NFL Week 17 Picks: Late Slate Best Bets for Vikings vs Packers, More
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers.
NFL Odds & Picks
Brandon Anderson: I regret to inform you that I have abandoned Seattle Island.
The island took on water for weeks, with rising tides, storming winds, a faltering offense and little tackling to be found. Our once promising +1500 playoff tickets looked so good at 6-3 before Seattle lost five of its next six, failing to cover in all of them. I cashed out my Seahawks futures weeks ago, went back to the Island for one more visit last week, and now I'm out for good.
Give me the Jets.
This is an elimination game. The Jets are out with a loss, while the Seahawks drop below 5% with one week to go. The winner isn't necessarily in the playoffs, but the loser is done.
It feels like the Seahawks are cooked. The defense turned back into a pumpkin, the run game has mostly disappeared and Geno Smith and the offense have been bad against good defenses.
The Seahawks have played a top-10 defense by DVOA three times. They went down 21-3, 21-3 and 20-0 in those games, basically dead on arrival. The Jets defense is elite and playing about as well as anyone. New York has the corners to eliminate DK Metcalf and the pass rush to give Geno trouble.
Now that Mike White is good to go, New York has an offense that should put up points on a faltering defense. The Jets offense was an ugly 27th by DVOA with Zach Wilson, but they're 16th with any other QB. That puts New York's offense about on par with Seattle's, and if that's the case, the Jets defense is the clear difference.
The Jets defense has earned our trust, so I like playing a cover and under 42.5 together at +235 as a correlated SGP. New York's games have gone under that number in eight of the last 10, and its unders are 10-5 this season, while home underdog unders are hitting at 65% on the season.
If you like the Jets, you should be looking at futures as well.
New York is +500 to make the playoffs. If they win in Seattle and Miami — possibly without Tua Tagovailoa — the Jets are near 90% to make the postseason. Win this weekend and they get to around 35%. That number is way too long. The Jets are still in this.
This game is also the Offensive Rookie of the Year kingmaker. If Seattle wins, it'll probably mean a big game from Kenneth Walker head-to-head against Garrett Wilson, so betting Walker OROY at +500 could be a sneaky way to play a Seattle ML. If Seattle loses, that should clinch for Wilson and probably knocks Geno out of the Comeback Player of the Year race.
However you decide to play, I'm abandoning Seattle Island for good and riding the Jets and their defense. New York's last four wins covered and went under, so I'll play both together.
J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets!
THE PICK: Bet Jets -1.5 and Under 42.5 correlated SGP at +235
OTHER ANGLES: Jets to make the playoffs +500
Sam Farley: The Raiders welcome the 49ers to town and it's clear that they're already looking toward next season. So there are two reasons behind this bet.
No team in the league has allowed more receiving yards to running backs than the Raiders, who have given up 746 to the position.
Christian McCaffrey. There aren't many backs who are better in the passing game than him. His receiving yards line sits at 31.5. He's surpassed that line in four of nine games for the Niners, but even in two of those games in which he didn't, he was within a couple of yards.
Against a team known for giving up yards in the air, I'll be backing CM over 31.5 receiving yards.
Anthony Dabbundo: Green Bay is in the desperation home spot and needs two wins to have any chance at the playoffs. Minnesota brings an 11-0 one-score record into Lambeau Field. The Vikings’ only win by double digits came against the Packers in Week 1.
The Packers may be last in defensive rush DVOA and second to last in EPA per rush allowed, but Minnesota's run offense has quietly declined this season. The Vikings may not be able to take advantage given they are bottom seven in rushing success rate and EPA/rush. Dalvin Cook is also below average in rush yards over expected.
Green Bay, meanwhile, has quietly had an elite run offense this season. The Packers have a top-six run offense and have both of their top backs healthy. That should enable Aaron Rodgers to pick apart Minnesota’s porous secondary.
The Vikings defense allowed New England and a struggling Mac Jones to score 26 points. Mike White was constantly in the red zone and threw for 369 yards, and Daniel Jones diced them up last week for 334 yards. None of those teams have as good of a pass offense as Green Bay. Minnesota is 31st in yards per play allowed.
The Packers’ offensive line is getting healthy and playing better overall – not to mention our Action Network Luck Rankings indicate Minnesota is the most fortunate team in the league while Green Bay is one of the most unfortunate.
I think Green Bay wins this game, but because of the importance of the key number of three, I would only bet the Packers up to -3.
John LanFranca: Let's pump the brakes on the Packers.
As lucky as the Vikings have been, credit has to be given to a team that continues to win one-possession games. Minnesota’s defense has deservedly faced criticism for its recent play, but both the Packers and Vikings rank as bottom-six teams in yards per play allowed on the season at 5.8 and 6.0, respectively. In fact, since Week 10, the Packers defense has allowed a league-high 6.3 yards per play.
With all the struggles the Vikings have had running the football, the Packers may be the remedy they need to get back on track. The Packers are last in the NFL in adjusted line yards yielded (according to Football Outsiders) and 27th in yards per carry allowed on the season (4.84).
It shouldn't surprise anybody if this game is decided by a field goal in either direction. I will gladly grab the points in a game that should be lined as a pick’em.
The most profitable time to buy a half-point when betting the NFL is to grab the hook on a three-point underdog. The line is currently only sitting at 3.5 at one book, but I would recommend grabbing the hook at any price -130 or better. Playing it down to +3 at -110 is perfectly fine as well.
Play the Vikings +3.5 at -130 or better down to Vikings +3 at -110.
Brandon Anderson: Is it disrespectful that the 12-3 Vikings are underdogs yet again to a sub-.500 team? I'm not so sure, not when we all see the same thing the numbers say — that the Packers are the better team.
Green Bay is a top-10 offense by DVOA; Minnesota is 19th. The Packers rank better defensively too, and they're elite defending the pass by DVOA and won't likely leave Justin Jefferson to do whatever he wants like they did in Week 1 when Minnesota won comfortably. The Packers have come a long way since, with a healthier offensive line, far better chemistry between the receivers and Aaron Rodgers, and a defense that's starting to find some answers.
Green Bay's biggest weaknesses are its run defense and special teams. But the Vikings run game has disappeared over the back half of the season, and they are even worse on special teams.
The Packers rank 11th overall by DVOA. The Vikings have played six games against top-12 DVOA teams. They got a miracle comeback win against the Bills, beat Skylar Thompson's Dolphins and won against the Packers in Week 1 when Green Bay's starters hadn't played all preseason. The other three games were ugly blowout losses to the Cowboys and Eagles, plus a double-digit loss to the Lions.
Minnesota has been bad against quality teams, and it sure looks like Green Bay is a quality team. In a cold January game at Lambeau Field with a playoff feel to it, do you want your money on Rodgers or Cousins?
Rodgers is 64% ATS as a division favorite, 63% ATS as a one-score favorite and 65% ATS at home. He's also 47-28 ATS (63%) in games at 45 degrees or below like this will surely be, the second-most profitable cold weather QB in our Action Labs system behind only Tom Brady. Rodgers is 7-2 SU lifetime in cold weather games against the Vikings.
Close your eyes and imagine this game. Did you imagine a sad, cold Kirk Cousins alone on the sidelines after his third interception with 112 yards total deep into the game as Justin Jefferson stomps around looking for a QB that can get him the ball, while yet another Packer Lambeau Leaps into the stands?
Yeah — me too. Grab the -3 while it's there.
THE PICK: Bet Packers -3