NFL Week 17 schedule: 5 teams on upset alert
Looking at the NFL Week 17 schedule, here are five teams who should be on upset alert this weekend.
5. Green Bay Packers (-3) vs. Minnesota Vikings
This is one of the wildest lines you’ll ever see. The Packers are 7-8. The Vikings are healthy and 12-3. Both are still motivated to win, with Minnesota trying to lock up the No. 2 seed over the next few weeks, while the Packers are playing for their lives. Yet Green Bay is laying points, mostly because the Vikings are an unfathomable 11-0 in one-score games. Can that continue? The record says don’t bet against it.
4. New England Patriots (-3) vs. Miami Dolphins
The Patriots and Dolphins are both facing the same situation … sort of. For Miami, winning out puts it into the playoffs, as does a victory over the Patriots coupled with the New York Jets falling to the Seattle Seahawks. For the Patriots, they can’t clinch in Week 17, but if they win out, they’re in the postseason once more. Although Tua Tagovailoa is out with a concussion, all hope isn’t lost for Miami. The Dolphins have Teddy Bridgewater, one of the league’s best backups. And frankly, he might be better than Mac Jones.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5) vs. Carolina Panthers
Why are the Buccaneers laying more than the customary field goal at home against the Panthers? Perhaps it’s the notion of Tom Brady facing Sam Darnold, and that’s understandable. However, Carolina has been the better team over the past two months, with the Bucs completely unable to score most weeks. The Panthers know they win the division by winning out. Expect this to come down to the final seconds.
2. Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
These two teams played earlier in December, and the Steelers narrowly lost at home despite Mitchell Trubisky throwing three interceptions. This time around, it’s rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett under center, facing Ravens backup signal-caller Tyler Huntley. There’s a good case for Pittsburgh, considering Baltimore hasn’t been able to score much at all with Huntley. The Steelers will really be frisky if they’re still alive come Sunday night.
1. Buffalo Bills (-1) at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bills are terrific, but they shouldn’t be favored here. Cincinnati is equally as good, just as hot and at home in primetime. The Bengals have already beaten the Kansas City Chiefs at Paycor Stadium this year, and beating Buffalo doesn’t seem out of reach. For Cincinnati, it could also be to clinch the AFC North, depending on how the game between Baltimore and Pittsburgh plays out.