We have arrived at week 17 of the NFL regular season, and for the first time ever, this won’t be the final week of the year before the playoffs, as the NFL expanded to 18 weeks prior to the start of the season. And with how tightly contested the playoff picture has become, this week will be a de facto elimination week for several teams.
ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown, Week 17, Fantasy Super Bowl week, is on the air… pic.twitter.com/DHU1B6UwtF
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 2, 2022
For some teams, it is win, and you’re in, for others, a loss would send them home for the winter, and there are lots of teams that need to win, and pray for help, as there just aren’t enough spots for everyone to go dancing into the postseason. We here at TheSportsGeek always pride ourselves on providing high-value betting picks, and with that, we will jump right into the week 17 edition of our parlay of the day betting picks. Let’s get started as we head to Cincinnati for a huge showdown in the AFC between the Bengals and the Chiefs.
Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5)
It is a battle of 1st place teams today in Cincinnati as the Bengals welcome the Kansas City Chiefs to town. While the Chiefs have their division title already locked up, and in fact, they are the only AFC team that has a playoff spot mathematically on lockdown with just 2 weeks left to play, the Bengals could still miss the postseason altogether despite sitting alone in 1st place in the crowded AFC North Division, making this game a huge one for Cincinnati.
The line opened up at Kansas City (-4) and has shifted slightly towards the home team to where it stands now at Bengals (+3.5). The game total opened at (47.5), but the has moved all of the way up to (51) as the sharps and squares alike have been hammering on the over since the line was posted.
Kansas City Chiefs
A win today would be huge for the Kansas City Chiefs for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, the Chiefs are still looking to lock up that number 1 seed in the AFC playoffs, with just a 1-game lead over the Tennessee Titans for the top spot in the conference, and the Bills, Patriots, Bengals, and Colts just 2 games back with 2 to play. Having home field advantage throughout the playoffs is a big deal, and the Chiefs would love to win today and get one step closer to ensuring that the path to the Super Bowl in the AFC runs through Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
WAKE UP IT'S GAMEDAY ? pic.twitter.com/Uxnsrdre7Q
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) January 2, 2022
The Chiefs are arguably the hottest team in the league right now, riding an NFL high 8-game winning streak, but when you look at the teams that they have lost to this year, Chiefs fans can’t be too confident heading into the postseason despite the hot streak. KC has losses to the Ravens, Chargers, Bills, and Titans. All of those teams figure to be in the playoff bracket in the AFC, or are at least still in the hunt, and adding a loss to the Bengals would add another AFC contender to the list of teams that the Chiefs haven’t been able to beat, that they could end up playing in the postseason.
Joe Burrow and the Bengals made a huge statement last week when they torched the Baltimore Ravens 41-21, with Burrow throwing for a career-high 525 yards and 4 scores. With the win, the Bengals took sole possession of 1st place in the AFC North Division, which certainly looks great on paper, but if Cincy goes 0-2 to finish out the year, they could still end up missing the playoffs altogether.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) January 2, 2022
The Bengals have won back-to-back games for the 4th time this season, but interestingly enough, they have yet to win 3 straight this year, so a win would have the Bengals on their longest winning streak of the season at just the right time. The Bengals have one of the top-scoring offenses in the NFL at over 27 points per game, led by Burrow and his stable of young guns in Ja’Marr Chase, Joe Mixon, and Tee Higgins, and they are going to need all of them to show up today if they want to hang with Patrick Mahomes and company, who are second in the AFC in points per game at over 28 per game.
This feels like one of those first team to 40 points wins type of games. Both of these teams are capable of putting big numbers up on the scoreboard and scoring quickly, and if these offenses are clicking, triple-digit points isn’t out of the question. Now, I don’t think things are going to get quite that crazy today in Cincinnati, but I do see this as a high-scoring game that could very well come down to which team has the ball last.
You would be silly to try and poke too many holes in the Chief’s resume, as they have the best record in the conference, and they are on fire right now. But during this 8-game winning streak, they have wins over the Broncos, Raiders (twice), Chargers, Steelers, and Giants. If the season were to end right now, none of those teams would be making the playoffs.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) January 2, 2022
Beating up on bad teams is a great way to run up an elite record, but it isn’t really going to help you make it to the Super Bowl. In the playoffs, all of the teams can play. Now, to be fair to the Chiefs, they also have wins over the Packers and Cowboys, so they can beat some good teams too, but their struggles against the top of the AFC just can’t be ignored.
I don’t know if the Bengals are going to be able to pull off the outright upset today as home dogs, but I do know that (+3.5) points is too high for what should be a very competitive game. Home dogs are always going to be my favorite plays in the NFL, and that is where I will make my stand in this one. Give me the Bengals and the points in what should be a thriller of a game between a couple of the best teams the AFC has to offer!
Las Vegas Raiders (+8.5) at Indianapolis Colts
Speaking of the AFC playoff picture, we have another AFC game with all kinds of playoff implications today in Indianapolis, as the Colts host the Las Vegas Raiders. This game could end up being an eliminator game for whichever team loses, especially if that team is the Raiders, as they are one of 4 teams sitting at 8-7 and fighting for the final wild card in the conference. The Colts are in a slightly better position at 9-6, but a loss today would drop Indy pack to the pack, and they still don’t have their dance card punched for the postseason, with a whopping 9 teams still in the wild card hunt in the AFC.
The opening line for this game was Indy (-7.5) points, and the public has been swarming the Colts, moving the number a full point towards Las Vegas, to where it stands now at Raiders (+8.5). The game total opened at (48) points and has slipped down to (46) points in the early betting market.
Las Vegas Raiders
There is no team that has had a more turbulent season than the Las Vegas Raiders. Not only are they playing in their new home for the first time this year, technically they played their home games in Vegas last year, but with no fans in the stands, I am not sure that really counted, but they have also had to deal with a multitude of off the field distractions. Jon Gruden was fired, Henry Ruggs was arrested, and recent 1st round draft pick Damon Arnette couldn’t play nice on social media and finds himself on the couch, cut from the squad earlier this season. Oh, and did I mention that the franchise’s most famous coach, John Madden, just died a little over a week ago?
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) January 2, 2022
But even after all of the trials and tribulations, the Raiders are in a position to make the postseason with just 2 games left on their schedule. It isn’t quite win, and you are in for Vegas, but it is close, and a win today would be huge for the Raider’s postseason dreams. It hasn’t been overly pretty, but Las Vegas has gutted out wins over the Browns and the Broncos in the last 2 weeks, effectively knocking both teams out of contention, and if LV can make it 3 in a row today in Indy, they are going to be in great position to break through with a postseason appearance.
The Indianapolis Colts got some great news this morning, as starting quarterback Carson Wentz was cleared to play after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. It looked like the Colts were going to have to rely on backup Sam Ehlinger to lead the team today, but as of this morning, Wentz is cleared and ready to play, giving the Colts a huge boost. And while Colts fans are excited to see Wentz on the field today, don’t expect too many down the field passes, as Wentz knows what runs this offense, and that is All-pro sensation, running back Johnathan Taylor.
First gameday of 2022! ? pic.twitter.com/ECEwVUgk79
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) January 2, 2022
I can’t remember the last time that a running back carried a team like Taylor is right now, as Taylor has surged his way from a relative unknown to an MVP favorite in the 2nd half of the season. Taylor leads the NFL in basically every major rushing statistic, and he has rushed for over 100 yards in 6 of his last 7 games. Taylor has rushed for over 100 yards 9 times this season. The Colts record in those 9 games? A perfect 9-0. Indy’s record when Taylor doesn’t eclipse the century mark? 0-6.
This line doesn’t make any sense. Yes, the Colts should be favored as they are playing their best football of the season right now, and Johnathan Taylor has been basically unstoppable on the ground. But the Raiders are very much in the playoff hunt, and to see them getting more than a full touchdown is shocking.
The Raider’s run defense isn’t very good, which means we are going to see another 25+ touch game out of Taylor, and I expect another 100-yard game from the standout back. But when you are running the ball every play, the clock will continue to wind, and that will keep the score lower than if you were dropping back to pass every play. The Colts used this run-heavy attack to perfection last week when they knocked off the Arizona Cardinals 22-16, and I see them using a very similar game plan this week, especially because Wentz wasn’t able to practice all week due to his COVID-19 status.
Always remembered. ? pic.twitter.com/NLkH3YkyQY
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) January 2, 2022
Taylor isn’t your old school 3 yards and a cloud of dust type of runner, but he is a high volume back, and I see the Colts leaning on him heavily in this one. Indy is going to be content with getting a lead, sitting on it, and controlling the clock. I do think the Colts will find a way to win this game, but (+8.5) points is way overinflated, so I will make my play on the road team Raiders. If I had to call this final score, I would say 24-17 Indy, with the Raiders covering the spread in a competitive contest.
Miami Dolphins at Tennessee Titans (-3)
It is an All-AFC ticket today, as our final play of the day comes to us from Tennessee, where the Titans play the Dolphins. A win would give the Titans the AFC South division title, as they own the tiebreaker over the 2nd place Indianapolis Colts with a season sweep over Indy, and Tennessee would love nothing more than to take care of business at home today and get the opportunity to rest up their banged-up roster in week 18. For the Dolphins, they are looking to make it 8 straight wins, as they famously became the first team ever to have a 7-game winning streak and a 7-game losing streak in the same season.
The Titans opened up as (-3.5) point favorites, and the number hasn’t moved much, as most books have this one at Tennessee (-3) as we approach kickoff. As far as the game total goes, it has mostly stayed put as well, opening up at (40.5) and closing at (41). This is a hard game to nail down, and there has been no consensus from the sharps or the public on which side to be on.
About 2 months ago, in my weekly NFL betting takeaways column, I told everyone to watch out for the Miami Dolphins, as I expected a big finish for Miami down the stretch. This team was young and hungry, and after flirting with moving on from Tua Tagovaiola and bringing in former All-pro signal-caller Deshaun Watson, they instead decided to ride with Tua, I felt that Miami was going to circle the wagons and play better football.
That has indeed been the case, as Miami has been fantastic, winning 7 in a row after starting the year out just 1-7. But when you look at the teams the Dolphins have played, they have caught some really big breaks to help spark this run. Wins are wins in the NFL, but this 7-game winning streak has come over the Texans, Ravens, Jets (twice), Panthers, Giants, and the Saints, who were forced to play without 22 of their players due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) January 2, 2022
I mentioned earlier when breaking down the Chiefs that you would be silly to try and poke too many holes in a long winning streak, but this feels a bit like what we saw this weekend in the college football playoffs where Michigan and Cincinnati both ran up elite records against weaker competition only to be exposed badly once they played a higher level of competition. Can Miami step their game up and continue this improbable run and find a way to backdoor into the postseason?
The Tennessee Titans are going to win a division title, despite having to play the entire 2nd half of the season without their best player in running back Derrick Henry, as well as missing superstars Julio Jones and AJ Brown for big chunks of the season. The defense has really stepped up big for Tennessee, especially down the stretch, as they have held opposing teams to 22 points or fewer in 6 of their last 7 games.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) January 2, 2022
The offense has been inconsistent, and they have struggled to score points for long stretches of games, but that hasn’t stopped them from winning games. I can’t imagine that the Titans are going to find their way to a deep run in the postseason without Henry, as this was a team built around the run, but Tennessee could still end the season with the top seed in the AFC with a strong finish, and some help from the Kansas City Chiefs, so to see people doubting them is a bit curious.
When the books make a home team (-3) point favorites, they are basically saying they don’t know what to do with the game. Home field advantage is generally considered to be good enough for 3-points, and with the line sitting right at that key number, the books don’t have a strong opinion on the outcome either way. And the fact that the line hasn’t really moved much all week tells me that the betting public doesn’t have a strong opinion either.
But you know who does have a strong opinion on this one? Me! The Dolphins have been operating with smoke and mirrors for weeks, playing bad teams, many of which were missing key players. No disrespect to what Tua has been able to do, and Jaylen Waddle is looking like a superstar in the making, but I think that Miami gets exposed today on the road.
"In the sports world, we need to get rid of the stigma of just being so tough… Life happens to everyone." @Titans' A.J. Brown shares his message on mental health with @CowherCBS. pic.twitter.com/opYmOuadIT
— NFL on CBS ? (@NFLonCBS) January 2, 2022
The Dolphins looked awful last week against the Saints, who were playing guys that weren’t even on their roster the day before, and now that the Titans are starting to get healthy, I see them beating up on Miami. This feels like an ugly and probably mistake-filled, boring game. If you want action, tune into the Bengals/Chiefs game. If you want a winning bet, fire hard in the home field favorite Titans and close your eyes as things are sure to be ugly.
This one feels like a grinder of a game where the Titans run the football a lot, Ryan Tannehill makes big plays on 3rd down when he needs to, and the Tua Tagovaiola makes some costly mistakes that his team can’t recover from. As I look into my magic 8 ball, I see a defensive-focused game that finishes somewhere right around a 21-10 Titans victory. I will lay a little wood on the home team as Tennessee finds a way to grind out a win and lock up their division title along the way.
Parlay Of The Day
NFL Week 17 Parlay Of The Day
- Teams Odds
- Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5) -110
- Las Vegas Raiders (+8.5) -110
- Tennessee Titans (-3) -110
$100 Bet Pays $700
And there you have it, folks, my week 17 NFL parlay of the day betting picks! Betting parlays is a great way to stack up cash quickly on a small upfront investment, and you don’t want to miss out on a minute of the action! Thank you for reading, and make sure that you swing by TheSportsGeek’s NFL picks page, where our team of expert handicappers bring you FREE NFL picks for each and every game of the NFL season, all year long. Good luck betting in week 17 of the NFL!