Prime-time Parlay: Straight-up picks for this week’s biggest games

Will the final week of the regular season bring our first successful Prime-time Parlay of 2018? Perhaps! (And if not, we’ll be with you right here through the first two rounds of the playoffs.)

Once again, Prime-time Parlay is all about the best games. This week, that means a trio of important games the entire NFL audience will be watching in the 4:25 window on the final day of the regular season. Straight-up picks, but you have to hit all five. Then we calculate how much you would earn for the parlay, using Westgate’s money lines.

Via ESPN’s Football Power Index, Prime-time Parlay tells you the analytics-based predictions for the meetings of greatest national import, offering the smart picks for the games you’ll be watching. (All NFL point spreads and money lines can be found here.)

Total payout for Week 17 Prime-time Parlay (selecting all FPI-projected winners in five games): $541.97 on $100 wager


Money line: Texans minus-330
FPI projection: Texans win by 9.7 pointsRegardless of who the quarterback is, FPI thinks the Jaguars offense is a mess. Going forward, it thinks it’s the second-worst offense in the league, ahead of only the Cardinals. — Seth WalderMoney line: Ravens minus-265
FPI projection: Ravens win by 10.6 pointsFPI never really bought in on the Browns the way most other people have, even though it recognizes that Baker Mayfield has been solid thus far in his rookie season. It still thinks they are only the 23rd-best team going forward. Maybe that’s underestimating them, given that it doesn’t understand the Hue Jackson situation. Point is: With Baltimore’s elite defense (FPI rank: 2), it thinks the Ravens should be strong favorites. — Seth WalderMoney line: Vikings minus-240
FPI projection: Vikings win by 2.6 pointsThe Bears’ defense has been better so far, but because of priors, FPI actually thinks the Vikings’ defense will be better going forward. Minnesota ranks first in defensive FPI, and Chicago ranks third. — Seth WalderMoney line: Eagles minus-310
FPI projection: Eagles win by 2.4 pointsBoth backup QBs in this game are solid downgrades from the starters, in FPI’s mind, but Philly’s offense is just much better in general, so it still holds the advantage there. The Eagles’ pass rush has been very good this season; they rank fifth in pass-rush win rate, led by Fletcher Cox (31 percent) and Michael Bennett (30 percent). — Seth WalderMoney line: Colts minus-110
FPI projection: Colts win by 0.5 pointsFPI is currently hedging its bets on the starting quarterback for the Titans, but either way, it will like Indianapolis’ offense much more heading into this game. — Seth WalderFinal parlay: Texans, Ravens, Vikings, Eagles, Colts For more from ESPN Analytics, visit the ESPN Analytics Index.

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