Road to 272 Bets - NFL Week 17 Picks for Every Game

BetSided's Iain MacMillan breaks down his best bet for all 16 games set to take place in Week 17 of the NFL season

Dec 21, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (15)
Dec 21, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (15) / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Road to 272 Bets is nearing its end. There are just two weeks and 32 games left to bet on. We are 240 games into our journey and we went 8-8 (+0.81 units) in Week 16 to bring our season-to-date record to 127-110-3 (+10.95 units).

Let's finish strong as we enter the final two weeks of the regular season. If you want to take a look at a detailed breakdown of my record so far, you can find out at my Betstamp account here.

I always preach one of the best strategies to winning money betting on sports is making sure you're getting the best odds possible. You achieve that by having accounts at as many different sportsbooks as possible. If you don't have an account at Caesars yet, now is the time to sign up for one. If you use the link below to sign up at Caesars, they'll cover your first bet up to $1,000!

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NFL Week 17 Best Bets for Every Game

Jets vs. Browns prediction

There's no other bet to make in this game other than the UNDER. This is a game between two of the top three defenses in the NFL in the Jets and the Browns. There's no doubt the Browns offense has been the better of the two offenses, but are they a full touchdown better? I'm not so sure, so instead, I'll just make the obvious bet and bet on a defensive slugfest.

The Jets and Browns rank inside the top three in the following statistics; opponent yards per play, opponent EPA per play, and opponent success rate. If you like defense, this is going to be must-watch television. If you like points, you may want to watch something else on Thursday night.

Pick: UNDER 36.5 (-110)

Lions vs. Cowboys prediction

This is another game that I think the spread is set at the correct number so we're going to look at the total instead and bet the OVER. Both these teams are all offense which should result in a high-scoring affair.

Even the Cowboys, who had a dominant defense to start the season, has stumbled on that side of the football as the season has progressed. Heading into this week, they're 23rd in opponent success rate and rank around the middle of the pack in most other defensive metrics. They have given up 5.8 yards per snap over their last three games.

Meanwhile, both offenses are some of the best in the league. They rank inside the top eight in EPA per play, success rate, yards per play, and points per play.

Let's sit back and root for points on Saturday night.

Pick: OVER 52.5 (-110)

Raiders vs. Colts prediction

The Raiders are a team that's built for UNDERs since Antonio Pierce took over. Their defense has been fantastic the past few weeks and won the game for them against the Chiefs in Week 16. They're now fifth in the NFL in opponent EPA per play since Week 12.

The Colts offense has slowed down lately, averaging only 4.7 yards per snap over their last 10 games, which is the seventh worst mark in the NFL over that stretch.

We have two offenses who play a possession based style and then at least one defense that has turned into one of the better units in the NFL. The Colts have generally been an OVER team this year with it going 10-5 in their games, but that has now caused their total to be inflated by a point or two.

I'll take the UNDER in this AFC showdown.

Pick: UNDER 43.5 (-105)

Falcons vs. Bears prediction

43.77% of the Bears' offensive yards come from running the football which is the second highest mark in the league. Only the Ravens has a higher percentage of their yards come from the run game, so the time that you want to bet against the Bears is when they face a team that can stop the run.

Atlanta can do exactly that.

The Falcons lead the NFL in opponent rush EPA while also ranking ninth in both opponent rush success rate and opponent yards per carry, allowing only 3.9 yards per rush. That means the Bears will have to go to the air to get their offense going, and I don't foresee them having much success with that.

Taylor Heinicke gave the Falcons' offense a spark in Week 16, completing 23-of-33 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown. Let's remember this Falcons team is arguably a lot better than their record indicates, ranking 11th in the NFL in Net Yards per Play at +0.2 whereas the Bears rank 19th at -0.2.

I'm not brave enough to take Atlanta to win this game outright, but I'll absolutely take them getting a field goal worth of points.

Pick: Falcons +3 (-110)

Panthers vs. Jaguars prediction

It's about time we have a discussion as a society about the Jacksonville Jaguars. Are they the most fraudulent playoff team? The NFC South is supposed to be the worst division in football but their leader, the Buccaneers, just trounced them in Week 16. Not only are the Jaguars a bad team as a whole, but Trevor Lawrence is failing to live up to expectations.

In this spot, I'll take the seven points with the Panthers on the road. Their offense, which was abysmal all season, has shown signs of life recently and had a solid performance against the Packers despite eventually falling to them by a three-point deficit.

Their defense has turned into a solid unit as well, now ranking 10th in the NFL in opponent yards per play, allowing just 5.0 yards per snap.

We also need to note the Jaguars may just be the worst home team in the NFL. Their Net Yards per Play at home is -1.2, the worst home mark in the league. Are they the better team? Yes. Are they a full touchdown better? I don't think so.

I'll take the points with Carolina.

Pick: Panthers +7 (-115)

Saints vs. Buccaneers prediction

I'm addicted to betting on the Saints for some reason so I'll do it once again and take the field goal with them against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This team looks good on paper and have above average metrics, but yet can't find ways to win games. For example, they're 14th in the NFL in Net Yards per Play at 0.0, the same mark as the Eagles, yet sit at just 7-8. With that being said, I have to trust the metrics so I'll back them once again.

71.77% of the Buccaneers' offensive yards come through the air, which is the fourth highest rate in the NFL. That means that a nightmare matchup for them would be a team that can stop the run. In theory, the Saints are that team, ranking inside the top eight in both opponent drop back success rate and opponent drop back EPA.

Let's pump the brakes on the Buccaneers a little bit. They're 25th in the league in Net Yards per Play (-0.5) including a Net Yards per Play metric of -0.2 over their last three games, despite winning each of them.

I'll take the field goal with New Orleans.

Pick: Saints +3 (-110)

Cardinals vs. Eagles prediction

I tried to bet the OVER for the Cardinals game last week and despite being well on pace at halftime, the scoring slowed down in the second half and we didn't quite get there. I'm going to try the same bet in this game as the Cardinals take on a team that's almost equally as bad in the Eagles.

These two defenses rank 30th and 32nd in opponent EPA per play, 22nd and 32nd in opponent success rate, and 21st and 29th in opponent yards per play. The Cardinals offense may not be as high-octane as it was in years past with Kyler Murray, but he has a chance to have his best start of the season against the Eagles.

I have no interest in laying points on this Eagles team but I also don't trust the Cardinals because of them sporting arguably the worst defense in the league, so I'm going to sit back and root for points in this one.

Pick: OVER 47.5 (-110)

49ers vs. Commanders prediction

I don't care what the point spread is. There's no way you could convince me to bet on the Washington Commanders here. The 49ers are, in theory, going to be able score at will in this game. The Commanders defense ranks 30th in opponent yards per play and 31st in opponent EPA. Meanwhile, the 49ers rank first in just about every single offensive metric.

The Commanders offense, which could be relied on to a certain extent early in the season, has fallen off in the final third of the season. They have questions at quarterback and haven't found success through the air.

I don't care what the spread it, I'll lay the points with the 49ers.

Pick: 49ers -13.5 (-110)

Rams vs. Giants prediction

Don't be fooled by the Giants play of late, especially their Week 16 performance where they almost managed to upset the Philadelphia Eagles. This team has a lot of issues, especially on offense. They still rank 31st in the NFL in both EPA per play and offensive success rate while ranking dead last in the league in Net yards per Play.

Meanwhile, the Rams are one of the hottest teams in the NFL in the second half of the season. Not only are they looking like a playoff team, but they're looking like a dark horse Super Bowl contender. Let's not forget their only loss over the past handful of weeks was an overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens, who just might be the best team in the NFL.

If the Rams are as good as I think they are and the Giants are as bad as I think they are, this could be a blowout in favor of Los Angeles.

Pick: Rams -6.5 (-110)

Patriots vs. Bills prediction

As a noted Patriots hater, it pains me to say this but I truly don't think New England is as bad as its record indicates. It's a big reason why I correctly bet them to upset the Broncos in Week 16 and it's why I think this spread against the Bills is out of hand.

Entering Week 17, the Patriots are 17th in the NFL in Net Yards per Play (-0.1) and 11th in Net Yards per Play over their last 11 games. Their run defense specifically is objectively the best in the NFL, leading the league in opponent yards per carry, opponent rush EPA, and opponent success rate.

That's not the makeup of a team that should be a double-digit underdog to the Bills, who constantly play down to their competition. We should also note the Patriots are eighth in third-down defense and seventh in red zone defense, which is going to make it tough for the Bills to cover a spread this big.

Not only did the Patriots beat them in their meeting earlier this season, but they gained 6.6 yards per play compared to just 5.1 yards per play by the Bills.

All of that is enough for me to back Patriots to cover in this AFC East showdown.

Pick: Patriots +12.5 (-110)

Titans vs. Texans prediction

C.J. Stroud may be back in the lineup for the Texans this week, but even if he is, you have to wonder how effective he'll be coming off a concussion that kept him in the protocol for an extended period. Things get crazy in the AFC South and I'll make the Titans my upset pick of the week.

Despite already being eliminated from the playoffs, we know any team coached by Mike Vrabel isn't going to go quietly into that good night. They fought the Seahawks to the bitter end in Week 16 and now have a chance to play spoiler against the Texans.

There's one key area we should keep an eye on in this game and it's the Titans' red zone defense. They currently have the third best ed zone defense in the NFL, allowing teams to score a touchdown on just 38.18% of red zone trips against them. If they can force the Texans to kick field goals instead of scoring touchdowns, they're going to stay in this game.

Pick: Titans +164

Dolphins vs. Ravens prediction

Few people out there have been as strong of a Ravens defender as I have been this season. I invested in their Super Bowl futures early in the season and I've backed them on an almost weekly basis. With that being said, it's time to sell high on the Ravens and time to take the points with the points with the Dolphins.

The Dolphins lead the NFL in Net Yards per Play this season at +1.8 and have also been a solid team on the road. Their defense hasn't gotten enough credit either. Since Week 10 this season, they lead the league in both opponent EPA and opponent success rate yet they haven't got the credit to the accolades as some other defensive units like the Browns or the Ravens.

Most importantly, they're second in opponent rush EPA and opponent rush success rate which is absolutely key in stopping this Ravens team, who leads the NFL in rushing play percentage and rushing yards percentage.

I'm not claiming the Dolphins win this game, but I certainly think they're deserving of more credit than the current point spread indicates. I'll back Miami on the road in this one.

Pick: Dolphins +3 (-110)

Steelers vs. Seahawks prediction

I took the OVER in the Steelers game in Week 16 against the Bengals and it was one of the easiest bets I won this season, so why not run it back and bet the same thing in Week 17 against the Seahawks?

This week's game will present a similar matchup for the Steelers, a team that is much better offensively than defensively. In fact, the Seahawks defense has quietly become one of the worst in the NFL. Heading into this game, they rank 20th in opponent yards per play, 28th in opponent EPA, and 30th in opponent success rate. We saw what Mason Rudolph was able to do against the Bengals defense last week and I wouldn't be surprised if he puts up a similar performance again the Seahawks this week.

I'll take the OVER in this interconference showdown.

Pick: OVER 40.5 (-110)

Bengals vs. Chiefs prediction

This Bengals team does not much up well with the Chiefs. Despite Kansas City looking abysmal lately, now is the time to buy low on them with the Chiefs holding a significant stylistic advantage in this one.

First of all, let's start with the Bengals defense, which continues to bet one of the worst in the NFL. Entering Week 1, the Bengals rank 29th in opponent EPA per play, 31st in opponent success rate, and dead last in opponent yards per play, allowing an average of 6.1 yards per snap.Even more importantly, they're 28th in opponent dropback EPA and 31st in opponent dropback success rate, meaning Patrick Mahomes is going to have one of the easiest matchups hes had all season.

Let's also take a look at the Bengals offense. Jake Browning has made their pass offense look great at time, but the key to beat the Chiefs is running the football successfully and that's not something the Bengals do well.

The Bengals average just 3.9 yards per carry this season which ranks 25th in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Chiefs secondary is a top 10 unit by virtually every metric.

Styles make fights, my friends, and the Chiefs have the advantage in this one. I'll lay the points with Kansas City.

Pick: Chiefs -7.5 (-110)

Chargers vs. Broncos prediction

I have no interest in laying points with the Broncos even with them playing Easton Stick and the imploding Chargers on their home field. Not only are they not as good as their record, ranking 31st in Net Yards per Play at -0.9, but they don't play a style of play that lends itself to winning with margin.

Instead, I'll back the Chargers who already looked much better in their first game without Brandon Staley, taking the Buffalo Bills down to the wire. Let's also give Easton Stick some credit, he has looked solid this season with a quarterback rating of 94.4.

Give me the points with Los Angeles.

Pick: Chargers +5.5 (-110)

Packers vs. Vikings prediction

The Green bay Packers have played some atrocious football lately. In fact, over their last three games, they're dead last in the NFL in Net Yards per Play at -1.4. That should be concerning for a team that's going it's best to make the playoffs.

Their defense has been especially bad, ranking 29th in opponent EPA and 28th in opponent success rate since Week 12 this season. The Vikings defense has gone in the opposite direction and has turned into a top 10 defense in the second half of the season.

Let's also note that despite losing to the Lions last week, the Vikings' offense gained a blistering 7.6 yards per play in that game. Unfortunately, four interceptions killed their chances of winning. But, if they can limit the turnovers, they have a chance of annihilating this Packers defense.

I'll take the Vikings to cover the short spread at home on Sunday Night Football.

Pick: Vikings -1.5 (-110)

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

You can check out all of Iain's bets here!