NFL Week 17 predictions: Heavily favored Bills the pick over Patriots
Home team in CAPS:
BILLS (-13) over Patriots
Its difficult to be bearish about the Bills seasonal chances, especially at this point in time, this season. Meanwhile, the Patriots continue to have sustained difficulties sustaining positive yardage-gaining efficiency.
Pure and simple, we need to see better offensive effort from the downtrodden Pats.
Rams (-5.5) over GIANTS
The Rams are substantially improved over the beginning of this season, while the Giants continue to have issues sustaining positive ground-gaining performances.
Rams have multiple serious weapons to make war, not love, against multiple solid foes.
Big Blue should be hopeful that next year will generate better week-to-week results than this season managed to yield but this isnt a good time for them.
BEARS (-3) over Falcons
The Chicagoans have finally got this seasons act together, after multiple years of painstaking rebuilding. Barring a sustained stretch of subpar strategic scenarios, expect the Bears to exploit the breaks-too-often secondary of Atlanta.
Shouldnt take much of a breakout upward move to benefit these Bears, at this point.
Raiders (+3.5) over COLTS
Its tough to knock Indy, given some decent recent showings behind such productive gamers as QB Gardner Minshew and RB Zack Moss.
Even so, like how the Vegas team has developed this season, and they appear to have the horses.
4Raiders coach Antonio Pierce AP## Packers (-1) over VIKINGS
A return to action by such performing worthies as All-Pro wideout Justin Jefferson might bring better days to the frequently-frustrated Vikings.
The Baltimore Ravens (and Dallas!) are the primary duo facing up to serious competitive opponents. Jaren Hall is expected to start for the Vikings.
JAGUARS (-6.5) over Panthers
Theyre tied atop the AFC South, but Jacksonville has performed only modestly on defense, in recent weeks.
On offense, QB Trevor Lawrence (shoulder) will miss the first game of his NFL career. Even so, the Jaguars should be able to hold off these Panthers.
4Jaguars quarterback C.J. Beathard will play in place of the injured Trevor Lawrence. Getty Images## BRONCOS (-3.5) over Chargers
As noted elsewhere, Broncos lost on Christmas Eve night to the Patriots, and have endured a 1-3 W/L run after a five-game win streak.
Denver will shift Russell Wilson to the bench, with Jarrett Stidham assuming his position going forward. Denver needs a stouthearted finish.
SEAHAWKS (-3.5) over Steelers
Hawks arent precisely world-beaters, but at least theyre at home, which is good for minimally a field goal, under average conditions.
RB Najee Harris (kne) and QB Kenny Pickett (ankle) remain limited.
QB Mason Rudolph is expected to play for the Steelers in his second start of the season. Like home side, in difficult building.
4Mason Rudolph USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con## COMMANDERS (+13) over 49ers
The Washington club has lost a half-dozen in a row during the past month and a half, and QB Jacoby Brissett is now starting, which may alter the dynamic.
Expect LB DeJon Harris and David Mayo to take part for the underdog. San Francisco has been assured the NFC West crown.
EAGLES (-10.5) over Cardinals
Philly continues to loom as one of the classic cases of a good, solid squad which markedly peaked too soon. Even if so, Cards remain in the midst of a sustained rebuilding campaign.
Their backers best hope may be a back-door cover.
4Jalen Hurts Laurence Kesterson/UPI/Shutterst## BUCCANEERS (-2.5) over Saints
There are folks who like the Buccaneers more than we do, but always happy to lay less than a trey with a home-chalk side against a foe which is broadly a defensive entity.
A sweat may be likely, but this should work out, at slow pace.
RAVENS (-3) over Dolphins
Favor Baltimore despite the reality that it takes its time feeling out its foes in most opening halves. Figure itll take a strong, sustained effort for Miami to hang tough.
When its time to go, Ravens rise to it. Though fat number, favorite has the moxie.
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TEXANS (-5.5) over Titans
Titans continue to take broadly the worst of it as they look up to Houston, Indy and Jacksonville in the AFC South. Houston continues to develop forwardly, and expect further improvement as we look to January.
Bengals (+7) over CHIEFS
Kansas City continues to find itself in superficially-close games.
Expect at least one more such exhibition. Look to Bengals to put up another hard-bitten battle, from both sides.
Last week: 6-7.Season: 92-99-9.
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