Week 16 was yet another good one for underdogs across the NFL. Both the Jets and the Bengals pulled off their second-consecutive wins despite being underdogs of more than a TD. The Falcons also came close to pulling off an upset of the Chiefs, but they ultimately couldn’t quite pull it off. They still did cover the 11-point spread in that game by a wide margin. One of the most notable favorites to win was the Bears, as they are now in the driver’s seat for the final playoff spot in the NFC while the team they beat, the Jaguars, is locked into the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
These results are surely going to have an impact on sportsbook spreads and betting lines, but in Week 17, it is even harder to keep track of how the spreads change throughout the week. The reason for that? Teams with noting to play for often rest their starters. This year, the Chiefs and Steelers have already announced that Patrick Mahomes and Ben Roethlisberger won’t be in action while several other teams outside of the playoff race will be without stars that have been shut down, like Dalvin Cook.
These absences will surely have an impact on spreads throughout the week, and sharp bettors will be watching the lines very closely so they can be ready to pounce if any more key injuries or benched starters are announced. And if you’re in an NFL picks against the spread office pool or a contest that locks picks early in the week, it’s usually best to choose teams that have something to play for this week like the Packers, Colts, Browns, Ravens, Rams, Cardinals, and more.
Speaking of the Rams and the Cardinals, their Week 17 game will be one of the most intriguing ones on the slate to keep an eye on. The Rams are going to be without Jared Goff (thumb), Darrell Henderson (ankle), and Cooper Kupp (COVID), so they will be starting some backups on offense including John Wolford, who has never played an NFL game. Meanwhile, Kyler Murray is dealing with a leg injury and while he has said he expects to play, it’s worth wondering if he’ll be limited, so that spread will need to be watched. There are also some COVID concerns that are impacting the Browns ahead of their game against the Steelers, so that’s something that will need to be watched closely as well. If they are shorthanded, the Steelers could have a chance to cover even if they are resting some of their starters.
For more expert NFL predictions, check out Sporting News’ picks straight up and against the spread for Week 17.
NFL odds for Week 17
Below are the latest Week 17 NFL odds, including point spreads, money lines and over-under totals for every game, according to the DraftKings sportsbook .
Last updated: Sunday, Jan. 2
NFL point spreads Week 17
NFL money lines Week 17
NFL over-unders Week 17
NFL best bets for Week 17
Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
In a normal week, people would be hammering the Chiefs as home underdogs. However, since the Chiefs have nothing to play for after locking up the No. 1 seed in the AFC by winning last week. As a result, Patrick Mahomes will sit and other starters may join him. That will leave Chad Henne to take over for Mahomes and while Henne is a fine backup, he won’t do as well as Mahomes normally does as not all of his weapons are likely to be active. Meanwhile, the Chargers are fighting to save Anthony Lynn’s job, so they will bring their A-game for this one. Besides, Justin Herbert has looked great this year even without his full complement of offensive linemen and receiving weapons, so he should be able to lead this team to victory.
Green Bay Packers (-5.5) at Chicago Bears
The Packers have been on a tear of late and they have a chance to knock their archrival out of the postseason, if all goes well. Aaron Rodgers and Co. will be motivated to quash that win-and-in scenario for the Bears and the Packers need a win to clinch the No. 1 seed anyway. Though the Bears have played better on offense of late, their defense has taken a step back. Rodgers will be able to take advantage of that with Davante Adams and it’s easy to imagine the team repeating their 41-25 victory over the Bears from just a month or so back.
Denver Broncos (+2.5) vs. Las Vegas Raiders
The Broncos were originally favored in this game but the line has shifted dramatically following the Raiders’ last-second loss to the Dolphins. Now, the Raiders are nearly field-goal favorites in this one despite playing a tough road game in Denver. It’s also worth noting that the Raiders’ loss to the Dolphins eliminated them from postseason contention, so it may be hard for them to get ready for this game and take the Broncos seriously enough to win. The Raiders crushed the Broncos earlier in the season, but Denver was missing a ton of defensive players in that game and couldn’t stop the run. They should be in better position to slow the Raiders’ role now that they’re a bit healthier. They could win this one outrigh easily, so we’ll take the points here.
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