NFL Survivor Pool Picks Week 17: Advice and Predictions
The race to complete a survivor pool is heating up, and the finish line is in sight. Congratulations if you have made it this far, as your choices are undoubtedly becoming more difficult. In Week 16, favorites went 10-6 straight up and 8-7-1 against the spread. There are several tight playoff races still occurring as teams have plenty to play for with the season winding down. With that in mind, let’s look at the Week 17 slate with each game ranked from strongest to weakest.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
Kansas City Chiefs (-13.5) over Denver Broncos
The Chiefs are a terrific choice this week if you still have them on the board. They rank second in scoring and first in yards on the season as well as holding a 12-3 record overall. Denver has been the biggest disappointment around the NFL this season. Their 4-11 record and recent 51-14 loss to the Rams was enough to finally end the Nathaniel Hackett experiment, as the head coach was fired this week. At times this can provide a spark for a team, but the issues with the Broncos are much deeper than guys not being motivated. Count on the Chiefs to secure a comfortable victory and don’t be surprised if this ends in a blowout.
Thursday Night: Dallas Cowboys (-10) over Tennessee Titans
Dallas continues to solidify themselves as one of the best teams in the NFC and most recently took down the Eagles 40-34 on Christmas Eve. They will face off with a Titans team that is crumbling and has lost five straight games coming into the matchup. Ryan Tannehill is out for the remainder of the season, and rookie Malik Willis does not look ready for the responsibility of a starting QB. The Cowboys average the third-most points per game this season at 28.9, while Tennessee has struggled to produce. Don’t expect the Titans to go down without a fight, but the Cowboys are the better team overall and will end up in the win column.
New York Giants (-5.5) over Indianapolis Colts
The Colts look lifeless offensively and are coming off a frustrating 20-3 loss to the Chargers. Nick Foles was unable to provide a spark, and the offense combined for just 173 total yards, three turnovers, and allowed seven sacks. Their 4-10-1 record puts them out of the playoff picture, and they will travel to New York to face a Giants team with plenty to play for. They were unable to handle the Vikings high-powered offense, but the postseason is still within sight. Expect them to get back on the right track and take down the Colts in this matchup.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-4) over Houston Texans
The Texans managed to pull off the seemingly impossible by taking down the Titans last week to keep their losing streak going. Houston is still in the position to land the number one pick and rank 30th in scoring and dead last in yards on the season. The Jaguars are also coming off a win after taking down the Jets 19-3 last week. Jacksonville has been inconsistent this season, but there have been some positive signs. Don’t count on the Texans to repeat their effort and for the Jaguars to pick up a comfortable victory in this one.
Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5) over Los Angeles Rams
This game may not have anything at stake from a playoff outlook, as the Chargers officially clinched their postseason berth already, but there will be plenty of bragging rights on the line. The two Los Angeles teams have not faced off since 2018, and this will be the first time while sharing SoFi Stadium. The Rams have struggled to produce much of anything offensively since Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp have gone down with season-ending injuries. The Chargers are the more talented team and will prove this in the matchup even without having much to play for.
Philadelphia Eagles (-7) over New Orleans Saints
The Eagles are coming off a 40-34 loss to the Cowboys but played a solid game overall. Their four turnovers were their downfall, but Gardner Minshew proved capable of being able to hold things down why Jalen Hurts is out. Hurts has a chance to come back this week, but it seems more likely he will take another game off to get fully healthy. Regardless of who lines up under center, count on the Eagles to get back in the win column. If they play the same level as last week, they will have no problem taking down the Saints, although New Orleans is riding a two-game win streak. This game also holds some extra meaning as the Eagles have possession of the Saints first-round pick, so giving them another loss will improve this.
Detroit Lions (-5.5) over Chicago Bears
Detroit has climbed back to 7-8 on the season but suffered a 37-23 loss to the Panthers last week. They have a great chance to get back in the win column against a 3-12 Bears team that is riding an eight-game losing streak. Justin Fields is a dangerous weapon and could do some damage against a Lions defense that ranks last in points and yards allowed. However, the rest of the roster around him is just not talented enough. Expect the Lions to outpace the Bears on offense and be able to produce a victory in this one.
Washington Commanders (-2.5) over Cleveland Browns
It is unclear who will get the start at quarterback for the Commanders, as Carson Wentz came in to close out the Week 16 loss to the 49ers. The Browns are also coming off a loss to the Saints in which their offense has struggled to get much going. Their focus will continue to be on getting Deshaun Watson back to the player he once was, although the early signs have not been encouraging. With quarterback inconsistency on both sides, take the more complete team and side with the Commanders to get the victory.
San Francisco 49ers (-5) over Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas is down to a 1% chance at the postseason and has a difficult task facing off with the 49ers, who are riding an eight-game winning streak. San Francisco has the best ranked defense in the NFL as they are allowing the fewest points and yards per game. The Raiders are a more talented team than their 6-9 record suggests, but they have not shown it often enough this season. Brock Purdy had proven capable of keeping the team moving in the right direction, and expect this to continue in this one.
Monday Night: Buffalo Bills (-1) over Cincinnati Bengals
The final Monday Night matchup is set to be a thriller as two of the top teams in the league are ready to square off. The Bengals come into the matchup riding a seven-game winning streak and an 11-4 record overall. This winning streak cannot last forever, and the Bills will be a tough task. Buffalo ranks top five in points in yards on offense while allowing the second-fewest points in the NFL. Cincinnati also showed signs of slowing down as they failed to score a single point in the second half against the Patriots. There is a strong chance these two could end up facing off again in the playoffs, but take the Bills to get the win in this one and prove why they should remain the AFC favorites.
New York Jets (-2.5) over Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks and Jets each come into the matchup with a 7-8 record and plenty still at stake. Both teams are also on a cold streak and have lost five of their last six games. Geno Smith will be in search of his revenge after spending the first four seasons of his career in New York. The Seattle offense has cooled down late in the season, tallying a combined 47 points over the past three matchups. With the Jets defense allowing the 4th fewest points and 3rd fewest yards, expect these struggles to continue. Mike White will also be rejoining the Jets starting lineup, which will provide the New York offense a boost as Zach Wilson seems to have worn out his welcome. Count on the Jets to get the win and continue their path to the playoffs.
Green Bay Packers (-3) over Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are 11-0 in single possession games this season and hold a 12-3 record overall. They took down the Packers 23-7 in Week 1, but Green Bay has shown signs of turning things around of late. The Packers are riding a three-game winning streak and must keep this going if they are to sneak into the postseason. With Rodgers turning it on late in the season, and with plenty to play for, take the Packers to even up the season series and move to 8-8.
Miami Dolphins (+2.5) over New England Patriots
Tua Tagovailoa is in concussion protocol once again and seems set to miss this matchup. While there should be a great deal of concern surrounding the health of the young quarterback, it will be on Teddy Bridgewater to take the reins this week. He was unable to make much magic happen in his first stint filling in and will look to change this against the Patriots. New England showed some flashes in their near comeback last week against the Bengals but have struggled for most of the season. The offense seems nervous to let Mac Jones loose and ranks 24th in yards per game this season. Take the Dolphins to pull off the upset and move to 9-7 on the year as Bridgewater produces enough firepower with his impressive wide receiver duo.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) over Carolina Panthers
There is a lot on the line in the matchup as the Buccaneers hold a narrow lead over the Panthers in the NFC South. Tampa Bay holds a record of 7-8, while Carolina is right behind them at 6-9. The Panthers are coming off an impressive victory over the Lions, while the Buccaneers needed overtime to take down the Cardinals led by Trace McSorley. Carolina has shown a resurgence since handing the keys to Sam Darnold, with their running attack providing a notable punch. The inability to believe in Darnold over Tom Brady makes me lean toward the Buccaneers, but this might be one you are better off avoiding.
Arizona Cardinals (+4) over Atlanta Falcons
The Cardinals offense has struggled under Trace McSorely, who has yet to throw for a touchdown with the team. Last week, Arizona pushed the Buccaneers to overtime but were unable to pick up the win. The Falcons are also an unpredictable team but saw some intriguing play from Rookie QB Desmond Ridder in his first career start last week. This will be a scrappy and likely sloppy matchup, but lean toward the Cardinals to ride the emotional boost of JJ Watt’s retirement and find a way to win.
Sunday Night: Pittsburgh Steelers (+3) over Baltimore Ravens
It is unclear if Lamar Jackson will be able to suit up this week, and this should be factored in before making a decision. Mike Tomlin deserves a ton of credit for finding a way to win with this Steelers roster, and it is difficult to count the team out. Pittsburgh is riding a two-game win streak and have won four of their last five. Seven of the last nine matchups between these two teams have been decided by one possession, and this one seems destined for a similar result. Assuming Jackson is out, lean toward the Steelers climbing back to 8-8 on the season.
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