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Free NFL Bets and Teaser Picks for Week 17

Joe

NFL Bets and Teaser Picks

Week 17 in the NFL is a weird one. In years past, this was the final week of the year and aside from a team here or there, essentially everything had been decided in terms of who was going to the postseason and who was going golfing. But this year, Week 17 is just the eve of the final week of the regular season, and only six of the 14 playoff slots have been filled. Yet somehow, despite so many playoff and seeding implications across the league – especially in the AFC where only the Chiefs have clinched – there are lopsided spreads galore. Not fun for bettors.

We’ve got four favorites of at least 12.5 points and 12 favorites of at least 5.5 points. This is shaping up to be a heck of a Pros vs. Joe’s weekend, so let’s make sure we don’t fall into any traps.

Weekly best bets have been scorching hot of late, 10-2 over the last four weeks for a total of +9.7 units. If you placed $100 on the last 12 best bets, you’d be up to $970 dollars in the last month. Let’s keep it rolling, and don’t forget that you can find all my picks for every game on the NFL slate right here.

Cincinnati Bengals +5.5 (-110)

Chiefs 11-4 vs. Bengals 9-6

I’ve actually got a Bengals +6.5 ticket from earlier in the week, but that number is long gone. However, I still like the home team at the current number of 5.5 and would play them down to +5.

Am I crazy fading the Chiefs? They’re the NFL’s hottest team, winners of eight-straight and the only AFC team to have clinched a playoff berth. But I think the Bengals are extremely motivated and are going to take the Chiefs down to the wire.

Kansas City has been here before, right? Home field has gone through Arrowhead two of the last three years, the Chiefs have hosted the last three AFC Championship games, and they’ve been in the last two Super Bowls. This is ho-hum for them at this point – their only goal is a Super Bowl trophy. Which is why I think they’re going to exhale a bit in this game. They’re up a game on the Titans for the one-seed with two games to go and the division is locked up. Kansas City obviously still has something to play for – home-field advantage – but they’ve got the inside track and a lot would have to break wrong for them to relinquish it at this point. The primary goal for the Chiefs right now would be to stay healthy and stay off the COVID list. I’m anticipating more long, drag-it-out, methodical drives from Kansas City as opposed to their quick-strike passing attack. Longer drives mean fewer possessions, and fewer possessions usually dictate a much closer game.

The Bengals have everything to play for. They’ve once again pulled atop the AFC North, and with the collapses going on with all their division rivals, they can finally smell the division crown. A win would lock it up, and there’s no “wait until next week”, because next week holds a trip to Cleveland, and no matter how down-and-out the Browns are, they’re going to want to spoil the Bengals fun if they can. Cincinnati will be motivated to get this win at home and secure a seat at the postseason table.

Plus, the Bengals have been playing really well over the last two weeks, and they’re starting to show their confidence in the media. Both Ja’Marr Chase and Joe Burrow openly flexed their muscles after last week’s win against Baltimore, and why not? Burrow threw for over 500 yards, and Chase topped the 1,000-yard mark as a rookie. What’s more, check out this stat:

The Chiefs’ defense has been playing extremely well, but there’s only going to be so much they can do against all these weapons in front of an insane crowd in The Jungle. I also mentioned the Chiefs will probably lean on the run. That’s an advantage for the Bengals, who own the seventh-best run defense per DVOA. I don’t know if the Bengals can knock off the mighty Chiefs, but I do like them to cover at home.

Detroit Lions +7 (-110)

Lions 2-12-1 vs. Seahawks 5-10

This line dipped below a touchdown earlier in the week, but for some reason it’s hopped back up to a full touchdown, so we’re going to take it. I wouldn’t play this one any lower than +7; it’s an extremely key number and every fraction of a point is crucial.

It’s time to openly admit this: the Seattle Seahawks are a bad football team. They haven’t been a bad football team in a decade; this is actually the first time they’ll have a losing record in the Pete Carroll/Russell Wilson era. But they flat-out stink. They don’t play hard on either side of the ball, they’ve got no rhythm on offense, and their defense can’t come up with a big stop – even against the awful Bears. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the Lions present a terrible matchup for the Seahawks because they play so incredibly hard, and they’re going to win every 50/50 battle because Seattle has simply given up.

You might be inclined to check their schedule, but the Lions are playing very well lately, given the talent on their roster. They’re 2-4-1 since their bye week which is obviously still not a great record, but after starting 0-9, it shows improvement, commitment to getting better as a football team, and playing hard for the coaching staff. They also finished December 2-2 with wins over the Broncos who are still alive with only two games to go, and over the Cardinals who were the number one seed in the NFC for much of the year.

You know the old adage – good teams win, great teams cover. Well, the Lions are covering at a substantial rate, and have been all year – even when they were on a nine-game losing streak. They’re 10-5 against the spread (ATS), 7-3 ATS in their last 10, 4-1 ATS in their last five, and 5-3 ATS on the road. Seattle shouldn’t be favored against very many teams at this point, and while they should obviously still be favored over Detroit, -7 is way too steep. Jared Goff is one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the league, but he’s better than anything the Lions have behind him, and he’ll most likely be back for this game. Detroit is playing hard to the finish, and a road win over a Hall of Fame quarterback would give this team hope heading into next year.

Two-Team Teaser of the Week:

Green Bay Packers -0.5 / Indianapolis Colts -0.5 (-120)

I’m sure you’ve noticed a pattern as we head towards the finish line. In the later weeks of the season, I like to tease two favorites because they need to win for playoff purposes, and if you’re a favorite of a touchdown-or-so, you’re probably playing a bad team who’s closed up shop for the year. That’s exactly what I’m doing here. There aren’t any Wong teaser options available this week so we need to bend the recommendations a little bit, but I still love this teaser provided the key players are active.

Let’s start with Green Bay. I’ve played the Packers in a teaser a bunch of times over the last few weeks, and they just keep cashing for us. I actually lean Minnesota getting +6.5 because their offense presents a tough matchup for the Packers defense, and I see them keeping it close. But they’re not going into Lambeau in prime time when Aaron Rodgers has home-field advantage on the line and knocking off the Packers for the second time this year. Kirk Cousins is terrible in prime time, and Rodgers is not. Aaron also has revenge on his mind, and he wants to stay in the freezing cold confines of Wisconsin for the duration of the playoffs. This figures to be a back-and-forth game with Green Bay controlling the clock in the fourth quarter. I don’t expect a blowout; look for a one-score game but a Green Bay win.

Carson Wentz hit the COVID list on Tuesday, but thanks to the new CDC guidelines and NFL policy, as long as he remains asymptomatic, he can come off the list after five days – just in time to play Las Vegas on Sunday. This bet is contingent on Wentz playing; if he can’t come off the virus list, pivot to Pittsburgh +9.5. Anyway, Indianapolis proved on Saturday in Arizona that they can win in a variety of ways. They were without their top seven offensive linemen at one point, and still beat the then-first place Cardinals on their home field. The Colts need to win every game too, so the motivation is there. Obviously, it’s there for the Raiders as well, but their defense is not equipped to stop Jonathan Taylor. They’re just 19th against the run. Like the Packers game, I don’t expect a blowout. I expect a one-score game with the Colts coming out on top.

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