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Betting Recap - Week 17



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Editor's Note: Don't miss out on Winning Football Picks from Joe Williams for the 2020 NFL regular season. Click to win!

Overall Notes

National Football League Week 17 Results
Wager Favorites-Underdogs
Straight Up 14-2
Against the Spread 7-9
Wager Home-Away
Straight Up 7-9
Against the Spread 10-6
Wager Totals (O/U)
Over-Under 10-6
National Football League Year-to-Date Results
Wager Favorites-Underdogs
Straight Up 170-79-1
Against the Spread 112-136-2
Wager Home-Away
Straight Up 125-124-1
Against the Spread 123-125-2
Wager Totals (O/U)
Over-Under 123-120-7

The largest underdogs to win straight up

  • Bills +3.5 (ML +150) vs. Dolphins, 56-26
  • Giants +1.5 (ML +105) vs. Cowboys, 23-19

The largest favorites to cover

  • Ravens (-13) at Bengals, 38-3
  • Chargers (-7) at Chiefs, 38-21
  • Buccaneers (-7) vs. Falcons, 44-27
  • Saints (-6) at Panthers, 33-7
  • Packers (-4.5) at Bears, 35-16

The Biggest Disappointment of the Week

If you were holding an 'under' (44.5) ticket in the Pittsburgh Steelers-Cleveland Browns game, you were extremely unhappy by the end of the afternoon. The Browns fired out to a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter, but there was no more scoring in the opening 15 minutes. And we didn't have another touchdown until there was just 3:48 left in the third quarter, as the Browns took a 17-9 lead.

So with 26 total points on the board, that's a good thing, right? Well, Jarvis Landry scored on a 3-yard touchdown run just three seconds into the final quarter, pushing Cleveland's lead to 24-9. The Steelers responded with a Mason Rudolph to Chase Claypool scoring hook-up from 28 yards out with 10:07 to go, making it 24-16. Under bettors were still in good shape until there were 83 ticks left on the clock in regulation. Rudolph hit JuJu Smith-Schuster on a scoring play with 1:23 to go, cutting Cleveland's lead to 24-22, pending the two-point conversion. If you were holding a Steelers money line ticket, which would have paid +360, it was a tough finish, but you weren't really on the right side until the feverish fourth quarter comeback, so you cant complain too vehemently. But the 20 total points in the fourth quarter were a raw deal for under players.

The Biggest Disappointment of the Week - Part II

Over (43.5) bettors in the Dallas Cowboys-New York Giants game were feeling pretty good about themselves, as the teams combined for 29 points in the first 30 minutes, with New York taking a 20-9 lead into the locker room at halftime.

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 The scoring slowed to a crawl in the third quarter, with only an Ezekiel Elliott 1-yard touchdown run to make it 20-16 in favor of the Giants. Over bettors were closing in on a winning ticket, but for the first time all day they were barely on pace. A 36-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein sliced the lead to 20-19 with 14:16 to play, so surely we're get five more points, right? Well, Graham Gano nailed a 50-yard field goal with 6:27 to go, making it 23-19, but that's exactly how it would end up.

Total Recall

The lowest total on the board for Week 17 was the New York Jets-New England Patriots (40.5) game. We had a 14-14 tie going into the fourth quarter, but that's when Cam Newton erupted for a pair of touchdown strikes to Devin Asiasi and Sony Michel. It wasn't a bad beat, or anything close to it, as the over was on the board by 11:42 to go in the fourth quarter. But it was still a raw deal nonetheless.

The highest total on the board this week was in the Tennessee Titans-Houston Texans (55.5) game on Sunday. It started out just 3-3 after 15 minutes, and it looked like maybe we'd have an 'under' result. It turns out that the oddsmakers weren't even close with their total of 55.5. We have a total of 20 points in the second, 33 points in the third and 20 points in the fourth, as the teams tossed up a total of 79 points in the 41-38 win by Tennessee.

As far as primetime games were concerned, there was just one this week -- Washington Football Team-Philadelphia Eagles (43.5). The teams combined for 31 points at halftime, with WFT leading 17-14. However, we had a scoreless third quarter, and then head coach Doug Pederson made the curious move of replacing QB Jalen Hurts with QB Nate Sudfeld. The Giants, and their fans, didn't love that. They needed a Philly win to get into the playoffs. Over bettors didn't love it, either, as both sides struggled to move the ball in the final 30.

For the regular season the under is 28-19-1 (59.5%) across 48 primetime games. In 2019, the 'under' went 31-17-1 (64.6%) during primetime games.

Looking Ahead to Wild-Card Weekend

Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills (Saturday, 1:05 p.m. ET)

The Colts and Bills did not meet during the regular season. Buffalo streaks into the playoffs on a six-game win streak, and they have cashed in eight in a row. The Bills offense has also scored 24 or more points in nine consecutive games since Oct. 25, when they scored just 18 in a win over the New York Jets on Oct. 25.

Indy won in Week 17 against Jacksonville, and received help, ironically from the Bills, to get into the playoffs. Buffalo topped Miami to vault Indy into the seventh seed. The Colts closed 4-1 SU in the final five, but they failed to cover in each of the past three. The offense has been strong lately, too, going for 24 or more points in each of the past eight outings.

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (Saturday, 4:40 p.m. ET)

The division rival Rams and Seahawks will meet for a third time this season. Seattle won at Lumen Field by a 20-9 count in Week 16, covering a 1.5-point number as the 'under' (47.5) connected. L.A. won 23-16 on Sunday Night Football back in Week 10, as the Rams covered as three-point favorites in another 'under' result.

There will be a lot of uncertain on this game, as far as the lines, due to injuries. QB Jared Goff is expected back after missing the must-win regular-season finale after thumb surgery. But he could very well miss if he doesn't heal properly. WR Cooper Kupp was on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, missing Week 17, and his status is up in the air. If the Rams get Goff, Kupp and all of their others back, that's obviously huge. OT Andrew Whitworth also might be able to return from a long-term injury to help out.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Washington Football Game (Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

Tom Brady and the Bucs face the NFC East champs in D.C. in a 5-4 game. Despite the lower seed the Buccaneers opened as a touchdown favorite, one of just two road favorites in the wild-card round. Washington ended the regular season 1-2 SU in their final three, and 0-2 ATS in the final two, while the 'under' cashed in five straight to close out the season.

The Bucs tossed up 91 total points in the final two weekends, as their offense is on fire. They won four in a row, and went 4-1 ATS down the stretch in the final five. Tampa Bay has also scored 24 or more points in each of the past seven, although the 'under' is still 3-2 in the past five. Watch WR Mike Evans and his status, as he hyperextended a left knee in the finale. An MRI showed no structural or ligament damage, which is good, but he is still a question mark.

Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans (Sunday, 1:05 p.m. ET)

One of the more intrigued games on the wild-card schedule might be the Baltimore-Tennessee game. These teams met in Baltimore back on Nov. 22, with the Titans coming away with a 30-24 in overtime. These teams also met in the divisional playoffs last season, with the Titans winning 28-12 on Jan. 11 in Baltimore, so we have quite a nice little rivalry budding here.

The Ravens had to win to get in Sunday, and they pounded Cincinnati 38-3 to win for the fifth straight time. They also enter the playoffs on a 6-0 ATS run. Titans RB Derrick Henry became the eighth player in NFL history to run for 2,000 or more yards in a single season, and he helped the Titans go 3-1 SU in the final four, although they were just 2-3 ATS in the final five.

Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints (Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET)

The Bears lost 35-16 in the finale at home against the Packers, but they received help to get into the postseason. They will meet the New Orleans Saints, perhaps in front of fans, depending on what the state of Louisiana decides. These teams met in Week 8, with the Saints winning 26-23 in overtime on a Thursday night. Chicago covered a 5.5-point number as the 'over' (41) cashed in that one. Chicago ended their season 3-1 SU/ATS in the final four, with the 'over' hitting in each of the final three. New Orleans won and covered the final two games, averaging 42.5 PPG.

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

We covered what happened in the finale. Cleveland and Pittsburgh meet for the third time this season, and the third time in the postseason in the history of this rivalry. These teams met in Jan. 2003, with the Steelers winning 36-33.

Cleveland ended the season just 2-2 SU/1-3 ATS across the final four outings. Pittsburgh stumbled down the stretch with a 1-4 SU mark, and they covered just twice in the final six contests. Pittsburgh enters the playoffs with the worst winning percentage across the final five games than any other team in the postseason field.
 
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