Week Seventeen NFL Sports Betting: Picks Against The Spread
Our first legit tie of the season came in last week as the Houston Texans were not able to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by more than three points. We also suffered what was probably the worst loss of the season with Dallas PK losing by a touchdown to Philadelphia Eagles. I have never been more mad at a team that should have clearly won a game than Dallas losing to Greg Ward and Boston Scott. Moving forward, Week 17 NFL sports betting is not easy. There is always the question of motivation and we are not even sure that teams that have motivation will not call the dogs off in the second half when the team gets updates from other games that impact their seeding. My bets this week are definitely curated with motivation in mind (for both teams) and before you place any Week 17 NFL sports betting action, you should know that in many situations, the teams do not know how hard they are going to be trying all four quarters so it would be impossible for us to know.
As always, use this article as a reminder to keep tailing the SportsGrid betting model and #TrustTheProcess.
Davis Mattek NFL Sports Betting Record: 29-19-1 ATS
Week Seventeen NFL Sports Betting Picks
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -1
Last week, we went against Jameis Winston for our first push of the year. This week, we are back on the Tampa Bay side at -1 to +1. Depending on which sportsbook you are using, you are getting the Buccaneers at a variety of numbers. We think that the Bucs offer value at -1 but there are better numbers to be had out there. Tampa Bay is up to 9th in the NFL in defensive DVOA and while DVOA is more descriptive than predictive, there is no denying that their defense has been vastly better in the second half of the season than the first half of the season when they were perhaps the worst passing defense in the NFL other than the Miami Dolphins.
On the other side of the game, the Falcons have nothing to play for but have more veteran players who may not play. The Bucs will be going full steam ahead, as they have for the entire second half of the season despite being eliminated from the playoffs rather early. Julio Jones is banged up and this line tells me that there is some chance that Matt Ryan doesn’t play the entire game either for the Falcons. Essentially, this is a “who cares” game with the Buccaneers being more outwardly confident about wanting to win this game and the Buccaneers are a comparable team in terms of yards per play anyway with Tampa actually being .1 better per play on offense than Atlanta.
Chicago Bears +1
By the time that you read this, the line will have probably moved to Chicago -2 or -3 and I would still bet them all the way to -3 for a pretty simple reason: this is a pre-season game for the Vikings. They have already announced that Dalvin Cook is not going to play and we are unlikely to see several key players on defense. The real question would be will Kirk Cousins play in this game at all and it seems right now like the answer is no. While we might think of Mitch Trubisky and the Bears as being bad (and they certainly aren’t good) they are at the very least NFL starting players whereas Sean Mannion, LaQuon Treadwell and Tyler Conklin are borderline NFL players at best.
Chicago doesn’t have any big motivation behind Matt Nagy trying to figure out what he is doing with this offense going forward but Minnesota has no motivation at all. When beat writers are talking about the team treating Week 17 like a preseason game, that is a big flashing indicator that you should be betting the other side. The Vikings just want to get out of this game without any injuries to their key players for the playoffs and be done with it.
Seattle Seahawks +3.5
The Seahawks have been an incredibly frustrating team to bet on this year because their performance has been so massively inconsistent but we seem likely to get the best possible game this upcoming Sunday. First, is that the stakes are huge in this game and Russell Wilson is undefeated at home in the playoffs as a member of the Seahawks. That is an extremely #narrative driven reason but it informs a data-driven reason which is: The Seahawks are finally going to use the forward pass in this game. Seattle is 24th in the NFL in total pass attempts but 12th in the NFL in net adjusted yards per passing attempt. Wilson is seventh amongst all quarterbacks in ESPN’s QBR. There is zero arguments against the idea that Seattle would be better off passing the ball more than rushing than ball.
With Chris Carson, C.J Prosise and Rashaad Penny all injured and unable to play, we are finally going to get a game where the Seahawks look to pass the ball as their primary mode of offense. Travis Homer, Robert Trubin and creaky Marshawn Lynch are not going to be the key to winning this incredibly important game against the San Francisco 49ers. Even if Carson and Penny were healthy, the 3.5 point spread would be semi-disrespectful to the Seahawks and Wilson who really should never be underdogs at home against anyone. Seattle has played as bad as possible for a few weeks in a row so the line makes sense from a betting-public perspective but there is not a chance I won’t be betting Seattle here.
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