Check out our NFL poolies' cheat sheet for all your football wagering needs in condensed form. Quick-hitting betting notes on all of Week 17's action.
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-1, 41)
These two AFC North rivals could do it all again next week in the conference wildcard game. If Baltimore wins and the Patriots lose to the Dolphins, then the Ravens would host the Bengals in the first round. If they lose, they play the Indianapolis Colts to open the postseason. Baltimore will be looking to rest its starters and protect injured players. Cincinnati is also locked into a postseason spot but will likely try to finish the year with some momentum. The Bengals fell to the Ravens in Week 1, 44-13 as 7-point road underdogs. However, they have managed to go 5-2 ATS in their past seven home games with Baltimore.
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-11, 34.5)
Cleveland is banged up heading into this finale. Running back Trent Richardson is nursing a bum ankle and quarterbacks Brandon Weeden and Colt McCoy are both dealing with shoulder injuries. All three are questionable for Week 17. Pittsburgh missed the playoff bus after a loss to Cincinnati last week. The Steelers say they want to finish the season strong and avoid a losing record for the first time since 2003. Pittsburgh is just 2-5 ATS in its last seven meetings with Cleveland, including a 20-14 loss as 1-point road favorites in Week 12.
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (+7, 47)
Houston is skidding at the wrong time. The Texans have lost two of their last three and home-field advantage in the postseason hangs by a string versus Indianapolis. If Houston losses, it could fall as far back as third in the AFC and lose that home edge. Running back Arian Foster is expected to play after leaving with an irregular heartbeat last week. The Colts have clinched the fifth seed in the AFC and will welcome head coach Chuck Pagano back to the sidelines after his battle with leukemia. The home team has covered in each of the past five meetings between these AFC South rivals.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-4, 41.5)
Could the tank be on with Jacksonville? If the Jaguars lose and Kansas City falls to Denver, the Jags would be guaranteed the No. 2 pick in the upcoming draft. RB Maurice Jones-Drew is not expected to suit up for the finale. Tennessee’s front office could be singing for their supper in Week 17. The Titans brass is pointing the finger at head coach Mike Munchak, GM Ruston Webster and COO Mike Reinfeldt and asking what went wrong this year. Going out on a winning note wouldn’t hurt. The Jaguars have covered in each of the past four meeting with the Titans, including a 24-19 win in Week 12.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (-7, 45.5)
New York not only needs to win to make the playoffs but also needs Dallas, Chicago and Minnesota to lose in Week 17. The Giants have been outscored 67-14 in the last two games, however, those came on the road. New York is averaging 33.7 points at home and can break the franchise home scoring mark if they score at least 13 points Sunday. The Eagles nearly played spoiler to Washington last week and already have a win over the Giants – a 19-17 victory in Week 4. QB Michael Vick returns under center for Philadelphia after Nick Foles broke his hand in Week 16.
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-3.5, 39)
Jets head coach Rex Ryan said he would use the final contests as a chance to evaluate younger players for next season. The thing is, Ryan may not be around to see those talents in 2013. QB Mark Sanchez will get the start over an injured Greg McIlroy and RB Shonn Greene is trying to add a 1,000-yard rushing season to his free-agent resume. Buffalo desperately needs to end the year on a high note after losing three straight. Head coach Chan Gailey says he doesn’t plan on turning to his reserves in Week 17 and will roll out his usual lineup. New York is 5-1 in its last six meetings with Buffalo.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (+3, 44.5)
Chicago needs to win and hope Minnesota loses to Green Bay in order to make the postseason cut. The Bears may also be playing for head coach Lovie Smith’s job. Chicago appeared locked into a high postseason seed before losing six of its last seven games (2-5 ATS). Jay Cutler needs to put the team on his back. The Bears have passed for fewer than 150 yards in six of their last 10 games. Detroit could roll over for Chicago in hopes of bettering its draft position. A Week 17 loss could translate in a third-overall selection. And with Calvin Johnson breaking the single-season receiving record last week, the Lions have little motivation.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5, 45.5)
Atlanta has already locked up the top seed in the NFC and could choose to rest its starters in a meaningless Week 17 game. However, momentum could be very important to the Falcons, who have flopped in the postseason in past years. Tampa Bay looked like a playoff sleeper at times this season but folded down the home stretch, losing five in a row. QB Josh Freeman is a big reason for that slide, throwing eight interceptions in his last two games. Head coach Greg Schiano is aiming to go out on a positive note, so expect the Bucs to give everything they have left.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-5, 54)
Carolina is the hottest team in the NFL in recent weeks, bringing a three-game SU and ATS winning streaking into the season finale. QB Cam Newton has compiled 688 passing yards, 183 yards rushing and seven combined touchdowns in that span. The Saints aren’t going to the postseason for the first time since 2008 but won’t lie down in the finale. Interim head coach Joe Vitt - always one to go for it – says Week 17 is a precursor to the 2013 season. New Orleans has been dismal ATS at home versus Carolina, going just 1-10 ATS in its last 11 home tilts with the Panthers.
Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos (-16, 42)
Denver is playing for the first-round bye Sunday and could even clinch home-field advantage through the AFC playoffs if Houston losses to Indianapolis. The last five times the Broncos earned home field through the postseason, they went to the Super Bowl in four of those seasons. Kansas City just wants to get this season over with. Head coach Romeo Crennel and GM Scott Pioli are gone following Week 17. Kansas City, however is 5-2 ATS in its last seven Week 17 contests.
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers (-10, 39)
This is expected to be Norv Turner’s final game as the Bolts head coach with rumors of his dismissal swirling about for the majority of the season. RBs Ryan Matthews and Ronnie Brown are both injured so expect a lot of air time for Philip Rivers and the passing attack. Oakland won’t have QB Carson Palmer in Week 17 after he injured his chest. The Raiders turn the snaps over to backups Matt Leinart and Terrelle Pryor and will look to RB Darren McFadden to shoulder the load on offense. Oakland is 5-2 ATS in its last seven meetings with San Diego.
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-16.5, 39.5)
The Niners, who need a win to clinch the NFC West, not only took one on the chin from the Seahawks in Week 16 but also lost one of their biggest weapons in the passing game. WR Mario Manningham is out for the year with a knee injury. San Francisco could go with a ground-heavy attack, pitting their fourth-ranked rushing attack versus Arizona’s 28th-ranked run defense. The Cardinals are poised for a fire sale this offseason and many players may be competing for their jobs this week. Surprisingly, Arizona is the best bet in Week 17, going 8-3 ATS in the season finale since 2001.
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-10.5, 42.5)
The Seahawks are in the postseason but can clinch the NFC West title with a victory over St. Louis and a loss for the 49ers. Seattle is coming off an impressive beating of San Francisco at home in Week 16, improving to 7-0 SU and ATS inside CenturyLink Field. The Rams haven’t been great on the road and now visit the toughest venue in the NFL. St. Louis is winless in its last seven trips to Seattle and has been outscored 199-76 in those games. The Rams are just 2-9 ATS in their last 11 meetings overall with the Seahawks. St. Louis is 4-0-1 SU and 5-0 ATS versus NFC West rivals this season.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (+3.5, 45.5)
Adrian Peterson’s pursuit of the single-season rushing record is on the back burner with the Vikings’ playoff hopes resting on a win at home in Week 17. Minnesota, which has won three in a row SU and ATS, has lost five straight meetings with Green Bay (1-4 ATS). The Packers clinched the NFC North title but can earn the No. 2 seed in the conference with a win in the finale. That bye week could be crucial for a banged-up roster. The Packers could have WR Jordy Nelson back in action this weekend.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-10, 46)
The Patriots are cheering for the Colts and Chiefs Sunday, as a win over Miami and a Houston loss would end up giving New England the AFC’s No. 1 seed and a Denver loss would insure the No. 2 seed. Bill Belichick may want to run up the score early in order to give his starters some down time before the postseason. Miami has lost five in a row to New England (2-3 ATS) and has been dismal on the road this year. The Dolphins are 2-5 SU and 3-4 ATS away from Miami and now travel to chilly Gillette Stadium, where the temperatures will dip below 20 degrees with a chance of snow Sunday.
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (-3.5, 50)
These NFC East rivals play for all the marbles Sunday night. A win by either team earns the division crowns and a postseason ticket. Dallas had a three-game winning streak snapped in an overtime loss to New Orleans Sunday while Washington extended its successful stretch to 6-0 SU and ATS since a bye in Week 10. The Cowboys not only fight a classic rival but also the elements Sunday. The temperature is expected to be in the low 30s in D.C. and Dallas is just 4-11 SU in games played in sub-40 degree weather over the past 20 seasons. The Redskins defeated the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and have covered in five straight games versus “America’s Team”.