It’s that time of the week once again! Week 17 of the NFL season is here, which means it’s time to run the board with an NFL betting primer presented by SuperBook Sports! If you are looking for a new sportsbook to bet with in Colorado, look no further than our friends at SuperBook Sports! My apologies for the delay this week. I’ve been home sick and needed a little extra time to get the Week 17 primer ready to rock.
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The overall goal of this primer is to paint a picture of the weekend NFL betting slate so you can dive into it with your head on straight. Sports betting is here, and if you are going to bet, you might as well get an edge, right?
Atlanta Falcons @ Buffalo Bills: ATL +14.5, BUF -14.5, o/u 44
After Buffalo took down the New England Patriots last wee,k they are again in prime position to win the AFC East. The Bills control their own destiny down the stretch and they’ll take on a Falcons team that is just 1-5 ATS vs teams with winning records this season. Being that Buffalo was one of the preseason favorites to win the Super Bowl, they are no stranger to being a double-digit favorite ATS. Week 17 will be the 6th game this season where the Bills are a double-digit favorite, and they have done well in these spots, covering three of the five played this season.
While the Falcons have struggled against teams with winning records, the Bills have dominated against teams with losing records, posting a 7-1-1 mark ATS. Atlanta beat the Lions last week, but that was nothing to ride home about, and their true colors have shown over the season. The Falcons do not have a running attack and Calvin Ridley not playing, the Bills defense is more than capable of taking on this Falcons offense. The Falcons defense is not much better and with the momentum, the Bills got with their win last week, Buffalo is the only way I can look here.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ New England Patriots: JAX +16.5, NE -16.5, o/u 41.5
Do you want to lay 16.5 points with the Patriots? I sure don’t and there’s 0% chance I take the points with this atrocity of a team in Jacksonville. I would like to tease the Pats down if anything but I’m not touching this game unless New England somehow gets down early and I can find a good live bet spot. Pass.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Cincinnati Bengals: KC -4.5, CIN +4.5, o/u 51
This line moved to KC -5.5 for a moment but has since dropped back to KC -4.5. The total has also jumped up to 51 after opening at 49. Kansas City enters this game as winners of eight straight. Remember those questions everyone had about the Chiefs earlier this season? Kansas City has done a good job of bouncing back and getting back to their ways in the second half of the year. The Chiefs dominated the Steelers last week, 36-10, in one of their strongest games to date. The offense has come unhinged the previous three weeks, scoring 30+ points in each game. KC will also welcome back Travis Kelce, which will be a big boost as they get ready to go up against this high-powered Bengals team.
Cincy knocked the socks off Baltimore last week and are now leading the pack in the hyper-competitive AFC North division where all four teams are still vying for the playoffs. The Bengals took down the short-handed Ravens last week in convincing fashion, 41-21, and now have one of their biggest tests of the season. I’ve been dead wrong about the Bengals this year. Joe Burrow is a gamer and has changed the culture of this franchise, which is why you have to give them a strong look here. Burrow threw for 525 yards last week, and while it’s not realistic to assume he can replicate that for a second week, he will need to be on his A-game against his potent Chiefs’ team.
Kansas City was regarded as one of the least profitable teams ATS last season, but they have been on a surge lately, covering in six straight games. This is a massive test for the young Bengals. We saw Cincy nearly take down the Packers at home earlier this season, but that was more so a war amongst kickers. Nevertheless, Cincy fell short in that game. They have been impressive against teams within their division, but how will they fare against one of the brutes in the conference? I’ll lean with Mahomes and company here.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Indianapolis Colts: LV +7.5, IND -7.5, o/u 44.5
This game has been through a whirlwind with a slew of COVID-19 news. We saw the line move throughout the week and are still waiting for final confirmation on the status of Carson Wentz. If Wentz is out, Sam Ehlinger is in line to start for Indy against a Raiders team fighting for the playoffs.
There are a bunch of red flags for this game which makes it tough to get a read on. This season, Jonathan Taylor has been the most critical aspect of the Colts’ offense, but if Wentz can’t go, how does that change the Raiders’ defensive game plan? I’ll probably pass this game entirely due to the uncertainty, but with there being so many questions on the side of Indy I would lean towards the Raiders getting over a touchdown if anything.
Los Angeles Rams @ Baltimore Ravens: LAR -5.5, BAL +5.5, o/u 46.5
This one will ultimately come down to the overall health and availability of the Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. Jackson is not played the last couple of games due to an ankle injury, but he might have to give it a go this week as the Ravens season is pretty much on the line against a surging Rams club. Clearly, people are skeptical of Jackson’s ability even if he does play, as this line has gone steaming up to LA -5.5 after opening -3.5.
The Rams managed to beat the Minnesota Vikings last week despite a poor performance from quarterback Matthew Stafford. As a result, LA has won four in a row and covered in all four games. On the flip side, Baltimore has lost four games in a row, and you can pretty much stick a fork in them this season if they lose this game on Sunday. Jackson has practiced this week, but reports indicate he has been moving around with a noticeable limp, which probably won’t just disappear come kick-off on Sunday. Jackson’s mobility is a massive part of what makes him so difficult for the defense of scheme against, so if he’s unable to navigate throughout the trenches, he will be forced to throw from the pocket which is not his expertise. Outside of Jackson, the Ravens have been absolutely decimated with injuries all season long, and it just might be catching up to them now. They’ve put up some good fights in recent weeks, but at some point, the bottom is just gonna have to give out. Still, with a team that is led by John Harbaugh you can never rule them out.
If there’s one thing that makes me want to take the ravens here, it’s the movement of the lines and also this year public money coming in on the Rams. Nobody is believing in this ravens team with Jackson hobbled, and it just might be the best spot to play this game as a contrarian. Call me crazy, but I’m on the Ravens ATS.
Miami Dolphins @ Tennessee Titans: MIA +3.5, TEN -3.5, o/u 40
The Miami Dolphins just cannot be stopped right now. Miami has won seven consecutive games and now head to Tennessee to take on the Titans, who have had a little bit of extra time to prepare that for this game following their week 16 victory on Thursday night football.
My general rule of thumb with the Titans is bet em as a dog and fade em as a favorite. Here we are with Tennessee as an uncomfortable -3.5 dog. This is one of the more competitive matchups on the slate between two mid-tier playoff-caliber teams. The spread is about right, but the hook is definitely something that I’m concerned about here if you want to consider backing Tennessee. D’Onta Foreman has done a great job stepping in for Derrick Henry, but he is not the hung at the end of the day. A.J. Brown returned in Week 16 and delivered a big-time performance which pushed Tennessee to a much-needed victory over San Francisco. Was that a flash in the pan? Or can Tennessee carry that over to this game against Miami?
Both Mike Vrabel and Brian Flores come from the school of Bill Belichick, one as a player and the other a coach. Expect this to be a tough-nosed football game. If Tua can continue to play well, Miami can win this game outright, but this will be a high-pressure game. We’ve seen the Titans navigate these waters, but it’s a first for Miami. There’s also some snow in the forecast which hurts a warm-weather team like Miami.
Both of these teams rank pretty similar on both sides of the football, so it really is a coin flip game. Being that we are over a field goal, I’ll look towards Miami ATS. They are playing sound football, and the Titans appear to have more issues at the moment. I’m sticking to my rules with Tennesse.
New York Giants @ Chicago Bears: NYG +6.5, CHI -6.5, o/u 36.5
This game is going to be so ugly I can sense it. The total is already absurdly low at 36.5 and this is a game for degenerates only. Nick Foles propelled Chicago to a miraculous victory last week against the Seattle Seahawks, and now Chicago will look to carry that momentum over against a weak Giants team.
Andy Dalton will be under center for Chicago in this one, and while that does not inspire much confidence you’d think he has what it takes to get the job done against this Giants team. Many New York sports fans are saying this version of the New York Football Giants just might be the worst professional football team to play in New York in recent memory. It will be either Mike Glennon or Jake Fromm playing QB for the Giants, and the thought of putting my money on either of those QBs is nauseating.
The Bears are a train wreck but I’m not considering the Giants here. Might be wise to pass this game.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Football Team: PHI -4.5, WFT +4.5, o/u 44.5
This week, Philly is looking to keep their playoff hopes alive against a division opponent. Seems like a perfect opportunity for a Washington football team revenge game if you ask me. The public is all over the Eagles because they “need” the game, but Washington is due for a bounce-back after the slaughtering that ensued last week on Sunday Night Football against Dallas. The dog is 3-1-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings and Philly is 0-4-1 in their last 5 after scoring 30+ points in their previous game.
Philly isn’t that much better than Washington. I’ll take the points and fade the public.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Jets: TB -13, NYJ +13, o/u 45.5
It’s never a bad idea to fade the Jets.
Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers: DEN +8, LAC -8, o/u 45
I hope you guys cashed out fading the Broncos last week. I wound up with a good buddy of mine over the weekend and we both bet the Raiders ML due to the uncertainty of Drew Lock. Needless to say, we went out and had a nice dinner that evening with some of the winnings. Drew Lock is just terrible and I’m not sure how you have confidence with the Broncos’ offense for this game. Throw in the fact that guys like Jerry Jeudy and other prime playmakers on the team are out due to COVID-19 protocols, and this is a disastrous matchup for Denver. Now, the Chargers are known for laying eggs in these spots but they should be ready to go after their embarrassing loss to Houston a week ago.
Due to Lock starting and the covid factors with the Broncos, I’ll look toward the Chargers here.
Houston Texans @ San Francisco 49ers: HOU +12.5, SF -12.5, o/u 43.5
There’s a bit of a wild card factor here with Trey Lance starting that makes this game intriguing but I’ll pass this one.
Arizona Cardinals @ Dallas Cowboys: AZ +6, DAL -6, o/u 51
Dallas got back on track last week with a monumental victory over the Washington football team. Not only did the Dallas defense continue to play great football, their offense finally flipped the switch and got back to its high-octane form, which we saw earlier this season. Now, we will see if Dallas can carry over the momentum from this last game to their final big test of the regular season before the playoffs.
The Cowboys have been one of the best teams in the NFC this season, but they have had the virtue of one of the easiest schedules in the league. This Cardinals squad is the best team the Cowboys will face since they were embarrassed against the Chiefs back on Nov. 21. That said, the Cardinals have been trending in the wrong direction as the playoffs approach. They have lost three in a row, and honestly look a bit lost with their game plan on offense. Perhaps this is just their issues manifesting late in the season, but it is an issue that needs to be worked out rather quickly if they want to get back into the mix of things in the NFC.
Dallas has already locked up the NFC East and bearing any unforeseen circumstances from the Green Bay Packers they probably won’t be the #1 seed. Arizona has much more to play for, so you would expect to get there A+ effort. Still, I expect the Cowboys to use this as a gut-check game ahead of the playoffs with a division opponent looming next week. The Cowboys are playing better football right now, and I do think last week was a big confidence booster for Dak Prescott the offense. I’ll ride with the hot hand and lay the points with the Cowboys so long as I can get under a touchdown.
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints: CAR +6.5, NO -6.5, o/u 37.5
We don’t know who will start for New Orleans yet, but they should get some reinforcements back from the COVID-19 reserved injury list this week against Carolina. I get the sense I have some problems to work through, but Karolina seems to be in a state of disarray.
Matt Rhule seems to be losing the locker room and can’t firmly decide if he wants Sam Darnold or Cam Newton out there. We will probably see both at one point or another and while Carolinas’ defense is strong, the level of dysfunction across the board is startling. This is could teaser spot for the Saints.
Detroit Lions @ Seattle Seahawks: DET +7.5, SEA -7.5, o/u 41.5
This feels like too many points for Seattle, but I don’t have much on this one. I’ll pass this game for the Sunday slate. With these types of games, sometimes I’ll take the favorite (Seattle) and put them in a ML parlay for the slate of action, but that’s about it. If you like them, you could look to play Seahawks first half but don’t want to lay the -7.5.
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers: MIN +13, GB -13, o/u 42.5
No Kirk Cousins means the Aaron Rodgers show will be in full effect on Sunday night. Sean Mannion will start for Minnesota so that’s that. It’s a lot of points but I can’t consider Minnesota here. I backed Ian Book last week, and that was an awful decision. Maybe Minny can pull off a back door cover if Green Bay takes their foot off the gas in the second half like we’ve seen this season, but I’m not counting on it. Go Pack Go.
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers: CLE -3.5, PIT +3.5, o/u 41.5
Is this the last home start of Big Ben’s career? Both Cleveland and Pittsburgh are still alive in the playoff hunt, but It’ll take some magic to get either of them in the big dance. Both teams are coming off a loss, but Pittsburgh got absolutely destroyed by the Chiefs last week while Cleveland fought against Green Bay.
Check back for more on this one closer to Monday. I want to get a better read for what will be an emotional night in Pittsburgh for #7.