It’s week 17 in the NFL, which means the games being played this weekend can either make or break a team’s chances at the postseason or change their fates in terms of what pick they receive in the 2023 Draft.
Let’s focus on the playoffs. Here are three games that matter this weekend, with picks and predictions powered by BetOnline.ag:
Panthers (6-9) @ Buccaneers (7-8) – 1:00pm
Spread: Buccaneers -3.5
Moneyline: Buccaneers -195/Panthers +170
Oh, the Buccaneers. Every week you think they’re going to get it back on track, and every week they fool you. Tom Brady has Tampa Bay at just 7-8 this season, and has thrown six interceptions over the team’s last three games -yet somehow they’re still in play for a playoff spot in the lowly NFC South.
Meanwhile over in Carolina, though they sit at 6-9, interim head coach Steve Wilks has the Panthers on a hot streak. They’re 3-1 in their last four games with Sam Darnold at the helm, and the once-a-bust quarterback has a 4/1 TD:INT ratio in that span.
Prediction & Pick
Panthers win. Brady’s miserable season in Tampa continues.
Prediction: Panthers 21 – Buccaneers 17
Side: Panthers -3
Total: UNDER 39
Jets (7-8) @ Seahawks (7-8) – 4:05pm
Spread: Jets -1
Both the Jets and the Seahawks are fighting for a playoff spot in their respective conferences, with each Wild Card race coming down to the wire.
Seattle started the season 6-3 behind excellent quarterback play from Geno Smith, but is just 1-5 in their last six games and now sit a half-game out of the 7-seed with two games to play. Rookie running back Kenneth Walker got himself back on track last weekend rushing for 107 yards on 26 carries – something they’ll need again if they want to keep their playoff chances alive.
As for the Jets, their hopeless QB carousel continues this weekend as Zach Wilson was benched once more, will be inactive and they’ll now thrust Mike White back into action this weekend. White is 1-2 in his three Jets starts this season, yet for some reason the entire NFL world in infatuated with him. He’ll be the reason New York either makes or misses the postseason.
Prediction & Pick
Though I’m clearly not as high on Mike White as everyone else is, I don’t trust this Seattle team enough to make a push after this 1-5 slide, even at home this weekend.
The Jets win behind a monster showing from Garrett Wilson and keep their Super Bowl hopes (lol) alive once more.
Prediction: Jets 21 – Seahawks 17
Side: Jets -1
Total: UNDER 42.5
Vikings (12-3) @ Packers (7-8) – 4:25pm
Spread: Packers -3
Moneyline: Packers -175/Vikings +155
The Packers can still technically make the playoffs as well, which means we’ll hopefully get some prime Aaron Rodgers this weekend with the Vikings in town.
Green Bay has won three straight games and has themselves right back in the Wild Card mix – and because of this is somehow favored over a 12-3 Vikings team.
Speaking of that Vikings team, Minnesota holds the second-best record in the NFC, and with the way Kirk Cousins is finally playing some clutch football, they’re a team I’d want to avoid the most in the playoffs. They know how to win close games.
Prediction & Pick
The way Justin Jefferson is playing football this season will prove to be too much for the Packers once again. The Vikings win a high-scoring affair and continue their dominance in one-score games.
Aaron Rodgers misses the playoffs and retires at the end of 2022.
Prediction: Vikings 28 – Packers 24
Side: Vikings +3
Total: OVER 48
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