NFL Week 17 odds roundup: Playoff positioning on the line in top matchups

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With backup Matt McGloin at the controls, the Oakland Raiders will try to sustain their road-warrior mojo against the Denver Broncos. The playoff-bound Raiders, minus QB Derek Carr (broken fibula), are 2.5-point road underdogs against the Broncos at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The New England Patriots’ result will determine whether the Raiders have a shot at the AFC’s No. 1 seed, but a loss coupled with a Kansas City Chiefs win would leave them in a wild-card spot. The Raiders are 9-1 against the spread in their last 10 road games.

The Raiders, through RB Latavius Murray, have the fifth-ranked rushing attack and Denver is porous against the run. If McGloin passes well enough to keep the Broncos defense honest, Oakland could outscore Denver’s mediocre offense.

The New England Patriots are listed as 10-point road favorites against the Miami Dolphins.  The Dolphins, who are 9-1 SU and 8-1-1 ATS over their last 10 games, will have RB Jay Ajayi in the lineup to help with their formula of running the ball and playing good defense. Tom Brady might rely on RB LeGarrette Blount to ease the load, since Miami’s run defense is just average.

The Kansas City Chiefs are a 5.5-point road favorite against the San Diego Chargers as they vie for the AFC West title. The Chiefs, who rolled against Denver in Week 16, are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games after an ATS win, but FS Eric Berry and a takeaway-happy defense are matched against the team with the NFL’s second-most turnovers.

The Washington Redskins, who need a win and some help to make the playoffs, are eight-point favorites against the New York Giants, the locked-in No. 5 seed. Washington has not been this big of a favorite since 2009. Whether QB Kirk Cousins‘ primary targets such as WR DeSean Jackson and TE Jordan Reed face the Giants’ starters for a full four quarters is unclear.

The Atlanta Falcons are 6.5-point favorites against the New Orleans Saints. Matt Ryan‘s offense has lit up the scoreboard against much better defenses than the Saints’ 25th-ranked unit. On the other side of the ball, Drew Brees has the league’s most productive offense and New Orleans is 5-2 SU in their last seven visits to Atlanta.

And with the NFC North title on the line, the Green Bay Packers are favored by 3.5 points on the road against the Detroit Lions in the Sunday Night Football matchup. The Lions are 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS in their last six home games, but have rarely shown the type of formidable pass rush it would take to get Packers QB Aaron Rodgers out of the zone he has been in for the past five games.

NFL Thanksgiving odds: Cowboys, Lions both betting favorites for Thursday

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The line has shifted well in favor of Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys as they renew their historic NFC East rivalry with the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day. The NFC-leading Cowboys are 7.5-point favorites on the NFL point spreads against Washington, with a 51-point total, at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Dallas is 9-1 straight-up and 3-7 against the spread in its last 10 games as a favorite of seven points or more, while Washington is 5-0 SU and ATS in its last five games as a road underdog of 7.5 points or fewer.

Dallas is 9-1 SU and 9-0-1 ATS on the season. Prescott has proven to be a superb decision-maker and should once again get ample rushing support from Ezekiel Elliott and perhaps the NFL’s best offensive line. Washington also allows 4.6 yards per carry, second-worst in the NFL. Tight end Jason Witten also has an excellent matchup.

Washington, which is 6-3-1 SU and 7-3 ATS, will also pit a potent offense against a mid-level Dallas defense. Quarterback Kirk Cousins is benefiting from balance in the receiving corps with deep threat DeSean Jackson healthy and able to clear space for WR Pierre Garcon and WR Jamison Crowder.

The total has gone over in 13 of the Redskins’ last 15 games.

Thursday begins with an NFC North first-place showdown, as the Detroit Lions are the 2.5-point favorite against the Minnesota Vikings with a 43-point total. Matthew Stafford and the Lions, who are 6-4 SU and ATS, are the hotter team coming in but have a tough matchup against a Vikings defense that allows the second-fewest yards per pass (6.2).

The Vikings, also 6-4 SU and ATS, are trying to turn around a woeful rushing attack in order to reduce the pressure on QB Sam Bradford. Minnesota is 9-2 SU in their last 11 games as an underdog of 2.5 or fewer points. Five of the teams’ last six games have finished under.

And the likelihood of Andrew Luck (concussion protocol) being unable to play during a short week has cast the Pittsburgh Steelers as the nine-point road favorite on the moving betting line against the Indianapolis Colts. The total is 47 points.

The Steelers and Colts are each 5-5 both SU and ATS. Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger and RB Le'Veon Bell, based on form, could have a big night against a Colts defense that has the lowest interception rate in the NFL. Pittsburgh is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 November games, which seems low for a consistent playoff team.

Scott Tolzien, who hasn’t thrown a meaningful pass since 2013, is the Colts’ backup QB. The Colts have been consistently churning out yardage and the Steelers defense has yet to find a rhythm, but playing Tolzien would probably hasten using a limited playbook.

The last four Steelers-Colts games have gone over the posted total at the sportsbooks.

Redskins GM says he’d like to sign Cousins to long-term deal

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MOBILE, Ala. (AP) Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan says he would prefer to sign quarterback Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal and noted that the team has more than a month to release Robert Griffin III without his contract counting against the salary cap.

McCloughan met with reporters at the Senior Bowl on Wednesday.

While Washington is expected to cut Griffin, who lost the starting QB job to Cousins late in the preseason, McCloughan said he “certainly” could see a scenario where the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year could remain with the team.

McCloughan said the Redskins want to keep Cousins, who can leave via free agency.

The GM called using a franchise tag on Cousins “an option” but said “you’d rather get a long-term deal done.”

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AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/AP-NFL