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NFL Week 17 – Sunday football – Games previews

Jets (-3, 41 ½) at Bills – 1:00 PM EST

One year ago, Rex Ryan led the Jets to a 4-12 record and last place in the AFC East. Ryan was let go and one season later, New York is one victory away from clinching its first playoff berth since 2010. The former Jets’ coach crossed over inside the division to patrol the Bills’ sideline in 2015, as Buffalo looks to play the role of spoiler. The Bills (7-8 SU, 7-7-1 ATS) go for back-to-back wins for just the second time this season after holding off the Cowboys last Sunday, 16-6 as 6 ½-point favorites. Buffalo knocked off New York in its first meeting at Met Life Stadium, 22-17, as the Bills built a 22-3 lead prior to a pair of Jets’ second half touchdowns.

Following a 5-5 start to the season, New York (10-5 SU, 8-5-2 ATS) has run off five straight victories, capped off by a 26-20 overtime triumph over New England last Sunday. The Jets have stepped up defensively during this winning streak, allowing 20 points or less in each of these victories, while cashing the ‘under’ in each of their past two road games. New York has lost the previous two visits to Ralph Wilson Stadium, as the Jets were blown out by the Bills in Detroit last November with the game moved out of Buffalo due to poor weather.

Jaguars at Texans (-6 ½, 45 ½) – 1:00 PM EST

The AFC South race has been a fight to the finish, but Houston (8-7 SU, 8-7 ATS) controls its own destiny heading into Week 17. The Texans attempt to sweep the Jaguars after winning at Jacksonville in mid-October, 31-20 as 2 ½-point underdogs. Quarterback Brian Hoyer made his first start of the season for Houston in that win, throwing for 293 yards and three touchdowns. Hoyer returns to the starting lineup after missing the last two games with a concussion, as Houston picked up a pair of road divisional victories at Indianapolis and Tennessee.

For the fifth consecutive season, Jacksonville (5-10 SU, 7-7-1 ATS) has lost at least 10 games, coming off a 38-27 at New Orleans. The game wasn’t as close as the final score indicated as the Jaguars fell behind, 24-6 at halftime to suffer their sixth road loss in seven tries. Jacksonville has drilled the ‘over’ in four of the previous five contests, while hitting the ‘over’ in five of seven games away from Everbank Field. Gus Bradley’s team has lost six consecutive road games against AFC South foes with the last away divisional victory coming at Houston in 2013.

Steelers (-11, 47) at Browns – 1:00 PM EST

Pittsburgh (9-6 SU, 8-6-1 ATS) had the inside track at a Wild Card berth heading into Week 16 at lowly Baltimore. However, the banged-up Ravens stunned the Steelers as 11-point home underdogs, 20-17, limiting Pittsburgh to its lowest point total since a Week 8 home loss to Cincinnati (16-10). Pittsburgh’s four-game ‘over’ streak came to an end in Week 16, as Mike Tomlin’s team looks to bust out of a 1-3 SU/ATS road slump dating back to October. The Steelers routed the Browns in their first meeting at Heinz Field by a 30-9 count in November, as Ben Roethlisberger threw three touchdown passes off the bench.

The Browns (3-12 SU, 6-9 ATS) are tied with the Titans for the worst record in football, as a Cleveland loss coupled with a Tennessee victory will give the Browns the top pick in May’s NFL Draft. Former first round pick Johnny Manziel won’t play in the season finale as he is sidelined with a concussion, opening the door for Austin Davis to start at quarterback. Mike Pettine’s squad has won just twice at home this season, beating Tennessee and San Francisco, while allowing 70 points in two divisional home losses to Baltimore and Cincinnati.

Raiders at Chiefs (-7, 43 ½) – 4:25 PM EST

The best turnaround story in the NFL this season comes out of Kansas City (10-5 SU, 8-7 ATS) as the Chiefs go for their 10th straight win following a 1-5 start. Andy Reid’s club has allowed 14 points or less seven times in this span, but the Chiefs have failed in their last two home wins over the Browns and Chargers as a double-digit favorite. Kansas City has dominated in the role of a single-digit favorite, cashing in seven of eight opportunities, including in a 34-20 triumph at Oakland last month as three-point chalk.

The Raiders (7-8 SU, 7-8 ATS) have made plenty of strides in Jack Del Rio’s first season as head coach by winning four games away from the Black Hole. Oakland has alternated wins and losses in each of the past six contests, coming off a 23-20 overtime victory over San Diego on Christmas Eve, but failed to cash as four-point favorites. The Raiders own a solid 4-1 ATS record in its past five road contests, while looking to finish off a three-game road sweep inside the division after winning at San Diego and Denver this season.

Seahawks at Cardinals (-6, 47) – 4:25 PM EST

The top two teams in the NFC West are heading to the playoffs, as this matchup only has seeding ramifications. Arizona (13-2 SU, 9-6 ATS) has an outside chance of grabbing home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs, needing a victory along with a Carolina loss to Tampa Bay. The Cardinals topped the 31-point mark for the ninth time this season in last Sunday’s 38-8 rout of the Packers as six-point favorites. Bruce Arians’ squad covered at home for the first time since Week 3 against San Francisco, while the Cardinals have gone ‘under’ the total in three of the past four games at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The two-time defending NFC champion Seahawks (9-6 SU, 7-7-1 ATS) could end up finishing with the sixth seed if they lose at Arizona. Seattle won both meetings last season with Arizona, but the Cardinals knocked off the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field in mid-November, 39-32 as three-point underdogs. Pete Carroll’s team had its five-game winning streak snapped in last Sunday’s 23-17 home loss to the Rams as 11 ½-point favorites. The Seahawks have won four consecutive away games, while limiting each opponent to 12 points or less.

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