NFL Week 17 Picks - Late Games

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NFL Week 17 Late Games

All times Eastern

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Green Bay Packers (-5 1/2, 50) at Chicago Bears 4:25 pm (Fox) - A Bears' win and they're in, but a loss and an Arizona victory over the Rams sends them home for the season. The Packers own the #1 seed in the NFC, but they could drop to #2 if they lose and the Seahawks lose to San Francisco and New Orleans wins, so Green Bay still has plenty to play for, especially since the only teams to get a bye in the first round this season will be the #1 seeds from each conference.

Green Bay handled the Bears with relative ease back on November 29, dominating them, 41-25, but that was Mitchell Trubisky's first game back after being benched in week 2, and he was shaky. Four games and three wins later, the Bears have an improved offense, scoring 36, 33, and 41 points in their last three straight, all wins. Chicago's defense is arguably better than Green Bay's and they're at home with plenty of motivation. Even if the Bears don't win, they may back into the playoffs, though there's no certainty of that. Could come down to some scoreboard watching, but Chicago looks like a good play to at least cover.

Coin Flip: Chicago

Prediction: Bears 34 Packers 31

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-14, 50) 4:25 pm (CBS) - The Colts are in a strange position. They could end up winning the AFC South with a win and a Tennessee loss, or they could be out of the playoffs if they lose and Cleveland, Baltimore, Miami, and Tennessee all win.

Considering they're playing the worst team in the league in the 1-14 Jaguars, it's probably safe to say they won't lose this game, though strange things have been known to happen in week 17s in the NFL.

The Colts look good for an easy win and will either be a wild card or division champ depending on how the Titans do at Houston.

Coin Flip: Jacksonville

Prediction: Colts 41 Jaguars 10

Los Angeles Chargers (-3 1/2, 44) at Kansas City Chiefs 4:25 pm (CBS) - There's no reason for the Chiefs to risk injury to any of their starters, so most of them will see very limited action if they even play at all. Kansas City has the #1 seed locked up and put away and they'll get next week off, so this is like a bonus for some players, getting almost another full week of rest.

The Chargers still have plenty to prove, but they'll likely come out of this with some respect and a win. Rookie QB Justin Herbert has had an incredible season and the Chargers have won three straight. They can look back on their week 2, 23-20 OT loss to the Chiefs as confirmation that they'll be extra competitive next season.

Coin Flip: Los Angeles Chargers

Prediction: Chargers 31 Chiefs 14

Las Vegas Raiders (-2 1/2, 50 1/2) at Denver Broncos 4:25 pm (CBS) - Nothing to see here as the Broncos and Raiders are not moving on to the playoffs, though Denver may want to even the score a little after the Raiders stomped them, 37-12, back in week 10. Las Vegas obviously has no reason to exert any more effort than necessary and there's a chance that the coaches may come to some kind of gentleman's agreement about starters.

Coin Flip: Denver

Prediction: Broncos 26 Raiders 23

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (-1, 39 1/2) 4:25 pm (Fox) - The Rams are in the playoffs with a win and a 10-6 record would make them either the #5 or #6 seed depending on whether or not Tampa Bay beats Atlanta. In the case of an Arizona win, the Rams could still get in if Green Bay defeats Chicago.

Arizona needs to win or tie the Rams and a Chicago loss, so they're on the tough end of the playoff tie-breakers. With that to motivate the Cardinals, one would expect their best effort. The Rams defeated Arizona, 38-28, in week 13, and now the Rams are home for this winner moves on game.

Neither team has been exceptional down the stretch. The Rams have dropped two straight and Arizona lost at home to San Francisco, 20-12, last week. They've beaten only the Giants and Eagles in the past six weeks, so they come into this 2-4 over that span, not exactly playoff-ready. Tough call, but if anything, the Rams can depend on their defense to carry the day.

Coin Flip: Arizona

Prediction: Rams 20 Cardinals 17

Seattle Seahawks (-5 1/2, 46) at San Francisco 49ers 4:25 pm (Fox) - The Seahawks have the NFC West title in hand, but could move up to the top seed (they're currently 3rd) if both Green Bay and New Orleans lose. Be that as it may, they already have a win over the 49ers from week 8, a 37-27 triumph and should handle them again, despite being on the road.

Seattle has been the best of the West division down the stretch, wining five of their last six. Getting a win over the 49ers will not be as easy as some think. This is a divisional game, and the teams know each other's strengths and weaknesses well.

Coin Flip: Seattle

Prediction: Seahawks 27 49ers 20

New Orleans Saints (-6 1/2, 48) at Carolina Panthers 4:25 pm (Fox) - The Saints can still get a first round bye and the #1 seed if Green Bay loses and Seattle wins. The Panthers are just 5-10, but they played the Saints tough in week 7, losing 27-24.

New Orleans is coming off its best offensive game of the season, routing the Vikings and sending them out of the playoffs with a 52-33 rout. Carolina is playing for pride, while the Saints may be playing for more, depending on the outcome of other games. No matter what, the Saints appear poised to make a solid playoff run and will be on their toes in this one.

Coin Flip: Carolina

Prediction: Saints 33 Panthers 16

Tennessee Titans (-7, 56 1/2) at Houston Texans 4:25 pm (CBS) - The Titans can either win the AFC South with a victory here, or possibly be out of the playoffs altogether in case of a loss, depending on what other teams do, so it's imperative they shrug off the stinging, 40-14 loss at Green Bay last week and focus on the task at hand.

In week six, the Texans took the Titans to overtime, eventually falling, 42-36, so, as division games go, even though the Texans are out of it, the Titans need their best effort. It's likely to be good enough, but just so. This game may be a wild one, as Tennessee's defense is prone to giving up big plays and plenty of scores.

Coin Flip: Tennessee

Prediction: Titans 34 Texans 30

Washington Football Team (-1 1/2, 43) at Philadelphia Eagles 8:20 pm (Fox) - The entire season comes down to this for the Washington Football Team. A win means a division title, a loss sends them home for the winter.

While the Eagles have played better with Jalen Hurts at quarterback in place of Carson Wentz, they're still just 1-3 with the Oklahoma grad behind center. Philly has dropped their last two straight, 33-26 at Arizona and 37-17, at Dallas. They are 3-4 at home.

Washington released Dwayne Haskins, so the starting QB will be Alex Smith, giving Washington a boost, according to optimistic reports. If Smith can't go, Taylor Heinicke will get the start. Washington should handle the Eagles, as they did in week one, 27-17.

Coin Flip: Philadelphia

Prediction: Football Team 26 Eagles 20

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