FanSided’s Week 17 NFL betting guide is live with advice for all the action.
It all comes down to this. Week 17 is finally here and the NFL’s regular season is somehow set to conclude with (presumably) all 256 games being completed, a big win for the league and gamblers.
There are plenty of playoff scenarios in the air for the games as well as teams who have nothing to play for, making the lines for the week run the gamut from really tight to massive margins. Let’s break down how to bet each game for the final time in the regular season with all lines provided, as always, by the FanDuel Sportsbook.
Sunday, January 3Atlanta Falcons (4-11) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-5)
Line: Buccaneers -6.5
Over/Under Total: 50.5
These teams could both have nothing to play for here. Tampa Bay has already locked up a wild card spot, can’t win the NFC South, and may not need to try hard to maintain the fifth seed since the Rams are starting John Wolford at quarterback.
The Falcons have been playing hard down the stretch and have come up short most of the time, including a Week 15 matchup with the Buccaneers where they blew a huge early lead but held on to cover the spread.
This line is nearly a touchdown and there is a great chance that Tom Brady rests for at least part of the game to get ready for next weekend’s matchup. The safer play is to take the points with the Falcons and play the under since the Buccaneers may be utilizing their offensive backups for a significant part of the contest.
Baltimore Ravens (10-5) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-10-1)
Line: Ravens -11.5
Over/Under Total: 44.5
The Ravens are back in control of their playoff fate this week after receiving key help and look poised to take advantage of it. Baltimore has gotten red-hot in December, ripping off four straight wins and absolutely dominating the New York Giants on Sunday to move within a win of a postseason berth.
This week sees the Ravens laying 11.5 points at home against the Cincinnati Bengals, who have won two straight games to try and end their season on a positive note. Baltimore simply needs the game more and has been crushing bad teams so trust them to lay the 11.5 points here in a game they will win in blowout fashion.
Play the over as well since Baltimore will likely add at least 35 points towards the total, leaving 10 garbage-time points for the Bengals to accumulate and secure the over.
Dallas Cowboys (6-9) at New York Giants (5-10)
Line: Cowboys -3
Over/Under Total: 44.5
The winner of this game will await the Sunday night contest to determine their fate so both sides have something to play for. Dallas has heated up, winning three straight games to make things interesting, while the Giants have lost three straight games largely thanks to an anemic offensive performance.
The spread is just three and the contest feels like a toss-up so the best bet here is to go with the team you feel will win the game. The smarter play is the over since these teams combined to play a 37-34 barnburner in Dallas Week 5, which would blow past the 44.5 total.
Miami Dolphins (10-5) at Buffalo Bills (12-3)
Line: Bills -4.5
Over/Under Total: 47.5
There are stakes for both sides here as Buffalo is playing for the no. 2 seed in the AFC while Miami needs to win in order to secure a playoff spot. The Bills are home and laying 4.5 against a Dolphins team that needed Ryan Fitzpatrick to rescue them against the Raiders last week.
Miami is going back to Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback and he hasn’t looked up to the big moments, which would lead towards laying the points with Buffalo in this game. Play the under here too since both defenses are quite stout and the Dolphins have had issues scoring points in recent weeks.
Minnesota Vikings (6-9) at Detroit Lions (5-10)
Line: Vikings -6.5
Over/Under Total: 54.5
This game is one of the completely meaningless Week 17 contests as both teams will head home after this game. The Vikings are laying 6.5 points on the road here despite a string of brutal defensive performances in large part due to the injuries and ineptitude coming out of Detroit.
Matthew Stafford has exited each of the past three games early with an injury so even if he plays this week plan to have Chase Daniel factor in this game. With that in mind laying the points with the Vikings seems like the smarter thing to do. The best play in this game is the over since both defenses have been putrid down the stretch.
New York Jets (2-13) at New England Patriots (6-9)
Line: Patriots -3.5
Over/Under Total: 41
This is one of the lowest lines the Jets have seen this season and it is one of the few times where betting them is smart. New York is playing its best football of late, covering in five of their past seven games, including an improbable two-game winning streak against playoff contenders.
The Patriots have also devolved into a completely inept team over the past few weeks, getting blown out against Buffalo on Monday as their offense was brutal with Bill Belichick refusing to name a quarterback for this game yet.
The Jets nearly won the first time these teams met in Week 9 and should win outright here so take the 3.5 points you’re getting here. The under is a slam dunk since New England is inept on offense while the Jets tend to try and take the air out of the football in the second half if they are holding a lead.
Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3) at Cleveland Browns (10-5)
Line: Browns -7
Over/Under Total: N/A
There isn’t an over/under total in this game because it isn’t clear how seriously the Steelers will take this game. Pittsburgh can still gain the no. 2 seed with a win and a loss from the Bills but they never really had a bye due to circumstances out of their control, which could lead Mike Tomlin to rest key players in order to get them ready for next week’s playoff game.
Cleveland is laying seven points here and should have their receiver room back to full strength after contract tracing knocked out four wideouts in their loss to the Jets. There is a ton on the line for the Browns, who are looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002, so lay the points here since they have much more motivation to go all out to win.
Tennessee Titans (10-5) at Houston Texans (4-11)
Line: Titans -7.5
Over/Under Total: 56
The Titans can win the AFC South with a win but their defense has been pitiful in recent weeks. That makes their matchup against the Texans very dangerous since Houston is capable offensively and J.J. Watt recently appealed to his teammates to put a better effort forward for their fans.
The line is 7.5 points, which is tough to lay on the road given Tennessee’s defensive struggles. Take the points with the Texans to keep this game uncomfortable for Tennessee while the over should be a slam dunk given the quality of defenses in the game.
Arizona Cardinals (8-7) at Los Angeles Rams (9-6)
Line: Cardinals -1
Over/Under Total: N/A
There isn’t a total on this game due to the uncertain quarterback situation for the Rams. Jared Goff may not be able to go after fracturing his thumb in Week 16, which would mean John Wolford would start a potential elimination game for Los Angeles.
Arizona is now laying a point and it would be smart to jump on this line since they really need this win and could be facing a quarterback whose only game experience came in the AAF. If Goff is officially ruled out this spread could balloon closer to a touchdown so act early.
Green Bay Packers (12-3) at Chicago Bears (8-7)
Line: Packers -5.5
Over/Under Total: 50.5
This is a big game in the NFC playoff race since Green Bay can secure home-field advantage with a win while Chicago needs to win to get into the postseason. These teams last met in Week 12, which the Packers absolutely dominated, but the Bears have gotten hot by scoring at least 30 points in their last four games.
Those games have come against terrible defenses, however, so Chicago could be in line for a reality check against their most bitter rivals. Lay the points with Green Bay and play the under in a game that could take on a real defensive feel.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-14) at Indianapolis Colts (10-5)
Line: Colts -14
Over/Under Total: 50
The Colts have everything to play for while the Jaguars are playing out the string after securing the top pick in the draft last week. There is a revenge factor here as well since Jacksonville’s only win this season came over Indianapolis in Week 1, adding more motivation for the Colts that wasn’t really necessary here.
The spread is 14 in favor of the Colts and the game won’t be anywhere near that close so lay the points with confidence. Take the under in a game that has 35-7 written all over it.
Las Vegas Raiders (7-8) at Denver Broncos (5-10)
Line: Raiders -2.5
Over/Under Total: 51
Both teams are out of playoff contention with the Raiders in a free fall. Las Vegas has dropped five of six, with the lone win in that stretch being the Gregg Williams game in New York, while Denver has played pretty hard down the stretch.
The books have the Raiders favored by 2.5 on the road which feels like a trap since Las Vegas could pack it in knowing they have nothing to play for in Week 17. Take the points with the Broncos and play the over since offense should be the order of the day in this game.
Los Angeles Chargers (6-9) at Kansas City Chiefs (14-1)
Line: Chiefs -3.5
Over/Under Total: 43.5
Kansas City has home-field advantage wrapped up so there shouldn’t be more than a cameo appearance from Patrick Mahomes, which explains why the line is so low at 3.5. The Chargers are also playing well, ripping off three straight wins as they look to end the season with some positive momentum for 2021.
Take the points with Los Angeles since a lot of the Chiefs’ key starters will be resting here. The under is a pitiful 43.5 but this game should be very low scoring so lean the under as well.
New Orleans Saints (11-4) at Carolina Panthers (5-10)
Line: Saints -6.5
Over/Under Total: 47.5
The Saints still have a shot at home-field advantage if things break their way so they will play hard against the Panthers. This game should be interesting since Carolina is trying to play spoiler under Matt Rhule, knocking off Washington last week, but the Panthers will be smart and rest any key players dealing with injuries to protect them for next season.
With the line staying just under a touchdown lay the points with the Saints to take care of business in this matchup. The total feels right on at 47.5 but lean towards the over given how offensive football has exploded in 2020.
Seattle Seahawks (11-4) at San Francisco 49ers (6-9)
Line: Seahawks -5.5
Over/Under Total: 46.5
Seattle’s defense stepped up last week to smother the Rams and secure the NFC West crown. Home-field advantage is still a possibility here for the Seahawks, who hit the road as 5.5 point favorites against a 49ers team that is playing out the string.
San Francisco did upset Arizona last Saturday but Seattle is a much more complete team than the Cardinals, making it a wiser play to lay the points with the Seahawks to take care of business. This game should have a bit of a defensive feel as well so play the under here too.
Washington Football Team (6-9) at Philadelphia Eagles (4-10-1)
Line: Football Team -1.5
Over/Under Total: 41.5
A win secures the NFC East crown for Washington, which isn’t sure who will start at quarterback after Dwayne Haskins was released earlier this week. Alex Smith is the ideal plan, but he is coming off a lingering calf injury, so Taylor Heinecke will start if Smith can’t go.
Philadelphia does have nothing to play for but has a dynamic quarterback in Jalen Hurts who can make life miserable for the Football Team. Oddsmakers have Washington laying 1.5 points and it would be smart to lay them in the event Smith can go. This game should be an ugly one regardless although 41.5 is such a low total that it makes sense to play the odds and go for the over.