With playoffs spots on the line in the last round of the 2018 NFL regular season, Palmerbet Sports Team have NFL tips for the eight best match-ups of Week 17. 

NFL Tips – Carolina Panthers V New Orleans Saints

05:00 (AEDT), Mon 31st Dec @ Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans

History: Played 48: Saints 24 V Panthers 24

Last meeting: December 17, 2018: Saints 12 d Panthers 9 at Bank of America Stadium

Final Thoughts: The 6-9 Carolina Panthers are out of the playoff hunt, while the 13-2 New Orleans Saints have already clinch the NFC’s top seed – but they will be eager to take some momentum into the post-season with an authoritative win here.

The Panthers were bound for the playoffs but have lost seven straight in a bewildering collapse, including a 24-10 defeat to the Falcons last weekend. The Saints have won their last three, edging the desperate Steelers 31-28 last week after trailing at three-quarter time.

The Saints scraped through with a dour 12-9 win over the Panthers in Week 15, their fourth straight victory in the rivalry. Six of the teams’ last eight meetings were decided by five points or less.

New Orleans are on a six-game winning streak at home and have scored an average of almost 40 points in their last five at the Superdome. Carolina are 1-6 on the road and unlikely to offer a great deal of resistance against the Super Bowl favourites – despite a question mark over whether Drew Brees will play in this dead-rubber.

Tip: Handicap – Saints -7.5 @ $1.99

NFL Tips – Jacksonville Jaguars V Houston Texans

05:00 (AEDT), Mon 31st Dec @ Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans

History: Played 48: Saints 24 V Panthers 24

Last meeting: December 17, 2018: Saints 12 d Panthers 9 at Bank of America Stadium

Final Thoughts: The 10-5 Houston Texans are still a chance of nabbing the AFC top seed if a string of other results fall their way. But a win here will guarantee them at least the third seed. They have stumbled in recent weeks, however, with losses to the Colts (24-21) and Eagles (32-30) bookending a win over the Jets (29-22). The Eagles defeat came despite DeShaun Watson passing for 339 yards and two touchdowns, and rushing for 49 yards and two TDs.

The 5-10 Jacksonville Jaguars have been spiralling since the start of October, but they rolled the Dolphins 17-7 in Miami last weekend. The Jags’ offence is still woeful, but they have conceded just 13 points per game in December.

The Texans’ defence led the way in a 20-7 shutdown of the Jaguars in Jacksonville earlier this season. The Texans have won seven of their last nine against the Jaguars, though they Jags racked up a 29-7 win in Houston last season.

With a 5-2 record in Houston, expect the Texans to get it done with so much on the line. But the Jaguars are sure to prove a prickly opponent.

Tip: Total – Under 40.5 @ $1.86

NFL Tips – Dallas Cowboys V New York Giants

05:00 (AEDT), Mon 31st Dec @ MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford

History: Played 113: Cowboys 65 V Giants 46 (2 Ties)

Last meeting: September 16, 2018: Cowboys 20 d Giants 13 at AT&T Stadium

Final Thoughts: The 9-6 Dallas Cowboys’ NFC East title and the fourth seed in the conference are both locked in. the Cowboys have won six of their last seven, bouncing back from a dismal 23-0 loss to the Colts with a 27-20 win over Tampa Bay.

Last in the NFC East, the 5-10 New York Giants’ revival – which saw them win four of five games – has given way to consecutive losses to the Titans (17-0) and Colts (28-27). But there’s not question the Giants are much improved compared to the team that started the season 1-7.

The Cowboys have won eight of their last 11 against the Giants, including the last three straight. Their clash in Dallas in Week 2 saw the Cowboys get up 20-13.

Dallas are a worrying 2-5 on the road this season and start as sizeable underdogs with high-profile absentees likely due to the inconsequential nature of the result. But if their in-form defence can give Eli Manning a tough day out, backing the Cowboys with the start seems a no-brainer.

Tip: Handicap – Cowboys +6 @ $1.99

NFL Tips – Chicago Bears V Minnesota Vikings

08:25 (AEDT), Mon 31st Dec @ U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis

History: Played 115: Vikings 60 V Bears 53 (2 Ties)

Last meeting: November 11, 2018: Bears 25 d Vikings 20 at Soldier Field

Final Thoughts: The 11-4 Chicago Bears have wrapped up the NFC North but are hunting a win to keep their chances of clinching the conference’s second seed alive. The Bears have won eight of their last nine, including three straight defence-dominated victories over the Rams, Packers and 49ers in the past three weeks. Chicago have conceded the third-least points in the league.

But they travel to take on an even more desperate opponent. The 8-6-1 Minnesota Vikings will snare a playoffs berth with a win; they can still make it with a loss, but need other results to fall their way. After a mid-season slump, the Vikes have rallied with big wins over the Dolphins (41-17) and Lions (27-9) in the past fortnight.

The Bears’ 25-20 home win over the Vikings last month was just their second in the last eight clashes between the archrivals.

The Vikings have won six straight at home against the Bears and are 5-2 in Minneapolis this season. The Bears are 4-3 on the road but their three losses were all by three or less – look to the underdogs with the points in what looms as another classic between the archrivals.

Tip: Handicap – Bears +4.5 @ $1.90

NFL Tips – Cleveland Browns V Baltimore Ravens

08:25 (AEDT), Mon 31st Dec @ M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore

History: Played 39: Ravens 29 V Browns 10

Last meeting: October 7, 2018: Browns 12 d Ravens 9 at FirstEnergy Stadium

Final Thoughts: The Baltimore Ravens’ fate heading into the last regular-season round exemplifies the crazy AFC playoffs race. The 9-6 Ravens could crash out of the post-season equation with a loss, yet they could finish with the No.2 seed if a bunch of results go their way.

The Ravens are in great touch, winning five of their last six – including a 22-10 statement win over the Chargers in Week 16. Their only loss in the past six weeks was in overtime to the Chiefs.

The 7-7-1 Browns are out of the running but are finishing the season with a wet sail, also winning five of their last six. Their 26-18 defeat of the Bengals last weekend was their third straight.

The Ravens have won 18 of their last 21 against the Browns. But the Browns snapped a five-game losing run in the rivalry with a 12-9 victory earlier this season.

It’s not the easiest match-up for the Ravens but they should get the job done at home with so much at stake.

Tip: Half-time/Full-time – Ravens/Ravens @ $1.83

NFL Tips – Philadelphia Eagles V Washington Redskins

08:25 (AEDT), Mon 31st Dec @ FedEx Field, Washington D.C.

History: Played 166: Redskins 86 V Eagles 76 (5 Ties)

Last meeting: December 3, 2018: Eagles 28 d Redskins 13 at Lincoln Financial Field

Final Thoughts: The 8-7 Philadelphia Eagles are in a must-win situation and also need the Bears to beat the Vikings. But where there’s life there’s hope, and the Eagles have won four of their last five – including clutch victories over quality opposition in the Rams and Texans in the past fortnight. Nick Foles will continue to start for the defending champs ahead of Carson Wentz.

The 7-8 Washington Redskins faded out of post-season calculations after losing five of their last six. Last week’s 25-16 loss to the Titans was the final nail in their coffin.

The Eagles have won their last three against the Redskins, including a 28-13 home victory in Week 13 as their resurgence started picking up momentum. Carson Wentz threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns, while QB counterpart Colt McCoy was injured during the match and hasn’t played since.

The Redskins have lost their last three at home, while the Eagles have proven their credentials under pressure – don’t expect them to slip up against a team with little to play for.

Tip: Handicap – Eagles -6.5 @ $1.87

NFL Tips – Cincinnati Bengals V Pittsburgh Steelers

08:25 (AEDT), Mon 31st Dec @ Heinz Field, Pittsburgh

History: Played 98: Steelers 63 V Bengals 35

Last meeting: October 14, 2018: Steelers 28 d Bengals 21 at Paul Brown Stadium

Final Thoughts: The 8-6-1 Pittsburgh Steelers’ playoffs destiny is not entirely in their hands – they need at least one other result to go their way. But they are still a chance of winning the AFC North for the third straight year and will be primed to keep their hopes alive.

The Steelers have lost four of their last five, but they downed the Patriots 17-10 a fortnight ago and lost only 31-28 to the Saints on the road last week.

The 6-9 Cincinnati Bengals are last in the AFC North and have won just one (against the lowly Raiders) of their last seven games. The went down 26-18 to the Browns in Week 16.

The Steelers’ 28-21 win in Cincinnati earlier this season was their seventh straight against the Bengals. With James Conner likely to play and Ben Roethlisberger (380 yds, 3 TDs) coming off a big showing against the Saints, expect Pittsburgh to keep it interesting with a high-scoring win.

Tip: Total – Over 45.5 @ $1.88

NFL Tips – Indianapolis Colts V Tennessee Titans

12:20 (AEDT), Mon 31st Dec @ LP Field, Nashville

History: Played 48: Colts 32 V Titans 16

Last meeting: November 18, 2018: Colts 38 d Titans 10 at Lucas Oil Stadium

Final Thoughts: The 2018 NFL regular season concludes with an AFC South showdown that is likely to have a major bearing on the playoffs picture.

The Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans are both 9-6 and can both still win the division title. Both teams also need a win to guarantee a post-season berth.

The Colts are favourites on the back of their remarkable 8-1 runs. They have accounted for the Texans, Cowboys and Giants on their current three-game winning streak. The Titans are also in great form, however, winning their last four – including a 25-16 win over the Redskins last week.

The Colts have won 17 of their last 20 against the Titans, but the Titans have won two of the last three encounters. The Colts romped to a 38-10 home win last month, however, with Andrew Luck racking up 297 yards and three touchdowns.

The rivals both figure highly in key defensive stats and the under shapes as a solid option. But with a 6-1 home record, it’s tough to ignore the Titans’ value with the start.

Tip: Handicap – Titans +3 @ $2.00