Flying by at near light speed once again, the 2019 NFL regular season draws to close with a full slate of betting action as there are 16 games on Sunday, Dec 29, 2019. With the 2020 NFL postseason picture almost complete, below we preview and predict three NFL Week 17 matchups that have playoff implications
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
Spread: Chiefs -9 (-105) | Chargers +9 (-115)
Moneyline: Chiefs (-400) | Chargers (+320)
Game Total: OVER 45.5 (-110) | UNDER 45.5 (-110)
Chargers’ Record: SU 5-10 | ATS 4-10-1 | O/U 6-9
Chiefs’ Record: SU 11-4 | ATS 10-5 | O/U 7-8
Early Sunday Week 17 action features an AFC West division duel as Kansas City hosts Los Angeles at 1:00 p.m. ET Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. The Chiefs can improve their playoff positioning while the Chargers are postseason eliminated. These teams last met during Week 11 action with Kansas City posting a 24-17 win over Los Angeles in Mexico City.
AFC West division champion Kansas City enters this contest riding a five-game winning streak. While Patrick Mahomes and the offense receive a lot of attention, the Chiefs defense has played brilliant recently. Over the last five weeks, the Chiefs have allowed 9.6 points per game. That includes holding Denver and Chicago to just a field goal during the last two contests.
Los Angeles has lost five of its last six games. Solid on defense during the first nine games, allowing just 18.6 PPG, the Chargers gave up 27.2 PPG during the five recent losses. Adding to their woes, Los Angeles sputtered on offense during back-to-back losses at home to Minnesota (39-10) and Oakland (24-17). Playing out the string, motivation may be an issue for the Chargers.
Kansas City needs a win, plus a New England loss at home to Miami, to claim the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs. A loss, plus a Houston win over Tennessee, would drop the Chiefs to the No. 4 seed. Following four wins at home by the Chiefs, the Chargers won 29-28 in Kansas City during Week 15 action last season. Take the points and root for a backdoor cover here.
Pick: Los Angeles Chargers +9
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
Spread: Patriots -16 (-110) | Dolphins +16 (-110)
Moneyline: Patriots (-1100) | Dolphins (+700)
Total: OVER 45 (-110) | UNDER 45 (-110)
Dolphins’ Record: SU 4-11 | ATS 8-7 | O/U 8-7
Patriots’ Record: SU 12-3 | ATS 9-6 | O/U 6-9
Playing a meaningful NFL Week 17 contest, New England hosts Miami at 1:00 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA. The Patriots are looking to lock down the No. 2 seed and earn a bye in the first round of the AFC playoffs. The Dolphins are playing for pride and revenge. New England destroyed the Dolphins 43-0 in Miami during the first meeting back in Week 2.
For an 11th straight season, the Patriots are AFC East division champs. Following losses to Houston (28-22) and Kansas City (23-16), New England bounced back with wins over Cincinnati (34-13) and Buffalo (24-17) to gain some momentum heading into the playoffs. Defense has led the way for New England who rank first in points (13.2) and total yards (268.3) allowed per game.
Miami is playing out the string on a dismal season that began with seven straight losses. Give the Dolphins credit for not throwing in the towel as Miami has won four of its last eight games. Playing well on offense, while struggling on defense, points have been plentiful as the average final was 35-25 during the Dolphins last six contests. Don’t expect that trend to continue in this match.
Baltimore has clinched first overall and home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs. New England’s path is clear, as a victory over Miami earns the Patriots the No. 2 seed and first-round bye. A New England loss, coupled with a Chiefs win, would drop the Patriots to third and they would host the Titans or Steelers during Wild Card Weekend. Lay the monster line and bet on New England.
Pick: New England Patriots -16
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
Spread: Saints -13 (+100) | Panthers +13 (-120)
Moneyline: Saints (-700) | Panthers (+500)
Game Total: OVER 45.5 (-110) | UNDER 45.5 (-110)
Saints’ Record: SU 12-3 | ATS 10-5 | O/U 8-7
Panthers’ Record: SU 5-10 | ATS 6-8-1 | O/U 10-5
Playing a second straight road game, New Orleans visits Carolina for an NFC South showdown at 1:00 p.m. ET at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. The Saints have won two in a row, have clinched the NFC South title and still have a shot at earning a first round bye in the NFC playoffs. Riding a seven-game losing streak, the Panthers have been blown out during most of the losses.
New Orleans can’t finish lower than the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoffs and still has a shot at a first round bye. While the scenarios are numerous, the Saints finish as the No. 1 seed with a win plus a loss or tie by both Green Bay and San Francisco. If the Packers and 49ers both win the Saints finish third. However, if either team loses, New Orleans earns the No. 2 seed if they defeat the Panthers.
Quarterback issues, plus poor play by the defense, have plagued the Panthers who haven’t won since topping the Titans 30-20 back in Week 9. Following a 38-6 blowout loss to the Colts on the road last week, Carolina has been outscored by an average 37-20 final count over the last seven games. Rookie QB Will Grier tossed three INT and didn’t look NFL ready during his first career start last week.
Christian McCaffrey needs 67 receiving yards to join Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk as the only players in NFL history with 1,000 rushing and receiving yards in a single season. He may reach the milestone early and then sit out the rest of the game. To keep its first-round bye hope alive, expect New Orleans to play full out and take care of business against the clawless Panthers.
Pick: New Orleans Saints -13
Season Record: 34-52-2