NFL Predictions Week 17: Will the Eagles earn a playoff spot?

With the NFL regular season entering the final week,  most of the playoff spots are locked up, but there are some important match ups on the schedule. Will the Eagles return to the playoffs or will the Vikings earn the final NFC playoff spot.  Those games and a few others are featured.  Happy new year to all!

Philadelphia Eagles versus Washington Redskins

The Eagles have taken down the Rams and Texans the past two weeks behind Nick Foles and are in position for a return to the playoffs, but need some help. They enter the game against the Redskins as 6.5 point favorites and won the first meeting between the teams this season at home, 28-13. Philadelphia holds a +16 to +14 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “dead” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Washington is the more stable team, meaning they win and lose more consistently according to their favorite/underdog status. The Redskins have nothing to play for and the Eagles have been on a roll. It would be surprising if the Eagles don’t come out of Washington with a victory and cover the spread.

Los Angeles Chargers versus Denver Broncos

The Chargers come in with a shot at number one seed in the AFC. They are 6.5 road favorites against the Broncos, who lost to the Raiders on Monday night.  Denver won the last meeting by one point as a road underdog, but the Chargers have a +30 to +15 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator. Both teams are trending in the middle ground at “average” to “average down”, respectively. Denver is the more stable team according to the Team Volatility Oscillator at +4 to +1. It’s unlikely that the Chargers lose this game with so much riding on it. I go with Los Angeles to win and cover.

Chicago Bears versus Minnesota Vikings

The Bears can earn number two seed with a win and Rams loss to the 49ers, while the Vikings wrap up number six seed with a win. Minnesota comes in a 5 point favorite and a 56 percent chance to win, according to our VIP Picks section. Chicago won last meeting by five points as home favorite. What could be the deciding factor is how well the 49ers stay with the Rams. The closer that game, the more likely the Bears keep their starters in, battling for that number two spot. The Bears have a +30 to +17 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator, while both teams are “burning hot”. Going with a hunch on this one, the Bears will maintain focus throughout and their defense takes over. Chicago will win outright.

Jacksonville Jaguars versus Houston Texans

The Texans look to get back on the winning track heading into the playoffs, while the Jaguars can either go out on a high note or pack it in. Houston is a full touchdown and extra point favorite. The Texans won the first meeting as a road underdog on October 21 and this time have a 74 percent chance of victory. There is little to suggest the Jaguars have much of a chance, down +29 to +1 on the Power Ranking Indicator.  Houston is the more stable team as well. Houston should win this one with little difficulty, likely winning by double digits.

Cleveland Browns versus Baltimore Ravens

The Browns have been eliminated from playoff contention but the Ravens can still win the AFC North. Cleveland won the first meeting as a home underdog by the score of 12- 9 and come in 6 point road underdogs in this one. Both teams are “burning hot” on the Power Ranking Indicator, while the Ravens have the narrowest +20 to +18 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. Baltimore is given a 68 percent chance of winning and I am leaning that way as well. However, there is a lot of fight in this young Cleveland team, so I pick the Browns to cover the spread.

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