PFT’s NFL Week 17 2020 picks

Philadelphia Eagles v Arizona Cardinals
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MDS has clinched one season-long competition, and I’ve cliched the other.

As a result, he would say straight up is better, and I would say against the spread is better.

Last week, I had a 9-7 record straight up, and MDS was 8-8. For the year, he’s at 154-88, and I’m at 150-92. He’s up by four games, we disagree on only two games this week, and so (math whiz alert) I can’t catch him.

Against the spread, I went 6-9-1 and MDS was 4-11-1. For the year, I’m at 111-120-9 and he’s at 96-135-9.

All picks for the final week of the 2020 regular season appear below.

Dolphins (+3) at Bills

MDS’s take: The Dolphins have more to play for than the Bills, and in Week 17, that makes a big difference. I’ll pick Miami.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 20, Bills 13.

Florio’s take: Without knowing whether the Bills will play to win, it’s impossible to pick this one with any certainty. I’ll guess that the Bills try to maintain their momentum, and in the process to knock a division rival out of the playoffs.

Florio’s pick: Bills 27, Dolphins 23.

Ravens (-13) at Bengals

MDS’s take: The Ravens are peaking at the right time, and they’ll beat a Bengals team that has looked better in recent weeks.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 34, Bengals 20.

Florio’s take: Three years after the Bengals kept the Ravens out of the playoffs with a Week 17 upset, it won’t be happening again.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 34, Bengals 20.

Steelers (+9) at Browns

MDS’s take: The Steelers are resting their starters and handing the Browns a playoff berth.

MDS’s pick: Browns 27, Steelers 20.

Florio’s take: COVID-19 is wreaking potential havoc on this one for the Browns, but with Pittsburgh resting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and other starters, if the Browns can’t win this one with a playoff berth on the line, they don’t deserve to play in the postseason. Ever.

Florio’s pick: Browns 24, Steelers 20.

Vikings (-7) at Lions

MDS’s take: The Lions look like they’ve totally quit on the season. The Vikings win a meaningless game.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 31, Lions 14.

Florio’s take: Neither team should want to win this game, since winning means a lower draft pick. The Vikings are more in need of an ego boost heading into the postseason, if only to make the inevitable 2021 hot seats a little less toasty.

Florio’s pick: Vikings 27, Lions 17.

Jets (+3) at Patriots

MDS’s take: Can the Jets finish 3-13 after starting 0-13? I think they can.

MDS’s pick: Jets 24, Patriots 21.

Florio’s take: The biggest indictment of New England’s 2020 season? They’re only favored by three points to beat the lowly Jets.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 23, Jets 16.

Cowboys (-2.5) at Giants

MDS’s take: The winner of this one will be a very interested viewer of Sunday Night Football. I like the Cowboys, who are playing better recently with Andy Dalton rounding into form.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 24, Giants 17.

Florio’s take: If Dallas had played all year the way it’s been playing recently, it would have clinched the division on Thanksgiving Day.

Florio’s pick: Cowboys 27, Giants 20.

Falcons (+7) at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: The Buccaneers are playing for the NFC No. 5 seed and the right to play the NFC East winner in the first round of the playoffs, and that will motivate them to win big.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 30, Falcons 17.

Florio’s take: The Bucs are going for the win, because the win delivers a playoff game against the NFC East champion.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 34, Falcons 20.

Packers (-5.5) at Bears

MDS’s take: The Bears have made a dramatic improvement since going back to Mitchell Trubisky, but it may be too little, too late, as they’re going to fall just short against a Packers team that is fighting for home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

MDS’s pick: Packers 34, Bears 27.

Florio’s take: The Bears have improved significantly, but they’re not ready to beat a Packers team that has the No. 1 seed within its grasp.

Florio’s pick: Packers 30, Bears 23.

Raiders (-2.5) at Broncos

MDS’s take: Jon Gruden will win a meaningless game to wrap up his disappointing third year at the helm.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 23, Broncos 17.

Florio’s take: A coach who’s currently untouchable faces a G.M. who’s currently untouchable. The game could be unwatchable.

Florio’s pick: Raiders 24, Broncos 17.

Jaguars (+14) at Colts

MDS’s take: The Colts will cruise against a Jaguars team that has clinched the first pick in the draft.

MDS’s pick: Colts 27, Jaguars 17.

Florio’s take: Colts players won’t be aware of the scores of other games. Jaguars players would prefer to not be aware of the score of their game.

Florio’s pick: Colts 31, Jaguars 14.

Chargers (-3.5) at Chiefs

MDS’s take: The Chiefs are resting their starters, and Justin Herbert will get his 2021 started right.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 24, Chiefs 14.

Florio’s take: No Patrick Mahomes opens the door for Anthony Lynn to make a solid closing argument for returning in 2021. It could be too late.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 27, Chiefs 23.

Cardinals (-3) at Rams

MDS’s take: The Rams won’t have Jared Goff, so it’s hard to know what to expect, but I have a hunch the Rams are going to take it.

MDS’s pick: Rams 24, Cardinals 23.

Florio’s take: Sean McVay’s genius as a coach will help John Wolford play well enough to make people ask, Who’s the idiot who paid Jared Goff?

Florio’s pick: Rams 27, Cardinals 20.

Seahawks (-6.5) at 49ers

MDS’s take: The Seahawks still have a chance at home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, and they’ll take care of their end.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 24, 49ers 14.

Florio’s take: The 49ers aren’t close to what they were when these two teams met to cap the 2019 season. The Seahawks are as good as they were, if not better.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 31, 49ers 20.

Saints (-6.5) at Panthers

MDS’s take: The Saints still have a chance at home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, and they’ll take care of their end.

MDS’s pick: Saints 28, Panthers 17.

Florio’s take: The top seed remains a possibility, enough of one to get the Saints to go all out in an effort to capture it.

Florio’s pick: Saints 31, Panthers 17.

Titans (-7.5) at Texans

MDS’s take: The Titans shouldn’t have much trouble against a Texans team that is going nowhere.

MDS’s pick: Titans 30, Texans 13.

Florio’s take: Tennessee won’t blow its chance to get to the playoffs and potentially disrupt the field, like it did a year ago.

Florio’s pick: Titans 34, Texans 21.

Washington (-2) at Eagles

MDS’s take: Washington wraps up a wacky season in the NFC East by winning the division in the last game of the regular season.

MDS’s pick: Washington 20, Eagles 17.

Florio’s take: It’s win and in for Washington, but Washington is too banged up — and Eagles, who have absolutely nothing to lose, will be loose and dangerous.

Florio’s pick: Eagles 24, Washington 21.

23 responses to “PFT’s NFL Week 17 2020 picks

  1. I’m not sure how anyone could think the Bills losing their winning streak momentum and being a doormat en route to a bitter division rival’s playoff berth is in any way acceptable to the team or the fans they feed off of. No one who has seen the heart this team competes with thinks they have “less to play for” than the Dolphins. “Let’s do this for Buffalo!” is what Jerry Hughes yelled triumphantly after his scoop and score touchdown. Buffalo. The same fan base who donated over one million dollars in the name of Josh Allen’s late grandmother. Yeah. This team is not rolling over for the Dolphins, so nip that storyline right there

  2. Jets 24 Patriots 13 I’ve never seen an offense this bad from me first watching in 1997 as a 5 year old until now.

    Lock of the week Ravens over Bengals 31 to 3 I’d love to see the Ravens lose but it’s not happening.

    Upset of the week Fins over Bills 20 to 17 I think the Fins force a couple of turnovers to get themselves into the playoffs.

  3. Packers-Bears games always rough and tumble. Both teams have something to play for. I would not write off the Bears so easily. This one will be a bruiser at Soldier Field.

  4. Bucs over Falcons – the Bucs are starting to figure things out at the right time while the Falcons have nothing to play for… Nope! not even pride after all those game they lost with double digit leads…

    Saints over Panthers – at this point it would not surprise me if the Saints beat the Panthers with their 2nd string players!

  5. I will tell u this Bills fans enjoy this year same as Jacksonville was a few years ago u better get it this year because u r heading to cap hell next year If Allen is the real deal he will have to get paid bye bye other pieces on the team They will be in the same boat as Kc as soon as Mahommes contract kicks in

  6. tyelee says:
    January 1, 2021 at 10:57 am
    Bucs over Falcons – the Bucs are starting to figure things out at the right time while the Falcons have nothing to play for… Nope! not even pride after all those game they lost with double digit leads…
    Yet, just two weeks ago the Bucs had to come from behind to beat the Falcons. I’m glad they are “figuring things out” this late in the season against the Falcons.

  7. Tua recently said that he’s never played in snow. He added that he saw snow once while in Alabama which is to say he saw some flakes in the air.

    Absolutely no way the Bills are losing this game. All they’ll need is a field goal because Tua ain’t scoring!

  8. Washington is a different team with Alex Smith playing! Something you doubters are about to find out!

  9. It would be a punk move for Buffalo to do anything other than keep steamrolling teams. Keep that momentum. Trying to scheme a way into playing a lesser opponent is not how to win playoff football. To be the best you’ve got to beat the best. Being a HUGE BUFFALO fan….send the Ravens.

  10. The Cards have beat the Niners ten out of the last fourteen match-ups.
    Make that eleven out of fifteen come Sunday.


    INDY 38-24

    TENN 30-22

    BALT 43-16

    BUFF 24-23

    CLEV 20-16

    DALL 23-17

    GB 27-19

    PHI 23-20

    TB 26-22

    CAR 28-18

    LA 27-20

    SF 20-16

  12. You have to believe the NFL wants to control the narrative now more than ever. Unfortunately politics has found a way into the NFL. I can see the NFL wanting to distance themselves from Washington as there is a ton of bad press already out there & more to come. Add in that ratings have to pick up the slack for the lack of ticket revenue then the NFL needs a Texas team. Enter Dallas. Tampa will advance deep. Brady moves the needle & the SuperBowl is in Tampa so the NFL can hype that endlessly also setting up Rodgers v Brady. Baltimore will find their way in as Lamar Jackson is one of the faces of the NFL & last season’s MVP. The NFL should also want the LA market involved so that market takes precedent over future star Murray. Henry is a huge star in the league & he will be wanted to advance deep into the tournament. Brees will get one last shot so the league can have one more elite QB duel on the slate. Finally Buffalo WINS IT ALL.

  13. People who are counting out the Buccaneers right now at this point in the season are delusional. The Packers just lost their All-Pro starting left tackle, Drew Brees is playing even worse due to his ribs injury, they allowed the Vikings of all teams to score like 33 points against them in their own dome, there is no homefield advantage in the playoffs this season, and let’s not pretend and act like the Bucs haven’t already beaten the Packers 38-10 earlier in the season. Brady is calling his plays now. All of their talent will be utilized in the playoffs.

  14. Qoute from Florio: “For the year, I’m at 111-120-9 and he’s at 96-135-9.”
    Guys — don’t quit your day jobs to become gamblers, okay?
    For the record, though, I agree with most of your picks this week. In the games where you disagree, I like the Eagles over the Washingtonskins, the Bills over the Dolphins, and the Jets over the Patriots.
    My reasons: Doug Pedersen is on the hot seat and doesn’t want to lose another game to a division rival, the Dolphins won’t play well in the cold weather at the Bills, and everyone on the Jets is playing for his job next year, so they’ll be fired up and ready to go. Besides, the Patriots want a higher draft slot because they have so many holes to fill.

  15. For the Bills, to win or not to win. Everyone is saying that there is no way the Bills are losing. But isn’t it true that with the Steelers resting there starters that its likely the Browns win and are in the playoffs. The Ravens should easily win and they are in the playoffs. So if the Bills win then the Colts are in the playoffs and if they lose then the Dolphins are in the playoffs. So as a Bills team would you rather face the Dolphins in the playoffs or face the Colts in the playoffs?.

  16. Bills fans sure are excited and I can’t blame them as a Miami fan living in upstate NY ive seen many many buffalo seasons end poorly. Allen is the real deal and the Diggs trade is paying off better than any other this season by a long shot. Flores is coach of the year and it shouldnt be close considering how this roster looked a year ago. Buffalo will be a nice way to measure where Miami is right now if they play their starters but both franchises are on the up and up

  17. Both of your experience picking vs the spread confirms that sports betting is a fool’s errand. Like shaking hands with a nasty pickpocket.

  18. Bills, Ravens, Browns, Vikings, Jets, Cowboys, Falcons, Packers, Raiders, Colts, Chiefs, Cardinals, Seahawks, Saints, Titans and Football Team.

  19. *NFL players do not tank. Let’s end that discussion right now.*

    No, but NFL teams/FOs do. Witness PHL ruling out NINE starters (only some of whom are actually injured) vs. WFT.

  20. The Bears will put up a fight with a playoff spot on the line, but Aaron Rodgers will overpower them. Packers 31 Bears 24.

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