Each Monday morning during the season, I’ll preview three games with spreads that I think will move by the end of the week. This article is designed to help you get the best odds possible by helping you to decide if you should place a bet early in the week or if you should wait to wager until closer to kickoff based on potential line movements. I’ll include any early week leans and wagers that I make in my write-ups.
Note: These lines could swing wildly going forward with so many COVID-19 cases popping up across the country. I’m still going to bet games early in the week while acknowledging I’m going to be both helped and hurt by line movements throughout the week based on COVID-19 List additions. As always, bet within your means, especially with these early-week wagers.
Week 17 Opening Lines
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (no line) — Week 17 motivation to be determined by MNF
Baltimore Ravens (-11) at Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (-6.5)
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (No Line) — Stafford injury situation
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (No Line) — KC Week 17 resting plans
New York Jets at New England Patriots (-5.5)
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) at New York Giants
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6)
Green Bay Packers (-4) at Chicago Bears
New Orleans Saints (-4.5) at Carolina Panthers
Tennessee Titans (-7.5) at Houston Texans
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-14)
Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos (-1)
Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (No Line) — Goff injury situation
Seattle Seahawks (-4.5) at San Francisco 49ers
Sunday Night Football
Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5)
Washington Football Teams (6-9, 9-6 ATS) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (4-10-1, 5-10)
Opening Line: Eagles -1.5
Recent Results: The Football Team dropped a 20-13 decision to the Panthers in Week 16 as one-point home underdogs. Dwayne Haskins’ time in Washington is coming to an end after this season after he got benched after yet another terrible performance, which came after he put his team through last week’s strip-club debacle. The Eagles were eliminated from playoff contention after they lost 37-17 to the Cowboys as three-point road favorites. Dallas averaged 7.8 yards per play against this decimated Eagles defense while Philly’s offense averaged 5.2 yards outside of DeSean Jackson’s 81-yard touchdown.
Injuries/Developments to Follow: HC Ron Rivera and the Football Team won’t say it, but they used last week to get their two most important offensive players back to full health for this week’s win-or-go-home matchup with the Eagles. Terry McLaurin has been laboring through an ankle injury in December and they decided to give him two weeks to get ready for Week 17. The Football Team also decided to give Alex Smith an extra week of rest after he practiced in full on the Friday before Week 16. The Eagles’ chances of making the playoffs were dashed by the Cowboys last week, and they could be without two key pieces this week after Fletcher Cox (stinger) and Dallas Goedert (calf) left early in Week 16.
Potential Line Movement: The wrong team is favored in this game so I’m grabbing the points while I can early in the week in case this line moves in Washington’s direction. A previously deceased Ezekiel Elliott averaged 5.5 YPC (19/105 rushing) against an Eagles defense without Cox last week, and Antonio Gibson should be healthier and ready for a full workload this week after they eased him back into the lineup last week with just 13 touches. The Eagles have had a season from hell and they have no real reason to push any of their injured players to play this week, and their decimated secondary just got whipped by Andy Dalton for 12.6 YPA and three touchdowns. Jalen Hurts has certainly given the Eagles’ offense a shot of life, but his lack of refinement showed up on two red-zone turnovers against a shaky Cowboys defense last week. The Football Team has a front four to contain Hurts better than most so I’m grabbing the value with Washington early in the week.
Seattle Seahawks (11-4, 8-7 ATS) vs. San Francisco 49ers (6-9, 6-9)
- Opening Line: Seahawks -4.5
- Recent Results: George Kittle provided an immediate spark for the 49ers in his first game since Week 8. He posted 4/92 receiving on five targets in San Francisco’s 20-12 victory as six-point underdogs in a neutral-site contest. He also helped new starting RB Jeff Wilson to run for a career-high 183 rushing yards in their upset victory over the Cardinals. Seattle’s offense is coming off another underwhelming performance in their 20-9 victory as 1.5-point home favorites.
- Injuries/Developments to Follow: The 49ers designated Jimmy Garoppolo to return off of the injured reserve last week so there’s an outside shot he could play in the season finale against the Seahawks. San Francisco and Seattle both emerged from Week 16 without any major new injuries as of Monday morning.
- Potential Line Movement: Kyle Shanahan’s bunch embraced the role of spoiler against the Cardinals last week, and they’d love to hurt another NFC West rival this week as the Seahawks go for the NFC’s top seed. San Francisco got Kittle back in the lineup last week, and he’s the rare tight end who moves the needle for spread betting. Meanwhile, Seattle’s offense continues to be stuck in neutral with yet another pedestrian performance against the Rams last week. The Seahawks have failed to top 28 points and 350 total yards in six of their last seven games with the lone exception coming in their 40-3 victory over an M.I.A. New York Jets team. Seattle’s defense has certainly improved over the back half of this season, but I don’t trust their offense to cover by more than four points on the road right now, especially against a team that’s capable of keeping pace with this current Seattle offense. I could see this line finishing in the 3-to-4 point range so I’m grabbing a little extra value early in the week.
New Orleans Saints (11-4, 8-7 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (5-10, 9-6)
- Opening Line: Saints -4.5
- Recent Results: Alvin Kamara was in the giving mood for fantasy owners on Christmas as he tied an NFL record with six rushing TDs in New Orleans 52-33 victory over Minnesota as 6.5-point home favorites. The Saints posted 583 total yards and they averaged 8.0 yards per play on their way to scoring 52 points against the Vikings on Christmas Day. The Panthers have covered in four out of their last five games after they beat the undermanned Football Team 20-13 as one-point road favorites.
- Injuries/Developments to Follow: The Saints lost midseason acquisition Kwon Alexander for the rest of the season with an Achilles injury last week, but they should get some starters back after Trey Hendrickson, Andrus Peat, Nick Easton, Malcolm Browns, and Marcus Williams each rested on Christmas Day with a short week to get ready for Week 16. I’m also not expecting Christian McCaffrey to return in a meaningless Week 17 game for the Panthers.
- Potential Line Movement: I’m grabbing the Saints laying fewer than six points early in the week since I think New Orleans will finish as six-point favorites or higher in the season finale. The Saints have built some offensive momentum in their last six quarters with Drew Brees back in the lineup, and they’ll be looking to keep it going this week as they vie for the NFC’s top seed. New Orleans has plenty to play for as the Saints, the Packers, and the Seahawks are all still alive for the NFC bye. I’ll lay the shorter price now before the Saints become bigger favorites closer to kickoff.
Brolley’s Early Week 17 Bets
New Orleans Saints -4.5
San Francisco 49ers +4.5
Washington Football Team +1.5