Written By Billy Attridge
The last two weeks of the NFL regular season can be tricky, with almost half the teams in the league out of the playoff mix and little to play for. We turn our focus towards two totals this week, starting with the Saturday matchup in Los Angeles and finishing in San Francisco. We also take a look Houston traveling to Philadelphia for a game where the market has appeared to tip its hand in favor of one team. Before investing this weekend, see why these numbers have move, and will continue to do so! As always, we trek west to the desert and reveal Vegas look ahead lines for NFL Week 17.
Baltimore @ LA Chargers 1H Under 22 (-110):
We’ve discussed this over the last couple weeks, but if there is one team that has had a more drastic shift in offensive style than Baltimore, I would love to hear who that is. Baltimore leads the league in time of possession with Lamar Jackson under center. He’s yet to throw for over 180 yards, but with the run attack being so successful, it’s hard to see why that’s a negative (at this point). On the other side of the ball, Philip Rivers and a very talented offensive unit move the ball efficiently, but SLOWLY, down the field, with snaps routinely coming in the last 5 seconds of the play clock as Rivers reads and audibles on what feels like every play. The Ravens defense should be the ultimate test for Rivers and Company, and with the full game total moving down from 45.5 at BetOnline.AG to 43.5, the under money that has come in thus far is real despite the announcement that Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon will play.
Houston @ Philadelphia ML (-118):
BetOnline.AG opened Houston -1.5, and since we’ve seen Eagles money hit the screen. This is an interesting and potentially confusing time for those trying to profit on the NFL. We love data and models, and they’re crucial to utilize on a weekly basis. However, around this time of the year, strictly betting based on your analytical model or power number could be a recipe for disaster. Sitting players for future health, potential draft picks, etc., makes reading and sifting through information critical. Now, while both teams have reasons to perform well here, the Texans have been surviving and pulling out close victories on the road against less than mediocre competition (Jacksonville, Denver, Washington, NY Jets), and the Eagles, despite their season-long metrics, could have some Foles “magic” left in them. Deshaun Watson has been sacked 52 times this year behind the worst pass protecting line in the league, and the Eagles should have success as they have two of the top three pass rushers in terms of quarterback hits (Bennett and Cox). We would see some resistance if this number got to Philadelphia -3, but the early move is real.
Chicago @ San Francisco 1H Under 21.5 (-120):
BetOnline.Ag opened the full game total at 44 and we’ve seen a slight tick down to 43.5. This Bears defense has been fantastic throughout the year, but especially in the first half. Their opponents have averaged 6 points in the first half, and while Nick Mullins and Kyle Shanahan have started to gel as of late, the Bears’ defense will be their toughest test to date, even if Eddie Jackson is out. Another factor to look at here is Mitch Trubisky, whose only played 4 road games throughout the season (2-2), with wins against Arizona and Buffalo (led by Bradford and Peterman). This is a decent test for the Bears offense, who still needs to improve offensively if they want to make a Super Bowl run. While Chicago defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has been excellent as expected, 49ers DC Robert Saleh has his defensive unit playing above average football, especially at home, where their opponents only average 5.0 yards per play. The 49ers are Top 10 in both defensive rush and pass success rate, and should provide some issues for this Bears offense. This under may not be done moving south.
NFL Week 17 Vegas Look Ahead Lines:
New York Giants -2.5 vs. Dallas Cowboys
Kansas City Chiefs -13.5 vs. Oakland Raiders
New Orleans Saints -5.5 vs. Carolina Panthers
New England Patriots -13 vs. New York Jets
Philadelphia Eagles -5.5 at Washington Redskins
Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions (N/A – Aaron Rodgers)
Houston Texas -7.5 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Baltimore Ravens -4.5 vs. Cleveland Browns
Atlanta Falcons -3 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Indianapolis Colts -2.5 at Tennessee Titans
Buffalo Bills -3 vs. Miami Dolphins
Pittsburgh Steelers -13 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota Vikings -6.5 Chicago Bears
Los Angeles Chargers -5.5 at Denver Broncos
Seattle Seahawks -10.5 vs. Arizona Cardinals
Los Angeles Rams -9 vs. San Francisco 49ers