After 16 long and grueling weeks, the NFL serves up an intriguing Sunday of football this coming weekend.
Five teams in the NFC will be looking to fill two remaining playoff berths, whilst those six sides confirmed over in the AFC will be looking to improve seedings where possible. Here’s Casino Review’s look at those games no to be missed.
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins
Bless the schedulers that have made this rivalry clash the final game of the regular season.
Dallas (8-7, 4-3 road) travels to Washington (9-6, 4-3 home) in a winner takes all matchup that will decide the NFC East champion, on Sunday Night Football.
The Redskins defeated the Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, on Thanksgiving, and will be looking to sweep the Dallas side and secure the division championship and a No. 4 berth.
Dallas has seemingly risen from the ashes of a disastrous early season to be streaking at the right time. Granted, the Cowboys fell in overtime to the Saints last weekend, but the Cowboys need only one win to advance to January play.
In theory, both sides could be headed to the postseason. If Dallas wins, Washington can still take the final Wild Card slot, but that means Minnesota, Chicago, and the Giants all need to lose too. That’s a lot of stipulations to go the way of the Redskins though.
Odds: The Redskins are favorites (-3½) at home, with the over/under still to be confirmed.
Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers / St. Louis Ram @ Seattle Seahawks
Seattle’s 42-13 smackdown of San Francisco last Sunday ensured the NFC West will be decided on the last day of the season.
San Francisco (10-4-1, 5-1-1 home) will secure the division with a win over Arizona (5-10, 1-6 road) or a Seahawks loss. Seattle (10-5, 7-0 home) will leapfrog the California side with a win over St. Louis (7-7-1, 3-3-1 road) and a Niners loss.
You’ll need to channel surf between the two, but both look like they could be offensive blowouts. Even if this doesn’t prove the case, this is still the most interesting NFC West race in years.
Odds: San Francisco is a huge favorite (-16½) over Arizona, with the total at 38½. Seattle is a big favorite (-10½) also, with the total at 46½. The question here is: will Seattle go over the total without any assistance from St. Louis?
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay (11-4, 4-3 road) can secure the No. 2 seed with a win, or a San Francisco loss. That’s not why people will be watching this one.
Adrian Peterson is 208 yards shy of the all-time record for rushing yards in a season – a record currently held by Eric Dickerson – and has an outside chance of breaking that mark this weekend. In a year that saw Calvin Johnson surpass Jerry Rice’s record for receiving yards, that would be something else.
Meanwhile, and more importantly, Minnesota (9-6, 6-1 home) can secure a Wild Card berth with a win. In a season where the Vikings were ranked 29th by bookmakers ahead of the season, that’s something altogether outstanding.
A Vikings loss opens up the possibility of Chicago, the Giants, and the loser of the Cowboys-Redskins game taking that final playoff spot.
Odds: Green Bay is three-point favorites, with the over/under at 46½.
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts
Both of these sides are locked into the AFC Playoffs but this one will have implications in terms of seeding.
Having led the AFC for the entire season, Houston (12-3, 6-1 road) finds itself holding on to the No. 1 seed by the skin of the teeth. A loss at home to Minnesota this past weekend means that the Texans are in a virtual tie with Denver, and only a game ahead of New England.
Anything less than a win opens the gate for Denver or New England to take the No. 1 seed. In fact, if the Texans lose and both their rivals win, Houston will be hosting Cincinnati in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, and the Bengals are in the sort of form that no teams wants to come up against.
Odds: The Texans are favorites (-4) on the toad, with the over/under still to be confirmed.
Week 17 Schedule
Sunday: (1 PM ET) Tampa Bay @ Atlanta | NY Jets @ Buffalo | Baltimore @ Cincinnati | Chicago @ Detroit | Houston @ Indianapolis | Carolina @ New Orleans | Philadelphia @ NY Giants | Cleveland @ Pittsburgh | Jacksonville @ Tennessee; (4:25 PM ET) Kansas City @ Denver | Green Bay @ Minnesota | Miami @ New England | Oakland @ San Diego | St. Louis @ Seattle | Arizona @ San Francisco; (8:20 PM ET) Dallas @ Washington