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Billsfans Bets: NFL Week 17 Picks


LeviF91
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Image Credit: © Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

 

Many sports bettors enjoy betting week 17 for several reasons, not the least of which is that there are lots of teams that simply must-win for their season to continue. I, too, enjoy betting week 17.

 

I enjoy betting week 17, but I hate week 17. I hate week 17, mostly for non-gambling reasons.

 

Week 17 is actually an enjoyable gambling week for the non-casual bettor in that there are steals to be found when too much money floats toward a team in a must-win scenario. When betting teams in must-win games, you must understand that the motivation from a must-win scenario is already included in the lines.

 

Not only that, but you must also understand that the line may get inflated by the amount of money bet by folks who don’t understand how this works.

 

Therefore, we must be cautious when betting money on teams in must-win scenarios, which are favored by a significant number of points. To illustrate this, we’re going to look at why I hate week 17.

 

On week 17 of the 2004 NFL season, my Buffalo Bills hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers in a must-win game to snap a four-year postseason drought. The bad news: the Steelers were 14-1. The good news: Pittsburgh had locked up the first seed in the AFC playoff bracket and were resting their starters. The Bills, winners of six straight and scoring at least 33 points in each one of those wins, were favored by 9.5.

 

The Bills lost the game straight up, and the drought continued.

 

The 2004 Buffalo Bills aren’t a complete anomaly here. Just last year, Pittsburgh needed a win in week 17 against the Ravens for a shot at the playoffs. Baltimore decided to rest their starters and rolled to the tune of 28-10, leading to locker cleanout for the Steelers the very next day.

 

In fact, in week 17 must-win scenarios, the teams that need a victory have a losing record against the spread. This is why I use week 17 to take lots of points against teams that have to have a win.

 

WAS (-2) at PHI

 

The NFL makes lots of divisional matchups in week 17 because they keep teams eliminated from the playoffs motivated and their fans interested in the game. I don’t think the Eagles lay down and simply let Washington take a division title. This line opened for me at WAS +1.5 and has already moved all the way to -2. Vegas likes the Eagles, but should we be following the casual bettors throwing money at Washington just because it’s a “must-win” for them? No thank you, let’s watch this line move some more and take Philadelphia when they’re getting 3.

 

The pick: PHI

 

TEN (-7.5) at HOU

 

How soon we forget. The Texans took Tennessee to overtime in a 78 point barnburner in Nashville back in week 6. October football has little to do with January football, but Deshaun Watson is an excellent quarterback playing at home. Getting 7.5 points makes Houston a very nice-looking bet; grab them up. And take the over (56.5) while you’re at it.

 

The pick: HOU

 

PIT (+10) at CLE

 

I know, the Steelers haven’t looked all that great recently. Yes, Cleveland did just lose to the Jets and will probably come out swinging on Sunday. And yes, Mason Rudolph is starting for Pittsburgh. But consider: this line opened at 6.5, moved to 7.5 after the money started flowing, moved to 9 after the QB announcement, and kept moving to 10. I don’t buy it. Not with the Browns. I’d prefer to wait and see just how many starters Pittsburgh is sitting, but right now, the bet is Steelers getting double digits.

 

The pick: PIT

 

You’ll note that at your favorite online sportsbook, there aren’t many player props in week 17, at least not early. Keep an eye out for an over/under passing yards total for Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts has thrown for 342 and 338 against Dallas and Arizona, respectively, as head coach Doug Pederson has abandoned the run. The Eagles are trying to see what they have at the quarterback position, as they have decisions to make regarding former second overall pick Carson Wentz in the offseason. Add that to a rivalry matchup with Washington, and we have a recipe for the over in a Jalen Hurts passing yards total, assuming it’s reasonable. Hit that over if it’s 250.5 or less.


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2 hours ago, Ann said:

I wish I understood betting better. I get the betting lines and the over/under scoring, but not much else.

Thanks for the write-up, @LeviF91!

 

This is where a guy like me -- who has lost thousands betting football over the years -- will tell you to be glad you don't understand betting football better. Especially since you have a favorite team you follow. Nothing will screw up a fun Sunday faster than having a few hundred dollars on a few games that you lose, including one that you had for 59 minutes until the other team gives up a garbage-time safety to screw up your bet.

 

Scott Van Pelt on ESPN does a thing called Bad Beats that should cure all gamblers of their desire to be sports. It's funny as hell, but not for the people losing money.

 

That said, I would never be a football fan -- or a Bills fan -- if it wasn't for my father's NFL gambling. It was one of the few times we were allowed to have the TV on. 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, IDBillzFan said:

 

This is where a guy like me -- who has lost thousands betting football over the years -- will tell you to be glad you don't understand betting football better. Especially since you have a favorite team you follow. Nothing will screw up a fun Sunday faster than having a few hundred dollars on a few games that you lose, including one that you had for 59 minutes until the other team gives up a garbage-time safety to screw up your bet.

 

Scott Van Pelt on ESPN does a thing called Bad Beats that should cure all gamblers of their desire to be sports. It's funny as hell, but not for the people losing money.

 

That said, I would never be a football fan -- or a Bills fan -- if it wasn't for my father's NFL gambling. It was one of the few times we were allowed to have the TV on. 

 

 

 

 

It's a blessing and a curse.  But it's fun and who needs money anyway 😂😭

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20 hours ago, Ann said:

I wish I understood betting better. I get the betting lines and the over/under scoring, but not much else.

Thanks for the write-up, @LeviF91!

Not much to understand. Some huge misconceptions out there on how bookies make money etc , but knowing the lines and watching football is about 98%!of that ya need to know!

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2 hours ago, plenzmd1 said:

Not much to understand. Some huge misconceptions out there on how bookies make money etc , but knowing the lines and watching football is about 98%!of that ya need to know!


I play two games of "chance"... the stupid Wheel of Fortune slot machine where I lose a ton of money, and Blackjack where I go to earn that money back. Vicious cycle.

Now, if I started sports betting and lost, I'd have to figure out another avenue to earn that back. :dance2:

 

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1 hour ago, Ann said:


I play two games of "chance"... the stupid Wheel of Fortune slot machine where I lose a ton of money, and Blackjack where I go to earn that money back. Vicious cycle.

Now, if I started sports betting and lost, I'd have to figure out another avenue to earn that back. :dance2:

 

 

I love playing three-card poker. It pays better than blackjack and the idiots sitting with you at the table have no effect on your hand. My wife, on the other hand, absolutely owns Wheel of Fortune. We haven't gambled in a while, but it was always the first slot she'd look for. 

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On 12/31/2020 at 9:55 AM, IDBillzFan said:

Scott Van Pelt on ESPN does a thing called Bad Beats that should cure all gamblers of their desire to be sports. It's funny as hell, but not for the people losing money.

 

 

I love that segment.

 

I got crushed trying to bet football when I was about 15 years old and was cured for life.  I just don't have the ability to think clearly when there is money on the line -- even if it's not a significant amount.  I have the same issue w/ poker.

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On 12/31/2020 at 11:55 AM, IDBillzFan said:

 

This is where a guy like me -- who has lost thousands betting football over the years -- will tell you to be glad you don't understand betting football better. Especially since you have a favorite team you follow. Nothing will screw up a fun Sunday faster than having a few hundred dollars on a few games that you lose, including one that you had for 59 minutes until the other team gives up a garbage-time safety to screw up your bet.

 

Scott Van Pelt on ESPN does a thing called Bad Beats that should cure all gamblers of their desire to be sports. It's funny as hell, but not for the people losing money.

 

That said, I would never be a football fan -- or a Bills fan -- if it wasn't for my father's NFL gambling. It was one of the few times we were allowed to have the TV on.

I never watch ESPN except if there's a football game but I caught "Bad Beats" last week because I left the TV tuned to it after the game was over.


So the next morning, they showed some college game where the line was -39.5.  The bad team was down 33 with the ball and just seconds left on the clock.  They were either in the Red Zone or really close and there was time for one more play.  QB gets wrecked, throws a duck, gets picked and returned for a TD.  Anyone who bet that game was literally ONE PLAY from winning the bet.  It might be the worst bad beat I've ever seen.

 

I know a lot about football...which is why I never bet on it.  lol

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On 12/31/2020 at 4:46 AM, LeviF91 said:

spacer.png

© Mitchell Layton-USA TODAY Sports

 

I hate week 17.

 

Many sports bettors enjoy betting week 17 for several reasons, not the least of which is that there are lots of teams that simply must-win for their season to continue. I, too, enjoy betting week 17.

 

I enjoy betting week 17, but I hate week 17. I hate week 17, mostly for non-gambling reasons.

 

Week 17 is actually an enjoyable gambling week for the non-casual bettor in that there are steals to be found when too much money floats toward a team in a must-win scenario. When betting teams in must-win games, you must understand that the motivation from a must-win scenario is already included in the lines.

 

Not only that, but you must also understand that the line may get inflated by the amount of money bet by folks who don’t understand how this works.

 

Therefore, we must be cautious when betting money on teams in must-win scenarios, which are favored by a significant number of points. To illustrate this, we’re going to look at why I hate week 17.

 

On week 17 of the 2004 NFL season, my Buffalo Bills hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers in a must-win game to snap a four-year postseason drought. The bad news: the Steelers were 14-1. The good news: Pittsburgh had locked up the first seed in the AFC playoff bracket and were resting their starters. The Bills, winners of six straight and scoring at least 33 points in each one of those wins, were favored by 9.5.

 

The Bills lost the game straight up, and the drought continued.

 

The 2004 Buffalo Bills aren’t a complete anomaly here. Just last year, Pittsburgh needed a win in week 17 against the Ravens for a shot at the playoffs. Baltimore decided to rest their starters and rolled to the tune of 28-10, leading to locker cleanout for the Steelers the very next day.

 

In fact, in week 17 must-win scenarios, the teams that need a victory have a losing record against the spread. This is why I use week 17 to take lots of points against teams that have to have a win.

 

WAS (-2) at PHI

 

The NFL makes lots of divisional matchups in week 17 because they keep teams eliminated from the playoffs motivated and their fans interested in the game. I don’t think the Eagles lay down and simply let Washington take a division title. This line opened for me at WAS +1.5 and has already moved all the way to -2. Vegas likes the Eagles, but should we be following the casual bettors throwing money at Washington just because it’s a “must-win” for them? No thank you, let’s watch this line move some more and take Philadelphia when they’re getting 3.

 

 

The pick: PHI

 

TEN (-7.5) at HOU

 

How soon we forget. The Texans took Tennessee to overtime in a 78 point barnburner in Nashville back in week 6. October football has little to do with January football, but Deshaun Watson is an excellent quarterback playing at home. Getting 7.5 points makes Houston a very nice-looking bet; grab them up. And take the over (56.5) while you’re at it.

 

The pick: HOU

 

PIT (+10) at CLE

 

I know, the Steelers haven’t looked all that great recently. Yes, Cleveland did just lose to the Jets and will probably come out swinging on Sunday. And yes, Mason Rudolph is starting for Pittsburgh. But consider: this line opened at 6.5, moved to 7.5 after the money started flowing, moved to 9 after the QB announcement, and kept moving to 10. I don’t buy it. Not with the Browns. I’d prefer to wait and see just how many starters Pittsburgh is sitting, but right now, the bet is Steelers getting double digits.

 

The pick: PIT

 

You’ll note that at your favorite online sportsbook, there aren’t many player props in week 17, at least not early. Keep an eye out for an over/under passing yards total for Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts has thrown for 342 and 338 against Dallas and Arizona, respectively, as head coach Doug Pederson has abandoned the run. The Eagles are trying to see what they have at the quarterback position, as they have decisions to make regarding former second overall pick Carson Wentz in the offseason. Add that to a rivalry matchup with Washington, and we have a recipe for the over in a Jalen Hurts passing yards total, assuming it’s reasonable. Hit that over if it’s 250.5 or less.

 

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3-0, Levi. pretty dang good!

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