Two weeks are left in the season, and nine of the 14 NFL playoff spots have been claimed. Although we don’t yet know where any of those nine teams will be seeded. That, along with the five remaining playoff teams, as well as four division titles, are still to be decided.
It’s the NFL’s sprint to the end of the regular season, and these are the most fun games to wager in Week 17.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (-5.5)
Detroit’s playoff chances took a hit with last weekend’s loss to the Panthers. But if they win this week and next and just get a little bit of help, they can still be a postseason team.
Back home in the dome and against the Chicago defense, the Lions should be fine. The one caveat is that Justin Fields ran for 147 yards against them in their last meeting. Just hold Fields to 100 yards, and Detroit will win this game by at least a touchdown. Give the points, enjoy Fields, and watch the Lions cover.
New York Jets (-2.5) at Seattle Seahawks
Mike White is back at quarterback for the Jets, and at least for one week, he will keep New York’s NFL season alive. The Jets’ defense will put the clamps on a struggling Geno Smith, and White will generate enough points to get the low-scoring win.
New York takes this game 23-16, and they go to Miami in Week 18, still in the NFL playoff hunt.
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-3)
The Packers were dead and buried, and the only thing that would cure their staleness in 2023 was the end of the Aaron Rodgers era. Not. So. Fast, says the reigning MVP.
Green Bay has an offense again, they have three straight wins, and if a couple of things fall their way, the Packers will be in the NFL playoffs. One of those things is winning this week against the Vikings at Lambeau Field – something that the Packers did exactly one year ago, 37-10.
The Vikings are a different team outside, and they will lose to Green Bay, 27-20.
Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals (+1)
The game of the week, and maybe the game of the year, is Monday night in Cincinnati. The reigning AFC champion Bengals, hosting the current top seed in the AFC, the Bills. Joe Burrow vs. Josh Allen is always great, but as the final game of Week 17, it promises to be a classic.
The Bills have been struggling to put lesser teams away, and the Bengals right now are not a lesser team. At home in front of a crazy crowd in the Jungle, Cincinnati will get the win, 27-24.
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