure. Here is a look at the Week 17 slate.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL expert picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
Thursday Night: Dallas Cowboys (-10) over Tennessee Titans
The Cowboys are fresh off a Christmas Eve victory over their divisional rival Eagles and are facing a Titans team that has crumbled of late. Most recently, Tennessee lost at the hands of the one-win Texans. Ryan Tannehill is out for the remainder of the season, and Malik Willis has not looked ready in his absence – he is coming off a 14-23 performance for 99 yards and two interceptions. Dallas’ offense has been cooking, averaging the third-most points per game on the season at 28.9 per game, and Tennessee has struggled to produce. While the 10-point spread is large, expect Dallas to put forth another convincing performance and secure the victory by two touchdowns or more.
Arizona Cardinals (+4) over Atlanta Falcons
The Cardinals were victim to another Tom Brady comeback in Week 16 and but held their own better than most expected with Kyler Murray out for the season. Trace McSorely struggled to get the offense going, and Deandre Hopkins was held to just one catch for four yards, but they did push Tampa Bay to overtime. While Atlanta is also coming off a loss, Rookie QB Desmond Ridder looked solid in his first start and showed intriguing chemistry with WR Drake London. This will be a scrappy matchup, with both teams having their focus shifted to next year. Give the edge to the Cardinals, who will have a slight emotional boost from JJ Watt’s announced retirement as well as Kliff Kingsbury looking to secure his job moving forward. Arizona 20, Atlanta 13.
Detroit Lions (-5.5) over Chicago Bears
The Detroit Lions came into Week 16 with some massive momentum, having won their three previous games and six of their last seven. They were halted to a stop as the Panthers produced a convincing 37-23 win. Detroit has a great chance to get back in the win column against a 3-12 Bears team that is looking to avoid their ninth straight defeat. While Justin Fields is still one of the most exciting players across the entire NFL, the offense simply lacks enough talent to surround him with. While they have some defensive shortcomings, Detroit ranks 5th in points and 4th in yards on offense on the season. Expect Dan Campbell to have the team ready to play and move to 8-8 on the year. Detroit 27, Chicago 13.
Kansas City Chiefs (-13.5) over Denver Broncos
The Broncos finally had enough of the Nathaniel Hackett experiment and pulled the plug to start this week. Denver has been the biggest disappointment this year, sitting at 4-11 and ranking dead last in scoring on the season. While at times firing the coach can be enough to cause a spark within a team, there are too many other problems on the Broncos, and they face a difficult task traveling to Kansas City. The Chiefs come into the matchup with a record of 12-3, ranking second in scoring and first in yards. Count on Patrick Mahomes to take care of business and for this to reach blowout territory. Chiefs 38, Broncos 17.
Miami Dolphins (+2.5) over New England Patriots
The Dolphins received more concerning news surrounding Tua Tagovailoa, who has entered concussion protocols once again. The head injury occurred late in the first half, but this did not stop the QB from playing the remainder of the game in which he notably struggled to make reads and tossed three fourth-quarter interceptions. He will almost certainly miss the upcoming matchup, and the NFL will be taking hard look at Miami’s concussion protocol once again as Teddy Bridgewater will step in to get the start. On the other hand, the Patriots also have not played overly inspired football and were unable to complete the comeback against the Bengals last week. The New England defense has been solid, but the offense has been unpredictable and seems nervous to let Mac Jones loose unless they truly have to. Bridgewater was unable to pull off some magic and get the win in his first stint as the starter in Tua’s absence, but don’t expect him to let this one slip through his fingers. Take the Dolphins to pull off the upset and move 9-7 on the year. Miami 24, New England 20.
New York Giants (-5.5) over Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts are coming off a frustrating 20-3 loss to the Chargers in which they got nothing done offensively. Nick Foles and the offense were held to just 173 total yards, allowed seven sacks, and turned the ball over three times to slip to 4-10-1 on the season. They will now travel to New York to face off with Giants team that still has their playoff hopes alive. They are coming off a loss to the Vikings where the defense was unable to cope with Minnesota’s high-powered attack. With the Giants sure to be motivated, and playing much better football comparatively, count on them to get the job done and keep their playoff goals in sight. Giants 27, Colts 13.
Philadelphia Eagles (-7) over New Orleans Saints
The Saints have shown a spark of late, winning back-to-back games against the Falcons and Browns. However, the Eagles will be a more difficult challenge even if Gardner Minshew is under center. Philadelphia is coming off a 40-34 loss to the Cowboys where four turnovers was their downfall. Outside of this, the team looked solid and needs a win in one of the two remaining games to secure their first-round bye. This game also holds some significant weight as the Eagles hold the Saints first-round pick this season, which currently will be the 10th overall selection. While there is a chance Jalen Hurts may make his return, it seems more likely the quarterback will need another week off. Either way, expect the Eagles to take care of business at home where they are 6-1 in their last seven. Philadelphia 31, New Orleans 20.
Carolina Panthers (+3) to cover vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This matchup will hold more weight than most expected early in the season. As the NFC South standings currently are, the Buccaneers hold a narrow lead with their record of 7-8, with the Panthers right behind them at 6-9. Carolina rolled over Detroit in the previous matchup, while Tampa Bay needed overtime to take down Trace McSorley and the Cardinals. The Panthers have established themselves as a physical run-first team since Sam Darnold has taken over, with the Buccaneers struggling in this area defensively of late. Even still, it is difficult to take Darnold over Tom Brady with so much on the line. Count on the Buccaneers to squeeze by but for the Panthers to find a way to cover. Buccaneers 21, Panthers 20.
Washington Commanders (-2.5) over Cleveland Browns
Each of these teams are coming off losses, with Carson Wentz coming in to finish off the Commanders’ matchup. It is unclear who will be under center this week but fair to assess that Taylor Heinicke has lost some of his allure. The Browns offense has also looked stagnant, but they seemingly have no interest in returning to Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. The focus of the franchise will be on getting Deshaun Watson to return to form with next season still in mind. With so much inconsistency at quarterback, take the more complete team and count on the Commanders to get the win. Washington 24, Cleveland 16.
Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5) over Los Angeles Rams
The battle of Los Angeles does not have much at stake with each of these teams sitting at the opposite end of the spectrum. The Chargers have officially punched their ticket to the playoffs for the first time since 2018 following their Monday Night win over the Colts. On the other hand, the Rams have been eliminated from contention due to their 5-10 record. These two teams have not faced off since 2018, with the Chargers getting the better of the matchup. Los Angeles seems to be more of a Rams town, so the defending champs may still have the home crowd in their favor. But this can only make up for so much, as their offense has been a disaster since losing Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp to season-ending injuries. Expect the Chargers to do their best to take back the city and put forth the better performance in this one as they remain in their flow for the postseason. Chargers 30, Rams 17.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-4) over Houston Texans
Both teams are coming off wins, with the Jaguars taking down the Jets 19-3 last week. The Texans pulled off a notable upset by taking down the Titans 19-14 for their second win of the season last week. Their outlook on the year still is not positive, as they are 30th in scoring and dead last in yards on the season. Houston is still in position to land the No. 1 overall pick and will have their focus on next season. Jacksonville has been extremely inconsistent this season, but Trevor Lawrence has shown some flashes. Don’t expect lightning to strike twice and for the Texans to get another win. Jacksonville 24, Houston 13.
San Francisco 49ers (-5) over Las Vegas Raiders
The poor start to the season has sunk the Raiders playoff hopes with the loss to the Steelers bringing their postseason chances down to 1%. They will face off with the hottest team in football as the 49ers have won eight consecutive games coming into this matchup. San Francisco has the best ranked defense in the NFL, as they are allowing the fewest points and yards per game. Offensively, they also rank 8th in points and 9th in yards with Brock Purdy proving capable of steering the ship with the talent around him. Through his three starts, he has thrown for eight touchdowns and three interceptions while completing 67% of his passes. Las Vegas is a more talented team than their 6-9 record would indicate, but the cards simply have not aligned this season. Expect the Raiders to keep it close but for the 49ers to come out on top. San Francisco 28, Las Vegas 20.
New York Jets (-2.5) over Seattle Seahawks
Both teams are still in the playoff hunt, sitting with a record of 7-8 and in need of a win in this matchup. However, the outlook has not been great as the Seahawks have lost three in a row and five of their last six. The Jets also have lost five of their last six and are on a four-game losing skid themselves. Geno Smith will be in search of revenge after starting his career in New York and spending four unsuccessful seasons there. After an impressive start to the season, Seattle has slowed down and tallied just 24, 13, and 10 points in the last three matchups, respectively. Smith has also struggled, throwing for 239 yards per game while adding just five touchdowns and three interceptions during this stretch. He should be expected to have difficulty against a Jets defense that is allowing the 4th fewest points and 3rd fewest yards per game on the season. With Mike White set to make his return to the starting lineup, count on the Jets to get back in the win column in this one. New York 27, Seattle 17.
Green Bay Packers (-3) over Minnesota Vikings
The Packers still have their sights set on sneaking into the postseason as they have won three straight games, including their most recent 26-20 victory over the Dolphins. They have another difficult task against the Vikings, who took them down 23-7 during the first week of the season. Aaron Rodgers is 15-12 against the spread in his career when facing the Vikings and 8-3 against the spread in matchups at Lambeau Field. He will have a difficult task against a Vikings team that is 11-0 in single possession games this season. They seem to continue to win games they probably shouldn’t, including most recently on a walk-off game-winning field goal over the Giants. Despite their success, fade the Vikings and count on Rodgers to keep Green Bay’s playoff hopes alive. Green Bay 31, Minnesota 27.
Sunday Night: Pittsburgh Steelers (+3) over Baltimore Ravens
This game was flexed to the prime time with both teams alive in the playoff hunt. If the Ravens take down the Steelers, it will be up to their Week 18 matchup with the Bengals to determine the winner of the AFC North - regardless of what happens in their matchup. There is a chance that Lamar Jackson will be able to suit up, which will impact the line and overall outlook in a major way. However, it will not be easy regardless as Mike Tomlin has done a terrific job with a mediocre Steelers roster. Pittsburgh is riding a two-game winning streak and have come out on top in four of their last five. Seven of the last nine matchups between these teams have been decided by one score, and expect more of the same in this one. Keep an eye on Jackson’s status before making a decision. However, if he is unable to suit up, count on the Steelers to pick up the upset. Steelers 20, Ravens 17.
Monday Night: Buffalo Bills (-1) over Cincinnati Bengals
The final Monday Night Football matchup seems set to live up to the hype, as two of the NFL’s best teams are ready to square off. Buffalo is 12-3 and have clinched the AFC East with a chance at the top seed in the conference. Cincinnati has a record of 11-4 and have won seven games straight coming into the matchup. They have clinched a wild-card spot and still sit one game ahead of the Ravens in the AFC North race. While Cincinnati has been extremely hot, they are coming off a second half against the Patriots in which they failed to score a single point. The streak must end at some point. And with the Bills ranking top five in points in yards on offense, as well as allowing the second-fewest points allowed, this may be the time. Take the Bills to pick up the victory in this one, but don’t be surprised if they meet again in the postseason. Buffalo 34, Cincinnati 24.