NFL Week 17 Tips: Back Ravens to take top spot

Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson can add to his MVP credentials with a big win

Paul Higham has his Week 17 NFL preview on the penultimate round of the NFL season with play-off spots on the line.

Just a couple more weeks of the season left and there's still plenty to be decided in the NFL in terms of playoff places and divisional titles.

There's a huge Week 17 match-up in the AFC as the Ravens face the Dolphins, while the Chiefs, Seahawks and Buccaneers can all punch their tickets to the big dance with wins on Sunday.

So let's take a look at the big games and best bets for Week 17 in the NFL.

NFL Week 17 Schedule

Miami Dolphins (11-4) @ Baltimore Ravens (12-3)

Match Odds: 11/82.38 | 8/131.61
Points Spread: Ravens -3.5
Total Over/Under: 46.5

Miami's top-ranked attack take on Baltimore's top-ranked defence with the Ravens able to clinch the AFC top seed and crucial home advantage in the playoffs with a win.

The Dolphins can trouble anyone with Raheem Moster running in touchdowns for fun, but Jaylen Waddle is out and Tyreek Hill may not be 100% - and with Baltimore looking to be the best team in the league right now they physically could dominate.

Lamar Jackson will have to make plenty of plays, but while Miami's win over Dallas last week was their first against a team with a winning record this season, the Ravens are 6-1 against teams currently in the playoffs - with their wins being pretty emphatic.

Back Lamar Jackson TD & Ravens to beat Dolphins @ 23/103.30

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Cincinnati Bengals (8-7) @ Kansas City Chiefs (9-6)

Match Odds: 9/43.25 | 4/111.36
Points Spread: Chiefs -6.5
Total Over/Under: 43.5

These two have met four times in the last two seasons both regular season games and both AFC Championship match-ups being decided by three points each time.

Even if Ja'Marr Chase plays he may be slowed but even so, given how Patrick Mahomes has struggled to find anyone to consistently catch the ball beyond Travis Kelce, it's a pretty high spread for KC to cover.

Cincy will look to keep Kelce out of the game so rookie Rashee Rice, who has become a more trusted Mahomes weapon of late, will have to step up again.

Back Rice anytime TD & Chiefs win @ 15/82.88

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San Francisco 49s (11-4) @ Washington Commanders (4-11)

Match Odds: 1/91.11 | 6/17.00
Points Spread: Niners -14
Total Over/Under: 49.5

They took a big smack in the mouth last week, but the 49ers can still get the top seed in the NFC and altough making a long trip across the USA, the Commanders look a juicy match-up for a bounceback.

Washington's defence is 23rd in rushing yards allowed and 27th in yards allowed to running backs - which gives Christian McCaffrey the chance to have a huge day and press his MVP claims.

The hosts are also the second-worst defence for receiving yards and TDs so even though it's a huge spread the visitors will have every chance to cover.

McCaffrey to score 2+ touchdowns @ 13/102.30

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New England Patriots (4-11) @ Buffalo Bills (9-6)

Match Odds: 6/17.00 | 1/91.11
Points Spread: Bills -14
Total Over/Under: 40.5

Bill Belichick has never lost 12 games in a season as a head coach, but you'd be a brave man to bet against this being the year with Josh Allen's Bills producing a withering late run for the play-offs.

The Pats are more than decent in the red zone on defence so Allen will have to work to get the job done - most likely invovlving yet another trip to the end zone.

Back Allen anytime TD & Bills win @ 11/102.11

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Arizona Cardinals (3-12) @ Philadelphia Eagles (11-4)

Match Odds: 9/25.50 | 1/61.17
Points Spread: Eagles -11.5
Total Over/Under: 48

The Eagles can still snatch top spot in the NFC but they'll need to be more convincing against a Cardinals side who have a free swing and a QB in Kyler Murray that could cause them issues.

Neither defence has been able to stop teams scoring points on them so it should be high scoring, but with Philly's pass rush being so good Murray will be on the run and chewing up yards - and maybe even a score.

Back Kyler Murray anytime touchdown @ 11/43.75

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Detroit Lions (11-4) @ Dallas Cowboys (10-5)

Match Odds: 15/82.88 | 9/10
Points Spread: Cowboys -4.5
Total Over/Under: 52.5

Detroit and Dallas both still have a shot at the NFC top spot when they play on Saturday night,and after dropping two straight the Cowboys need to continue their 100% home record to boost their confidence.

Lions games are 10-5 for going over the points total, and they'll need to win a shootout here as their pass defence won't be able to cope with receivers Ceedee Lamb and Brandin Cooks.

There's star power on both teams, but that Lions defence, especially against the run, stands out as the weak link in proceedings - so expect Dallas to extend their 15-game winning streak at home.

Back Cowboys to win by 1-13pts @ 5/42.25

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New York Jets (6-9) @ Cleveland Browns (10-5)

Match Odds: 27/103.70 | 3/101.30
Points Spread: Browns -7.5
Total Over/Under: 34.5

The Jets finally got a win on Sunday, but the Browns have rattled off three of them on the spin with Joe Flacco and can book their play-off place with a win on Thursday Night Football.

Amari Cooper had a record 265-yard receiving day on Sunday (and it could've been more!) so if he misses out that will be a big blow, but Flacco looks like he could cope.

Flacco has thrown a few picks but will keep on slinging it - and I don't think the Jets will have enough to keep up.

Back Flacco 2+ passing TDs @ 11/82.38

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