With just two weeks left in the NFL regular season, I’m still in a grueling battle against the .500 mark. After a 3-3 record in my Week 16 picks, I’m now 48-46-2 on the season for +0.77 units. The goal is to get this train to the station with a plus sign next to my total units, and I need to survive only two more weeks to make it happen. That starts this Sunday.
NFL Week 17 best bets, let’s go!
NFL Week 17 picks
2022 Best Bets Record: 37-41-2 (-4.23 units)
All betting odds courtesy of FanDuel as of 12/29.
Favorite Favorite: Green Bay Packers -3 vs. Minnesota Vikings
If you’ve read my work throughout the season, you know I see the Vikings as a fraudulent team. That’s why they were underdogs to the Lions a few weeks ago, and it’s why they’re full field-goal dogs against the 7-8 Packers this week.
Aaron Rodgers is on a mission to will Green Bay to the playoffs, and I’m not dumb enough to get in front of that train.
Favorite Underdog: Chicago Bears +5.5 at Detroit Lions
The Bears were stimied by an elite Buffalo Bills defense last week in freezing cold weather, but that won’t be the case this week. Chicago now gets a mediocre-at-best Lions defense indoors, and I’m expecting Justin Fields to have a huge day on the ground and through the air.
The last time the Bears faced off against the Lions, they put up 408 yards of offense and 30 points. This should be another shootout that comes down to the wire, so I’ll take the points.
Favorite Over: Philadelphia Eagles vs. New Orleans Saints over 43.5
The Eagles proved last week that they can put up points even with a backup quarterback under center. Gardner Minshew led Philadelphia to 27 offensive points in a close loss to the Dallas Cowboys last week, and he should be able to surpass that total against a less-threatening Saints defense.
New Orleans should also be able to put up some points against a banged-up Eagles secondary, so I think this game should fly over the total.
Favorite Under: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers under 40.5
The Buccaneers offense has been painful to watch all season. Tampa Bay ranks 28th in points per game (17.7), 25th in yards per play (5.0), and it’s scored a touchdown on just 52.3% of its red-zone drives. Tom Brady managed just three points against the Panthers the first time around, and I have a hard time believing he’ll get to 20 in the rematch.
On the other side of the ball, the Panthers have been moving the ball efficiently on the ground, but the Bucs are built to shut down the rushing attack. This has the feel of a low-scoring grinder with a playoff spot on the line.
Favorite Underdog Moneyline: Pittsburgh Steelers +120 at Baltimore Ravens
Death, taxes, and the underdog covering in Steelers-Ravens.
In the last 29 meetings between the AFC North rivals, the underdog is 20-6-3 against the spread. That’s a 69% cover rate. Mike Tomlin has thrived as an underdog throughout his career, and he knows how to win close games with his back against the wall.
The Ravens are averaging just 11.5 points per game this year with Tyler Huntley under center. Pittsburgh is playing better football right now, so I’ll take the underdog in a must-win spot.
Teaser of the Week
2022 Teaser of the Week Record: 11-5 (+5.0 units)
Pittsburgh Steelers +8.5/Cleveland Browns +7.5
I think the Steelers are going to win outright this Sunday, but I’d be shocked if either team won by more than one possession. With a total of just 35.5, this is a perfect game to tease through the key numbers of three and seven.
As for the other leg, betting against Carson Wentz winning by more than a touchdown feels like a pretty good idea.