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Top-4 NFL Gambling Picks for Week 17

While 2021 just kicked off, we’ve arrived at the end of the NFL regular season. Luckily for us, there are still playoff spots and seeding scenarios at stake this weekend, treating us to fantastic betting opportunities.

Below are the bets I’m making for Sunday’s games, en route to what I think will be another big weekend of profits!

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(Odds via the FanDuel Sportsbook; subject to change.)

Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams (+3)

You probably wouldn’t have guessed it a few weeks ago, but the winner of this game guarantees a spot in the playoffs next week. After the beatdown the Cardinals received from the Niners last week, I felt there was no chance they could supplant the Rams and their NFL-best defense for a playoff spot. Then the Rams lost to the Seahawks, and quarterback Jared Goff broke his thumb, requiring surgery and forcing him out of Sunday’s game.

Los Angeles will now call upon former-AAF quarterback John Wolford to command the offense. It’s imperative to note Wolford has never taken a snap in the NFL before. Still, the Rams defense mentioned above should cause fits for a lackluster Arizona offense and dual-threat quarterback, Kyler Murray, who is dealing with a leg injury. The Cardinals need to win to get in the playoffs, while the Rams can lose and still get in but will need the Packers to beat the Bears.

So, who comes out the winner of this Week 17 matchup?

The Pick: Cardinals -3

Don’t overthink this. The Cardinals are banged up and on the heels of an incredibly flat performance against San Francisco last week, but facing a quarterback with no NFL game experience. If the Wolford experiment doesn’t work out, the Rams contingency is Blake Bortles, signed off the Denver Broncos practice squad earlier this week. Practice squad. Blake Bortles.

Rams head coach Sean McVay deserves plenty of credit for a solid season. But, trust me, Wofford won’t play savior. Los Angeles is experimenting in virtually a must-win game. I don’t care how good their defense is; it’ll be a miracle to escape Sunday with a win. They better hope the Packers care about their game with the Bears. Take Arizona and the points.

That leads me to the next game!

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears (+4.5)

Here’s the game of the weekend! Most felt the matchup should’ve been the primetime Sunday Night Football game despite the league needing to keep it in the 4 p.m. ET slot. The Bears come into Week 17 needing a win (or a Cardinals loss) to lock up the final NFC playoff spot. The Packers need a win to lock up the No. 1 seed, a first-round bye, and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Both teams are absolutely en fuego. The Packers, led by my MVP-favorite Aaron Rodgers, are coming off a massive blowout win over the Titans last week. The Bears are riding a three-game win streak where they averaged close to 37 points per game. It’s an NFC North rivalry game! Who comes out of Chicago with a win?

The Pick: Packers -4.5

It’s hard not to love the Bears after they’ve clawed their way into the playoff picture. They’ve ripped off three straight wins after losing six in a row, and the “sharps” seem to like them a bit, too. The line reflects that, moving from Packers -5.5 to -4.5 currently.

I won’t lie. I almost bought in, too, until my good buddy in Green Bay asked if I went crazy. I took a closer look. The Packers want to win this game badly. If not for anything else, Aaron Rodgers needs a win to lock up the MVP. The Packers are the best scoring offense in football, the sixth-best pass defense, and the seventh-best defense overall. They’re the best team in football.

Mitchell Trubisky, David Montgomery, and the rest of the Bears’ offense has been hot, but their last three wins came against the Texans, Vikings, and Jaguars. Hardly world-beaters. The Packers pose a significant mismatch. Exploit the soft line and lay the points with the Packers.

Washington Football Team @ Philadelphia Eagles (+3)

Remember how I mentioned America got screwed out of Packers-Bears on Sunday Night? We’re getting the game nobody asked for instead. Thanks for nothing, NFL.

No matter how hard they try not to, one team ultimately wins the NFC East. No, seriously, an NFC East team will actually get thrashed in host a playoff game next week.

The Washington Football Team can earn the honors (very loose emphasis on the term) by beating the Eagles, who are eliminated from playoff contention. Philadelphia has nothing to play for and sitting running back Miles Sanders, wide receiver Alshon Jefferey, tight end Dallas Goedert, defensive end Derek Barnett, defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, and more.

With that in mind, who wins the Sunday night snoozefest?

The Pick: Washington -3

The Eagles have mailed it in. Had their injury report not been so extensive, I’d go the other way, but they have no incentive to playing banged-up players. That means raw quarterback Jalen Hurts won’t have much help against a fantastic Washington defense.

The Football Team defense, led by the incredible Chase Young, is the fourth-best in the NFL. They only allow 198 passing yards per game and have the third-highest sack rate. They have only a slightly above average run defense, but the Eagles best running back, Miles Sanders, won’t play.

Washington quarterback Alex Smith reportedly will play Sunday, making them a more appealing side to bet. But I don’t think it matters who starts for WFT. Tyler Heinicke did fine in relief last week for the recently released Dwayne Haskins.

The “sharps” did get better lines earlier this week, but there’s still value in the spread. Ride Washington to win the NFC East.

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Las Vegas Raiders @ Denver Broncos (+2.5)

Here’s a game that indeed does nothing for anyone. Let’s be real – there’s a 0.0% chance you’d watch this game if you weren’t getting action on it. These teams are exceptionally bad. The Broncos don’t score points (29th in the NFL), and the Raiders have dropped five of their last six games, embarrassingly taking themselves out of the playoff picture.

If you’re like me and live in Las Vegas, we unpleasantly get this game in the afternoon window. Thank heaven above for NFL Sunday Ticket. This game is disgustingly terrible, so let’s bet on it!

The Pick: Under 50.5

From the game’s perspective: The Broncos have a horrible offense that doesn’t see the end zone often. Broncos games have gone under in five of the last seven. On the other hand, Raiders games typically go over the total, due to a pitiful defense. Despite being awful, Drew Lock’s Broncos don’t pose a scoring threat.

Additionally, Las Vegas has a bottom-tier red zone offense, while Denver has the league’s best red zone defense. Points will be hard to come by, thus pointing to the under.

From the bettor’s perspective: When glancing at the board, I search for value – the diamond in the rough. Next, I find out what the “sharps” are betting. A “sharp” is sports betting jargon for “professionals.” They typically have reliable data, tons of research, and bet substantial amounts resulting in crucial line movement. Monitoring sharp action is something you definitely want to add to your betting repertoire.

While the sharps don’t hit at 100% (NO ONE does), they’re on the right side more often than not. According to numberFire, the under is commanding a respectable 63% of bets, but a whopping 83% of the money. The 20% discrepancy in money-to-bets indicates sharp action, making it a play. I wholeheartedly agree because of the game perspective.

Admittedly, I don’t typically play totals. Historically, totals are a 50-50 proposition, meaning they need to win over 52% of the time to break even because of the sportsbook’s “juice.” With that in mind, I don’t bet totals like I do spreads, but for this game, I will.

You might want to wait and see if the line goes up to 51 on Sunday before you bet, but this looks safe as is. Ride with me and the sharps and take the under.

Bonus Play: It’s teaser time! Let’s put together a fun 6-point teaser to kick off the new year!

6-pt Teaser (+330)

SAINTS -0.5

PACKERS +1.5

CARDINALS +3

RAVENS -7

WFT +3

And there you have it: winners! Best of luck, and enjoy the final NFL Sunday of the year.

Make sure you’re following our sports betting account on Twitter, @OutKickBets, for tips, tricks, and more!

Written by Erick Valenciano

Erick Valenciano is a So Cal native who moved to Las Vegas to pursue a career in broadcasting and sports betting. A graduate of Cal State Fullerton, Erick paid his way through betting on sports and selling event tickets. He's also a mid-90s golfer and insists nobody will ever break his heart worse than the Chargers have.

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