NFL Week 17 Betting Guide: Spread, moneyline, over/under picks

It’s the New Year and the final week of the 2020 NFL regular season. With so many playoff implications surrounding games this weekend, there seems to be plenty of edges to attack. If your New Year’s resolution is to cash in on sports betting, this could be a great time to start.

Every week, this column provides a detailed breakdown of our favorite bets, weaving in a preview of exclusive data from BetQL. This compilation serves as a mere sneak preview of all that BetQL offers, whether you prefer betting against the spread, moneylines, or over/unders. Check us out now to reveal our full betting predictions for every game of Week 17, including projections and best bet ratings from our NFL Best Bet Model.

Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

All data presented is as of Friday morning. You can track all NFL line movement on BetQL’s Line Movement Dashboard.

NFL Week 17 Betting Picks: Spread pick of the week

Kansas City Chiefs (+3.5) vs. Los Angeles Chargers

BetQL’s Sharp Bettor Report shows that 64 percent of money so far this week is on the Chargers -3.5 in Kansas City. I’m here to tell you that if you want to make money betting against the spread in this game, your best course of action is to follow the 36 percent.

Let’s be real here: A bet on an underdog based solely on its opponent having already clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC and deciding to rest its stars is a foolish bet. Savvy bettors recognize that Chiefs coach Andy Reid has never ‘mailed in’ a game in his life, never mind a game against a division rival at home and one week ahead of a bye.  

Reid is 63-41 against conference opponents while coaching Kansas City. Veteran backup and former Dolphin/Jaguar Chad Henne will get the start this week. It’s his first start start since September of 2014. That’s not a super promising factor, but Kansas City’s overall depth of talent should be reassuring enough. There are plenty of sleepers who can make plays this Sunday, like running back Darwin Thompson and receivers Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson.

Plus, do you really believe in Rookie of the Year candidate Justin Herbert as much as the narrative around him tells you to believe in him? L.A. has won three games in a row, yes, but all three wins were by a field goal over non-playoff teams. The Chargers lost the previous game against a good New England defense with a horrendous offense by an unfathomable score of 45-0. None of the six teams that have lost to the Chargers in 2020 have had a winning record, and five of the six teams currently sit in the basement of their respective division. The combined win-loss total of the opponents L.A. has defeated: 23-66.

Kansas City comes into this home game at 14-1 and as complete a team as the NFL has seen this century. Stray from the crowd on this one and roll with the defending Super Bowl champions. Reid won’t allow the wheels to rust just because he decided to give his driver some rest.

NFL Week 17 Betting Picks: Moneyline pick of the week

Buffalo Bills -165 vs. Miami Dolphins

All my friends in New England are probably tired of my pro-Buffalo takes at this point, but how can anyone deny how awesome these Bills have been this season? Quarterback Josh Allen just keeps getting better, having just steamrolled through a quartet of nationally televised games and outscoring opponents 146-67 in the process.

Allen has hit personal records in just about every statistical category this season, and his entire team has benefited from his success. Stefon Diggs leads the NFL in catches and receiving yards, and he’s grabbed eight TDs and a career-high 75.9 percent of his targets. Cole Beasley has had a career year of his own, with 82 catches, 967 yards, and four scores. Eight different Bills have multiple TD grabs, and six different players have three or more receiving scores.  

But Brian Daboll’s offense isn’t the only scary aspect of this Buffalo squad. It’s a complete team without any identity complexes or coaching issues. And it knows how to win games it’s supposed to win. Head coach Sean McDermott has gone 23-5 as a favorite while coaching Buffalo. Leslie Frazier’s defense has held four of the Bills’ past five opponents to under 20 points and allowed an average of 226.6 total yards in the past three weeks. This might be the hottest team in football, and it just might be led by a future MVP.

Miami has been a great story this season and could sneak into the playoffs, but I flat-out do not see the Dolphins going into Buffalo and beating this focused, disciplined, downright-elite squad. The Bills are trying to cement the No. 2 seed in the conference and have barely shown any signs of slowing down for anyone. Even Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin seems to know Buffalo will win this game, otherwise, he would never in a million years bench Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and concede the two seed. Bet the farm — or at least the silo — on the Bills.

WEEK 17 NFL DFS: Best stacks | Best values | Lineup Builder

NFL Week 17 Betting Picks: Over/under pick of the week

Buccaneers vs. Falcons: OVER 50

Sometimes, oddsmakers suffer from recency bias, which seems to be the case with this total. Tampa Bay held Detroit to seven points last week while Atlanta managed just 14 points against the Chiefs. So, this game should fall well short of the 50-point mark, right?

Wrong. Dive deeper into the box scores last week and you’ll notice that the Lions lost QB Matthew Stafford to an ankle injury on their opening possession. They were already flustered and overmatched and managed just 12 total first downs behind the bumbling efforts of Chase Daniel and David Blough. They were sacked four times, lost two turnovers, and committed 11 penalties for 117 yards.

Meanwhile, Atlanta struggled in Week 16 against Steve Spagnuolo’s defense in Kansas City, where the Chiefs have allowed just 235.3 passing yards per game this season. Matt Ryan and the Falcons kept up with MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, both in first downs (each team had 23) and net passing yards (KC edged ATL 278-277). The Dirty Birds just failed to capitalize in the red zone.

This may not be a sentiment shared by everybody in the field of sports journalism, but Kansas City has a better defense than Tampa Bay. The Bucs beat up on inferior offenses and get exposed by decent ones. Atlanta just scored 27 points against Todd Bowles’ unit two weeks ago, and suddenly Las Vegas thinks the Week 17 contest will be a low-scoring affair?

After their 47-point showing in Detroit last week, Tom Brady and the Bucs will be airing the ball out early and often, trying to maintain momentum going into the playoffs. Tampa has averaged 33 points in its past six games, and while Atlanta’s front seven has improved, its secondary remains shaky. This game might reach 50 points by the end of the third quarter.

Everyone at BetQL and I wish you a Happy New Year, and hope you find good health, happiness, and betting success in 2021! Head over to BetQL to see our model’s best bets, sharp data, and much more for every Week 17 contest! You can find all updated NFL lines, spreads, and odds at BetQL!

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