We’re approaching the ultimate week of the 2019 NFL regular season, and there are some meaningless games on Sunday, December 29. However, a lot of matchups have so much on the table and offer plenty of tempting betting opportunities. Only the Baltimore Ravens have earned a first-round bye, while the Minnesota Vikings are locked into No. 6 seed in the NFC. A couple of playoff spots and final seeding are completely up in the air. Even the Oakland Raiders can make it to the playoffs, but that’s a wild story. Hereof, let’s take a look at our best five bets for Week 17.
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-9.0)
The Chiefs (11-4; 10-5 ATS) need a win over the Chargers (5-10; 4-10-1 ATS) to clinch No. 3 seed in the AFC. If they beat the Chargers and the Dolphins upset the Patriots at Gillette Stadium as 16-point dogs, the Chiefs will finish second in the AFC. That’s not going to happen, but the Chiefs will beat the hapless Chargers who are one of the worst teams in the league at the moment.
I’m pretty sure the Chargers can’t wait for this agony to stop. They are 1-5 SU and ATS over the last six outings including a 24-17 defeat to the Chiefs in Mexico City. Back in Week 14, the Chargers routed the Jaguars 45-10 in Jacksonville, but they’ve lost to Minnesota 39-10 and Oakland 24-17 at home since then. On the other side, the Chiefs are 5-0 SU and ATS over their last five outings and will look for their fourth consecutive straight-up and ATS win at home.
The Chiefs don’t want to put their No. 3 seed in jeopardy. If they lose, the Houston Texans will surpass them with a win over Tennessee. I’m pretty sure the Chiefs have a nice game plan. They’ve been pretty successful against the Chargers lately. Kansas City has won 10 of its last 11 meetings with the Chargers, covering eight times in that span. I expect to Chiefs to storm the front and build an early lead, but they could slow down in the second half. Still, give me the Chiefs to win by at least a touchdown.
Week 17 Best Bet: Kansas City Chiefs -6.5 (-163)
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (+3.5)
The Eagles (8-7; 6-9 ATS) need a win over the Giants (4-11; 7-8 ATS) to clinch the NFC East title. Back in Week 14, the Eagles barely outlasted the Giants 23-17 in overtime and I got burned on them, betting on the Eagles to score at least 28 points. This time, I’m backing the Eagles to surpass a 24.5-point mark, hoping they won’t let the fans down in the ultimate week.
Only a week after that narrow win over the Giants, the Eagles dropped 37 points on the Redskins in Washington. If they want to beat the Giants, the Eagles will have to put on a strong performance on both sides of the ball. The Giants have won two games in a row, defeating Miami 36-20 and Washington 41-35. They will try their best to upset the Eagles, no doubt.
However, the Giants’ defense has been terrible this season, allowing 27.8 points per game (29th in the league). In four of their previous five outings at home, the Giants surrendered 27 or more points to their rivals, and I expect to see a similar scenario when the Eagles come to town. Philadelphia is 5-1 SU in its last six road meetings with the Giants, and the Eagles scored 34 or more points in five of those six contests.
Week 17 Best Bet: Philadelphia Eagles over 24.5 points (-120)
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (+13.0)
The Saints (12-3; 10-5 ATS) are massive favorites to beat the Panthers (5-10; 6-8-1 ATS) for a reason. They need a win to stay in the race for a first-round bye, and the Saints are 6-0 SU and ATS in their previous six outings on the road. Although the Panthers are falling apart, this 13-point spread could be too much for the Saints to cover. Therefore, I’m backing the visitors to score at least 30 points.
Back in Week 12, the Saints beat the Panthers 34-31 as 10-point home favorites. It was their third win over Carolina is the last four head-to-head duels, but the Saints failed to cover on all those four occasions. On the other hand, the Saints have scored 31 or more points in four of their last six encounters with the Panthers, while the over is 9-2 in the previous 11 matchups between the Saints and Panthers.
Carolina is on a seven-game losing streak, covering just once in the process. The Panthers are coming off a 38-6 defeat at the Indianapolis Colts in Week 16. Over their last five outings, the Panthers are surrendering 34.2 points per contest. On the other side, the Saints dropped 38 points on the Tennessee Titans on the road last week and are averaging 36.0 points per game over their previous five outings.
Week 17 Best Bet: New Orleans Saints over 29.5 points (-120)
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.0)
The NFC South showdown from Raymond James Stadium will have only pride on the table, as both Atlanta (6-9; 7-8 ATS) and Tampa Bay (7-8; 5-8-2) are eliminated from the playoff contention. Considering the current form of these two foes, we can expect to see a proper high-scoring affair. Atlanta is scoring 31.0 points per game over its last three outings, while Tampa Bay is tallying 32.0 points per contest over its previous three showings.
Back in Week 12, the Buccaneers routed the Falcons 35-22 in Atlanta. Six of the last seven matchups between Tampa Bay and Atlanta went in the over, and those six games had at least 54 points in the total. Last year, these two division foes met each other in Week 17, too, and the Falcons beat the Buccaneers 34-32 in Tampa.
The Buccaneers are 3rd in the league in points scored per game (29.1) and 30th in points allowed per game (28.1). The over is 11-2 in their previous 13 games overall, and it is 5-1 in the Buccaneers’ last six outings at home. On the other side, two of the Falcons’ last three contests went in the over. Atlanta is 13th in the league in points scored per game (23.5) and 22nd in points allowed per game (25.1). Both Atlanta and Tampa Bay are struggling against passing, so I expect Jameis Winston and Matt Ryan to dominate and throw at least three touchdowns each.
Week 17 Best Bet: Over 47.5 points (-110)
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (+12.5)
The Packers desperately need a win in Detroit to clinch the first-round bye and stay in the race for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. However, the Packers are only 2-4 SU and ATS in their last six visits to Detroit, so I will opt with the visitors to surpass a 27.5-point mark instead of taking them to cover a massive spread. The Packers shouldn’t have any problems to beat the banged-up Lions who lost eight straight contests.
The Lions’ defense has been horrible all season long, allowing 26.7 points per game (26th in the league). They are surrendering 282.6 passing yards per contest which are the most in the league. Therefore, the Lions will struggle mightily against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ receiving corps.
Green Bay is tallying 23.5 points per game (14th). Aaron Rodgers has tossed for 3679 yards, 24 touchdowns, and only three interceptions thus far. Over his last three outings, Rodgers has thrown just a couple of touchdown passes, but the Packers have won all those three contests. However, he tossed four touchdown passes against the Giants in Week 14, and Rodgers will certainly know how to exploit the Lions’ fragile secondary.
Week 17 Best Bet: Green Bay Packers over 27.5 points (-120)