NFL Week 17 of 17 Preview: The Playoffs Are on the LinePublished December 31, 2017 by Sol FH
9 of the 12 teams in the 2017/18 season are locked in, but who else will make the post-season?
We are about to take a deep dive into the last week of the NFL regular season, after 16 action-packed weeks of play. Up until now, we have seen 161,036 combined total yards among all 32 teams, but now only 12 teams will go on to play for the biggest prize in football, the Super Bowl.
Let’s take a look at the biggest stories for Week 17 and make a few predictions for the post-season.
The majority of the NFL playoff picture seems to be set. 9 out of the 12 teams that will go to the playoffs are already known. The New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, and the Los Angeles Rams have already got their golden tickets in hand, but there are still two spots open and six teams fighting for them.
Panthers vs Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons can make the playoff picture in the NFC much easier if they beat the Panthers at home. The Falcons are just above .500 at home this year (4-3), but with the playoffs on the line, they will be out to win tomorrow. The Panthers have already locked in their playoff berth, but they too will be going for the win. If Carolina wins, they will clinch the NFC South, also dependent on the Saints (loss or tie to Tampa Bay). They would also clinch a first-round bye if they are to win and the Saints lose, Vikings lose, and the Rams lose too.
888 Sport has posted odds ahead of this clash in favor of the Falcons at 1.65. The Panthers are in the underdog spot at 2.65.
Seahawks vs Cardinals
Another big match in the NFC could decide the fate of the Seattle Seahawks. If they can somehow find a way to beat the Cardinals, and the Falcons lose to the Panthers, they will get their playoff berth. The Seahawks will most-likely win this game, now that the Cardinals hopes of making the playoffs are over, but don’t count Arizona out, as they could easily play spoiler.
Betfair Sports has the Seahawks as heavy favorites to win tonight at 1.25, while the Cardinals are at 4.20.
What is really interesting is that in the NFC this year, we will have 5 new teams in the off-season, and the only repeats (if they make it) could be the Seahawks and the Falcons.
The more intriguing action is over in the AFC, that is if the Ravens and the Titans lose their games. If Baltimore and Tennessee win tomorrow, they will both make the playoffs, but if not…
Ravens vs Bengals
The Ravens are heavy favorites to beat the Bengals. They will clinch the spot if they win. They could also lose tonight and still make the playoffs if the Bills lose to the Dolphins, or if the Titans lose to the Jaguars. The Ravens will most likely make it to the playoffs and expect them to beat the Bengals heavily.
The odds are in favor of the Ravens with 888 Sport posting 1.22 for Baltimore and 4.60 for the Bengals.
Los Angeles Chargers vs Oakland Raiders
The biggest task that the Chargers have in order to win this game is to stop Mr. Beast Mode himself, Marshawn Lynch. Now, averaging 4.2 yards per carry, Lynch has what it takes to ruin the Chargers’ evening, and since LA has had a tough time defending the rush for the last couple of weeks, this could be a tough one for the Chargers. If the Chargers do win, they also need Buffalo and Tennessee to lose in order to make it to the 18th week.
The Chargers are favorites to win tonight with Betfair Sports locking them in to win at 1.36, while the Raiders (already eliminated) are at 3.40.
The AFC has 3 teams back in the playoffs this year in the Patriots, the Steelers, and the Chiefs.