NFL week 17 tips: Regular season comes to an end
Simon Sinclair | 1 January 2017
NFL week 17 tips
We’ve come to journey’s end for half of the teams in the NFL, with nine months in the off-season wilderness to face as the other 16 sides battle for the Vince Lombardi trophy.
There is one last chance for those teams to make an impact, while the rest of the outfits will be aiming to build momentum for a surge towards the Super Bowl at the beginning of February.
Here are Coral’s five top NFL week 17 tips for the final weekend of the regular campaign.
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins
The Patriots have the chance to seal the number one seed in the AFC Conference by notching their 14th win of the campaign. Bill Belichick’s men are peaking towards the end of the term as proven in their dominating 41-3 win over New York Jets last week.
Miami have had a fine season of their own and have secured a playoff berth for the first time since the 2008 campaign. Adam Gase’s side have won nine out of their last 10 contests and are eyeing their fourth home victory on the spin against the Patriots.
New England have rarely had troubles in the AFC East, but visiting Florida has been a problem of late and could allow the Dolphins the opportunity to move into the fifth seed for the post-season.
Gase’s men are without several key players, including quarterback Ryan Tannehill. However, the running power of Jay Ajayi could drive them to victory at 16/5 on the money line.
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
The Texans secured the AFC South title for the second year on the spin when Randy Bullock missed a late kick for Cincinnati Bengals last week.
Bill O’Brien’s men have struggled throughout the year at the quarterback position, although the decision to replace Brock Osweiler with Tom Savage has provided a mild jolt to the system.
Houston’s defense has been outstanding this season and has been the driving force behind their surge into the playoffs. Playing against the Titans, who will be without starting quarterback Marcus Mariota, they should be able to guide their side to victory.
Tennessee saw their dreams of reaching the post-season ended last week in their failure to beat the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars. Mariota sustained a fractured fibula and will have a long recovery period over the off-season.
Without him in the line-up the Texans should be able to see out a comfortable win, backing them at 6/4 to win on the road would be a wise option.
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins
The Redskins are in must-win territory in their clash against the Giants. Jay Gruden’s men know that a victory would secure a place in the post-season unless the clash between Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions ends in a tie.
As a result, there is plenty of motivation for Washington to get over the line and Kirk Cousins has the opportunity to increase his payday in the off-season with a quality performance.
The Giants have already earned their post-season berth and may take the chance to rest their key players ahead of the wildcard round as they cannot improve on their position in the fifth seed.
However, they are still a resilient defense and will provide a tough obstacle for Cousins and company to overcome. Therefore backing the Giants to cover the +7.5 spread would be a wide option.
Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers
The Chiefs can capitalise on Derek Carr’s injury for Oakland Raiders to snatch the number two seed away from their rivals along with the AFC West crown.
Kansas City were impressive in their victory over Denver Broncos last week, which highlighted their big-play ability on offense, with Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill starring for Andy Reid’s men.
Should they hit their peak form they will be able to brush aside the Chargers. However, given that it could be the franchise’s last game in San Diego and that head coach Mike McCoy is fighting for his future, the home side could spring a surprise.
The Chargers do have talent and could rise to the occasion to knock off their divisional foes, who are not infallible. As result, taking San Diego at 15/8 could be well worth the punt.
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions
The two sides could be in a straight shootout for the final NFC playoff spot, pending the result of the clash between the Redskins and the Giants.
Green Bay and Detroit have played out some exciting contests over the last few years, including Aaron Rodgers’ Hail Mary throw to guide Mike McCarthy’s men to a win at Ford Field last term.
The Packers head into the match in top form after winning their last five matches on the spin, with Rodgers and Jordy Nelson’s connection the driving force behind their surge towards the post-season.
Jim Caldwell’s men could have locked up their place in the playoffs, but back-to-back defeats to the Giants and Dallas Cowboys have left them in a vulnerable spot. Their defense was cut apart with ease by Dak Prescott, while their offense has stuttered down the stretch.
The Lions need to produce on home soil, and although the Packers have improved of late, their defense has had a propensity to give up points of late. Therefore backing Detroit to pull off the win at 6/4 on the money line.