Scully's NFL Week 17 Picks: Cowboys will crush Cardinals at home
Only two weeks remain in the regular season, and the top teams all still have something to play for in terms of playoff seeding.
Our Week 17 picks will focus upon three teams that are rolling as we approach the postseason. Let’s finish strong!
Raiders vs. Colts
Sun, January 2 2022, 6:00 PM
Indianapolis has overcome major personnel losses in recent weeks, and may not have Carson Wentz due to COVID-19, but the Colts can still lean on their defense and Jonathan Taylor. Along with forcing turnovers, Indianapolis is tougher, mentally and physically, than Las Vegas.
The #Colts activated linebacker Darius Leonard, wide receiver Zach Pascal and safety Khari Willis from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. A few remain, including QB Carson Wentz, who can come off on Sunday morning.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 30, 2021
The Raiders have gone off form on offense, failing to score more than 17 points in four December games. But they’ve managed to stay in the playoff race by edging a pair of struggling teams (Cleveland and Denver) utilizing backup quarterbacks.
Tied for second best in turnover margin (+14), the Colts' streak of 15 consecutive games with a takeaway came to an end last week, but they still won at Arizona in a low-scoring affair.
Indianapolis will start a new streak against turnover-prone Las Vegas, which has 10 giveaways and zero takeaways over the last three games. A dismal 2-6 against the spread since the start of November, the Raiders will be outclassed against the surging Colts.
NFL pick: Indianapolis -6.5
Dolphins vs. Titans
Sun, January 2 2022, 6:00 PM
After losing seven straight, Miami became the first team to have a seven-game winning streak in the same season when defeating New Orleans last week.
Defense is the Dolphins' calling card, holding the opposition to 10 or fewer points five times since the beginning of November, and Tennessee is a favorable matchup for the surging stop unit.
Since losing Derrick Henry, Tennessee can’t generate the same offensive production. The Titans endure long scoreless stretches, being shut out for a half in four of the last five games (lowly Jacksonville the exception), and no team in the league is playing with the defensive intensity of Miami.
A Titans offense that was down to fourth- and fifth-stringers at some spots needed Brown in the worst way. https://t.co/Y0eI86jwHU— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) December 24, 2021
Both offenses can be inconsistent, but unlike Tennessee, Miami scores points. The Titans have been held to 20 points or fewer in five straight games; the Dolphins haven’t been held under 20 points in the last five games.
In a projected low-scoring game, Miami’s defense will be the difference.
NFL pick: Miami +3.5
Cardinals vs. Cowboys
Sun, January 2 2022, 9:25 PM
Inconsistent performances plagued Dallas for a stretch, as the Cowboys lost three November games and weren’t sharp opening December with a pair of wins, but they have righted the ship.
When Dallas gets rolling, bettors cash tickets. The Cowboys covered seven straight games before entering a mini-funk, and they’ve easily covered double-digit point spreads the last two weeks.
Arizona has lost its offensive identity, struggling to score points during the current three-game losing streak, and Kyler Murray is either being pressured in the pocket or missing receivers down the field.
Murray can’t stay healthy for an entire campaign, missing time for a shoulder injury last year and three games due to an ankle injury this season. He’s not the same player after returning from injury.
The Cardinals still have playmakers on both sides of the ball, but it’s unrealistic to expect their best. Arizona appears over the top, with little chance for a turnaround against Dallas.
The Cowboys are making a serious push as the playoffs approach, and they’ll deliver another rousing performance in Week 17.
NFL pick: Dallas -5.5