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2018 NFL betting breakdown: Week 17

Bruce Marshall, Goldsheet.com, @BruceAMarshall

Cowboys (9-6) at Giants (5-10)

Time: 10 a.m., KVVU-5

Line/Total: Giants -5½, 41

Analysis: With Dallas locked into the No. 4 seed in the NFC, this one could look a lot like one of those preseason games the Cowboys have mostly lost in recent years. Though Dallas owner Jerry Jones said his starters will play, that could mean short stints for Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper. Cowboy backers probably will have to count on Cooper Rush and a cast of backups. I’m reluctant to back the Giants at home, where they’ve covered once this season, but New York has played only one bad game since its bye week in early November.

By the numbers: The Giants are 1-5-1 ATS at home this season. … The Cowboys are on a 5-1-1 spread run and have won and covered the past three meetings. … Dallas is on a 6-1 under streak on the road.

Pick: Giants 24, Cowboys 14

Panthers (6-9) at Saints (13-2)

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/Total: Saints -7, 43½

Analysis: The parallels to the Saints’ 2009 Super Bowl season are a bit eerie, down to the fact that they’ll finish 13-3 with losses to the same teams (Dallas, Tampa Bay, and Carolina) as nine years ago if they drop this one. The Panthers played this one close at Charlotte on Dec. 17, but are on the cusp of being the first team since the schedule expanded to 16 games in 1978 to start 6-2 and lose their final eight. Backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke is out, and Kyle Allen will start in his place. With New Orleans locked into the NFC’s top seed, Drew Brees and every featured performer probably will be shut down.

By the numbers: The Panthers have lost their last seven games this season while going 1-6 ATS. … The Saints are on a 1-3 spread skid but have covered six of the last seven meetings. … Carolina is on a 4-0 under run.

Pick: Saints 17, Panthers 12

Jets (4-11) at Patriots (10-5)

Time: 10 a.m., KLAS-8

Line/Total: Patriots -13½, 46

Analysis: New York has hit the 11-loss mark for the third straight season, but quarterback Sam Darnold is progressing fast on the learning curve and coach Todd Bowles was right to crucify the refs for stealing one from his team vs. the Packers last Sunday. The AFC again might be collapsing around the Patriots, who need to win to clinch a first-round bye. But the Jets are rarely an easy out for New England, going 7-3-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings.

By the numbers: The last five meetings went under, and the Patriots are on a 14-6 under streak.

Pick: Patriots 24, Jets 16

Lions (5-10) at Packers (6-8-1)

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/Total: Packers -8, 44½

Analysis: Matt Patricia appears to be following in the footsteps of other Bill Belichick disciples (Eric Mangini, Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, Josh McDaniels) who have whiffed in their head coaching adventures. Matthew Stafford and the Lions offense have stalled for more than a month, with no more than 17 points in the past five weeks.

By the numbers: The Lions are on a five-game losing streak but have won and covered the last three meetings.

Pick: Packers 31, Lions 16

Jaguars (5-10) at Texans (10-5)

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/Total: Texans -6½, 40

Analysis: Houston hasn’t clinched the AFC South but would be happy to do so against the Jaguars. The Texans probably haven’t forgotten how Jacksonville ran up a couple of scores last season when quarterback Deshaun Watson was out. They were especially pumped when throttling the Jaguars 20-7 in October.

By the numbers: The Jaguars are on a 2-7-2 ATS slide and 3-1 under uptick. … The Texans are on a 5-2-2 cover streak.

Pick: Texans 27, Jaguars 10

Falcons (6-9) at Buccaneers (5-10)

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/Total: Falcons -1, 51½

Analysis: It’s taken until late December for the Falcons to win back-to-back games. Off two of their best efforts of the season, there’s no reason Atlanta can’t do it again vs. a Tampa Bay side that appears borderline mutinous as another season has gone down the drain under coach Dirk Koetter.

By the numbers: The Falcons have won the last four meetings while going 3-1 ATS. … The over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.

Pick: Falcons 31, Buccaneers 23

Dolphins (7-8) at Bills (5-10)

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/Total: Bills -5½, 39½

Analysis: The Dolphins are never comfortable in these December trips to Buffalo, where Matt Moore is the only Miami quarterback to win a game in the past seven years. Charles Clay’s last-second drop of a potential game-winning touchdown pass denied the Bills a win at Miami on Dec. 2, but the gnarly Buffalo defense and wind chill will help the revenge effort.

By the numbers: Miami is on a 1-5 SU and ATS slide at Buffalo. … The Dolphins are on a 1-5 spread skid on the road.

Pick: Bills 24, Dolphins 10

Eagles (8-7) at Redskins (7-8)

Time: 1:25 p.m.

Line/Total: Eagles -6½, 41½

Analysis: Philadelphia needs a Chicago win over the Vikings to have a chance at an NFC wild card. Whatever happens in Minneapolis, don’t expect a smooth ride here from the Eagles, who needed a late Nick Foles miracle last week to stay alive in the playoff chase. The Redskins are still playing hard for Jay Gruden, who has gotten serviceable work from journeyman quarterback Josh Johnson.

By the numbers: The Eagles are on a 5-11-2 spread slide in the regular season but have won and covered the last three meetings.

Pick: Eagles 20, Redskins 17

Raiders (4-11) at Chiefs (11-4)

Time: 1:25 p.m., KLAS-8

Line/Total: Chiefs -14, 52½

Analysis: The Chiefs have covered one of their last eight (1-6-1 ATS), but have no more room to fool around with the difference between a No. 1 playoff seed and No. 5 seed probably riding on the result of this game. We’ll take our chances that the Patrick Mahomes-led offense can cover this hefty number after scoring 40 in Oakland four weeks ago. The Raiders probably spent their last bit of 2018 energy in Monday night’s home finale against Denver.

By the numbers: Oakland is on a 1-6 ATS slide on the road. … The Chiefs have covered four of the last five meetings at home.

Pick: Chiefs 34, Raiders 16

Browns (7-7-1) at Ravens (9-6)

Time: 1:25 p.m.

Line/Total: Ravens -5½, 40½

Analysis: The Browns have a chance to finish above .500 for the first time since 2007. But Cleveland has beaten the Falcons, the Bengals twice, the Panthers and the Broncos) in its current 5-1 surge. Baltimore is 5-1 since Lamar Jackson took over at quarterback. After smothering one of the NFL’s hottest teams (Chargers) on the road, the Ravens aren’t about to blow the AFC North at home vs. the Browns.

By the numbers: The Ravens are on a 3-0-1 under run, and the last four meetings went under.

Pick: Ravens 24, Browns 13

Bengals (6-9) at Steelers (8-6-1)

Time: 1:25 p.m.

Line/Total: Steelers -14½, 45½

Analysis: This long has been a chippy series, and Pittsburgh is always ready to play Cincinnati. The Steelers need a Cleveland win or a Colts-Titans tie to make the playoffs with a win. They should win against a depleted Bengals bunch limping to the finish line with backup quarterback Jeff Driskel and other injuries that will have Marvin Lewis sweating out another Black Monday.

By the numbers: The Bengals are on a three-game cover streak, but the Steelers have covered five of the last seven meetings. … Pittsburgh is on an 0-3-1 ATS skid as a favorite.

Pick: Steelers 35, Bengals 14

Bears (11-4) at Vikings (8-6-1)

Time: 1:25 p.m., KVVU-5

Line/Total: Vikings -5, 40½

Analysis: The stakes are high here. The Vikings can only guarantee an NFC wild card with a win, and the Bears need a win and loss by the Rams to claim the No. 2 seed. Minnesota has won and covered two straight since firing offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. But beating the Dolphins and Lions hardly suggests Kirk Cousins is now ready to lead the Vikings to the Super Bowl. And the Bears are giving no indications that they’ll ease up Sunday as they hope for help from the 49ers.

By the numbers: Chicago has won and covered seven of its last eight games but is 3-3 ATS in its last six away. … The Vikings have won the last six meetings at home while going 5-1 ATS.

Pick: Bears 23, Vikings 20

Chargers (11-4) at Broncos (6-9)

Time: 1:25 p.m.

Line/Total: Chargers -6½, 42

Analysis: Los Angeles is 7-0 away from home. But any chance to claim the AFC’s No. 1 seed requires a Raiders upset of the Chiefs. Denver usually puts up a fight before falling short for Vance Joseph, who might be coaching his final game with the team.

By the numbers: The Chargers are 6-1 on the road this season. … Denver is riding a 15-4 under run.

Pick: Chargers 20, Broncos 16

Cardinals (3-12) at Seahawks (9-6)

Time: 1:25 p.m.

Line/Total: Seahawks -13½, 38½

Analysis: The pressure is off Seattle after it secured an NFC wild card in last week’s win over the Chiefs. But coach Pete Carroll’s rah-rah style has played well in these spots.

By the numbers: The Cardinals are on a 1-5 SU and ATS slide, but have won and covered four of the last five meetings at Seattle. … The Seahawks are on an 8-2-1 spread surge and 6-1 over uptick.

Pick: Seahawks 27, Cardinals 9

49ers (4-11) at Rams (12-3)

Time: 1:25 p.m.

Line/Total: Rams -10, 48½

Analysis: The Rams could drop to the No. 3 seed if they lose and the Bears beat the Vikings. We’re not comfortable backing Los Angeles, which has covered three of its last 12 games (3-7-2 ATS) and will have Todd Gurley sitting out. Nick Mullens has been a serviceable quarterback for the Niners, and their defense has been scrappy.

By the numbers: The Niners are 6-1 SU and ATS in their last four games of season for Kyle Shanahan and are on a 5-1 cover streak in the series.

Pick: Rams 24, 49ers 20

Colts (9-6) at Titans (9-6)

Time: 5:20 p.m., KSNV-3

Line/Total: Colts -3, 43½

Analysis: Indianapolis’ stout rush defense should neutralize Derrick Henry, and the Colts showed a lot of fortitude in last week’s 28-27 comeback win over the Giants.

By the numbers: Andrew Luck is 10-0 straight up in career starts against the Titans, including a 38-10 home win Nov. 18. … The Colts are on a 5-1 under run, and the Titans are on a 10-6 under streak.

Pick: Colts 28, Titans 20

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