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Vegas Vic is taking the Cowboys over the Eagles in his Week 17 picks

Looking at stats and trends for every NFL game in Week 17, and noting which of them have playoff implications and which do not. Pssst … take the Redskins.

Running back Wendell Smallwood figures to see more action on Sunday than he’s had in months. YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Running back Wendell Smallwood figures to see more action on Sunday than he’s had in months. YONG KIM / Staff PhotographerRead moreYong Kim / Staff

The last full week is never an easy one with so many teams sitting their stars. Vegas Vic and our staff offer their selections for Week 17. Remember, there's no Sunday night game.

Home teams in CAPS.


Cowboys (-2.5) EAGLES (O/U: 39.5), 1 p.m. (Fox29)

Playoff implications: None.

Quick hits: Don't tell Ezekiel Elliott this is a meaningless game. He needs 120 yards for 1,000 and his 97.9 yards per game will lead the league … Ditto for the Eagles offense, which struggled to move the ball for most of last week's win against a Raiders defense that entered the game 21st in total defense and 27th in third-down defense.

Cowboys straight up: 8-7. Cowboys vs. spread: 7-7-1

Eagles straight up: 13-2. Eagles vs. spread: 10-5

Vegas Vic's take: So my story from last Sunday — as most Sundays — was a sweat. Had the Birds at minus-3 in a tease and when Jake Elliott kicked the field goal to go up, 13-10, I was dancing. Also had a taste at minus-9 and minus-10. So, obviously, when Derek Barnett returned the fumble to go up, 19-10, I turn into Ric Flair with a big fat "Wooooooooo!" After the pending extra point, I win the -9, and push the -10. What a Christmas gift! Then my stomach starts to churn when I see a kneel-down instead of the XP attempt. What? Welcome to my life. As for the season finale that means absolutely nothing, which way do you turn? Nobody has any idea how long the starters will play. So, for the first time all season — some would say it's a weekly occurrence — I have no idea which way to turn. With a lump in my throat, we'll call for Dallas to squeeze out a 27-20 win.

RAVENS (-9.5) Bengals (O/U: 40.5), 4:25 p.m. (CBS3)

Playoff implications: Baltimore gets in with a win.

Quick hit: The unders have hit in each of the last four games in this series. The average combined point total in that span is 32.5 per game. Baltimore won at Cincinnati, 20-0, in Week 1.

Bengals straight up: 6-9. Bengals vs. spread: 8-7

Ravens straight up: 9-6. Ravens vs. spread: 8-6-1

Vegas Vic's take: This is as simple as it gets. Win and you're in. Easy peezy. And Baltimore will win. The only question is by how many. Thinking double digits for sure. Since the bye week, the Ravens have won five of six, with the only loss a one-point heartbreak (39-38 at Pittsburgh). Cincy gave soon-to-be-ex coach Marvin Lewis his Christmas gift last week, a 26-17 victory over the Lions, but in this spot, there ain't anything left in the tank.

LIONS (-6.5) Packers (O/U: 43), 1 p.m.

Playoff implications: None.

Quick hit: Detroit's Matthew Stafford has passed for more than 4,000 yards in each of the last seven years. For perspective, no Eagle has ever hit 4,000. Carson Wentz (3,296) had a chance this year before missing the last two-plus games.

Packers straight up: 7-8. Packers vs. spread: 7-8

Lions straight up: 8-7. Lions vs. spread: 7-7-1

Vegas Vic's take: If there's one guy Matthew Stafford can beat, it's Green Bay backup QB Brett Hundley.

Bills (-2.5) DOLPHINS (O/U: 42.5), 4:25 p.m.

Playoff implications: Buffalo gets in with a win and a loss by Baltimore, or a win and losses by the L.A. Chargers AND Tennessee.

Quick hit: The last five games in this series have gone over, though the meeting two weeks ago needed a Dolphins field goal in the final minute to get it done as Buffalo won, 24-16. … Game-time temperature in Buffalo two weeks ago was 22. It's supposed to be 77 and sunny on Sunday in Miami.

Bills straight up: 8-7. Bills vs. spread: 7-6-2

Dolphins straight up: 6-9. Dolphins vs. spread: 5-8-2

Vegas Vic's take: Took a shot with Buffalo last week and came up way, way short against the Patriots (37-16). Most teams come up short against the Brady Bunch, and if you go back over the last five weeks, the only Buff losses were to New England. Nothing to be embarrassed about. Even though the Bills are a real longshot for a wild-card spot, they can turn out a winning season for first year head coach (and Philly guy) Sean McDermott. Circle the wagons, baby!

FALCONS (-3.5) Panthers (O/U: 44.5), 4:25 p.m. (Fox29)

Playoff implications: Atlanta is in with a win or a Seattle loss. … Carolina wins the NFC South with a win and a loss by New Orleans.

Quick hit: Five of the NFC's six playoff teams this year did not make the postseason in 2016. Whoever gets the final spot — Atlanta or Seattle — will be the only exception.

Panthers straight up: 11-4. Panthers vs. spread: 9-5-1

Falcons straight up: 9-6. Falcons vs. spread: 6-9

Vegas Vic's take: Atlanta has closed its last two seasons with a gorgeous 9-2 record. Southern Birds are a small buy.

Saints (-7) BUCCANEERS (O/U: 50.5), 4:25 p.m.

Playoff implications: New Orleans will win the NFC South with a win OR a Carolina loss.

Quick hit: Drew Brees is on pace to set the record for highest completion percentage in a season. He's at 71.9, slightly ahead of the 71.6 percent Sam Bradford posted last season to set the record — which had been 71.2 percent set by Brees in 2011.

Saints straight up: 11-4. Saints vs. spread: 9-6

Buccaneers straight up: 4-11. Buccaneers vs. spread: 5-9-1

Vegas Vic's take: New Orleans has not won at Tampa by more than seven points in seven years. Let's make it eight.

TITANS (-3.5) Jaguars (O/U: 41.5), 4:25 p.m.

Playoff implications: Tennessee gets in with a win OR losses by both Buffalo and the L.A. Chargers. … Jacksonville is locked into the No. 3 seed.

Quick hit: You think Eagles fans have anxiety about their playoff-bound team? The Jags last week lost at San Fran, 44-33, in a game in which they committed a season-worst 12 penalties and quarterback Blake Bortles threw a season-high three interceptions (one wasn't his fault).

Jaguars straight up: 10-5. Jaguars vs. spread: 9-6

Titans straight up: 8-7. Titans vs. spread: 7-7-1

Vegas Vic's take: Jax has a better defense, is a better team, and has covered 12 of the last 18 on the road.

PATRIOTS (-15) Jets (O/U: 44.5), 1 p.m.

Playoff implications: New England will clinch the AFC's No. 1 seed with a win OR a loss by Pittsburgh.

Quick hit: The Jets are 7-1-1 against the spread in their last nine games against New England. The lone loss was a 41-3 disaster up in Foxborough last season when Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes for the Patriots.

Jets straight up: 5-10. Jets vs. spread: 8-5-2

Patriots striaght up: 12-3. Patriots vs. spread: 10-5

Vegas Vic's take: How do you go against a team that has won 20 of its last 23 and has covered 8 of the last 9? You don't. Gimme New England.

COLTS (-4) Texans (O/U: 40.5), 1 p.m.

Playoff implications: You're kidding, right? These teams are a combined 7-23.

Quick hit: Jacoby Brissett likely will be the first Indianapolis quarterback to lead the league in times sacked since Jeff George in 1991. Brissett has been dropped 51 times. Matthew Stafford is next at 45.

Texans straight up: 4-11. Texans vs. spread: 7-8

Colts straight up: 3-12. Colts vs. spread: 7-8

Vegas Vic's take: Maybe the ugliest game on the card, but the Horseshoes at home deserve a tickle. Very light tickle.

STEELERS (-10.5) Browns (O/U: 37.5), 1 p.m. (CBS3)

Playoff implications: Pittsburgh will clinch the AFC's No. 1 seed with a win AND a loss by New England.

Quick hit: Le'Veon Bell's apparent benching means he will have no shot at the rushing title. He's currently third with 1,291 yards behind Todd Gurley (1,305) and Kareem Hunt (1,292) — and Gurley's not playing this week, either. Incidentally, the last Steeler to lead the league in rushing was Bill Dudley in 1946. Dudley, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, also led the league in interceptions that year with 10. Now that's a fantasy stud.

Browns straight up: 0-15. Browns vs. spread: 3-12

Steelers straight up: 12-3. Steelers vs. spread: 7-8

Vegas Vic's take: No Big Ben and no Le'Veon Bell. And an 0-16 parade coming in Cleveland. What a great country!

Redskins (-3) GIANTS (O/U: 39.5), 1 p.m.

Playoff implications: None.

Quick hit: Five of the Giants' last six games have been under. The exception was Week 15 against the Eagles when New York lost, 34-29, which went well over 40.5.

Redskins straight up: 7-8. Redskins vs. spread: 7-8

Giants straight up: 2-13. Giants vs. spread: 6-9

Vegas Vic's take: We are a little bit geeked about the visitors in this spot. Even though this might be the last home game for Eli Manning, his last game with the blue NY helmet, Washington is playing for some serious revenge. If you remember last season's finale, the New Yorkers went down to D.C. and posted a 19-10 upset as a 9.5-point underdog. All that did was knock Washington out of the playoffs. Ouch! And if you want more ouch, the NYG will basically not have a secondary. S Landon Collins is gone, CB Janoris Jenkins is gone, and CB Eli Apple has been suspended. We're expecting Kirk Cousins to have a monster game for all you fantasy geeks — and for us who are on the Redskins.

VIKINGS (-12) Bears (O/U: 39.5), 1 p.m.

Playoff implications: Minnesota could still miss out on the No. 2 seed, but it would take losses by the Vikings, New Orleans and the L.A. Rams AND a win by Carolina.

Quick hit:'s odds to win the NFC went up Tuesday. Minnesota (9-4 odds) is the chalk, followed by the Eagles (13-4), New Orleans (9-2) and the Rams (5-1). New England is a 4-5 favorite to win the AFC.

Bears straight up: 5-10. Bears vs. spread: 7-7-1

Vikings straight up: 12-3. Vikings vs. spread: 11-4

Vegas Vic's take: Who plays? How long? Answers we do not have, so once again, if you must, Da Bears, but ultra light.

CHARGERS (-7) Raiders (O/U: 42.5), 4:25 p.m.

Playoff implications: The Chargers need to win and get losses by both Tennessee and Buffalo OR a Tennessee loss and a Baltimore win.

Quick hit: The underdog is 15-2 against the spread in the last 17 games between these two. This is the highest the line has been since 2014 when the Raiders covered a 10.5 spread in a 13-6 road loss. The Chargers won the Week 6 meeting, 17-16, when Nick Novak kicked a field goal at the buzzer. Novak was the second of four kickers L.A. has gone through this year.

Raiders straight up: 6-9. Raiders vs. spread: 5-8-2

Chargers straight up: 8-7. Chargers vs. spread: 7-6-2

Vegas Vic's take: Just back from Los Angeles and couldn't find the Chargers anywhere. That's because they're down south in Carson at the teeny tiny StubHub Center (27,000). Nothing tiny about the Bolts' 4-0 spread perfecto at home coming into the finale.

SEAHAWKS (-9) Cardinals (O/U: 38.5), 4:25 p.m.

Playoff implications: Seattle will get in with a win AND a loss by Atlanta.

Quick hit: This could possibly be the final game in the remarkable career of Larry Fitzgerald, who recently penned a poignant open letter to Arizona senator John McCain on … The Cardinals have won in Seattle three of the last four years.

Cardinals straight up: 7-8. Cardinals vs. spread: 5-9-1

Seahawks straight up: 9-6. Seahawks vs. spread: 6-8-1

Vegas Vic's take: Seattle would need a W and an Atlanta L to make the postseason party for the sixth year in a row. Could happen. Apparently, the money is expecting the Seahawks to rock a W. The line opened at -7.5, was pounded up to -9 Thursday, and could even hit double digits Sunday. If the line does go to -10 or higher, we would probably downgrade this selection to a light play. If you're still buying single digits, keep it in the medium slot.

BRONCOS (-3) Chiefs (O/U: 38), 4:25

Playoff implications: None. Kansas City is locked into the No. 4 seed.

Quick hit: With nothing to gain or lose Sunday, Andy Reid will start rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes in place of Alex Smith. There were calls for Mahomes to play when the Chiefs were in that 1-6 midseason slump, but Reid stayed loyal to Smith and KC has won its last three.

Chiefs straight up: 9-6. Chiefs vs. spread: 9-6

Broncos straight up: 5-10. Broncos vs. spread: 4-10-1

Vegas Vic's take: KC starting QB Alex Smith will ride the bench, so Denver just might squeeze out its fifth win of the season.

49ers (-3) RAMS (43.5), 4:25 p.m.

Playoff implications: The Rams will be either the No. 3 or 4 seed, but already have announced many key players will not play.

Quick hit: The Rams' decision to bench their stars is why fantasy leagues should never play past Week 16. Todd Gurley posted 270 rushing yards and 13 catches for another 186 yards over the past two weeks. Oh, he also scored six touchdowns — three rushing, three receiving. Incredible.

49ers straight up: 5-10. 49ers vs. spread: 8-7

Rams straight up: 11-4. Rams vs. spread: 9-6

Vegas Vic's take: No Jared Goff and no Todd Gurley, which means the Rams are ready to give this one away. And since we are in the perfect era of Jimmy Garoppolo (4-0 as a starter with SF), look for the Niners to close 2017 with a fifth straight win.


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