NFL Betting: NFL Matchups for Week 17

Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2013 NFL betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 17!

Washington Redskins (3-12 SU, 5-10 ATS) @ New York Giants (6-9 SU, 6-9 ATS)
Spread: New York -3.5, Total: 46.5

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ – Sunday, December 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Head Coach Mike Shanahan era is about set to come to a close in all likelihood, and this should be the last game before he gets dismissed on Black Monday. The Redskins have been a joke, and though they have become slightly less of a joke with QB Kirk Cousins calling the shots instead of QB Robert Griffin III, the bottom line is that they are still losing games, albeit the fact that the last two have been decided by exactly one point. New York showed some life last week by beating the Lions in Motown to knock them out of the playoffs, and it is going to hope to do the same in this one to at least get back within two games of the .500 mark by the end of the season. Considering how badly things started at the outset of the year, the G-Men would be happy to sweep the Skins, finish off a 7-9 season, and go into the offseason knowing that they were one of the better teams in the NFC for the last 10 weeks of the year.

Detroit Lions (7-8 SU, 6-9 ATS) @ Minnesota Vikings (4-10-1 SU, 7-7 ATS)
Spread: Minnesota -3, Total: 52

Mall of America Field at the HHH Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN – Sunday, December 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

Could both of these coaches be enjoy their last days with their respective teams? The Lions certainly seem to be that way for sure, as they have been eliminated from the playoffs with a week left to play in the season in spite of the fact that both Green Bay and Chicago played without their starting quarterbacks for a good chunk of the year. This is a team which has just more or less collapsed down the stretch, and losing two straight home games as favorites was inexcusable to get eliminated from postseason contention. Minnesota was one of the many teams which had much better second halves of the season than the first half, but it is a far cry from a good team. Motivation would be a factor here for sure, and we have to imagine it will be tough for the Lions to get up for this game playing for a dead duck coach in a situation where playing for .500 is the only goal.

Houston Texans (2-13 SU, 3-12 ATS) @ Tennessee Titans (6-9 SU, 6-7-2 ATS)
Spread: Tennessee -7, Total: 44.5

LP Field, Nashville, TN – Sunday, December 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Texans haven’t won a game since the beginning of September, and it feels like eons ago since that has happened. They’ll have just one last shot here in Tennessee, but the truth of the matter is that they will be a lot better served losing this one, guaranteeing themselves the top pick in the NFL Draft. A win parlayed with a Washington loss would give St. Louis the #1 overall pick. This is clearly the last game for a lot of Texans in Houston, namely interim coach Wade Phillips and QB Matt Schaub, though there is at least a chance that Phillips is kept on as the DC after the year is said and done with. Tennessee’s year is over as well, but a win very well could keep Head Coach Mike Munchak safe for another year. Houston’s last win came against these Titans in Week 2, a 30-24 overtime victory which Tennessee has to feel like it punted away after blowing an eight-point lead in the dying moments of the game to ultimately lose in OT.

Carolina Panthers (11-4 SU, 9-5-1 ATS) @ Atlanta Falcons (4-11 SU, 6-9 ATS)
Spread: Carolina -7, Total: 45

Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA – Sunday, December 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

And now we’re into the games which mean something! The Panthers still have a shot at claiming the top seed in the NFC, as they would need a win, a Seattle loss, and a San Francisco win to get the job done. A win is the only thing of utmost importance though, as that would wrap up the NFC South title and ensure a first round bye in the playoffs. A loss, and at least Carolina would still be in the second season, but it won’t be pretty, knowing that it would almost certainly have to start on the road against the Bears or the Packers next week. The Falcons have been playing stingy football of late, and they are finally starting to look more like the team which we expected to see at the start of the year and a lot less like the team which was romped 34-10 on the road the first time these two met this season.

New York Jets (7-8 SU, 8-6-1 ATS) @ Miami Dolphins (8-7 SU, 9-6 ATS)
Spread: Miami -7, Total: 41

Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL – Sunday, December 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Dolphins need a win and either a Baltimore loss or a San Diego win to get into the playoffs as the last Wild Card. They might have the easiest road to get into the second season of all of the teams fighting for the last spot, but they have the worst looking team at the moment as well. Getting beaten 19-0 at Buffalo is about as bad as it gets, especially when you know you control your own destiny to get into the second season. The Jets could be playing to save Head Coach Rex Ryan, who has done an excellent job with this team this year as we see it. New York has no offensive ability whatsoever, yet the team is 7-8 and on the verge of spoiling the season for its arch rivals. When these two met in the Meadowlands earlier this year, it was as ugly as could be, as the Fins won 23-3, but this time around, don’t expect to see a 453-177 yardage disparity.

Baltimore Ravens (8-7 SU, 7-8 ATS) @ Cincinnati Bengals (10-5 SU, 9-5-1 ATS)
Spread: Cincinnati -6, Total: 44.5

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH – Sunday, December 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

There are a ton of playoff implications here in one of the biggest games of the day. The Ravens need a win and loss by either Miami or San Diego to get into the playoffs, or they can get into the second season with losses by all three of Miami, San Diego, and Pittsburgh. There’s a good chance if the Ravens win this game that they will have to come right back here to Cincinnati next week. The Bengals are the #3 seed right now, but they can fall back to #4 with a loss and an Indy win or move up to #2 with a win and a New England loss. The Bengals lost the first time these two teams played this year, but they have a team which is 7-0 SU and ATS thus far this year at Paul Brown Stadium, and they are going to be eager to finish off the perfect regular season at home going into the postseason, thus likely avoiding Baltimore in the first round of the playoffs.

Cleveland Browns (4-11 SU, 6-9 ATS) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8 SU, 8-7 ATS)
Spread: Pittsburgh -7, Total: 44

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA – Sunday, December 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Steelers need a miracle to get into the playoffs, as they need the Chargers, Dolphins, and Ravens to all lose, and they need a win in this one. It’s not likely, but it was significantly less likely last week when they needed a combination of four games to go their way just to get to this point in Week 17. Cleveland looks like a team which has completely given up on the season, and though this is a rivalry game, it’s tough to see how the club is going to get back up off of the mat after losing so badly last week to the Jets. QB Ben Roethlisberger has only been beaten one time in 17 starts in his career against Cleveland, and that’s the best mark in league history for a starting quarterback against one team. The Browns were beaten 27-11 when these teams met in November at the Dawg Pound.

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-11 SU, 5-9-1 ATS) @ Indianapolis Colts (10-5 SU, 9-6 ATS)
Spread: Indianapolis -11.5, Total: 45.5

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN – Sunday, December 29th, 1:00 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

We know that the Colts are going to start this game by playing full out, but we really aren’t sure that they should be when push comes to shove. Unless the Bengals lose, they don’t stand a chance to move up to the #3 seed, and unless both the Bengals and the Patriots lose, they can get a first round bye. In other words, Indy should be spending this week preparing for another game against a Kansas City team which it blew out last week at Arrowhead Stadium. The Jags won four games in the second half of the season, which is four more than they won in the first half of the season, and though they didn’t beat the Titans last week and will finish third in the AFC South as a result, the year can’t be considered a total waste. However, the Colts came to the Sunshine State and whooped up on Jacksonville back in September 37-3, and the Jags would love to exact a measure of revenge.

Green Bay Packers (7-7-1 SU, 6-9 ATS) @ Chicago Bears (8-7 SU, 4-10-1 ATS)
Spread: Off, Total: Off

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL – Sunday, December 29th, 4:25 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

First, the Lions had control of their own destiny. Then the Packers and the Bears both did. Than it was just Chicago. And now it’s back to Chicago and Green Bay, who play against each other on Sunday. These two teams have done everything they can to figure out how to not get into the playoffs, yet the winner will find its way in and will host a game next week against the top Wild Card seed in the 4/5 game in the NFC. QB Aaron Rodgers’ status is still very much so up in the air, but we aren’t all that sure that it is going to matter. RB Eddie Lacy and RB James Starks should theoretically be running wild against this Chicago defense, which looked completely deflated last week by the Eagles, who were playing for absolutely nothing. These teams met at Lambeau Field in November, and the Bears, who were playing without QB Jay Cutler for the first time this season, knocked Rodgers out with his collarbone injury and ended up winning 27-20. Rodgers hasn’t seen the field since that point.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11 SU, 6-9 ATS) @ New Orleans Saints (10-5 SU, 7-8 ATS)
Spread: New Orleans -13, Total: 47

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA – Sunday, December 29th, 4:25 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Saints need a win or an Arizona loss to get into the playoffs once and for all, but they aren’t playing for nearly the same prize they were playing for last week in Carolina. The possibility is there that there could be some letdown here for the boys from the Bayou, as this is their last home game of the season. They’ll have to go to a northern city next week for the first round of the playoffs if they do get into the show, and that’s not a good recipe for a team which just hasn’t played well in inclement weather historically. QB Drew Brees and the gang are in a lot of trouble even if they win this one, though they are amongst the biggest favorites of the weekend in the league. The Bucs, who do have four wins in the second half of the season after a winless first half, covered in a 16-14 loss at home against the Saints early in the campaign.

Buffalo Bills (6-9 SU, 8-7 ATS) @ New England Patriots (11-4 SU, 7-8 ATS)
Spread: New England -9.5, Total: 47

Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA – Sunday, December 29th, 4:25 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Bills are coming off of their best game of the season, and they have to think that they can beat these Patriots after nearly doing so in Week 1 of the campaign in Orchard Park. New England though, has a ton to play for in this one. The team knows that a win ensures a first round bye in the playoffs, whereas a loss almost certainly knocks it back to at least #3, if not #4. A win and a Denver loss would give the Pats the #1 seed in the AFC. New England had looked like it was skating by in life until last week when it went on the road to Baltimore and whipped the you know what out of the Ravens, who were fighting for their playoff lives and the AFC North title at the time. Buffalo leads the NFL in sacks, and it looked like it had the best defense in the league last week when it put Miami’s season in peril.

Denver Broncos (12-3 SU, 9-6 ATS) @ Oakland Raiders (4-11 SU, 8-7 ATS)
Spread: Denver -11.5, Total: 53.5 Coliseum, Oakland, CA – Sunday, December 29th, 4:25 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Broncos know that it’s win and you’re in as the #1 seed in the AFC. A loss and a Patriots win would relegate Denver to the #2 seed, but unlike every other team in football, at least it knows that it is off next week regardless of what happens this week. QB Peyton Manning has already set the record for the most passing touchdowns in a season in league history, and the Broncos can set all sorts of all-time records with a big game in this one. You know that Denver is going to try to get it all done to become known as the greatest offense in NFL history, but in the end, it all means nothing without a Super Bowl ring. Oakland is trying to get in Denver’s way, but it isn’t all that likely to matter. The Raiders know that at the end of this one, Head Coach Dennis Allen is, at minimum, up for evaluation, and at maximum, will be fired.

St. Louis Rams (7-8 SU, 7-8 ATS) @ Seattle Seahawks (12-3 SU, 10-5 ATS)
Spread: Seattle -10, Total: 43

CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA – Sunday, December 29th, 4:25 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The idea of the Seahawks losing two straight games at home is unfathomable, but the truth of the matter is that it is unfathomable to think that they would have lost the first of those games at home either. Arizona got the job done last week, and now, the Seahawks know they have to win this last game of the season just to ensure that they are going to win the NFC West. They can still be the #1 seed if Carolina and San Francisco both lose, and they can still get a first round bye as long as the Niners get beaten, but the fact that this NFC West race is still a race in Week 17 is shocking in and of itself. The Rams have played great ball all season long by their standards, and it’s a wonder whether they would be challenging for a spot in the playoffs had QB Sam Bradford not ultimately torn his ACL in the middle of the campaign. Seattle was held down just 135 total yards of offense in a 14-9 win in the Gateway to the West back in October, and it knows it is going to need more offense than that to win this game and lock down the #1 seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

San Francisco 49ers (11-4 SU, 10-5 ATS) @ Arizona Cardinals (10-5 SU, 11-4 ATS)
Spread: San Francisco -1, Total: 43.5

University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ – Sunday, December 29th, 4:25 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The argument could be made that this is the most important game of the day. The 49ers have a ton to play for, knowing that they could slip down to the #6 seed with a loss, and they could also move up to the #1 seed in the NFC as well with a win and some help. The Seahawks would need to lose to win the NFC West, and then the Panthers would have to lose to earn the top seed, but perhaps Candlestick Park has some more magic left in it yet. The Cardinals need to win to have any chance to stay in the playoff race, and it’s a shame that they could go 11-5 and still not get in. If the Saints beat the Bucs in a game running concurrently though, that’s going to be the case, as this game would become irrelevant.

Kansas City Chiefs (11-4 SU, 8-7 ATS) @ San Diego Chargers (8-7 SU, 9-5-1 ATS)
Spread: San Diego -9.5, Total: 45

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA – Sunday, December 29th, 4:25 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Chiefs are the only playoff team with literally nothing to play for this week. They know they are going on the road next week to take on the Bengals or the Colts, and they’ll know their foe by the time they kick this game off. San Diego meanwhile, will know whether this game means anything or not by the time it boots as well. If both Miami and Baltimore lose, this is a playoff game for the Chargers, as it will be win and in, lose and go home. If either the Dolphins or Ravens lose though, this game will be completely moot. The Bolts really turned their season around when they went on the road a few weeks ago and beat these Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, and the hope is to do it again, if for nothing else, to finish above .500 and get Head Coach Mike McCoy off and running in his first year with the team.

Philadelphia Eagles (9-6 SU, 8-7 ATS) @ Dallas Cowboys (8-7 SU, 8-7 ATS)
Spread: Philadelphia -7.5, Total: 52.5

AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX – Sunday, December 29th, 8:30 ET

Handicapping Match-up Details Pick & Preview

The Eagles and the Cowboys are playing in the last game of the regular season, and this is a situation that Dallas is awfully familiar with. The team has managed to lose more of these games than anyone else in the league, and it really isn’t all that close. The winner will win the NFC East and be the #3 seed in the playoffs. The loser is going home without a spot in the second season. Philly made waves last week on Sunday Night Football when it blew out the Bears in a game that essentially meant nothing to it and everything to the boys from the Midway. But did the Eagles peak too soon? They’re going to need their best in this one to beat the Cowboys on the road, especially after getting whipped 17-3 in the City of Brotherly Love when these two teams met back in October before QB Nick Foles really caught some fire.

Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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