Week 17 NFL Picks: Will the Vikings Pull Off a Win in Lambeau?
The Christmas weekend has come and gone, and with it, we saw some very fun NFL matchups. Particularly on Christmas Eve, the slate of games proved to be an exciting one filled with last-minute heroics. Now, we head into New Year’s and the Week 17 slate. Today, we’ll be going over the Week 17 NFL picks, but first, here’s a look back at how Christmas treated us a week ago:
- Jaguars +2.5 (W)
- Giants +4.5 (W)
- Giants/Vikings U47.5 (L)
- Eagles +6 (T)
- Dolphins -3.5 (L)
- Broncos -3 (L)
- Buccaneers/Cardinals U40.5 points (W)
Season Record: 52-57-4
New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles
- Spread: Eagles -5.5
- Saints ML: +230
- Eagles ML: -275
- O/U: 43.5 points
Frey’s Pick: Saints +5.5, O43.5 points
For the first time this season, the Philadelphia Eagles are going through some major injuries. Jalen Hurts seems to be on track to miss another week, which means Gardner Minshew will be the Eagles starting QB. Meanwhile, Lane Johnson is out for the rest of the regular season on the offensive line as well.
Minshew is one of the more capable backup QBs in the league, but if the Saints can get pressure on him, he may end up struggling. Especially considering how vulnerable the Eagles defense has looked in recent weeks, I’d expect the Saints to keep this one close.
Cleveland Browns @ Washington Commanders
- Spread: Commanders -1
- Browns ML: +110
- Commanders ML: -130
- O/U: 40 points
Frey’s Pick: Commanders -1
The Commanders have turned back to Carson Wentz this week as apparently Taylor Heinicke’s run at QB hasn’t been quite enough for Ron Rivera in recent weeks. The Commanders are fledgling on the border of the NFC wild card right now, and another loss could spell doom for them, depending on how the Lions, Packers, and Seahawks fare this weekend.
However, even with uncertainty at QB, whoever they run out there should inspire more confidence than Deshaun Watson has in recent weeks. The Browns QB is yet to eclipse the 300-yard mark in terms of passing, nor has he thrown for multiple touchdowns in a game. The Commanders defense will find a way to win this game regardless of their QB.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
- Spread: Jaguars -4.5
- Jaguars ML: -215
- Texans ML: +185
- O/U: 43 points
Frey’s Pick: Jaguars -4.5
The Jaguars have been playing excellent football as of late, and a big reason for that is the emergence of their QB Trevor Lawrence. The second-year quarterback has had an excellent stretch of games, and going back to Week 10, he’s thrown for multiple touchdowns in four of Jacksonville’s last six games. He’s also added a pair of rushing TDs to his stat line.
Meanwhile, the Texans are in the middle of a tank, but they also have been playing strong football over the past month. Most recently, they defeated the Tennessee Titans which allowed Jacksonville to take the lead in the AFC South via tiebreaker. Even still, Jacksonville has much more to play for this weekend, and they have the more talented group.
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
- Spread: Packers -3.5
- Vikings ML: +157
- Packers ML: -177
- O/U: 48 points
Frey’s Picks: Packers -3.5, O48 points
The Minnesota Vikings tempted fate once again last weekend, but they ultimately won on the leg of Greg Joseph, who nailed a 61-yard field goal as time expired in the fourth quarter. This Vikings squad has certainly had their fair share of luck this week, but it seems like they’re running into a horrible situation in Green Bay.
The Packers have rediscovered their winning ways, and they are now on a three-game winning streak. Aaron Rodgers has been far from spectacular in moments, but he’s also had one or two throws per game where he reminds us why he’s won back-to-back MVPs. Overall, this situation has me leaning Green Bay because of the Packers hot streak, Lambeau Field, and the potential for snow in the forecast.
Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals
- Spread: Pick ’em
- O/U: 49.5 poins
Frey’s Pick: Bengals to win
The Bengals have quietly been one of the NFL’s best teams for much of this season. They have multiple high-quality wins on their resume now, including wins vs. Kansas City, at Tampa Bay, and at New England in three of the past four weeks. Joe Burrow should be very much in the MVP conversation, especially given the stretch where Ja’Marr Chase spent time sidelined with a hip injury.
A victory over the Buffalo Bills is exactly what the Bengals need if they want to have the No. 1 seed throughout the AFC playoffs, and they will be extra motivated to come out and get this victory on Monday night.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.