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NFL Injury Impacts: Key Week 17 Matchups, Betting Picture

There is never a good time for an NFL team to have key players dealing with injuries. However, with playoff spots on the line this is not when teams want to be going into matchups with a long list of standouts popping up on the injury report. The NFL betting lines are sure to shift depending on who is in and who is out during the Week 17 games.

The week started with the Cleveland Browns clinching a playoff spot despite missing receiver Amari Cooper a week after his record-breaking performance. The New York Jets played without quarterback Zach Wilson.

NFL Injury Impacts: Key Week 17 Matchups, Betting Picture
Amari Cooper #2 of the Cleveland Browns | Rodriguez/Getty Images/AFP

Cooper is far from the only top pass catcher dealing with injuries as Chris Olave of the New Orleans Saints, Keenan Allen of the Los Angeles Chargers, and Courtland Sutton of the Denver Broncos iffy to play this weekend.

Cleveland is the third AFC team to clinch a playoff spot. The Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins, and Kansas City Chiefs can clinch division titles with wins this weekend. Tampa Bay can join the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers as NFC division champions with a win over New Orleans.

The Miami Dolphins-Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans-Houston Texans, and Cincinnati Bengals-Kansas City Chiefs matchups are the three games we are keeping an eye on when it comes to injuries potentially impacting the NFL betting odds.

The Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers are the road teams favored according to our sportsbook this week.

The Baltimore Ravens, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are tied for the best record in the NFL against the NFL betting lines. When looking at the totals, Detroit and Indianapolis lead the way with 10 games finishing over the total.

Regarding the best picks for the NFL in Week 17, we look at three games most likely impacted by injuries with a focus on games with playoff implications.

Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens

  • Sunday, Dec. 31, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

There are some high-profile players popping up on the injury report for both teams as home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs could be at stake when the AFC East-leading Miami Dolphins head to Baltimore to meet up with the AFC North-leading Baltimore Ravens.

Miami WR Jaylen Waddle is out. Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, receiver Tyreek Hill, and running back De’Von Achane are carrying questionable tags. Hill has been playing through his ailments.

On defense, cornerback Xavien Howard, defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, and safety Jevon Holland are all questionable.

Baltimore safety Kyle Hamilton was injured in last week’s huge win over San Francisco. Cornerback Brandon Stephens and rookie receiver Zay Flowers are questionable.

It has been pretty quiet in the line-movement department in this game.

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans

  • Sunday, Dec. 31, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)

The focus is on Houston since the Tennessee Titans have already been eliminated from playoff contention.

Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroudis no longer in concussion protocol so he could return after missing the last two games.

It might be harder to find a team with more players landing in the questionable-to-play category than Houston with edge rusher Will Anderson, receivers Nico Collins and Noah Brown, offensive linemen Shaq Mason and Laremy Tunsil, defensive linemen Jonathan Greenard and Sheldon Rankins among the Texans trying to fight through the injuries to play.

For Tennessee, it is looking like rookie quarterback Will Levis will be back on the field.

Those who bet online might want to keep tabs on the line in this game as it has fluctuated between 3½-5½ points.

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs

  • Sunday, Dec. 31, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

The Cincinnati Bengals got some good news heading into a must-win game as star receiver Ja’Marr Chase returned to practice.

However, cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt was placed on injured reserve and that is a big blow for a team that has plenty of issues on the defensive side of the ball.

Kansas City running back Isiah Pacheco has been slowed by injury late in the season and he had to miss some time. It remains to be seen if he will suit up on Sunday. Making matters worse is that Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who filled in rather well for Pacheco, is also questionable as is offensive tackle Donovan Smith, cornerback L’Jarius Sneed and receiver KadariusToney.

When looking at the NFL spreads, Kansas City has been as high as an 8-8½-point favorite.



Questions of the Day

Will Cincinnati WR Ja'Marr Chase or Jacksonville QB Trevor Lawrence be recovered for the next game?

Chase was back on the practice field on Thursday while Lawrence was listed as a limited participant.

Which team has more injuries in week 17?

The Houston Texans have so many key players, especially on the offensive side of the ball, showing up on the injury report.


The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.

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