Ten teams are still alive in Week 17 of the 2013 NFL season is final week that will include a lot of scoreboard watching. One spot remains available in the AFC. Three postseason spots are up for grabs in the NFC, but none of the divisions have been clinched.
According to the betting lines at most Las Vegas casinos, eight teams are favored by at least a touchdown. Below are picks against the spread for Week 17.
Carolina Panthers (-6.5) at Atlanta Falcons
The Panthers have a lot to play for with a potential No.1 seed still on the line. They’ve only lost once since Week Five, and that was in New Orleans, where no visiting team has won. The Panthers have seven wins against sub-.500 teams, including a 24-point victory over the Falcons. In Week 17, they should add another win to that list.
Prediction ATS: Carolina
Houston Texas (+7) at Tennessee Titans
The Texans are the worst team in football, but they’ve played a lot of close games. The Titans have just one win against the betting line at home, and they aren’t seven points better than anybody. Only one of their wins has come by more than seven this season and that shouldn’t change on Sunday.
Prediction ATS: Houston
Cleveland Browns (+7) at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Browns have just one win since Week Five. The Steelers are 7-4 in their last 11 games. The Steelers beat the Browns by 16 on the road, and could have an even easier time at home.
Prediction ATS: Pittsburgh
Washington Redskins (+3.5) New York Giants
With Kirk Cousins at the helm, the Redskins have been much more competitive. They’ve covered two straight point spreads, and almost beat the Cowboys in Week 16. The Giants are coming off a victory against the Lions, but they took advantage of Detroit’s mistakes, and didn’t get much going offensively. The extra half-point makes Washington the better pick.
Prediction ATS: Washington
Baltimore Ravens (+6) at Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati is one of three undefeated teams at home. Six of their seven home wins have come by at least seven points, and five have been by double-digits. The Ravens are just 2-5 on the road, and their playoff hopes could be dashed on Sunday.
Prediction ATS: Cincinnati
Jacksonville Jaguars (+11.5) at Indianapolis Colts
In the second half of the season, the Jaguars have been surprisingly competitive. Since their bye in Week Nine, they’re 4-3, with only one loss coming by double-digits. The Colts have had a few enigmatic performances in 2013, and they could be due for another one with the division title already clinched.
Prediction ATS: Jacksonville
New York Jets (+6.5) at Miami Dolphins
At home, the Jets couldn’t stay close with the Dolphins. In Miami, it shouldn’t get any easier. Geno Smith had one of the best games of his rookie campaign in Week 16. He hasn’t been able to put back-to-back solid performances together all year.
Prediction ATS: Miami
Detroit Lions (+3) at Minnesota Vikings
Calvin Johnson’s status is unknown from the season finale, but considering he missed practice on Wednesday and the team is out of playoff contention, there’s a good chance that he will sit. Without their No.1 wide receiver, Detroit doesn’t have the same high-powered offense. Matthew Stafford has thrown at least two interceptions in four of the last five games, and that kind of play will cost him on the road.
Prediction ATS: Minnesota
Buffalo Bills (+9.5) at New England Patriots
The Patriots haven’t lost at home, and with the No.1 seed on the line, it’s not likely to happen on Sunday. However, Buffalo does match up well against New England. They’re second in the NFL in rushing, and the Patriots are near the bottom of the league in rush defense. The Bills also have a strong pass defense to combat Tom Brady and company. They might not win, but Buffalo could keep the game close, much like they did in the season opener.
Prediction ATS: Buffalo
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+12.5) at New Orleans Saints
The Saints are the best home team in the NFL. Included in their undefeated record is double-digit wins against the Panthers, Cardinals, Cowboys and Dolphins, all of whom could make the playoffs. The Buccaneers have nothing to play for and should be out of this one by the start of the fourth quarter.
Prediction ATS: New Orleans
Denver Broncos (-12.5) at Oakland Raiders
Oakland is in a freefall, losing seven of eight, including their last three by an average of 16 points. The Raider rank 26th in pass defense, and Peyton Manning continues to put up big numbers each week. The new record holder for touchdowns in a season should have another big day on Sunday.
Prediction ATS: Denver
San Francisco (-1) at Arizona Cardinals
These are two of the hottest teams in football. Arizona proved a lot with their victory in Seattle, and they have just one loss at home. The 49ers, though, have already beaten the Cardinals by 12 points this season. The Cardinals get in trouble when Carson Palmer makes mistakes, and San Francisco’s defense could force him into a few turnovers.
Prediction ATS: San Francisco
Kansas City Chiefs (+9.5) at San Diego Chargers
With the No.5 seed locked up, the Chiefs have nothing to play for on Sunday. Andy Reid said he’ll “mix and match” his starters and backups, which means the likes of Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles could get a lot of rest. The Chargers need a win to have a chance at the final wild card spot, and they should get it against Kansas City’s second-stringers.
Prediction ATS: San Diego
St. Louis Rams (+10.5) at Seattle Seahawks
In their loss to the Cardinals, the Seahawks proved that they are fallible at home. However, they should get back to business against the Rams, who are 2-5 against the spread on the road.
Prediction ATS: Seattle
Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) at Dallas Cowboys
If Tony Romo was set to start, the Cowboys would still have a very tough time against the Eagles. Now that he’s likely out, Philadelphia might not have much of a problem winning. LeSean McCoy should be able to run all over one of the worst rushing defenses in the league, and Nick Foles is likely to go for a few scores, himself.
Prediction ATS: Philadelphia
Green Bay Packers (N/A) at Chicago Bears