Week 17 NFL Sports Betting Preview

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Before we preview this week’s sports betting predictions, let’s look backwards. Last week I was able to rebound after getting crushed by covid the week before. Hopefully this week is more of the same. There’s no Thursday Night Football this week, so here is your full Sunday slate. Hopefully, I don’t get screwed by covid again.

Week 16 Record: 9-7

Tampa Bay @ New York Jets

You would think this one to be a no-brainer. Tampa is arguably one of the best teams in the NFL and the Jets are one of the worst. A 13-point spread shouldn’t scare you here. And I’m not here to tell you anything otherwise. Tampa Bay has been double digit favorites 7 times this season and they are 6-1 ATS. Their only loss was also SU to the pesky Saints that seem to be Brady’s kryptonite. TB is scoring the 2nd most PPG in the NFL, behind only the Cowboys. The Jets rank 32nd in the NFL in opponent PPG. 

Pick: TB -13

Kansas City @ Cincinnati

This is a tale of two very good offenses going against average defenses. KC is 4th in PPG and CIN is 7th. KC actually ranks 5th in opponent PPG, while Cincy sits at a tie for 13th. These teams have two of the best passing attacks in the NFL. Cincinnati ranks 3rd in yds per completion and 8th in total passing yds. Kansas City ranks 6th in yds per completion and 2nd in total passing yds. KC and CIN rank 6th and 7th in offensive yds per play, respectively. Defensively, it has been a different story. Cincinnati ranks 29th in total passing yds allowed, 13th in yds per completion, 19th in yds per play, and 20th in Red Zone efficiency. Meanwhile, Kansas City’s defense ranks 25th in total passing yds allowed, 18th in yds per completion, 27th in yds per play, and 15th in Red Zone efficiency. Expect a lot of points in this one. 

Pick: Over 51

Jacksonville @ New England

New England seems to have hit a rough patch. They didn’t look good against Indy or their last game against Buffalo. Luckily for them, they get the lowly Jaguars this week. Some thought, myself included, that removing Urban Meyer was going to turn things around for this team. It would appear that we were wrong. Jacksonville ranks in the bottom third of the NFL in most stats across the board. Their defense ranks closer to middle of the pack, and their rushing offense is Top 10, however, they have now lost James Robinson with a torn achilles. Still, with the way the Pats have been playing of late, I don’t know if I can trust them to cover a 16pt spread. They’ve beat up on bad teams this year with margins of victory of 19 & 41 vs. the Jets, 18 vs. the Panthers, 38 vs. the Browns, 25 vs. the Falcons, and 23 vs. the Titans. I think they probably do it again here, but I like the under a little bit more than the spread. Using this total in a teaser to get the Under 47.5 would be good too.

Pick: Under 41.5

Las Vegas @ Indianapolis

This Vegas team is a lot like the Titans in my eyes: they are statistically a shell of themselves, yet somehow, they find ways to pull off victories and make my wallet smaller. Vegas finds success on offense when they pass the ball. Indy gets its most success from running behind MVP candidate Jonathan Taylor. So, let’s look at their defensive counterparts. Indy ranks 16th in yds per completion, 27th in pass success rate, and 16th in total passing yds allowed. Defensively, Vegas ranks 12th in yds per rushing attempt, 8th in run success rate, and 19th in total rushing yds allowed. Pay close attention to this game- Carson Wentz is currently out with covid and it is unclear if he will be available given the new return to play rules, especially because he is unvaccinated. If it’s Sam Ehlinger at QB, I’ll take Vegas to at least keep it close. One of my books has the line at 7, so I’m jumping on this before it drops in case Ehlinger has to go. I also don’t hate the under 44.5. If Wentz is out, it will inevitably drop along with the spread, so if that’s the case and you want to wait it out to hear the final actives, go with the under 43 or better.

Pick: LV +7

Philadelphia @ Washington

Something stinks about this line. I just don’t understand why Philly is only a 3pt favorite. Philadelphia is statistically in the Top 10 in most stats across the board. Offensively they rank 9th in PPG, 3rd in rushing yds per attempt, 4th in passing yds per completion, and 1st in run success rate. I know Miles Sanders is out, and Howard and Gainwell are dealing with their own injuries, but they have gotten decent production out of their backfield regardless of who is running the ball. Washington is seemingly in a very bad spot right now. They rank 24th in PPG, 30th in opponent PPG, 21st in rushing yds per attempt, 13th in defensive rushing yds per attempt, 23rd in yds per completion, and 27th in defensive yds per completion. That’s lackluster at best. I’m not sure if it’s an overreaction to Philly’s banged up backfield and I’ll probably regret it because Vegas usually isn’t far off, but I’ll take PHI -3 all day in this situation. 

Pick: PHI -3

LA Rams @ Baltimore

It’s trending towards another OUT for Lamar Jackson this week. At this time of this writing, he is a DNP on Thursday after being limited on Wednesday. The Rams defense rank 3rd in rushing yds per attempt and 10th in passing yds per completion. I don’t see this already depleted Ravens offense able to put much together. Pair that with Baltimore’s defense ranking dead last (32nd) in passing yds per completion going against a passing game that features Cooper Kupp, OBJ, and Van Jefferson. I like the matchup here for LA. This is another weird spread to me. I feel like LA should be at least -7. You’ve been warned. 

Pick: LA -4

Atlanta @ Buffalo

The poor Falcons. Just when they beat the Panthers, they get stomped by the 49ers, only to almost lose to the Lions (!) the following week. There’s no hope that they win this game outright, but here’s something to consider. In their last 3 games, Buffalo’s normally stout defense ranks 29th in rushing yds per attempt and 18th in passing yds per completion. I think this defense can be scored on by a team that can run the ball effectively and make good passes. I don’t know if the Falcons have what it take to pull that off, but they should be able to put up at least 14pts. A healthy WR corps from Buffalo makes the difference in this one. Buffalo lives and dies by the pass, and despite the fact that I think AJ Terrell can handle Stefon Diggs, they have no answer for Emmanuel Sanders, Cole Beasley, Gabriel Davis, and Dawson Knox. I imagine another game where P Matt Haack doesn’t have to do much.

Pick: Over 44

New York Giants @ Chicago

Here is it. The weekly Toilet Bowl Game. The Giants ruled out Daniel Jones a few weeks ago for the year and haven’t been able to look remotely like an NFL offense since. Mike Glennon was so bad that they turned to starting Jake Fromm, who was so bad, he got benched for Mike Glennon! The only redeeming quality of this Giants team is their defense. They managed to keep the Eagles to 130 rushing yds last week and the Cowboys to 125 rushing yds the week before. The Giants defense ranks 6th in passing yds per completion too. Chicago’s defense is middle of the pack, but I don’t think that matters much against a Fromm/Glennon two-headed monster. The total is low for a reason. Don’t be afraid. These teams STINK!

Pick: Under 37

Miami @ Tennessee

If you had told me in Week 7 that the Dolphins would win 7-straight and that the Titans would lose Derrick Henry, Julio Jones and AJ Brown for a good chunk of the year, but still sit at 10-5… I would call you absolutely insane and ask to have some of what you were smoking. Alas, here we are. These teams are extremely similar statistically. They are middle to the bottom of the league in just about every stat. I think this is probably a close game, so I’ll take the team getting the points, especially since it’s at 3.5 covering the magic number of 3 right now.

Pick: MIA +3.5

Houston @ San Francisco

Dare I say, Davis Mills has potentially turned it around recently? He’s thrown only 1 INT in his last four games to go along with 5 TDs and 843yds. Houston as a team looked impressive in their 41-29 win over the Chargers last week. I don’t think that matters much for this week. Houston ranks 27th or lower in just about every stat that matters. SF ranks 19th or higher. They also rank 1st in the league in passing yds per completion. They are a team fighting to get into the playoffs. The 49ers defense ranks 7th in passing yds per completion, 3rd in run success, and 4th in pass success rate. There’s no Davis Mills magic this week.

Pick: SF -13

Denver @ LA Chargers

The only thing I’ll say about this game is that if you have either Broncos RB in fantasy, congrats to you. The Chargers defense ranks 31st in run success, and 29th in opponent yards per rush attempt. And they’re coming off a week where Rex Burkhead torched them for 149yds and 2 TDs. The Denver offense isn’t the same with Drew Lock, which wasn’t great to begin with anyway. A lot of people will be doubting the Chargers after getting their pants pulled down last week by Houston. Denver ranks 25th in defensive passing yds per completion vs. the Chargers offense that ranks 5th in the same stat. Both teams’ strength match up with their other’s weakness. That makes me like the over 45.5 very much, but if you can get the LAC at less than a TD, I don’t hate that either.

Pick: Over 45.5

Carolina @ New Orleans

Carolina is turning back to Sam Darnold as their starter. While I don’t think that means much of anything, it’s known that the Saints are vulnerable vs. the pass. And Darnold is a significant upgrade in the passing game over Cam Newton. I can’t believe I just said that. But I suppose that’s life right now for Carolina fans. Thankfully, Taysom Hill will be returning from the covid list. I don’t think the world could handle more of Ian Book. I’ve been trying to convince myself that the Carolina defense is still pretty good, but they just gave up 32 to TB, 31 to BUF, 29 to ATL, and 33 to MIA. In their last 3 games, they rank middle of the pack in every defensive stat. I think New Orleans has enough to figure it out at home against a team that has come such a long way from its 3-0 start to the season.

Pick: NO -7 

Arizona @ Dallas

These are two teams heading in different directions. Not that long ago, Dalla lost to DEN, KC, and LV. We were talking about a “slump” for this offense. Well, they just went 4-0 in December and scored 27, 27, 21, and 56pts in those games. Arizona went 1-3 in December and has lost 3 straight to the Rams, Lions (yikes), and Colts all while scoring 23, 12, and 16pts. In December, Arizona’s defense ranked 4th in run success and 24th in passing success rates. Dallas ranks 15th and 1st in the same stats. On the year, Dallas ranks 30th in defensive passing yds per completion, however, in their last three games, they rank 15th. They’ve seen a marked improvement in their passing defense, while Arizona is ranked 1st in the NFL in the last three games with 47.2 passing attempts per game. I like Dallas giving less than a TD. 

Pick: DAL -6

Detroit @ Seattle

Surprisingly, the Seattle defense hasn’t actually been that bad this year. They rank T-7th in opponent PPG, 2nd in rushing yds per attempt, and 19th in passing yds per completion. They’re also the 3rd best Red Zone defense in the NFL. The Lions on the other hand, have the 32nd ranked Red Zone offense. Seattle’s defense ranks 5th in sacks while Detroit’s offense only ranks 19th in sacks allowed. Jared Goff under pressure leads to very bad things. Seattle runs the ball very well, and the Lions are average at stopping the run. I’d like it better if the Seahawks were giving less than a TD, but I’ll still take them anyway. I really wanted their team total, but at 24.5, I think it was just a touch too high. If you can find it under 24 anywhere, then hammer it.

Pick: SEA -7

Minnesota @ Green Bay

The Vikings should be getting Dalvin Cook back from the covid list this week. That is good news, because Adam Thielen was just placed on IR. Green Bay ranks 13th in both PPG and opponent PPG. Minnesota sits at 12th in PPG and 23rd in opponent PPG. Both defense’s struggle against the run. Minnesota ranks 28th in rushing yds per attempt and Green Bay ranks 31st. Offensively, GB ranks 8th in yds per completion and MIN is 11th. Defensively they both rank 9th and 28threspectively. I think GB probably covers -7 in this game, but I like the over 46.5 slightly better. This is also a good teaser spot to get GB -1 and Over 40.5. I LOVE that!

Pick: Over 46.5

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh

Big Ben just announced that he believes this will be his last home game (assuming they miss the playoffs). He has looked like a shell of himself even from two years ago, when he was already shell-ish of his old self. Bottom line: he’s bad. It looks like it hurts for him to throw the ball. Pittsburgh ranks 22nd in PPG though Cleveland isn’t much better at 19th. They’re both mediocre in opponent PPG also. Despite having a stud RB in Najee Harris, teams have been able to go heavy to stop the run and dare Ben to beat them in the air. PIT ranks 29th in rushing yds per attempt and 30th in passing yds per completion. Defensively they are not your father’s Steelers. They rank 32nd in opponent rushing yds per attempt and 22nd in passing yds per completion. Add in that defensive superstar TJ Watt has been dealing with some kind of rib/oblique injury, and you’ve lost your one bright spot on this defense. Mike Tomlin deserves a couple votes for coach of the year given that his team is so bad yet somehow still statistically in contention for the playoffs at 7-7-1. I think Cleveland’s defense is just good enough to send Big Ben out with a whimper, just like his whole season has gone. I also like Cleveland’s team total over 21.5.

Pick: CLE -3.5

About Post Author

Jared Mello

Avid Boston sports fan. Lover of all things sports betting. I try to bring a realistic approach to the sports that I cover.
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  • Avid Boston sports fan. Lover of all things sports betting. I try to bring a realistic approach to the sports that I cover.

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