Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:51 AM
Hot & Not Report - Week 17
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Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under - O/U
Week 17 NFL Betting Angles
Somehow the NFL has managed to make it through their entire schedule on date, as Week 17 of the regular season is finally here.
There were plenty of interruptions schedule-wise for the league this year, and some teams definitely got the short end of the stick through no fault of their own (Pittsburgh), but all 32 NFL teams have played 15 games when they were supposed to have, and a full Sunday slate of the wildness that can be Week 17 awaits.
Who's in, who's out, who cares, and who doesn't, are just some of the questions that generally has me being extremely cautious during Week 17 because a lot of the time you just don't know.
For example, Week 17 Sunday Night Football games get flexed in based on relevant playoff importance, and yet five of the last six home teams that have played a SNF Week 17 finale have lost outright.
You know, the teams that the majority of the time are favored in those “win and get in-type” scenarios and they have consistently fallen short in that prime-time spot the last half-decade.
Oddly enough, this year's flexed in game has nothing on the line for the home side in the Philadelphia Eagles, as they are the only NFC East team without a chance at winning the division this week.
The Eagles are in the spoiler role against Washington with rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts getting his third start, and the team that wins the Dallas/N.Y. Giants game earlier in the day will become the biggest Eagles fans out there.
Who knows, maybe the home side having nothing to lose is what helps break that SNF Week 17 streak for home teams.
For now, let's get to what I've found floating out there for the week, as they are both Week 17 and futures applicable.
17 of the past 20 Super Bowl participants (aka since 2010), have won SU in Week 17 of that season
This can't be considered all that surprising given that at this point in a season, teams that are out of it are in the business of losing to do whatever they can to improve their draft selection.
Playoff bound teams or fringe playoff teams are looking to do everything they can to improve their own path towards a title, so Super Bowl teams winning in the final regular season week should be expected.
Interesting side note here is that of the three teams to lose Week 17 and go on to the Super Bowl that season – Philadelphia in 2017, New England in 2014, and Baltimore in 2012 – all won the Super Bowl that year, so keep the Week 17 results in mind as a reference point when the Super Bowl matchup is determined this year.
This past does bring up some interesting dilemmas in future's outlooks though if you wind up on a team you think may have a bunch of guys rest in Week 17 and ultimately losing the “meaningless” game.
In terms of Super Bowl potential, it may not be as meaningless as it appears.
Last year in Week 17 we saw the Patriots, Seahawks, Vikings, Texans, and Bills all lose, with Seattle and Houston's loss coming to playoff bound squads (San Francisco and Tennessee) in the process.
Houston and Buffalo played a wild 22-19 OT game in the first round of the playoffs before Houston bowed out to Kansas City the next round, the Patriots were shocked at home by Tennessee, and neither Seattle nor Minnesota could manage more than a single win in Wildcard upsets for their squads.
It just seems that a Week 17 loss in whatever form it takes tends to signal the beginning of the end of the year for these teams.
The year before, we saw No. 1 overall seed New Orleans be the only playoff team to lose in Week 17 and they needed to scratch by the Eagles before getting hosed on the no-pass interference call against the Rams in that NFC Championship.
That's a top seed that had everything locked up go through the motions in Week 17.
Could that be a sign of trouble for Kansas City futures this year with them likely resting and mailing it in for Week 17?
Aside from last year's 13-3 O/U record in Week 17, betting every Week 17 game 'under' from 2012-13 through 2018-19 produced a 47-64-1 O/U record vs closing total
Up to you on whether or not to decide if last year's 'over' explosion was an anomaly historically or a potential changing of the guard, but there is just too much history - even dating back prior to 2012 season – that has me on the side of last year being the outlier and 'unders' still generally the way to look at totals in Week 17 action.
Not once in any of those seven seasons did the Week 17 market as a whole finish with a winning 'over' record, as 8-8 O/U in 2018, and 2016 were the best it got for 'over' bettors.
The fact that those two .500 years combined with last year's 13-3 O/U record could be seen as support for 'overs' starting to connect at a better pace in the final week of the year, but there also wasn't really a whole lot to be decided last year outside of playoff seeding – as opposed to berths – like there is this year, and in these win-and-in scenarios, tightness on offense and strong defense tend to work there way into those games.
Over-Under (O/U) Week 17 Results
- 2019: 13-3
- 2018: 8-8
- 2017: 7-9
- 2016: 8-8
- 2015: 5-11
- 2014: 6-10
- 2013: 6-10
But when 2018 was 8-8 O/U, 2017 finished 7-9 O/U, 2016 came in at 8-8 O/U, 2015 was 5-11 O/U, 2014 and 2013 went 6-10 O/U in Week 17, and 2012 went 7-8-1 O/U, I've got no problem having initial 'under' leans everywhere and weeding out the suspect lines of thought from there.
It's still early in the week and there have already been multiple Week 17 NFL totals move multiple points in both directions.
It's those games I'd start with if 'under' is a serious consideration, looking to potentially poke holes in any 'over' argument for the totals that have already been bumped up – because now you are getting extra points to work with – or be willing to fire immediately on the totals that have already moved lower if your own numbers still believe an 'under' play to be applicable.
Chances are you'll be passing more on the latter and spending more time on the former and elsewhere on the board in that scenario, and that's alright too.
Remember, Week 17 brings some wildness to it every season. Why put too much strain on your bankroll during it with the playoffs – and no motivation issues – are a week away.
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