Patriots (9-4) at Steelers (7-5-1), 4:25 p.m. (CBS)

Spread: Patriots by 21/2

Outlook: The Patriots are still trying to nail down the AFC East title, but Pittsburgh has the more pressing need here, after three losses in a row have rendered its postseason hopes dicey. The Steelers haven’t been invincible at home, but they’ve been better there than the Patriots have been on the road (3-4). Pittsburgh also owns the vengeance edge, having lost five in a row to its hated rival. Ben Roethlisberger should put up big numbers on New England’s secondary, especially if RB James Conner (ankle) is out again. Tom Brady is 23-1 on TDs/picks vs. Pittsburgh in the Mike Tomlin era, but the Steelers lead the NFL in sacks and could make a hectic day for Brady.

Prediction: Steelers, 31-27


Vikings (6-6-1, -7 1/2) over Dolphins (7-6), 23-17: Vikings QB Kirk Cousins is 4-24 in his career vs. teams with a winning record, but this will be a lot to handle for a Miami defense likely without injured top CB Xavien Howard again.

At Falcons (4-9, -8 1/2) over Cardinals (3-10), 38-13: This is one of three games this week with neither team having a playoff prayer – and it’s the saddest, because Atlanta was supposed to be good. Well, at least Julio Jones vs. Patrick Peterson should be fun. The Falcons will take out their frustrations.

At Bills (4-9, -2 1/2) over Lions (5-8), 21-16: Temps in the single-digits should be a clear edge for Buffalo on the home tundra. Injuries have ruined what Matthew Stafford used to have to work with, and the Bills, with dual-threat Josh Allen and a decent defense, are better than their record.

At Bears (9-4, -6) over Packers (5-7-1), 28-14: Green Bay is 0-6 on the road this year. The Bears are 6-1 at Soldier Field. The Packers have owned the Bears for a long time, including 21 wins in the last 25 games in Chicago. Expect a huge times-have-changed statement game by Chicago, especially its defense.

At Bengals (5-8, -2 1/2) over Raiders (3-10), 34-30: Two awful defenses make for what could be the most uninteresting shootout in history. Oakland is 1-5 on the road and 5-23 in its last 28 trips this far east.

At Colts (7-6, -3) over Cowboys (8-5), 27-23: Quality matchup with two hot teams and with playoff-race heft, as the Cowboys try to clinch the NFC East while Indianapolis fights for an AFC wild-card berth. Dallas is much better at home than away, and I like Andrew Luck against the Cowboys secondary. Indy also presents a stout run-D to slow Ezekiel Elliott.

Titans (7-6, +1 1/2 over Giants (5-8), 23-20: Both teams have won two in a row. Will the venue neutralize the Titans being better all-round? Ultimately, I’m rolling the dice on Tennessee’s top-five defense limiting Saquon Barkley.

At Jaguars (4-9, -7 1/2) over Washington (6-7), 23-16: Swooning Washington has lost four straight and is down to fourth-string QB Josh Johnson, making his first start since 2011. But Washington could keep it close, given the Jaguars’ struggles and the way they tackled (or didn’t) last week.

At Ravens (7-6, -7 1/2) over Buccaneers (5-8), 27-17: Baltimore is sticking with Lamar Jackson at QB even though Joe Flacco is healthy. More pertinently, the Ravens win with defense. The Bucs are tempting getting this many points, but they’re 1-12 outright in their last 13 as road underdogs.

Seahawks (8-5, -4) over 49ers (3-10), 24-13: Seattle sits pretty for an NFC wild-card spot but is coming off a short week. Still, after the Seahawks clubbed the 49ers 43-16 just a few weeks ago, the bet-line seems modest. Seattle clinches a playoff berth with win and has beaten San Francisco 10 times in a row.

At Rams (11-2, -11) over Eagles (6-7), 27-20: The Rams can clinch a first-round bye with a win and a Bears loss. The betting line rose crazy-high in part because it looks like Nick Foles will start for Carson Wentz (back issues). But Foles is capable, and the Eagles bring that wounded-pride thing as humbled reigning champs.

Saints (11-2, -6 1/2) over Panthers (6-7), 24-20: The Saints can clinch a first-round bye with a win and a Bears loss, and they’re 6-1 on the road. The Panthers are desperate, though, and are 5-1 at home. Carolina won’t outscore Drew Brees but will keep it inside the bet-line.

Last week: 12-4 overall, 8-8 vs. spread

Overall: 143-63-2, 117-84-7

– By Greg Cote, Miami Herald