NFL Week 17: Opening Lines And Early Betting Value

tom brady patriots

Monday, December 26, 2016 6:16 PM GMT

Hard as it is to believe, it's the final Sunday of the 2016 NFL regular season this week. A lot of games don't really matter so make sure to judge a team's motivation before dropping down a bet. Here are some interesting opening Week 17 lines.

New England Patriots At Miami Dolphins (-10.5)

I'd like to tell you what Miami's motivation level will be here, but I honestly don't know. The Dolphins have clinched a wild-card spot, their first trip to the playoffs since 2008. Adam Gase deserves some Coach of the Year consideration and I guarantee you the Chicago Bears are having second thoughts about not hiring him as their head coach. He was the team's offensive coordinator last year. As things stand now, the Dolphins would play at AFC North champion Pittsburgh on wild-card weekend. I feel confident in saying that Miami would rather play at AFC South champion Houston. That's doable if the Fins win this game and Kansas City loses in San Diego as those results would make Miami the No. 5 seed instead of the No. 6. But is that worth playing your starters and risking injury? New England would clinch the top seed in the AFC with a victory or an Oakland loss in Denver. It should be noted that the Raiders-Broncos game starts after this one ends (barring overtime) so it's not like the Patriots can sit back and scoreboard watch. Last year in Week 17 the Patriots also had a chance at the AFC's No. 1 seed with a win in Miami but they lost 20-10 and ended up having to go to Denver for the AFC title game. New England beat visiting Miami 31-24 in Week 2 with Jimmy Garoppolo as the starting QB with Tom Brady suspended. Garoppolo threw for 232 yards and three scores before leaving in the second quarter with an injury. Miami was down 31-3 midway through the third quarter before nearly rallying.

NFL Early Pick: Dolphins +10.5Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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 Oakland Raiders At Denver Broncos (-3)

What a costly victory for the Raiders on Saturday. They beat visiting Indianapolis 33-25 but lost starting quarterback Derek Carr, an MVP candidate, for the rest of the season to a broken leg. He is to have surgery on Tuesday and the official timetable is 6-8 weeks. So maybe he could play in the Super Bowl but I have trouble seeing Oakland get there behind backup QB Matt McGloin. The former Penn State walk-on hasn't started an NFL game in there years. He was a free agent this past offseason but the Raiders put a second-year tender on him to make it tough for another club to sign McGloin. If the Raiders win this game or the Chiefs lose at San Diego, the Raiders will be AFC West champions. They also could claim the AFC's top seed with a victory and New England loss in Miami. But should Oakland lose and Kansas City win, the Raiders would hit the road on wild-card weekend. The Broncos won't get a chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions. They were eliminated from the playoff chase with Sunday night's loss to Kansas City.  Denver lost in Oakland 30-20 in Week 9. Latavius Murray ran for 114 yards and three touchdowns. Carr was pretty quiet, throwing for 184 yards.

NFL Early Pick: Broncos -3Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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NY Giants At Washington Redskins (-7.5)

I'll be interested to see how this line might change after Monday's Detroit at Dallas matchup. If the Cowboys win that game, then Washington  will be a wild-card team with a victory here. So, yes, Redskins fans have to root for the hated Cowboys. The Giants have nothing to play for as they are locked into the NFC's top wild-card spot. They will play at Seattle, Atlanta, Green Bay or Detroit on wild-card weekend. Thus I would expect New York to rest some of its key guys. Interesting decision on Eli Manning, who has started 198 consecutive games and all 11 in the playoffs, the third-longest streak for a quarterback in NFL history. Perhaps Coach Ben McAdoo will want to play his starters on offense at least a half to have some momentum into the playoffs. New York is averaging just 15 points in the past four games, going 2-2. Washington won at the Giants 29-27 in Week 3. Dustin Hopkins kicked a 37-yard field goal with 1:51 left. It was his fifth field goal of the game. Manning was picked off on New York's next possession. The Giants gave it away three times and had 11 penalties for 128 yards.

NFL Early Pick: Redskins -7.5 (if Lions lose)Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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