Week 17 NFL Betting Info

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    At this juncture we know the New York Giants, Tennessee, Indianapolis, Carolina and Atlanta are in the playoffs, with the latter two still not having a firm spots based on positioning. This means that seven positions have to be filled on Sunday and a total of nine need specific placements before we can say with certainty after the Sunday Night game, which teams are in or out. This week can be as tough as any for NFL bettors in the regular season with so many possibilities. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll eliminate what ties mean as possibilities in accessing playoff chances. Bookmaker.com provides the Week 17 numbers.

    Miami at New York Jets (Jets -2.5, 43)

    The Dolphins win AFC East with a win and the Jets win division with victory and New England loss.

    Keys to the Game-
    Chad Pennington can stick it to his former team, for not having faith in him to be playoff quarterback. Miami is 5-2 SU and ATS on the road and HUGE key to their success protecting the football. If they commit one or less turnovers, they will break the NFL’s single-season record for fewest turnovers in a season. The Dolphins red zone defense needs to hold up one more game, already the best in 53.3 in stopping opponents from scoring touchdown. Can Miami overcome 5-15 ATS record in road games revenging a home loss? The Jets are long shot and they know it, but better to take somebody down with you. Brett Favre has looked every bit of 39 years old since the colder temperatures have developed and he has to have big game for New York to even have chance. The Jets are 9-3 ATS in season finales.

    New England at Buffalo (Bills +5.5, 39)

    New England win the AFC East with a win and Miami loss or makes the playoffs with a win and Baltimore loss.

    Keys to the Game-
    New England has gotten off to flying starts the last two weeks and can take Buffalo out of the game early with another quick start. Matt Cassel is playing exceptionally and the defense has looked better with stronger pass rush. The Patriots are 10-2 ATS as a road favorite of seven points or less and must contain Buffalo special teams or this gets dicey. Bill Belicheck’s defense needs to harass QB Trent Edwards into mistakes, if they do, New England moves to 11-6 and 11-5-1 ATS in Buffalo.

    Jacksonville at Baltimore (Ravens -11, 37.5)

    Baltimore clinches wild card berth with a win or if Miami and New England lose.

    Keys to the Game-
    Jacksonville could be dangerous opponent for Baltimore, playing with nothing to lose and being huge underdogs. The Ravens will want to break the Jaguars will and have to take away their running game, while running the pigskin themselves with second ranked run offense at 150.3 yards per game. Baltimore needs to kick-start Willis McGahee, since he is true inside-outside runner, compared to Le’Ron McClain. Baltimore is 11-4 ATS on the season and is 8-1 ATS in home games off a road win since 2006.

    N.Y. Giants at Minnesota (Vikings -7, 42)

    Minnesota wins NFC North with a win or Chicago loss.

    Keys to the Game-
    The Giants has clinched what they needed and might not bring best effort, but that doesn’t mean Tom Coughlin won’t have his team compete, especially with a week off. Minnesota must reestablish Adrian Peterson, who has been a bobbling machine in recent weeks. They need him to protect the ball better, yet not be too conservative a running threat. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson went back to making poor decisions last week at crucial times, the Giants are too good not take advantage of his mistakes. Jackson must be astute in the passing game. Atlanta only has 98 yards rushing, nonetheless had 32 attempts in the Metrodome, this can’t happen again against the Giants or they move to 15-2 ATS facing teams with winning records.

    Chicago at Houston (Texans -3, 46.5)

    Chicago wins NFC North with a victory and Minnesota loss or takes Wild Card with win and Dallas and Tampa Bay both lose.

    Keys to the Game-
    Chicago swept their three-game homestand, yet was far from impressive, especially in the latter two. The last two games were overtime wins versus New Orleans and Green Bay and they were out-gained 670 to 436 total yards. Houston came up flat after four consecutive wins and five covers in a row at Oakland. They will want to finish .500 and have best ever home record at 6-2. The Bears either will have to keep up scoring wise with the Texans averaging 25 points per game at home or cling to the ball with time of possession and ring up enough points. Chicago desperately needs a pass rush on what should be a fast track to offset the talented Texans perimeter game. The Bears are 8-19 ATS versus offensive teams averaging six or more yards a play and must come up big.

    Carolina at New Orleans (Saints +1.5, 51.5)

    Carolina clinches NFC South and first round bye with a win or Atlanta loss. A defeat and Atlanta victory sends them to the Wild Card round next week.

    Keys to the Game-
    Talk about your tough situations for Carolina! A victory means a week off, followed by a home game for the Panthers. A loss means playing on the road next week on the presumption Atlanta handles St. Louis, saddled with two straight defeats. This has to be accomplished against a live home underdog who has won four of six, with the two losses totaling six points. The Saints will be throwing the ball around; with Drew Brees chasing Dan Marino’s season passing yards record. This means Julius Peppers and the front four must bring pressure, with the Saints gunning for them. Though Jake Delhomme could likely hit a few deep shots with Steve Smith versus Saints secondary, Carolina would be better served to run the ball and limit their possessions. The Cats are 40-16 ATS vs. defensive teams who give up 24 or more points a game.

    Oakland at Tampa Bay (Buccaneers -13, 39.5)

    Tampa Bay clinches Wild Card with a win and Dallas defeat.

    Keys to the Game-
    Tampa Bay should win this game by running the ball and having Jeff Garcia pick apart Oakland with short passes. Long time defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin should have fun dialing up blitzes against JaMarcus Russell. Only concern here is covering big number for a Bucs team that has lost three in a row. Maybe the Raiders 0-7 ATS record in non-conference games over the last two years will help.

    Dallas at Philadelphia (Eagles -1, 42.5)

    Dallas clinches Wild Card with a win or Chicago and Tampa Bay both lose. Philadelphia clinches Wild Card with win and losses by Tampa Bay, Minnesota and or Chicago.

    Keys to the Game-
    It would behoove an emotionally fragile team like Dallas to play well early against an Eagles squad that’s sure to be fired up. Philadelphia has outscored opponents 82-50 in the opening 15 minutes. The Cowboys have to pick up the Eagles blitzes and Tony Romo can not continue to play like an average Joe quarterback. Defensively, Dallas had been solid until last week, they need to control Brian Westbrook and make Donovan McNabb jumpy in the pocket. The Boys are stellar 8-0 ATS in games where the line is +3 to -3. Philadelphia gave up on the running game a
    gain too easily in loss to Washington. With the Eagles wide receivers dropping seven catch-able passes last week, the receivers focus has to be improved no matter who is available. The defense has to harass Romo who has thrown one touchdown and five interceptions in two December meetings with Philly. The Birds are 8-1 ATS off a NFC East loss rival over the last three years.

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