NFL predictions and picks for Week 17 from the experts at ESPN are now here, and there are quite a few interesting games scheduled for the weekend. While this is the final week of the regular season, there are still a few playoff spots up for grabs. A few teams simply need to win their last game to earn a playoff spot, while others need additional help. In addition to the predictions by the experts at ESPN, the latest NFL odds from Vegas Insider were also used as reference points. Here are a few of the notable games.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles — Winner: Cowboys
Despite already locking up the NFC East title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is expected to start Sunday’s game against the Eagles. While Prescott will start, backup quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Tony Romo are expected to see playing time. Regardless of the Cowboys not pushing all of their starters to play the full game, seven out of nine ESPN experts believe they are going to win this game.
After starting the season with a record of 3-0, it looked as though the Eagles were going to be in contention for the NFC East title. Their lack of talent quickly caught up to them, and they enter Sunday’s game with a record of 6-9, which is good for last place in the division. Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz has experienced his fair share of growing pains this year, but it looks like the talent is there for the young signal caller. Regardless, he has a serious lack of weapons at wide receiver and running back, and the Eagles could still struggle against their division foe.
New York Giants at Washington Redskins — WINNER: Redskins
While the Redskins have had an up-and-down season, they still have a great opportunity to qualify for the playoffs. The Giants have already clinched the No. 5 seed for the NFC Playoffs, and the outcome of this game is not going to affect their seeding. Regardless, it is a divisional game, and the Giants would love nothing more than to spoil the Redskins’ playoff hopes.
As Business Insider reports, a victory by the Redskins is going to all but guarantee them the No. 6 seed in the playoffs.
“If the Redskins beat the Giants (and the Lions-Packers game does not end in a tie), they are in the playoffs as a wild-card team.”
Assuming the Lions and Packers do not end in a tie, the Redskins simply have to win this game. While the Giants will not be lying down for them, the Redskins are clearly the more desperate team this week. Seven out of nine ESPN experts believe they are going to win this game.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions – WINNER: Packers
Despite having one of their best seasons in years, the Lions have played poorly over the past few weeks. While their recent play has hurt their chances of qualifying for the playoffs, they still have a tremendous opportunity on Sunday when they take on the Packers. Business Insider sums up the playoff scenarios for both teams.
“If the Lions beat the Packers, they are NFC North champs and in the playoffs. If they lose, they can still get in as the wild card if the Redskins don’t beat the Giants. If the Packers beat (or tie) the Lions, they are NFC North champs and in the playoffs. If they lose, they can still get in as the wild card if the Redskins lose to the Giants.”
While this game will be played in Detroit, the Packers are coming into the showdown with more momentum. Aaron Rodgers is looking like the MVP of the league, and they have won five games in a row. Seven out of nine ESPN experts believe the Packers are going to win this game.
More ESPN NFL Picks for Week 17
- Bengals Over Ravens
- Texans Over Titans
- Buccaneers Over Panthers
- Colts Over Jaguars
- Patriots Over Dolphins
- Vikings Over Bears
- Bills Over Jets
- Steelers Over Browns
- Falcons Over Saints
- Cardinals Over Rams
- Broncos Over Raiders
- Chiefs Over Chargers
- Seahawks Over 49ers
[Featured Image by David Banks/Getty Images]