Week 17 NFL Picks: Season-Finale Betting Odds, Vegas Spreads and Projections

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 24, 2019

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) greets New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) after a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in New Orleans, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
Bill Feig/Associated Press

For gamblers, Week 17 of the 2019 NFL season could be construed as a winter wonderland, a barren wasteland or anything in between.

Oddsmakers see some blowouts on the slate, a couple of contests that are essentially coin flips and a few with questions that need answering before point spreads can be set.

But as football fans know, Week 17 is often as unpredictable as they come. Which teams will celebrate a playoff berth or division crown, and which will spend the next several months wondering where it all went wrong? For those who've already learned their postseason fate, who's still playing for pride and who has already packed it in for winter hibernation.

We'll try to answer some of those questions below, as we lay out the latest lines from Caesars Sportsbook and zero in on three of our best bets.


Week 17 NFL Odds, Picks

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+0) | O/U 49.5

Cleveland Browns (-3.0) at Cincinnati Bengals | O/U 45.0

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (no line) | O/U N/A

Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (-9.0) | O/U 46.5

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-16.0) | O/U 45.0

New Orleans Saints (-13.0) at Carolina Panthers | O/U 47.5

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-1.5) | O/U 37.0

Indianapolis Colts (-3.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars | O/U 43.5

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos (-3.5) | O/U 41.0

Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) at New York Giants | O/U 45.0

Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.0) at Baltimore Ravens | O/U 38.0

Tennessee Titans (-4.0) at Houston Texans | O/U 46.0

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-11.0) | O/U 44.5

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (no line) | O/U N/A

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (no line) | O/U N/A

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (no line) | O/U N/A


Week 17 Best Bets

Hammer the Over in Falcons-Buccaneers

Jameis Winston and Matt Ryan rank first and fifth, respectively, in total pass attempts. They're also second and tied for eighth, respectively, in touchdown passes.

The Bucs are third from bottom in scoring defense. The Falcons are tied for the 10th-most points allowed. Tampa has allowed the fourth-most passing yards in the league; Atlanta has yielded the 10th-most.

See where this is headed?

Neither has a reliable running game, both have dynamic pass-catchers and each quarterback is more than willing to let it fly. If any Week 17 point total is destined for the 50s, this is it.


Take the Giants and the 4.5 Points

Yes, the Eagles are objectively a more talented team. And yes, they have much more at stake. A win gives them an NFC East title. A Giants win, on the other hand, only spoils their draft position.

Guess how much that matters. Not enough for us to lay 4.5 points on an inconsistent Philly offense or against a New York attack that might finally be hitting its stride.

Let's start with the Eagles. They have a December loss to the Dolphins. They've put up 10 or fewer points in three of their last six games. They needed overtime to put away these same Giants just three weeks back, when Eli Manning was making his first start since September and Saquon Barkley had yet to regain his superpowers.

Now about New York. This team has 57 points and a pair of victories to show for the last two weeks. The fact that success came against a cream-puff schedule matters less than how this offense got going. Barkley remembered he's really good at football (422 scrimmage yards, four touchdowns in his last two games). Daniel Jones returned and promptly set the world on fire (352 passing yards, five scores and zero turnovers).

Those could be milestone moments in their development. And if they are, the Eagles should want no part of what's next.

Jones and Barkley might mess around and led New York to an outright win. Even if they don't, their combined production should be enough for the Giants to cover.


Give the 13 Points, Get the Red-Hot Saints

You may not remember this, but at one point the Panthers were 5-3. That's all but a distant memory now, though, as they've imploded amid a seven-game losing streak.

The Saints, meanwhile, are 5-2 with a plus-46 scoring differential over their last seven games. They have the NFL's best receiver in Michael Thomas, a future Hall of Famer at quarterback who's playing his best ball of the season in Drew Brees (13 touchdown passes, zero picks his last four games) and a ferocious rush defense to try and contain Christian McCaffrey.

Oh, and the third-seeded Saints have a chance to climb as high as the NFC's No. 1 seed, so Sean Payton's squad should be fully motivated to bulldoze an inferior team.

The Panthers have an interim head coach. They're onto their third different quarterback, rookie Will Grier, who threw three picks and zero scores in his Week 16 debut. Their top receiver, DJ Moore, had his Sunday cut short when he landed in the concussion protocol. The offense is basically McCaffrey-or-bust, and it's fair to wonder how heavily they'll lean on the 205-pound back when they're playing merely for draft position.

This is a giant point spread, but you shouldn't be surprised if the Saints zoom right past it.