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If you're winning money in any fantasy or NFL endeavor this late in the season, congrats. I've got a couple finals matchups but it's impossible to have predicted how these last few weeks would go. 

Week 18 is a new thing -- Week 17 actually matters and no one is sitting anyone. There's a little bit of "bowl game" factor hitting for bad teams at this point, so be careful about betting on 'dogs this weekend if they don't care at all. 

Lot of big spreads and a lot of inactive situations to work through. Let's try and figure it out. 

All NFL odds are via Caesars Sportsbook

NFL Week 17 Picks

Falcons at Bills

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV:
 Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)
Follow: CBS Sports App

Latest Odds: Buffalo Bills -14

This is a very difficult spot for both teams in terms of handicapping this game. The Bills are coming off a massive win against the Patriots and are probably due for a letdown. The Falcons are motivated because -- despite their -122 point differential -- they are somehow still in the playoff race. The Bills bash bad teams (the Falcons are a bad team) and the Falcons get bashed by good teams (the Bills are a good team). But the line is just too much -- Buffalo's pass defense has not been bad since losing Tre'Davious White but it's hard to tell given the games (The Wind Game, the Panthers, MacSplosion). Ultimately I just think the Falcons keep it within 14 points but I don't feel comfortable with it. If Josh Allen wants to name his number here, he can.

The pick: Bills 28, Falcons 14
Props, Best Bets: Nada

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Jaguars at Patriots

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)

Latest Odds: New England Patriots -17

On the other hand, I'm fine laying a ton of points with Bill Belichick against a horrendous team in a suddenly must-win spot. The Patriots can flex on teams like the Jaguars because 1) Jacksonville has a rookie quarterback (historically bad against Belichick), 2) Mac Jones gets better looks against a bad pass defense, 3) the Pats will score on defense and 4) the Jaguars are terrible. They won't cover by more than a few points but it won't be close. Take the over on Nick Folk field goals. 

The pick: Patriots 24-6
Props, Best Bets: Nope

Chiefs at Bengals

Sunday,1 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds: Cincinnati Bengals +3.5

Fantastic game coming here. Patrick Mahomes is back. There were actual people with brains -- theoretically inside of their skulls and attached to their bodies -- suggesting the NFL figured out Patrick Mahomes and solved the pesky little problem of Andy Reid's offense. "We're on to Cincinnati," indeed. Mahomes is completing 73 percent of his passes, averaging 308.7 yards per game and squatting on an 8-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio over the last three games. But we might be sleeping on Joe Burrow's breakout second season, one in which he's coming off a torn ACL. Dude just threw for 525 passing yards during a late December AFC North game. Travis Kelce is back and maybe the moment is too big for the Bengals, but the moment isn't too big for Joe Burrow. 

The Pick: Bengals 35, Chiefs 31
Bets: Bengals +5/ML

Dolphins at Titans

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds: Tennessee Titans -3

The Titans offense has tanked since Derrick Henry went down, but the Titans just keep finding ways to win. I'm now convinced Mike Vrabel is just a top-10 coach and no one wants to give him credit for the job he does. Like a meathead Bill Belichick, he just finds ways to win football games. His worst season is 9-7 in four years with the Titans. Now we get a little Belichick branch on Belichick branch crime in this one. Ryan Tannehill has been great off extended byes (see: Vrabel, Mike) and the Dolphins are about to face a real quarterback. Titans roll here.

The Pick: Titans 31, Dolphins 13
Bets: Titans -3.5

Rams at Ravens

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV:
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds: Baltimore Ravens +7

Lamar Jackson matters a lot here, obviously. The Rams will be bigger favorites against Baltimore if he can't go. Tyler Huntley is awesome if he's cleared. But it might not matter with Baltimore's shredded secondary. The Rams offense and Matthew Stafford are catching heat for struggling but they're averaging just under 30 points per game in their miserable four-game win streak. You can't really run on them. How the Rams deploy Jalen Ramsey against Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews is probably the key to this game. I'm backing the Rams because the Ravens are just too shorthanded on defense. 

The Pick: Rams 30, Ravens 22
Bets: None

Giants at Bears

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds: Chicago Bears -6.5

This game is being broadcast on CBS, so contractually I can't tell you not to watch this game. But this is not a high-profile, must-watch game. I certainly wouldn't bet on it, either. But I have to make a pick, so I'll take the Bears at home, laying less than a touchdown against an offense that simply has not been able to get going for basically all of Joe Judge's tenure. The Bears aren't good on offense either, but they have a big defensive advantage here I think. 

The Pick: Bears 17, Giants 10
Bets: Please don't

Raiders at Colts

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV:
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds: Indianapolis Colts -9

Picking this game all depends on the status of Carson Wentz, which remains completely TBD. The new protocols are ... new. The description of how a player clears protocol is a pretty loose: "May Return if no fever for 24 hours, other symptoms improved, cleared by Team Physician, after consultation with NFL CMO and ICS." If I were a betting man, I would assume Wentz returns for Sunday based on those parameters. The Colts have to take him off the COVID list by 4 p.m. ET on Saturday. If you want to back the Raiders here, you should probably take it now. If you like the Colts, make sure and wait for Wentz to be activated Saturday. The line has that already baked in. I guess I lean Colts but it's just too up in the air.

The Pick: Colts 24, Raiders 16
Bets: Pass

Eagles at WFT

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: 
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds: Washington Commanders +6

The 2021 NFL season is a war of attrition and attrition just may be taking its toll on Washington. WFT made a great post-bye run to get in the mix for the division but they're just too short-handed to really compete for a playoff spot. Philly runs the ball really, really well right now and there should be some Devonta Smith play-action shots available here for Jalen Hurts. The Eagles look like a team poised to lock down their playoff spot. 

The Pick: Eagles 24, WFT 17
Bets: Eagles -3

Buccaneers at Jets 

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV:
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds: New York Jets +14.5

This is one of several double-digit games that feels like the early part of the season, when you wanted to back the big 'dog but knew the superior team -- even with injuries -- was going to roll. If you want to bet this game, just live bet it. If Tampa scores early, the Jets are toast. If the Jets score early there should be a decent number available if you want to bet on them hanging around. Antonio Brown has some massive contractual bonuses -- if he plays, bet all his props. If he's out, it just might be a bunch of Ronald Jones in this game. The one thing to think about is Bruce Arians might treat this game as a chance to get important reps for Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson. He knows Chris Godwin won't be back and Mike Evans is banged up. Tom Brady might need these guys in the playoffs. I wouldn't think the Bucs will open up the offense, but Brady hates the Jets and whipping them with backup wide receivers wouldn't be a thing he disliked. 

The Pick: Buccaneers 28. Jets 10
Bets: Antonio Brown props TBD

Broncos at Chargers

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds: Los Angeles Chargers -8

The Broncos cancelled their practice on Thursday because of COVID concerns and the line shot up immediately towards the Chargers. The new protocols should benefit L.A.'s defense and get Joey Bosa back. Derwin James sounds questionable. This is a pretty big wild-card game -- I want to take the under but that's always a five-alarm fire when Drew Lock is involved. I'd probably lean towards the Chargers here, but there's gonna be some wild line movement on this one before we get to Sunday.  

The Pick: Chargers 24, Broncos 14
Bets: Nope

Texans at 49ers

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
TV: 
CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)  

Latest Odds: San Francisco 49ers -13.5

Jimmy Garoppolo is slated to start here, technically. I'd be shocked if he plays -- you're at home, you gave up a ton to get Trey Lance, the Texans aren't good on defense and there's a very good chance you can win the game by using Lance in the running game without risking Jimmy's season and also getting the young guy valuable late-season reps which serve as a bonus if he has to play in the postseason. Let's get some Deebo Samuel jet sweeps incorporated into triple option play calls, please.

The Pick: 49ers 31, Texans 10
Bets: 49ers -12.5

Cardinals at Cowboys

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
TV: 
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds: Dallas Cowboys -6.5

Spicy game here -- the Cowboys were three-point faves on the lookahead and now it's double that? I want to fade the Cowboys because of the big flex spot on Sunday night, but they've also got every single person on their roster rested after that blowout win. Rodney Hudson is back and he matters -- Kliff and Kyler Murray have been terrible late in the season, but this is too many points for a rested and capable NFC opponent fighting for the division. 

The Pick: Cardinals 28, Cowboys 24
Bets: Cardinals +6

Panthers at Saints

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
TV: 
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds: New Orleans Saints -7

Disgusting game. Don't watch this game. But, you should bet it if you see Saints under seven. The Saints defense is great and the Panthers are proudly trotting out Sam Darnold with a horrendous offensive line. COVID protocols have changed -- Taysom Hill looks good to be cleared and if he gets his tackles back, this game gets ugly.

The Pick: Saints 21, Panthers 6
Bets: Saints -6.5 or better

Lions at Seahawks

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
TV: 
Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)    

Latest Odds: Seattle Seahawks -9

The Lions cover and try hard. The Seahawks are a late 90's Melrose Place episode. The only issue here when it comes to betting on the Lions is how many people are screaming about Detroit as a great 'dog. We haven't seen a massive DK Metcalf game in a while and Russell Wilson is talking about this being -- MAYBE -- his last game at home for the Seahawks. He might cut the cord into his helmet pregame and just go full YOLO. It's a Baby Big Ben situation for Russ. Don't fade him. 

The Pick: Seahawks 31, Lions 17
Bets: Russ over TD passes, Metcalf over yards

Vikings at Packers

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET
TV: 
NBC | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds: Green Bay Packers -12.5

Why are the Packers -6.5 here? Angry Aaron Rodgers is summoning science to create headlines and it made a bunch of people mad. Now he's going up against Kirk Cousins in prime time and Mike Zimmer without a great defense? I have Aaron Rodgers Career Splits on P-F-R saved as a bookmark because I'm constantly referencing the division games he's won and even I don't believe the numbers. Fifty-four touchdowns and seven interceptions against the Vikings in 25 career games. Ridiculous. Anyway, the reason the Packers are -6.5 is the Vikings keep every game close and the Packers just don't blow decent offenses out. This game is going to have a ton of points even if the weather is bad. Minnesota won't go away quietly.

The Pick: Packers 38, Vikings 35
Bets: Over

Browns at Steelers

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET
TV: 
ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (click here)  

Latest Odds: Pittsburgh Steelers +1

Ordinarily we'd have already heard the Ben Roethlisberger leak about whatever his biggest current bugaboo is. Matt Canada is stifling him, he might retire, bad back, etc, etc. But there's a legitimate chance this is his last ever home game at Heinz Field. I think the general consensus is Ben's walking away after this year. If he is planning to retire, we will get a late-week or Sunday-morning scoop about it on one or two networks unless Ben wants it to be a big pregame scoop on Monday night. The latter makes sense, so watch that before you bet this game. If there is a big to-do about "maybe Ben's last home game" the Steelers will win this game. Ben OWNS the Browns in his career and simply will not let his last home game as a Steeler be a loss to the Browns. And he's a home 'dog in prime time. Lock it up. 

The Pick: Steelers 21, Browns 17
Bets: Steelers +3