Jets (4-11) at Patriots (10-5), 1 p.m. Sunday (CBS)

Spread: Patriots by 131/2

Outlook: The Patriots aren’t coasting here. A win secures the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. Did I mention that New England is 7-0 at home this year and that the Jets have L-O-S-T seven straight in Foxborough?

Prediction: Patriots 30-13


Colts (9-6) at Titans (9-6),

8:20 p.m. Sunday (NBC)

Spread: Colts by 3-1/2

Outlook: It’s the 256th and last game of the regular season and a winner-take-all. The winner makes the playoffs and the loser does not. Simple. The Colts have been really good in clawing back from a 1-5 start; they crushed Tennessee 38-10 in November, and Andrew Luck is 10-0 all-time against Tennessee. Also, the Titans could be without QB Marcus Mariota, though he claimed to be “optimistic” he’d start. But! The Titans have won four straight and are 6-1 at home.

Prediction: Titans 23-21


At Bills (5-10, -31/2) over Dolphins (7-8), 20-17: Miami sags in with two straight losses and Buffalo with four in the past five games. Weather in the 30s will provide a fitting tableau for a game both teams would as soon not be playing. Make it Bills here in a venue call.

 At Packers (6-8-1, -71/2) over Lions (5-10), 24-20: Who’d have imagined Aaron Rodgers would be in one of only three Week 17 games in which both teams were out of the playoff hunt? The indignity! Rodgers still knows how to win at Lambeau, although the Lions have won three straight in the series and will keep it inside the bet-line.

 At Saints (13-2, -81/2) over Panthers (6-9), 28-10: New Orleans has locked up the No. 1 NFC seed and so has the luxury to rest its top guys. That throws a major wrench into this pick. But here’s the thing: Give me Saints backup QB Teddy Bridgewater over Carolina third-stringer Kyle Allen in his first pro start.

 At Giants (5-10, -6) over Cowboys (9-6), 23-20: Your eyes aren’t playing tricks. New York is a big favorite. It’s because Dallas is locked into its playoff seed, and so Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott and other frontliners might hardly play. I still like the Cowboys getting almost a touchdown.

 At Buccaneers (5-10, -1) over Falcons (6-9), 37-31: A near pick-’em matchup is our last of three games with both teams out of the playoff race. The Falcons have won four straight in the series so let’s roll with the law of averages and home field.

 At Texans (10-5, -61/2) over Jaguars (5-10), 27-10: Houston clinches the division title with a win, so the Texans should be bringing their A-effort. They also bring a defense that will trouble Blake Bortles and Leonard Fournette. Jacksonville is 2-13 in its past 15 division road games.

 Chargers (11-4, -61/2) over At Broncos (6-9), 23-18: L.A. needs a win here – and a prayer-come-true Chiefs loss to Oakland – to snatch the No. 1 AFC seed. The Chargers should do their part, at least. I like L.A.’s defense vs. Case Keenum, but Denver keeps it close.

 At Chiefs (11-4, -131/2) over Raiders (4-11), 41-16: Huge imperative here for KC, which clinches the No. 1 seed with a win but could tumble all way to No. 5 with a loss. Expect the full attention of Patrick Mahomes and an MVP-clinching showing vs. a porous Oakland pass defense.

 At Rams (12-3, -10) over 49ers (4-11), 31-13: The Rams aren’t coasting, either; a win here secures the No. 2 seed. Todd Gurley (knee) is iffy, but L.A. might not require him. The Niners are 0-7 on the road and 1-11 in their past 12 on the road vs. teams with a winning record.

 At Vikings (8-6-1, -41/2) over Bears (11-4), 20-17: Chicago is realistically locked into No. 3 seed while everything is in play for Minnesota. The Vikings clinch the last NFC seed with a win, or must hope for an Eagles loss at Washington. Need-factor and venue tip pick to Minnesota.

At Steelers (8-6-1, -141/2) over Bengals (6-9), 27-16: Pittsburgh’s Sunday theme song: the Beatles’ “Help!” To sneak into the playoffs the Steelers must win and hope either the Browns beat the Ravens or Colts-Titans ends tied.

At Seahawks (9-6, -131/2) over Cardinals (3-12), 30-0: Arizona brings no answers on offense for a stout ‘Hawks defense in a tough venue. And Seattle’s effective ground game will tear apart the Cardinals’ weak run defense. The Seahawks need a win to assure themselves the No. 5 seed.

 Eagles (8-7, -61/2) At Washington (7-8), 27-23: Philly, the defending Super Bowl champ, needs help. To make the playoffs the Eagles must win here and hope the Vikings lose to the Bears (a decent shot). The Eagles are the much better team the past five weeks, but I expect their rival to bring enough spoiler desire to keep it inside the spread.

 At Ravens (9-6, -61/2) over Browns (7-7-1), 24-16: Cleveland has catapulted to respectability, especially since jettisoning Hue Jackson, but don’t get carried away. The Browns are not on Baltimore’s level. A win assures the Ravens their first division title since 2012 and ends a three-year playoff drought.

Last week: 15-1 overall, 9-7 vs. spread

Season: 169-69-2, 137-96-7


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.