There is a lot of activity with changing spreads at this point of the season, due in no small part to injury lists that include a daily roll of the COVID-19 dice. We track the changes in lines and odds for NFL Week 17, and make our updated picks.
There have been some notable line moves this week, the biggest being the San Francisco 49ers going from 15-point favorites to 12.5-point favorites against the Houston Texans.
After opening the week as 4.5-point favorites, the Dallas Cowboys are now 6-point favorites against the slumping Arizona Cardinals. The Los Angeles Rams have gone from 3 to 4-point favorites against the Baltimore Ravens, and the Kansas City Chiefs are 5.5-point favorites at the Cincinnati Bengals.
The status of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Carson Wentz has helped shift the line from Colts -7.5 to -6.5 against the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Chiefs-Bengals total has jumped from 48.5 to 51 and the Cardinals-Cowboys climbed from 50 to 51.5. The Minnesota Vikings-Green Bay Packers total has dropped from 48.5 to 47.
When it comes to the game with the biggest difference of opinion between total tickets and total cash on a side, the sharps appear to like the chances of the Denver Broncos at the Los Angeles Chargers.
SEE ALSO: NFL Parlay Picks
Here’s a look at the updated NFL odds for Week 17, along with my picks based on the opening lines (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale):
Updated NFL Odds, Lines and Picks for Week 17: Sunday, Jan. 2
Raiders (8-7 SU, 6-9 ATS, 7-8 O/U) vs. Colts (9-6 SU, 10-5 ATS, 8-7 O/U)
Opening line: Colts -7.5
Current line: Colts -6.5
Opening total: 45
Current total: 44.5
Colts QB Carson Wentz is unvaccinated and tested positive for COVID-19, which makes it challenging, but not impossible, for him to be eligible to play Sunday. If Wentz can’t go, rookie Sam Ehlinger, a sixth-round pick out of the University of Texas, will make his first NFL start. Even with uncertainty at quarterback for Indianapolis, 80% of the tickets and 73% of the cash is on the Colts.
Pick: Raiders +6.5 (★★★), Under 44.5 (★★★★)
SEE ALSO: Raiders vs. Colts Picks
Giants (4-11 SU, 6-9 ATS, 5-9-1 O/U) vs. Bears (5-10 SU, 5-10 ATS, 6-9 O/U)
Opening line: Bears -6
Current line: Bears -5.5
Opening total: 38.5
Current total: 37.5
The Bears quarterback situation is in flux. Rookie Justin Fields was still limited at practice, but Andy Dalton and Nick Foles are both available. Believe it or not, that probably gives them a leg up on the Giants, who are stuck with Jake Fromm and Mike Glennon. That edge for Chicago has 69% of tickets and 68% of the cash on the Bears.
Pick: Bears -5.5 (★★), Over 37.5 (★★★)
SEE ALSO: Giants vs. Bears Picks
Buccaneers (11-4 SU, 8-7 ATS, 7-8 O/U) vs. Jets (4-11 SU, 5-10 ATS, 9-6 O/U)
Opening line: Buccaneers -13.5
Current line: Buccaneers -12.5
Opening total: 45.5
Current total: 45.5
There is no question which team is better. The only issue is by how much. Ninety-five percent of the tickets and 96% of the money lies with Tampa Bay. With the Bucs receiving corps depleted, they might not be as explosive as would be expected for the second-highest scoring team in the league even if they scored 30 or more points in five of the last six games.
Pick: Jets +12.5 (★★), Over 45.5 (★★★)
Falcons (7-8 SU, 6-9 ATS, 6-9 O/U) vs. Bills (9-6 SU, 8-6-1 ATS, 8-7 O/U)
Opening line: Bills -14
Current line: Bills -14.5
Opening total: 44.5
Current total: 44
Buffalo’s 33-21 win at the New England Patriots in Week 16 was the first win of the season for the Bills with a margin of fewer than 15 points. Half of the Falcons’ eight losses have been by a margin of 15 or more points and as big as this line is, 80% of the tickets and 84% of the money side with the Bills.
Pick: Falcons +14.5 (★★★), Over 44 (★★★★)
Panthers (5-10 SU, 5-10 ATS, 7-8 O/U) vs. Saints (7-8 SU, 7-8 ATS, 6-9 O/U)
Opening line: Saints -6.5
Current line: Saints -6.5
Opening total: 39.5
Current total: 38.5
While the Saints were completely overmatched in Monday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins, they should have QB Taysom Hill back in the lineup. As flawed as he might be, Hill does offer more upside. The Panthers have lost five straight games, but QB Sam Darnold returned to action last week and while it did not pay immediate dividends, he has been more effective than any of Carolina’s other options.
Pick: Panthers +6.5 (★★★), Over 38.5 (★★)
SEE ALSO: Panthers vs. Saints Picks
Eagles (8-7 SU, 8-6-1 ATS, 9-6 O/U) vs. Washington (6-9 SU, 5-9-1 ATS, 7-8 O/U)
Opening line: Eagles -4
Current line: Eagles -3.5
Opening total: 45
Current total: 45
The Eagles won five of their last six games, to get back into the playoff mix, but head into Week 17 with backfield problems. Running back Miles Sanders is out with a broken hand and Jordan Howard is dealing with a neck injury. Even so, 79% of the tickets and 69% of the money rests with Philadelphia.
Pick: Eagles -3.5 (★★★★), Over 45 (★★★)
Chiefs (11-4 SU, 8-7 ATS, 8-7 O/U) vs. Bengals (9-6 SU, 8-7 ATS, 7-8 O/U)
Opening line: Chiefs -4.5
Current line: Chiefs -5.5
Opening total: 48.5
Current total: 51
No team is riding as high as the Chiefs, winners of eight straight, including seven in a row by at least six points. In six weeks since their bye, the Bengals have one loss by more than three points. Two quality teams result in a more balanced reaction in the marketplace – 60% of the tickets are on the Chiefs while 52% of the money rides with Kansas City.
Pick: Bengals +5.5 (★★★), Under 51 (★★)
SEE ALSO: Chiefs vs. Bengals Picks
Jaguars (2-13 SU, 4-11 ATS, 4-11 O/U) vs. Patriots (9-6 SU, 9-6 ATS, 7-8 O/U)
Opening line: Patriots -15.5
Current line: Patriots -16.5
Opening total: 42
Current total: 41.5
The Jaguars have lost seven straight games, and this is another lopsided game with a line to match. The Jags also have a long list of players on the COVID-19 list and running back James Robinson suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 16. Patriots rookie QB Mac Jones has struggled in back-to-back losses but a game against the Jaguars could be what he needs to get back on track. Eighty-seven percent of the tickets and 84% of the money sides with the heavily favored Patriots.
Pick: Jaguars +16.5 (★★), Over 41.5 (★★★)
Dolphins (8-7 SU, 8-6-1 ATS, 6-9 O/U) vs. Titans (10-5 SU, 9-6 ATS, 7-8 O/U)
Opening line: Titans -3.5
Current line: Titans -3.5
Opening total: 41
Current total: 39.5
The Dolphins have won seven in a row with an improving defense that has held opponents to 17 or fewer points in six of those games. The good news for the Titans is that they rallied to defeat the 49ers in Week 16 as the return of WR A.J. Brown adds firepower to a team that has won by more than a field goal just once in its last six games.
Pick: Dolphins +3.5 (★★★), Under 39.5 (★★)
Broncos (7-8 SU, 7-8 ATS, 3-12 O/U) vs. Chargers (8-7 SU, 7-8 ATS, 8-7 O/U)
Opening line: Chargers -6
Current line: Chargers -6.5
Opening total: 45.5
Current total: 46
This game has the biggest discrepancy between the percentage of tickets and the percentage of money. While only 14% of tickets side with Denver, 79% of the money is on the Broncos, so big money sides with the underdog. There are COVID-19 cases on both teams and while some might have a chance to play this week, unvaccinated WR Mike Williams will be out of the Los Angeles lineup.
Pick: Broncos +6.5 (★★★), Under 46 (★★★)
Texans (4-11 SU, 7-8 ATS, 7-8 O/U) vs. 49ers (8-7 SU, 7-8 ATS, 7-8 O/U)
Opening line: 49ers -15
Current line: 49ers -12.5
Opening total: 44.5
Current total: 44
The line has shifted notably during the week, likely due to uncertainty over the status of 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who suffered a torn ligament in his thumb in a Week 16 loss at Tennessee. Texans rookie QB Davis Mills is showing signs of progress and has won back-to-back starts, so maybe the Texans could make a game of this, but 57% of the tickets and 61% of the money is on the 49ers.
Pick: Texans +12.5 (★★★), Under 44 (★★★)
SEE ALSO: Texans vs. 49ers Picks
Cardinals (10-5 SU, 9-6 ATS, 7-8 O/U) vs. Cowboys (11-4 SU, 12-3 ATS, 7-8 O/U)
Opening line: Cowboys -4.5
Current line: Cowboys -6
Opening total: 50
Current total: 51.5
The Cardinals are struggling towards the finish of the regular season, losing three straight games and the offense is not as potent without WR DeAndre Hopkins. The Cowboys have won four in a row and obliterated Washington 56-14 in Week 16. While 71% of the tickets are on Dallas, only 46% of the money rides with the Cowboys, so the sharps side with the slumping Cardinals.
Pick: Cowboys -6 (★★★), Over 51.5 (★★★)
Lions (2-12-1 SU, 10-5 ATS, 5-10 O/U) vs. Seahawks (5-10 SU, 7-8 ATS, 4-11 O/U)
Opening line: Seahawks -7.5
Current line: Seahawks -7
Opening total: 42.5
Current total: 42.5
With QB Jared Goff still day-to-day for the Lions due to a knee injury, Tim Boyle could make a second straight start for Detroit and yet the line has still been shifting toward the visitors, with 55% of the tickets and 56% of the money on the Lions. Since their bye week, the Lions have one loss by more than seven points in seven games while the Seahawks have one win by more than seven points in seven games since their bye week.
Pick: Lions +7 (★★), Under 42.5 (★★★)
SEE ALSO: Lions vs. Seahawks Picks
Rams (11-4 SU, 8-7 ATS, 8-6-1 O/U) vs. Ravens (8-7 SU, 7-8 ATS, 8-7 O/U)
Opening line: Rams -3
Current line: Rams -4
Opening total: 46
Current total: 46.5
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is still trying to work his way back from an ankle injury. Josh Johnson turned in a respectable performance last week, but Baltimore still lost by 20. The Rams have won four in a row and are missing running back Darrell Henderson due to a knee injury, but Sony Michel can handle it and Cam Akers may return to the Rams lineup, too. Eighty-six percent of the tickets, but just 54% of the money, sides with the Rams.
Pick: Ravens +4 (★★), Under 46.5 (★★★)
NFL Early Odds, Lines and Picks for Week 17: Sunday Night Football
Vikings (7-8 SU, 8-7 ATS, 9-6 O/U) vs. Packers (12-3 SU,11-4 ATS, 6-9 O/U)
Opening line: Packers -6.5
Current line: Packers -7
Opening total: 48.5
Current total: 47
Even though it appears that Dalvin Cook could return to the Vikings lineup, the line has moved in Green Bay’s direction. The Packers have won four in a row but the last two were by a total of three points, so there could be a gap between victory and covering a 7-point spread. Eighty-two percent of the tickets and 60% of the money goes with the Packers so there may be sharp money on the Vikings.
Pick: Vikings +7 (★★★), Under 47 (★★★)
SEE ALSO: Top Underdog Picks of Week 17
NFL Early Odds, Lines and Picks for Week 17: Monday Night Football
Browns (7-8 SU, 7-8 ATS, 7-8 O/U) vs. Steelers (7-7-1 SU, 6-9 ATS, 6-9 O/U)
Opening line: Browns -3
Current line: Browns -3.5
Opening total: 41.5
Current total: 41
Consistency has not been the hallmark of either team so it might make more sense to take a Steelers side that is getting 3.5 points against a Browns team that has not won by more than three points since Week 9. Although 56% of the tickets are with the Browns, 58% of the money is with the Steelers.
Pick: Steelers +3.5 (★★★), Under 41 (★★★★)
Picks based on the Week 17 NFL odds from 12/30/2021 at 12:50 p.m. ET.