Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM
Opening Line Report - Week 17
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We're down to the final week of the National Football League regular season, and there is still quite a bit left to be determined. Normally, we have several teams already locked into playoff seedings with nothing left to play for, but that's just not the case this season. Sure, the top seed in the NFC has been determined, but there are plenty of division titles up for grabs in Week 17, as well as one winner-take-all Sunday Night battle to determine the AFC South winner. It's going to be a crazy week in the final games before the road to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.
Happy Holidays, everyone!
(Consensus Odds as of Tuesday)
Sunday, Dec. 30
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (-7, OFF)
The Cowboys won the NFC East Division title and are locked into the No. 4 seed, so they have nothing to play for. They're expected to rest several of their key players, which is why the total is off the board.
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (OFF)
The Raiders are not going quietly into the night, knocking off the Steelers and Broncos in recent weeks. Of course, that was at home. The Chiefs have dropped two in a row, as they don't seem to want to lock down the AFC West Division or a first-round bye.
Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (OFF)
The Saints locked up the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC, so it's expected they'll rest several of their key players. The game is off the board due to some uncertainty there, as well as the Panthers quarterback situation. QB Taylor Heinicke started last week, as QB Cam Newton is resting his shoulder with nothing to play for. However, Heinicke left last week's game due to injury, and while he was able to return, it's uncertain if he'll be the guy under center or not.
New York Jets at New England Patriots (-13, 45.5)
The Patriots still have a ton left to play for, as they can lock down a first-round bye if things go a certain way. There hasn't been a ton of early movement on this line, although the spread varies from -13 to -13 1/2 at most shops. If you like the Jets catching the points, the Golden Nugget is the place to be. They opened this line at -13 1/2. The total tumbled from 47 1/2 to 46 in a matter of hours on Christmas Eve, as there is some question as to whether QB Tom Brady (knee) is at 100 percent.
Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5, 42) at Washington Redskins
The legend of St. Nick continues to grow like the heart of the Grinch. QB Nick Foles pushed aside the first-place Rams in L.A. two weeks ago as a heavy favorite, and he rallied the troops past the first-place Houston Texans last week at home. Does this guy ever lose? The Eagles are favorites on the road against the MASH unit known as the Redskins, who are limping to the finish line literally, and figuratively. The Golden Nugget opened the Eagles at -7, while most other shops have them at -6 1/2. Mirage-MGM and Stations also have the 'Skins catching a touchdown, if you're feeling them for some reason.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-7.5, 45)
The Packers showed plenty of heart in an overtime road victory against the Jets last week, their first win away from Lambeau Field all season. Golden Nugget has already moved the Pack up from -7 to -7 1/2, as well as Mirage-MGM. At Southpoint the Pack are laying -8. The total has flown up from 44 to 45 1/2 at Caesars/Harrah's.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-7, 40.5)
Southpoint opened the Texans at -8, and it was quickly bet down to -7. Apparently bettors are feeling the Jags have no quit after eliminating the Dolphins on the road last week, 17-7, and not feeling the Texans who frittered away a late lead in Philadelphia. There has been little movement on the total, staying steady at 40 1/2 at most shops. However, Caesars saw the line slip from 40 1/2 to 40 during the course of Christmas Eve.
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-5.5, 41)
The Ravens can lock up the AFC North Division with a victory at home behind rookie QB Lamar Jackson. Hopefully for their sake Browns fellow rookie QB Baker Mayfield doesn't wake up feeling dangerous. The Browns have come alive, posting a 7-7-1 SU record this season, actually resembling an NFL caliber organization while securing a spot out of the basement for the first time in a while.
Bettors are apparently feeling Mayfield and the road team, as the line bumped down from -6 to -5 1/2 at Mirage-MGM. The same has occurred at Westgate SuperBook, as the line has toggled between -6 and -5 1/2 a couple of times since the open on Sunday.
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1, 51)
These are two teams going nowhere and trying to avoid the basement in the NFC South Division. Still, there is plenty of interest in the game at the betting window.
At Caesars, the line opened with Atlanta as a pick 'em, moving to Tampa -1 1/2, but tumbling back to just -1 in favor of the home team. The Stratosphere opened the Falcs at -1 1/2, quickly moving to a pick 'em before bettors bet the Bucs up to a -1 favorite, too. Westgate has the visitors at -2 1/2 to open, but now the Bucs are -1, likely due to several injuries in the backfield for Atlanta.
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (-3.5, 38.5)
The Bills host the Dolphins, who joined the Loser's Lounge last week with a terrible performance at home against Jacksonville to bow out of the playoff race. Bettors are feeling the Fins, betting down the line from -3 1/2 to -3 at the Strat as well as the Westgate, among others. If you shop around the total varies a bit, but all are rather low.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-14, 45.5)
It's balls to the wall for the Steelers. They need to win AND they need help from an unlikely source, the Cleveland Browns. If Pittsburgh wins, they're in as long as the Browns can spring an upset in Charm City. Look for the Steelers to pull out all of the stops at home in Heinz Field against a team they handle.
There hasn't been a ton of variation on this line, staying at a flat -14 at most shops. However, Golden Nugget has the game listed at -14 1/2 if you want to fade the black and gold. The Strat opened the Steelers at -15, but that's been bet down to -14 within 20 hours. Westgate also had the home team at -15 1/2, but the money came in on the Bengals to bet it down to -14.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-5, 41)
The Bears have locked up the NFC North Division title and are sitting pretty. The Vikings, well they still have work to do and will be playing with desperation. They're trying to hold off the Eagles for the final spot in the NFC playoffs.
Bettors are Caesars like the road team, as the line went from -6 to -5 1/2 in rather quick fashion. The Strat also had the line at -6 1/2, quickly moving down to -5 within less than 24 hours.
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (OFF)
The Chargers are still very much alive for the AFC West Division title after frittering away a golden opportunity at home last week. However, they have to pull for an unlikely source, the Raiders, to spring an upset in K.C. Bolts fans do not usually cheer for silver and black.
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks (OFF)
The Seahawks clinched a playoff spot last week, and they aren't going to move up or down in their seeding. As such, they're expected to rest some bodies and Vegas is holding off to see what the home team decides to do.
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-10, 50)
The 49ers have been a fly in the ointment for the likes of the Broncos, Seahawks, etc. and they gave the Bears a tough battle, too. Los Angeles is still in the mix for a first-round bye, but they need to keep their foot on the gas. RB Todd Gurley is not 100 percent and it's uncertain if he'll be ready to go Sunday or rested.
Bettors are feeling the Rams, as the line has bumped up at Caesars from -9 1/2 to -10, while moving from -9 to -9 1/2 at Southpoint. There has been very little money coming in on the Niners. The total has gained surprising attention, moving from 50 1/2 at Westgate, down to 49 1/2, back up to 50.
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (OFF)
This is a winner-take-all battle for the AFC South Division championship, but it's uncertain who will be leading the Titans. QB Marcus Mariota aggravated his elbow injury last week and he was unable to return. QB Blaine Gabbert kept the team afloat, but the starting quarterback makes a huge difference in this one.