For the first time in what feels like several months, the Favorites ruled the week as they went 12-4 SU and 10-6 ATS in Week 16.
The four upsets were the Bengals beating the Texans, the Jets over the Browns, the 49ers over the Cardinals, and Dallas beating Philadelphia. The biggest favorites to cover were the Buccaneers at -12, the Ravens at -9.5, and the Bears at -9.
For the season, the Favorites are 157-77-1 SU. However, they’re still under .500 with the spread as they’re just 106-127-2 ATS.
Week 16 saw the Home teams pull ahead with a 9-7 SU record and also a 9-7 ATS record. However, they’re barely succeeding on the season as Home teams are 118-116-1 SU and 113-120-2 ATS.
Lastly, the Overs went 9-7 on the week and are now 114-114-6 on the season.
Let’s huddle up and take a look at the best bets for Week 17 of the 2020 NFL season. Betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline.
Quick Recap of Week 16’s Best Bets
In Week 16, we had our first losing week of the season as we went 1-3 with the following NFL wagers:
- Dolphins Win by More Than a FG Over Raiders
- Cardinals Win by a TD vs 49ers
- Bears by at Least 4 at Halftime vs Jags
- Bills By More Than a FG at Halftime vs Patriots
Our lone win of the week was a dominant performance by the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football against the New England Patriots. Buffalo put up 21 points in the 2nd quarter to lead the Patriots 24 to 9 at halftime. They went on to win by the final score of 38 to 9.
Of my Week 16 picks, the biggest surprise was the Cardinals losing. I fully expected this team to beat the 49ers by a TD or more especially since Arizona was fighting for a Playoff spot. Instead, the Cardinals came out flat and lost by eight points to the hapless 49ers.
The Bears went on to crush the Jaguars by the score of 41 to 17, but Jacksonville played Chicago tough in the 1st half. The Jags were down only 13 to 10 at halftime. Chicago woke up in the second half and outscored the Jaguars 28 to 7, but that did nothing for our wager.
Lastly, I was a bit surprised at how poorly the Dolphins played in the first half of their game against the Raiders. They were down 13 to 6 at halftime and looked flat. However, Ryan Fitzpatrick came into the game in the second half and rallied the Dolphins to a 26 to 25 win.
Once again, although Miami got the win, they finished below the FG prediction that I made. Furthermore, the Raiders gifted the Dolphins the victory with their terrible defense with under 30 seconds to play.
Despite going 1-3 for the week, at least I don’t feel as bad as the Raiders and their fans do right now.
For the season, we’re now at 40-21-1 heading into Week 17.
Dallas Beats the Giants by at Least a FG
- Dallas -3 (+100)
For most of the season, I have shied away from the Dallas Cowboys unless I picked against them. They have been an awful team until the last three weeks.
Over that stretch, the Cowboys have won three straight games and are now in contention to win the NFC East division. In fact, both teams can win the division if they get the victory in this matchup combined with a loss by the Washington Football Team on SNF against the Eagles.
HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!?
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 28, 2020
Over the last three weeks, the Giants have gone 0-3 and have lost by a combined score of 73 to 26. Furthermore, they have one of the worst offenses in the league as New York is 31st in points per game at 17.1 and total yards at 297.2 ypg.
New York also has the 31st ranked red zone offense, is 31st in sacks per pass attempts, and has just 10 TD passes on the year.
Making things worse for the Giants is the fact that Dallas is 7-0 SU in the last 7 meetings including a victory earlier this season. The Cowboys are also 6-1 ATS over those seven games.
The Giants are 3-10 SU as an Underdog this season and 1-8 SU as an Underdog of 3pts or less. Dallas should win this game by at least a field goal.
Buffalo Beats Miami
- Bills -1 (-110)
These odds are courtesy of William Hills since many online betting sites like BetOnline didn’t have the Bills vs Dolphins game listed as of this writing.
The big concern for this game, which makes it a bit risky, is that the Buffalo Bills could end up resting their starters. If that happens, then Miami should win because they’re fighting to make the Playoffs whereas Buffalo will finish no worse than 3rd in the AFC.
However, there’s a buzz coming out of Buffalo that the team wants to get the #2 seed in the AFC which means that QB Josh Allen and other star players will compete in this game.
In the last seven meetings, Buffalo has gone 6-1 SU. More recently, Buffalo is 3-0 SU against the Dolphins including a 31 to 28 win in September.
Buffalo is 6-0 SU in their last six AFC games, 5-0 SU in their last five overall games, 6-1 SU in home games this season, and 7-0 ATS in their last seven games.
Miami is 8-15 SU in their last 23 road games and 5-6 SU in their last 11 games during the final four weeks of the season.
With both teams playing their starters, Buffalo is clearly the better team right now. I would take a Bills spread all the way up to -3 for this matchup as long as Josh Allen and the rest of the starters are playing.
Cardinals Beat the Rams
- Arizona -1.5 (-115)
I must admit, I’m a little bit surprised that these odds are so low. The Rams are going to be without Jared Goff at QB this weekend as he recovers from thumb surgery. Arizona Cardinals is expected to have Kyler Murray at QB despite injuring his leg last weekend.
A big reason why the spread is still this is low is due to the recent betting trends for this divisional rivalry. In the last 10 meetings, the Rams are 8-2 SU and 7-2-1 ATS. Furthermore, they’re averaging 25.9ppg while the Cardinals are averaging 16.8ppg.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 30, 2020
Making matters even worse, the Rams are 7-0 SU and 6-0-1 ATS in the last seven head to head matchups. They beat the Cardinals by the score of 38 to 28 in early December on the road.
With that said, I believe you can throw out these trends for this matchup. The Rams are starting a backup QB against a desperate Cardinals team trying to make the Playoffs.
The Cardinals will have Kyler Murray as he’s already practiced this week and the team will play an aggressive style of football on both sides of the ball.
Take Arizona to win this game as the Rams are going to be without Goff and Henderson in the backfield. Running back Cam Akers could return, but he won’t be 100% healthy for this game.
Packers vs Bears Over 52 Points
- Over 52 (-110)
The NFL’s oldest rivalry will be in the spotlight on Sunday as the Green Bay Packers and the Bears face off in a meaningful game for both teams.
Green Bay is looking to win this matchup and clinch the #1 seed for the NFC Playoffs. If they lose and Seattle wins then the Seahawks will capture the top seed.
For the Bears, if they win then they make the Playoffs as they hold the tie breaker over the Cardinals. In fact, if both the Cardinals and Bears win then the Rams will miss the postseason.
For this matchup, I think the Packers will win, but I like the Over/Under as I feel these two teams are going to put up some points.
Combined, these two teams score 55.3ppg with the Bears scoring 23.7ppg and the Packers averaging 31.6ppg.
However, Chicago has scored over 36ppg the last three weeks and even put up 27.5ppg in their last two losses. They’ve definitely showed a marked improvement on offense and will need to score a lot of points in order to beat the Packers.
For Green Bay, the Over is 6-0 in their last six January games and 4-1 in their last five divisional matchups. The Bears have seen the Over go 4-1 in their last five games.
Washington Beats Eagles by a FG or More
- WFT -2 (-112)
The betting trends for this game are horrendous. There’s not much of a case to be made for either team when looking over the betting data.
With that said, I am taking the Washington Football Team to win this game as head coach Ron Rivera sent a clear message this week when he cut 2019 1st round draft pick QB Dwayne Haskins.
There’s a lot on the line in Week 17 in the NFChttps://t.co/pJwSWXr1z0
— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) December 29, 2020
I believe that message will be well received and the WFT will respond on the field. Furthermore, the Eagles have been eliminated from making the Playoffs and have nothing left to play for.
Washington won their September meeting against Philadelphia by the score of 27 to 17. I can see a similar result this week if Alex Smith starts. Keep an eye on his status.
As of this writing, the team is optimistic that Smith will return for this divisional matchup. If he doesn’t play then I would go with Washington’s moneyline instead.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed “King of the Blog” in his first year with the site. …