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N.F.L. Week 17 Predictions: Our Picks for Each Game


Tennessee has lost five straight games and can almost definitely lose this one, but 10.5 points are rather a lot to provide at home — especially considering that the Titans are in a dogfight with Jacksonville for the A.F.C. South division. The Titans plan to begin the rookie quarterback Malik Willis, rather than Ryan Tannehill (ankle injury), and could possibly be trying to tread water until facing the Jaguars head-to-head in Week 18. Pick: Titans +10.5

Minnesota Vikings (12-3) at Green Bay Packers (7-8), 4:25 p.m., CBS

Line: Packers -3.5 | Total: 47

Against all odds, the Packers are still alive within the playoff race. Winner of three straight, Green Bay enters Sunday’s game tied with the Lions and Seahawks and just outside of a wild-card spot. Though the Packers play the ultimate two divisional games at home and started the week as favorites on this one, the Vikings are on an improbable run of close wins: Minnesota is 11-0 in one-possession games this season, essentially the most such wins in N.F.L. history.

The Packers are having a tough time stopping the run, and Dalvin Cook has been potent against them prior to now. It might be tough to select Green Bay winning by 4 against the luckiest team within the N.F.L. at full strength, however the Packers rookie receiver Christian Watson injured his hip last week and is questionable for this game, so we’re taking the “underdog.” Pick: Vikings +3.5

Miami Dolphins (8-7) at Latest England Patriots (7-8), 1 p.m., CBS

Line: Patriots -3 | Total: 42

Each of those teams are limping toward the top of the regular season. Latest England has lost 4 of their last five, and the offense has regressed enough that there are rumors of a shake-up coming to Bill Belichick’s staff.

Miami has lost 4 in a row, and Coach Mike McDaniel announced on Wednesday that he planned to begin Teddy Bridgewater rather than Tua Tagovailoa, who self reported concussion symptoms after last week’s loss to the Packers. Miami needs this win to hold onto a wild-card berth, with the Patriots only a game behind within the A.F.C. East, and the Dolphins can clinch here. Bridgewater is able to throwing to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle and might even fare higher than Tagovailoa did against the press coverage prior to now two weeks. Pick: Dolphins +3

Carolina Panthers (6-9) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-8), 1 p.m., Fox

Line: Buccaneers -3 | Total: 39

The Buccaneers will clinch the N.F.C. South with a win, but they face a Panthers team highly motivated to maintain that from happening. Sam Darnold has averaged 8.6 yards per attempt since Week 12 — a period through which the team has gone 3-1 — and the Panthers only turned the ball over once during that stretch (compared with the Buccaneers’ 11). Despite trading Christian McCaffrey early within the season, Carolina still has a rushing game Tampa Bay should envy: D’onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard help the team put up a mean of 187 rushing yards per game since Week 12 (the Buccaneers averaged 90 in that stretch).

The Buccaneers have stayed on top of this division by grinding out ugly wins against bad teams, needing miraculous late-game scores to come back out on top. If Tampa Bay’s offense played entire games the way in which they do through the final two minutes, the Buccaneers may need been Super Bowl contenders. Pick: Panthers +3

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