NFL: Predictions for Week 17

NFL Week 17: Preview & Analysis

It is the final week of the NFL season, and our super computer has predictions for every game this weekend. The super computer incorporates every minor and major statistic to perform 10,000 simulations and arrive at projections for every game in Week 17 of the 2012 NFL season. Also, our computer has expert picks against the spread, on over-unders, and on the moneyline for every game in Week 17. Visit the NFL Expert Picks page for ATS and Totals picks.

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The disastrous seasons by both the Jets and the Bills is expected to end with the Bills winning. The Bills are the 61% favorite because CJ Spiller is dominating with 109 rushing yards per sim on nearly 6 ypc. There is a 50% chance the Jets defense holds Spiller to under 100 yards and if they do the Jets are the 58% favorite. Greg McElroy only has a 40% chance of passing for 200 or more yards but if he does the Jets are actually worse off winning just 32% of these simulations where the Jets are presumably playing from significantly behind. If McElroy has 200+ yards and more TD passes than INTs then the Jets pull even at a 50% chance of winning.


New England is a solid, but not overwhelming, 71% favorite winning by an average of 8 points per simulation. The Patriots offense was held in check by the Jaguars, and AccuScore simulations show Miami's defense also doing a good job holding the Patriots to under 30 in 60% of simulations. If the Dolphins do hold them under 30 their chances improve from 29 to 45%. Ryan Tannehill needs to avoid INTs to have a chance. If Tannehill throws no INTs and the Dolphins intercept Tom Brady at least once then the game is actually a 50/50 coin flip. But if Tannehill throws more INTs than Brady the Patriots are overwhelming 85% favorites.


Baltimore has an outside shot at getting the #3 Seed, but it may not be enough of a shot to play all the starters the full game. The Bengals are the 55% favorite with Andy Dalton having a 46% chance of throwing more TDs than INTs. In these simulations the Bengals win 73% of the time. But if Baltimore gets at least 1 Dalton INT the Ravens are the 53% favorites. Joe Flacco often struggles on the road. If he completes over 60% of his passes and Ray Rice carries the ball at least 18 times the Ravens are heavy 76% favorites. If Flacco completes under 60% and Rice has under 18 carries then Baltimore only has a 22% chance.


Neither team has anything to play for so it will be determined who starts. If the starters play Pittsburgh is the heavy 71% favorite. Ben Roethlisberger has thrown costly interceptions in this losing streak. If he has 2 or more INTs this is a 50/50 game, but if he has no more than 1 INT the Steelers are 74% favorites. Trent Richardson was hurt in Week 16 and his status is unknown. The Browns are only averaging 72 rushing yards per sim on a 3.1 ypc clip. If the Browns can rush for 100+ yards on 4.5+ ypc they have a 58% chance of winning.


The Houston Texans are expected to bounce back from a bad Week 16 loss with a 65% chance of winning over the Colts. Andrew Luck is only completing 53% of his passes in simulations and is getting sacked 3 times. If Luck completes over 60% and is not sacked more than twice then the Colts are 64% favorites. But if he completes under 60% and is sacked 4 or more times the Texans are heavy 80% favorites. Even if Arian Foster is not 100% the Texans are projected for a huge +70 yard edge running the ball. There is a 29% chance the Colts get the edge rushing the ball and if they do the Colts are 68% favorites.


The Jags only have two wins but they are 51% favorites vs the struggling Titans. The Jags defense held Tom Brady in check and were able to intercept him twice. Jake Locker has thrown multiple INTs in 4 of his past 5 games. There is a 35% chance he has 2 or more INTs and if he does the Titans only have a 28% chance. If he has no more than 1 INT the Titans are the solid 60% favorite. Chris Johnson had a paltry 28 rushing yards in week 16 and Jaguars 4th string RB Montell Owens has a 60% chance of rushing for more yards if Owens gets at least as many carries as Johnson. If Johnson has a big game with 80+ yards and 1+ TDs the Titans are 78% favorites, but if the Jags outrush the Titans the Jags are 69% favorites.


Eli Manning has struggled the past few weeks but the Giants are heavy 74% favorites vs the Eagles with Manning averaging 2.2 TD passes per sim. If Manning has under 200 yards passing, completes under 60% and has more INTs than TDs then the Giants are 41% underdogs. LeSean McCoy is projected for 65 rushing and 35 receiving yards. If McCoy has 80 or more rushing yards on 5.0+ ypc and QB Nick Foles throws no more than 1 INT the Eagles have a 50% chance, but if McCoy averages under 4 ypc and Foles has 1 or more INTs the Eagles are heavy 14% underdogs.


This is a very close game with the Redskins winning 50.6% of simulations. The Cowboys have a 70 yard edge passing the ball but the Redskins have a 60 yard edge rushing the ball in simulations. If Alfred Morris has 70+ rushing yards and Robert Griffin 40+ then Washington is the 74% favorite. But if DeMarco Murray rushes for more yards than Alfred Morris then Dallas is the 71% favorite. If Dez Bryant dominates with 100+ yards and 2+ TDs then Dallas is the 61% favorite, but if RGIII dominates with 250+ passing and 50+ rushing then Washington is the 60% favorite.


If Matt Forte plays the Bears are 55% favorites. But if Forte is not available and the Bears have under 80 rushing yards the Bears only have a 27% chance. Matthew Stafford averages over 100 more passing yards per game than Jay Cutler so it is very shocking to see Cutler with a 53% chance of passing for more yards than Stafford. This is clearly an indictment on the Lions pass defense which has allowed 25 pass TDs while getting just 11 INTs. If the Lions defense can hold Jay Cutler to no more than 1 pass TD and Calvin Johnson has 108 or more yards (what he needs to reach 2000) then the Lions are the 54% favorites.


The Packers are playing for a first round bye and are 66% favorites. Adrian Peterson is projected for 137 rushing yards but he only has a 16% chance of getting the rushing record. If he does this the Vikings are 78% favorites. If Peterson has a 100+ yard, 1+ rush TD game the Vikings have a 50/50 shot. The Packers are getting a huge game from Aaron Rodgerse who has an amazing 2.7 TDs vs just 0.5 INTs per sim. There is only a 3.6% chance Rodgers has more INTs than TDs, but if this happens the Packers only have a 28% chance.


Atlanta has locked up the #1 Seed and Tampa Bay is eliminated from the playoffs so there is no need for Atlanta to risk injury. Assuming Atlanta is not playing the starters the full game they are just 62% favorites. Doug Martin is projected for just 78 rushing yards on 4.0 ypc. There is a 27% chance he has a 100 yard rushing game and if he does Tampa Bay is the 62% favorite. But if he is held under 80 yards then Tampa Bay has just a 24% chance of winning.


The Saints offense is clicking and there is a 55% chance they score 30 or more points. The Saints are 70% favorites but if they score 30 or more they are 89% favorites. Cam Newton has to totally dominate with 250+ passing yards, 50+ rushing yards and 3 or more total touchdowns. If he does this the Panthers have a 56% chance of winning. Drew Brees is averaging 2.5 TDs per sim vs just 0.8 INTs. There is only an 8% chance he has more INTs than TDs but if he does the Saints are 31% underdogs. In the 78% of simulations where he has more TDs than INTs the Saints win 78% of the time.


Denver is the huge 86% favorite with Peyton Manning putting a huge 280 yard, 2.6 TDs and just 0.7 INTs per sim. Knowshon Moreno is adding 89 rushing yards per sim. If Jamaal Charles rushes for more yards than Moreno, rushes for a TD, and the Chiefs limit Manning to no more than 1 TD the Chiefs are 62% favorites, but there is only a 4.1% chance of this. If Charles does not have a huge game the Chiefs have no shot. If Charles is held under 100 rushing yards the Chiefs have just an 8% chance of winning.


The Chargers are 64% favorites despite averaging just 3.4 ypc and Philip Rivers with a 59% chance of throwing at least 1 INT. These modest numbers are still better than the Raiders. Darren McFadden is only averaging 3.2 ypc. If he can break out of his season long funk with at least 80 yards on 5+ ypc then the Raiders have a 50% chance of winning. But if he is held under 80 with under 3.0 ypc then the Raiders have just a 25% chance. With nothing to play for Philip Rivers is averaging 2 TDs. If he has more TDs than INTs the Chargers are 81% favorites.


The 49ers were routed by Seattle but they are expected to get their revenge to take the NFC West with an 87% chance of winning. The 49ers defense is abusing the Cardinals holding the Cardinals to just 270 total offensive yards per sim. It is very remote (a 7% chance), but if Arizona has more rushing yards then the Cardinals are 54% favorites. There is a MUCH better chance of the 49ers forcing 2 or more INTs and allowing under 50 rushing yards (43%) than the Cardinals out rushing the 49ers. If the 49ers defense dominates like this they are 97% favorites.


Marshawn Lynch is leading with a dominating 119 yard performance and the Seahawks are 81% favorites. There is a 50% chance he has 100+ yards and at least 1 rushing TD and if this happens Seattle is the 93% favorite and win by nearly 20 points. There is only a 25% chance that Russell Wilson throws more INTs than Sam Bradford but if it happens St. Louis doubles their chances from 18 to 37%. But if Wilson throws fewer INTs then Seattle is the overwhelming 92% favorite.