Sat, Dec 31, 9:05am by Head Editor
NFL Week Seventeen – Best Bets
The final week of the regular season has arrived and a few of the NFL’s best teams are underdogs in their regular season finales.
The Dallas Cowboys have clinched the top seed in the NFC and are expected to lose just their third game of the season. With nothing to play for, Dallas is a $2.53 underdog in their contest against the Eagles ($1.55).
Washington are fighting for their playoff lives and they might not have much trouble beating the New York Giants, who are likely to rest some players as they can’t move from fifth seed in the playoffs. We’ve covered that game in detail a bit further down the page.
The Redskins are among three teams that are in contention for the remaining two playoff spots. The final postseason berth will be determined on “Sunday Night Football” between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. The winner will finish atop the NFC North. That game is also covered further down the page.
If the Redskins beat the Giants, the loser of the NFC North battle won’t make the playoffs. Having won five games in a row, the Packers are three-point favourites in Detroit. Green Bay defeated the Lions by seven points in Week Three.
A few AFC games have playoff implications, even though all six postseason teams are known. The Raiders can clinch a first-round bye with a win over the Denver Broncos, but that will be easier said than done.
Even though Denver has nothing to play for, they are $1.88 favourites over the Raiders, who will be starting Matt McGloin at quarterback for the first time this season. We also look at that game below.
If the Raiders lose, the Chiefs can steal the number two seed and the AFC West title with a victory. They are $1.41 favourites against the San Diego Chargers ($3), whom they needed overtime to beat in the season opener.
Here are the three best bets for final week of the 2016 NFL regular season:
Cincinnati Bengals @ Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field, Denver – 8:25am Monday 2 January
The Raiders (12-3) were already aware they’re heading to the postseason for the first time since 2002. The long-suffering franchise can sew up a first-round bye, the AFC’s number one seed for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and the AFC West crown if they can get by the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos (8-7).
The visitors had a major setback last week when their quarterback Derek Carr suffered a broken leg in last week’s 33-25 victory over Indianapolis. A win that out them in prime position to overtake New England for the conference’s top postseason seed.
So with back-up quarterback Matt McGloin rather than Carr at the helm on Sunday (Monday AEDT) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, it will be extremely tough.
Although Denver, which, along with its Super Bowl foe from last season Carolina, won’t return to the playoffs this season, most of their woes have come in offence. They are ranked sixth in total defence and are sure to make it hard for the inexperienced visiting quarterback.
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins
FedEx Field, Washington – 8:25am Monday 2 January
Although the Giants’ coaching staff have said that they plan to play a full-strength team, it’s hard to believe they won’t rest its top players in the second half.
New York has nothing to play for since they are guaranteed to be the number five seed. The Redskins need a win to stay alive for the second NFC wild-card spot, and the Giants would have trouble winning in Washington even if they had something on the line.
Washington is among three teams that are in contention for the remaining two playoff spots. The final postseason berth will be determined in “Sunday Night Football” between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. The winner will finish atop the NFC North.
The Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins carry plenty of momentum into the matchup. Cousins went 18-for-29 for 270 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for two more scores as Washington gained 208 rushing yards, easily defeating Chicago 41-21 last week.
The Giants have little to play for so I’m going to take the Redskins to cover the line.
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions
Ford Field, Detroit, – 12:30pm Monday 2 January
While most of the games scheduled for this week have little meaning for either team involved, there is plenty on the line for “Sunday Night Football.” The Green Bay Packers visit the Detroit Lions in a battle for the NFC North title. Adding to the heat in the contest, the loser will likely miss the playoffs altogether.
Green Bay is the NFC’s hottest team, winning their past five games while Detroit is 0-4 against playoff teams. Detroit has been fortunate to win close games against subpar competition this season but they won’t be able to keep up with Aaron Rodgers and the high-flying Packers’ offence.
When Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers is at his best, he’s the NFL’s top quarterback. The two-time MVP has been unstoppable in the last six games, throwing 14 touchdown passes and no interceptions.
Rodgers has posted a passer rating of at least 108.9 in five of those contests, and he’s likely to have another big game against Detroit, who’ve allowed an average of 123 yards on 4.7 yards per carry in their past three games.
Leading the charge for the Packers offence is receiver Ty Montgomery, who has emerged as a more than viable replacement for the injured Eddie Lacy, averaging 6.0 yards per carry on 69 attempts.
All the Lions needed to make the playoffs was one win in their final three games, but they enter Sunday’s contest on a two-game losing streak. I’m backing the Packers to end the Lions playoff hopes here.
Multi of the week: Combining all the below for $5.36 at Sportsbet
Broncos to win: $1.88
Redskins to cover the line (-7.0): $1.94
Packers to win: $1.54
NFL Week Seventeen odds:
Buffalo Bills $1.52 (-3.5) @ New York Jets $2.61 (+3.5)
New York Giants $3.39 (+7.0) @ Washington Redskins $1.34 (-7.0)
Houston Texans $2.47 (+3.0) @ Tennessee Titans $1.57 (-3.0)
New Orleans Saints $3.60 (+7.5) @ Atlanta Falcons $1.31 (-7.5)
Dallas Cowboys 2.53 (+3.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles $1.55 (-3.5)
Chicago Bears $2.92 (+5.0) @ Minnesota Vikings $1.43 (-5.0)
Carolina Panthers $3.00 (+5.0) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers $1.41 (-5.0)
Baltimore Ravens $1.99 (+1.0) @ Cincinnati Bengals $1.85 (-1.0)
Jacksonville Jaguars $2.87 (+4.5) @ Indianapolis Colts $1.44 (-4.5)
Cleveland Browns $3.09 (+6.0) @ Pittsburgh Steelers $1.40 (-6.0)
New England Patriots $1.22 (-10.0) @ Miami Dolphins $4.55 (+10.0)
Seattle Seahawks $1.24 (-10.0) @ San Francisco 49ers $4.30 (+10.0)
Oakland Raiders $2.02 (+1.0) @ Denver Broncos $1.88 (-1.0)
Arizona Cardinals $1.39 (-6.0) @ Los Angeles Rams $3.13 (+6.0)
Kansas City Chiefs $1.41 (-5.5) @ San Diego Chargers $3.00 (+5.5)
Green Bay Packers $1.54 (-3.5) @ Detroit Lions $2.55 (+3.5)
Odds supplied by Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*
Stay tuned to www.australiangambling.lv. Where we will bring you the best bets every week of the NFL season.
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