NFL Week 17 Picks & Predictions: The Bets Our Experts Locked in Early, Including Steelers vs. Ravens
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.
- Betting early in the week is often the best way to beat closing lines, and get the most value out of your picks.
- Our experts reveal the early NFL bets they made for Week 17 below.
NFL spreads usually open up on Sunday evenings for the following week — and after they do, they’re almost immediately on the move. The early bets serve as a signal to bookmakers for what the “true” odds should be, and sportsbooks aren’t shy about adjusting on the fly if the market is telling them they missed the mark.
Betting earlier in the week is a key way you can beat the closing line, which should be your goal as a bettor.
Our NFL experts picked three games early in an attempt to beat the market:
- Chris Raybon and Matthew Freedman analyze Steelers at Ravens (Odds: Ravens -2.5)
- Sean Zerillo hits on Browns at Bengals (Odds: Browns -2.5) and Chargers at Chiefs (Odds: Chiefs -8)
Odds as of Monday evening and via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
Chris Raybon: Steelers-Ravens Under 38.5
Let’s see … we have the MVP frontrunner, Lamar Jackson, and top-three touchdown scorer, Mark Ingram (15), sitting out on a team playing for nothing, and they’re going against a team with a top-four defense that hasn’t allowed a game to go over since the first week of November?
And on the the other side, we have a team platooning two third-string quarterbacks? Yes, the Ravens will also sit key defenders such as Brandon Williams, but the bet is under 38.5, not under 0.5.
Additionally, there’s this: The under is 61-42 all-time with the Steelers on the road under Mike Tomlin, making him the most profitable road under coach among the 120-plus in our Bet Labs database, which dates back to 2003.
Regardless of venue, the Steelers under is also 99-70-1 all-time when the total is 38 or higher under Tomlin, compared to 16-21 with a total of 37.5 or below, which is why I wanted to grab this early. I’d bet it at 38 or above.
Raybon is 188-143-10 (56.8%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.
Freedman: Pittsburgh Steelers +2.5 at Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have clinched the No. 1 seed, and Jackson is the no-doubt 2019 NFL MVP. They have almost no incentive to play this week.
But the Steelers will be motivated. If they win and the Titans lose, the Steelers will make the postseason.
L-Jax might play, but I doubt he’ll go more than a few series, and he is by no means a guarantor of success. Road underdogs are 8-3 against the spread (40.6% ROI) against the Ravens in Jackson’s starts.
As for the Steelers, they’ve lost two straight games, but they have been a winning team since they lost quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in Week 2 and added defense-altering safety Minkah Fitzpatrick in Week 3.
- Weeks 1-2 (two games): -16 point differential, 14.5 points scored, 30.5 points allowed
- Weeks 3-16 (13 games): +2.8 point differential, 19.2 points scored, 16.5 points allowed
Since Week 3, the Steelers are 9-4 ATS (36.1% ROI). I’d bet the Steelers down to a pick’em.
Freedman is 542-411-22 (56.9%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.
Zerillo: Browns at Bengals Under 45 | Chargers at Chiefs Under 46.5
Week 17 features an entire slate of late season divisional rematches, which indicates that the majority of the games should finish under their listed total.
Ten games, including both games above, meet the criteria for this Pro system for Divisional Unders.
Since the 2005-06 season, unders in Week 17 games between divisional opponents are 93-84-3 (52.5%) overall, and 80-60-3 (57.1%) when the closing total is 40 or higher.
More notable, however, are the projected weather forecasts in Cincinnati and Kansas City for next Sunday, with wind gusts up to 14 mph and 16 mph respectively, triggering the following system for windy divisional games.
Since the beginning of the 2014-2015 season, windy divisional games are an incredible 25-4 (86.2%) to the under, covering by an average margin of 6.76 points.
Zerillo is 265-181-9 (59.4%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.