Betting tips and top picks for Week 17 in the NFL
This is it. It’s Week 17 of the NFL season and heading into it there are still some playoff question marks. The No. 1 seed in the NFC, for example, will be Green Bay’s with a win over Chicago.
One of Indianapolis, Cleveland, Miami, Baltimore or Tennessee will be left out of the AFC playoffs despite having a 10-5 record entering the last week of the regular season.
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It's going to be a wild Week 17. Here are the best bets.
Pittsburgh at Cleveland (-7.5)
This game opened with Cleveland as a 1-point favorite playing at home and needing a win to secure a playoff berth. The line inched to the Browns -4 and ultimately exploded to as high as -10 at some sportsbooks with the news that Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger will sit and Mason Rudolph will start in his place.
The Browns were a slight favorite as oddsmakers thought some Steelers starters would sit or not play an entire game. With Roethlisberger out, it's no wonder the Browns are now such a heavy favorite.
Cleveland is reeling from a loss to the New York Jets last week. The only way to ensure the Browns reach the playoffs is to win on Sunday. That said, Cleveland is in a favorable situation.
There is a small sample of such games, but when a team with at least a 12-3 record is an underdog in Week 17, the favorite usually does pretty well. Favorites are 7-4-1 ATS in such games.
If you can still find this game at -7.5 or lower, back the Browns all day. Rudolph and the Steelers will struggle on offense.
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Green Bay (-5.5) at Chicago
Betting on this game is really simple. Green Bay needs a win to secure the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. That guarantees them a bye in the first round of the postseason.
With the No. 1 seed on the line, Green Bay starters are not sitting. That means QB Aaron Rodgers and his MVP season will be unleashed on the Bears. The Packers beat the Bears 41-25 earlier this season.
One of the surest bets you can make in the NFL is on Rodgers. For his career, the Green Bay quarterback is 117-84-5 ATS. Rodgers has also been really good against teams in the NFC North Division going 45-27 ATS.
Plus, the Bears under head coach Matt Nagy are just 11-19-1 ATS since the start of last season. Chicago has been on a scoring binge lately, but the Packers continue to lead the NFL in scoring (31.6 ppg).
Washington (-1.5) at Philadelphia
This is another simple one. The Football Team has to win to make the postseason. When the line on this game opened, Philadelphia was a 1.5-point home favorite. That has now shifted.
Alex Smith is expected to start at quarterback for Washington, but the Football Team's defense will be the key in this one. The Eagles are banged up badly. They could be without most of their defensive line and are already operating with a thin offensive line.
It's important to note that the Football Team is coming off a loss to Carolina. When the line opened with Washington was a 1.5-point underdog. Road dogs coming off a loss are actually a pretty profitable wager going 86-63-5 since 2019.
Despite not being an underdog anymore, the return of Smith and WR Terry McLaurin will be enough to carry the Football Team to the playoffs with a cover in their final game.
We had it a little rough last week, going 1-2. Check out our NFL Week 16 best bets.