How is it over? Football should never be over! What are we going to do with our Sundays without football? Without NFL gambling? Interact with family members? I can’t! I. Just. Can’t. Football always seems to end too quickly, and in a way is the perfect analogy for life. You find the moments you look forward to most, proceed to not enjoy the moments enough in the moment, and then the moments are gone.
Along with the regular season going away, so too does any semblance of NFL betting normalism. Lamar Jackson is taking the week off. DeShaun Watson is probably watching the game from home, as well. Tom Brady might be out there, but knowing Bill Belichick, he will run nothing but fullback dives the entire game. Aaron Rodgers is probably gonna be in relax mode.
So what is left? Well, you can take the week off, knowing there will at least be four playoff games next weekend. Orrrr, you can try to bet on Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, Andy Dalton, whoever is pretending to be able to play quarterback in Carolina, or whatever buffet of terrible that Pittsburgh is gonna march out there.
Screw it. Let’s gamble!
Week 17 NFL Gambling Tips
NFL Gambling Tip:
Atlanta Falcons (+1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Might as well start with the best game of the week: Two teams with absolutely nothing on the line who are assuredly going to needlessly run up the score just for the hell of it. At this point, Jameis Winston is going to be the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions, while somehow putting up the fourth-most passing yards in NFL history. His Pro Bowl wide receivers are done for the year with injuries, so instead, he’s throwing for 400 yards to Breshad Perriman and three UPS drivers.
Atlanta continues to be a sneaky good cover as they attempt to fail to get their coaching staff fired. It seems really basic to say “Hey, you should throw to Julio Jones as much as possible” for a coaching concept, but here we are. Also, thoughts and prayers to everyone who lost in their fantasy football championships last week because they played someone who started Devonta Freeman, who proceeded to have his first good game in two years.
I truly, and genuinely hope that neither team bothers to play defense in this game. The only possible way this could end is with both teams scoring in the sixties. The under/over on this game should be in the nineties… in the first half. I don’t even care anymore whether the Falcons fire their coaching staff or the Bucs give Winston a $30 million a year contract extension. I just want offense. Hot, nasty offense.
In the end, I think that Jameis Winston throws seven touchdowns and gets the win. I’ll take the Bucs giving a point at home.
NFL Gambling Tip:
Chicago Bears (+1.5) at Minnesota Vikings
Do you happen to know who Kirk Cousins’ backup quarterback is? That’s right. You don’t. And that says pretty much everything you need to know about this game. The Bears seem intent on trying to end the year with a .500 record. Their defense has given up the fourth-fewest points in the NFL this season. They need to at least attempt to do something to salvage what has been a dinosaur getting caught in a tar pit kind of season on offense. The Bears have scored the third-fewest points in the NFL. If their offense was even the 24th-best offense in the NFL, this game would be played for the final wild card spot.
By the way, it’s Sean Mannion. Sean Mannion is the backup quarterback for the Vikings and the person who will probably get extended play this week. The starting running back will probably be Ameer Abdullah, last seen averaging two yards per carry in Detroit.
I imagine there will be a lot of screen passes thrown from Mannion to Laquon Treadwell on Sunday. That, of course, means the game will suck to watch, but the more a game sucks to watch, the more likely it is that the Bears are going to win. I’ll take the Bears getting points on the road.
NFL Gambling Tip:
Miami Dolphins (+16) at New England Patriots
Technically, the New England Patriots are still playing for a bye, but if you’ve watched the Patriots for the past two months, you know that they have much more to worry about. Their offense has bordered on non-functional at times. Tom Brady’s offense is basically “throw the ball to Julian Edelman while glaring at every other wide receiver” at this point.
The Dolphins are averaging 28 points per game over their last five contests en route to ruining their draft position. Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown at least two touchdowns in four of his last five games. In the end, either the Patriots defense has to hold the Dolphins to zero points, or the Patriots offense has to score at least 27 points.
The Patriots defense is giving up 20 points per game over their past five, and not every team over that time was an offensive juggernaut. If the Dolphins get to 20, that means the Patriots have to get to 37.
The Patriots are going to find a way to win this game, but it’s going to be a lot more competitive than the line makes it seem. With New England’s problems over the past month, there is reason to believe that the Dolphins can really make a game of it. I’m taking the Dolphins getting all the points.
NFL Gambling Tip:
Pittsburgh Steelers (-2) at Baltimore Ravens
There have been very few things in football that have made me want to actively vomit more than the Steelers quarterbacking situation. It was reported this week that the Steelers reached out to Landry Jones, who is currently in the XFL. The XFL blocked a potential move. Put that in perspective: the Steelers couldn’t get a quarterback from a league that only existed for one year, back when Bill Clinton was president.
Instead, the football community has been forced to watch Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges set offense back forty years. You can watch every week as JuJu Smith-Schuster’s soul slowly escapes his body. It was a stretch to say that James Conner could repeat his performance from last year, but nobody was expecting him to go full Peyton Hillis.
The Ravens aren’t playing any of their starters on Sunday, which might matter if they weren’t still starting most, if not all of their offensive line. Robert Griffin III is competent enough to steer this offense to the tune of 20 points. I’m never even a little bit sure that the Steelers can score more than 14 points in a game. And I don’t actually want to watch them try. I’m taking the Ravens then forgetting about this game existing.
NFL Gambling Tip:
Oakland Raiders (+3.5) at Denver Broncos
One last chance to bet against Jon Gruden, folks. Conversely, one last chance to bet against Vic Fangio, folks. Shockingly enough, Vic Fangio is 9-6 against the spread this season, which is frankly stunning because I can’t remember a single game that the Broncos have won this season. Or been competitive in, frankly. The Broncos have been the most forgettable team in the NFL this season.
On the other hand, there is nothing forgettable about the Raiders. Their season has gone as such:
- Signing Antonio Brown
- Hard Knocks
- Helmet Saga
- People watching Hard Knocks and thinking team is going to be good
- Cutting Antonio Brown
- Winning opening day, gaining hype
- Getting the crap kicked out of him, causing numerous “Jon Gruden is in over his head” articles.
- Team goes on a run, causing them to become the sexy pick to win the Wild Card and maybe even upset the Chiefs for the Division
- Team loses four straight games, cratering out of playoff race
- AFC is technically so bad that the Raiders aren’t eliminated from Playoff contention
That’s right folks, the Raiders could still make the playoffs! And there is literally nothing I’m going to enjoy more than watching the Raiders lose this game to end their season! Gimme the Broncos getting the points at home.
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