Fairway’s Football Forecast: 2023 NFL Week 17 Underdog Picks And Insights

FairwayJay is 9-1 ATS on his underdog picks in December with 8 outright winners. Week 17 picks, betting report, insight and information you can bet on.

Sports betting news and underdog picks for NFL Week 17

The NFL playoff picture tightens and a number of teams will be eliminated from playoff contention in Week 17. But some of the top teams are battling for No. 1 seeds and the big AFC showdown Sunday Dec. 31 is Miami (11-4) at Baltimore (12-3). A Ravens win secures the No. 1 seed and first round bye while a Dolphins win secures the AFC East title, and gives them the inside track to the No. 1 seed with a win in Week 18 vs. Buffalo. The Detroit (11-4) at Dallas (10-5) game on Saturday, Dec. 30 is also big for tiebreakers and seeding if the Cowboys can win and have the Eagles lose one of their final two games. 

The New Orleans (7-8) at Tampa Bay (8-7) game on Sunday is for first place in the NFC South, and a Saints loss could eliminate them from playoff contention while a win sets up big division games for both teams in Week 18 to determine the division winner and home playoff game. The Monday Night Football game between Green Bay (7-8) and Minnesota (7-8) in Minneapolis is essentially a playoff elimination game, and the winner still needs help to get into the playoffs as a wild card.

NFL underdog picks Week k 17All games in Week 18 are division contests, setting up more intrigue and interest for bettors and leading online sportsbooks as the playoff picture and positions are determined. 

Our Week 16 underdog picks went 1-1-1 ATS, and a disappointment with the last minute Titans loss (push ATS), and then leaving winners on the sidelines that we considered next best when the Ravens upset the 49ers in the biggest game of the season thus far. Much going last week and I decided to pass on underdog picks on the Patriots and Las Vegas as well, and both won outright as big 'Dogs. 

Note that the Titans rushed 31 times for 162 yards in a 20-17 last minute TD loss to Seattle, who rushed 20 times for 58 yards and had just 273 yards offense. Those rushing stats on yards differential and carries are both very positive ATS winners at better than 74% this season. In fact, the Titans were the only team in Week 16 to outrush their opponent by at least 30 yards and lose the game outright. Those teams went 10-1 SU and 7-4 ATS and are greater than 74% ATS this season. 

The bookies who built the business

So we move on with a 9-1 ATS record in December with 8 outright winners, and the 2023 season underdog picks are 26-25 ATS with 18 outright winners. The 7-year record of posting only NFL underdog picks is now 188-142 ATS (57%). I'm not including pushes in the records. Recall we had a 70% season in 2021, and we'll shoot for more profits and payouts in the final few weeks and playoffs.    

NFL Week 17 Odds 

Pro football odds from BetOnline and leading online sportsbooks refresh periodically and are subject to change, including on props and live betting.

NFL Week 17 Underdog Opinions and Considerations 

Las Vegas (+3.5) at Indianapolis 
Pittsburgh (+3.5) at Seattle
Cincinnati (+7 or 7.5) at Kansas City
Los Angeles Chargers (+3.5) at Denver

Jarrett Stidham starts at QB for the Broncos replacing benched Russell Wilson. Barring injury, Stidham will then start Week 18 at Las Vegas against the Raiders, who he started twice against late last season and was sharp passing for 365 yards and 3 TDs in a narrow OT loss to the 49ers. Stidham becomes the 59th different starting quarterback in the NFL this season. Last week, Mason Rudolph of the Steelers was the 58th, and he led the Steelers to a convincing win over the Bengals to keep Pittsburgh's playoff hopes alive. The Steelers (8-7) vs. Seahawks (8-7) game this week is big for both teams as they battle for the final wild card playoff spots.

The Vikings (+3) were our only ATS loser last week and also had a 1st and goal in the fourth quarter that could have cut the Lions lead to 2 points, but settle for a field goal in a 6-point loss. But the Vikings were out-played, and outrushed badly in defeat, and QB Nick Mullens threw four interceptions - another sure fire way to lose games. Game totals were good as we hit the over in the Lions win and have bet both the Lions and Vikings games to go over the total in Week 17. The Lions would be a consideration as a side selection at Dallas if this was a playoff game, but far more motivation, energy and effort for the Cowboys this week where they play and score their best at home. The Lions are off their division-clinching win last week and NFC North winners for the first time in 30 years. 

Notable rushing edge projections in Week 17 favor the Browns, Lions, Ravens, Bears, 49ers, Steelers.

NFL Week 17 injury reports 

Be sure to monitor the NFL weather with cooler temps and more rain in forecasts, and snow and cold in weeks ahead. Any bad weather with precipitation, snow and wind only adds another variable to the handicap and consideration with turnovers potentially more problematic. Again, turnovers are a significant stat yet with much variance, especially fumbles.

Teams that are plus three (+3) or more in the turnover column in a game this season are 43-4 SU and 40-6-1 ATS. Teams that are plus two (+2) are 37-9 SU and 33-11-2 ATS. The Chargers were plus 3 (+3) in the turnover column last week and were just the second team this season to lose SU with a +3 or better TO differential, but Los Angeles (+12') easily covered as our underdog pick in a 24-22 last second loss to the Bills. 

Fairway's Forecast - NFL Week 17 Underdog Picks

Las Vegas (+3.5) at Indianapolis - Raiders Moneyline +160
Pittsburgh (+3.5) at Seattle - Steelers Moneyline +155

Las Vegas at Indianapolis - The Raiders 20-14 big upset win at Kansas City last week kept their slim playoff chances alive, and the Silver & Black (7-8) still have a 12% chance to make the playoffs. The Raiders running game has been an issue this season, but the return of top OL Kolton Miller and a breakout game from rookie RB Zamir White (22 for 145 yards) last week gives the Raiders more options and hope.Raiders Colts prediction pick First-year head coach Shane Steichen has done a terrific job for the Colts (8-7), but they are a leaking oil favorite. The Colts were outrushed 177-55 in a very fortunate Week 13 overtime win at Tennessee, 31-28, and now RB Zach Moss is out this week and RB Jonathan Taylor was shut down last week (18/43 yards) in a poor team performance and 29-10 loss last week at Atlanta. Quarterback Gardner Minshew also struggled (20/37 for 201 yards & INT) and now faces a strong Raiders defense and more pressure. Since Week 14, the Colts defense has allowed 5.8 yards per play - among the worst in the league despite facing below average quarterbacks. Raiders leading WR Davante Adams slump should turn around this week with more favorable matchups and the Colts secondary running cover 3 on nearly 50% of their snaps, and Adams excels against cover 3. I project the yards nearly even, but Las Vegas could certainly out-gain the Colts and the Raiders also have the superior special teams. If rookie QB Aidan O'Connell can protect the ball and get enough protection, the Raiders can roll to a road win and keep their own playoff chances alive into Week 18 vs. Denver. 

Please check back as I work on more underdog picks, game analysis, stats and insight for Friday and over the weekend as we review injury reports as well. 

FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper with unparalleled success in NFL pointspread prognosis. Fairway is recognized as one of the sports industry's insightful analysts, and he chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Follow FairwayJay here at OSGA.com and on X (Twitter) @FairwayJay for more sports betting insights.  

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