NFL favorites went 12-4 straight up and 8-7-1 ATS in Week 17, while Unders went 10-6. Historically, we've seen chalk perform well late in the season. Over the past 15 seasons, favorites have covered at roughly a 49% clip in Weeks 1 through 16. But in Week 17, they tick up for roughly 53% ATS. This may not seem like much, but chalk improves roughly 4% in terms of covering at the end of the season.
With Week 18 ahead of us, bettors should also look out for "information-based" bets. By staying glued to Twitter, we can look out for coaches who announce they're going to rest their guys in meaningless games, which provides value to bettors who can jump on numbers before they move.
With that in mind, here are five games wise guys are targeting in Week 18.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-10, 44) at DENVER BRONCOS
This AFC West grudge match opened with a look-ahead number of just Chiefs -3 on the road. But we've seen this line swell all the way to Kansas City -10 due to a heavy wave of chalk steam. The Chiefs still have something to play for as they're chasing the Titans for the top seed in the AFC and a bye. Meanwhile, the Broncos have lost three straight and just got crushed by the Chargers 34-13. Denver is dealing with COVID-19 issues while the Chiefs are healthy and motivated.
GREEN BAY PACKERS (-2, 42.5) at DETROIT LIONS
This spread is insanely low, which means you have to lay the points with Green Bay, right? Not so fast. The look-ahead line was Packers -11 on the road, but we've seen it fall all the way to Packers -2. This was due to the fact that Green Bay has already locked up the No. 1 seed in the NFC and doesn't have anything to play for. As a result, oddsmakers expect Matt LaFluer to rest quarterback Aaron Rodgers and many other key players in a game that doesn't matter. The Lions have value as a divisional dog in a low total game.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS (-6.5, 48)
This game is a classic example of differing motivations. The Seahawks have been eliminated from playoff contention and rumors are swirling that QB Russell Wilson and coach Pete Carroll are headed for a breakup. On the flip side, the Cardinals are coming off a big win over the Cowboys and can catch the Rams for the division if they win this game and get some help. This line opened with Arizona as a 5-point home favorite. Respected money has laid the chalk, pushing Arizona up to -6.5. This could be a teaser play, taking Arizona down from -6.5 to -0.5. We've also seen some Over money show up, raising the total from 46.5 to 48.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT LOS ANGELES RAMS (-4.5, 44.5)
This is a huge game for both NFC West teams, as the 49ers are currently the No. 6 seed while the Rams are the No. 2 seed. This line opened with Los Angeles as a 6.5-point home favorite. We've seen this line fall to 4.5, which indicates respected money grabbing the points with the 49ers. San Francisco has value as a road divisional dog with a line move in its favor. These teams met in Week 10 and the 49ers dominated and won 31-10. San Francisco is in an ideal teaser spot (+ 4.5 to + 10.5), which passes through multiple key numbers.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-3, 49.5) AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
This AFC West matchup was flexed to Sunday night as both teams are on the bubble and fighting for their playoff lives. The Chargers opened as a 2.5-point road favorite and heavy public betting on QB Justin Herbert and Co. has pushed the line up to the key number of 3. We've seen some sharp buyback on the Raiders + 3, with many shops juicing up Vegas + 3 to -115, signaling a possible fall back to 2.5. One big variable here: the Raiders might get star tight end Darren Waller back from injury. Vegas has value as a contrarian divisional dog at home. Prime-time dogs have cashed at roughly a 57% clip this season. We could also be looking at a higher scoring game. The total has been steamed up from 47.5 to 49.5.