Welcome to the final Sunday of the 2020 NFL regular season. Week 17 is often considered one of the most difficult weeks to cap due to so many unusual variables. Some teams are totally out of the playoffs and have little to play for while others are fighting for the postseason lives. Meanwhile, other teams have already clinched a playoff spot and, as a result, will rest many of their starters.
For extensive Sunday betting analysis and line move updates be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning from 10 a.m.-noon on The Lombardi Line. We'll also be joined by Mike Palm, Amal Shah, Thomas Gable and William Hill. We'll be dissecting all the big matchups and breaking down late sharp action leading up to kickoff.
Until then, let's discuss a trio of NFL matchups receiving notable sharp action from respected bettors today...
1 p.m. ET: New York Jets at New England Patriots
Both of these bitter AFC East rivals have already been eliminated from the playoffs. But one team is trending up while the other is crumbling down the stretch. The Jets (2-13 SU, 6-9 ATS) were once winless but have now won two in a row, most recently upsetting the Browns 23-16 last week and winning outright as 6.5-point home dogs. Meanwhile, the Patriots (6-9 SU, 6-9 ATS) have lost three straight and just got crushed by the Bills 38-9 on Monday Night, failing to cover as 7-point home dogs. The lookahead line on this game was Patriots -7.5. The public still thinks the Pats are better than the Jets, but sharp money seems to be fading New England. Wiseguys have gotten down hard on New York, dropping the Jets from + 5 to + 3. Pros targeted New York anything with the hook (+ 3.5) or better. New York has value as a short road dog + 6 or less (62% ATS this season) and a divisional dog (58% ATS). Road divisional dogs + 3 or less are 11-6 ATS (65%) this season. The Jets also enjoy a rest advantage as the Pats are on a short week and just played on Monday night. Sharp money has also gotten down hard on the under, dropping the total from 43 to 39.5. Both teams have been profitable to the under this season (New York 9-6, New England 10-4-1). The Pats beat the Jets 30-27 in Week 9.
4:25 p.m. ET: New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
This NFC South matchup looks incredibly lopsided on paper. The Saints (11-4 SU, 8-6-1 ATS) snapped a two-game losing skid last week with a commanding 52-33 win over the Vikings on Christmas Day, easily covering as 6.5-point home favorites. New Orleans has clinched a playoff spot and won the division. The Saints currently occupy the 2-seed in the NFC but would love a win to solidify their seeding. Meanwhile, the Panthers (5-10 SU, 9-6 ATS) have long been eliminated from the playoffs. However, Carolina snapped a three-game losing streak last week by beating Washington 20-13 as 1-point road favorites. This line opened with New Orleans listed as a 6.5-point road favorite. The public is laying the points, yet we've seen this line fall from 6.5 to 6. A big reason for the drop is the fact that Alvin Kamara and several other Saints running backs will miss this game due to COVID. Carolina has value as a home divisional dog (61% ATS this season). Teddy "Two Gloves" Bridgewater is 7-3 ATS as a dog this season and 24-6 ATS (80%) as a dog in his career. The total has tumbled from 51 to 46.5 since opening. The Saints beat the Panthers 27-24 at home in Week 7, but Carolina covered.
4:25 p.m. ET: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
This NFC North matchup has playoff implications for both teams. The Packers (12-3 SU, 9-6 ATS) have won five straight and just crushed the Titans 40-14, easily covering as 3-point home favorites. Green Bay has clinched a playoff spot but does have something to play for: they can clinch the 1-seed and a first round bye with a win over the Bears. Meanwhile, the Bears (8-7 SU, 8-7 ATS) were once left for dead but have since won three straight under Mitch Trubisky, most recently crushing the Jags 41-17 and easily covering as 9.5-point road favorites. The Bears control their own destiny. They currently occupy the 7th and final playoff seed and can clinch a postseason berth by beating the Packers. This line opened with the Packers listed as 5.5-point road favorites. The public is hammering Green Bay, yet this line has fallen from -5.5 to -4. This sharp reverse line movement signals pro money backing Mitch Trubisky and the Bears plus the points. Chicago has value as a contrarian bet and a home divisional dog (61% ATS). Pros have also leaned on the under, dropping the total from 50.5 to 49.5. These teams met in Week 12 and the Packers rolled 41-25.
More Sunday Moves
- Browns -6.5 to -9.5 vs Steelers (PIT resting starters)
- Chargers -3.5 to -4.5 at Chiefs (KC resting starters)
- Washington + 1 to -3.5 at Eagles
- Washington-Eagles Over 42.5 to 44
- Lions + 7 to + 4 vs Vikings
- Dolphins + 5 to + 1.5 at Bills