Free Sports Picks: Home CFB NBA CBB MLB MMA Boxing Super Bowl
LootMeister NFL Picks
Online SportsbooksBest Sportsbook Bonuses

Week 17 NFL Betting Strategy

NFL Betting: Week 17 Betting Strategy

By Loot, NFL Handicapper,

Week 17 is a unique time of the NFL season--for the teams, as well as the bettors. It’s the last game of the season, but beyond that, it gives way to teams having a big variety of different agendas. One of the more popular times to bet during the season is also one of the more difficult times.

Teams arrive to week 17 in all different states of mind. There are teams that are hopeless as far as the playoffs are concerned. There are teams playing to get into the playoffs, in addition to teams who need to win and have another thing or two happen. There are teams with a higher playoff seeding at stake. And there are subtle variations--like low-end teams where there may be draft implications. You have spoiler teams with an agenda and axe to grind against a team that really needs to win. The combinations are endless.

When you think of all the different combinations of different teams that can be meeting in week 17, it’s clear that there are many different ways to look at it. It’s never as easy as it looks. We need to remember that whatever we are able to determine by gauging a team’s motivation is something the bookie also acknowledged and the line is set accordingly.

In other words, you might notice a team that is 13-2 has their playoff position completely locked up and is going to sit most of their key starters to rest them for the playoffs. You figure they’ll be at lower-power and are not really gunning to win. Well, that might all be true, but it will also be reflected in the line, with the bookie privy to all of that information.


What about teams that are already guaranteed a shot at the playoffs, but still have a higher seeding at stake? They have reason to play as hard as they can, but the urgency isn’t always as robust as it would seem. Or a team doesn’t play as well in an urgent game as the other team plays while in spoiler mode. It’s really remarkable how teams that need to win or would really advance their case if they won stink it up in week 17.

The odds might be all over the place on week 17. You’ll see a good team with its playoff spot locked up as an underdog at home to a sub-.500 team. Or a team that needs to win is not as favored as you would think against a team that has little on the line. Don’t be suckered in with spreads that are too good to be true.

Even if a team is hopeless and they’re facing a more-prestigious team regardless of that team’s exact playoff standing, the team with a bad record is still trying. Maybe it’s the energy that comes from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the looseness that stems from there being no expectations, or the fact that coaches and players are playing for their professional futures. Whatever it is, teams in hopeless situations don’t phone it in on week 17 like some might suspect.

Week 17 on paper might look like an all-out betting bonanza with opportunities being rife. It’s not as easy as it looks. This can be a really dangerous time of the betting season for those who use a team’s level of urgency as a guiding light in their handicapping. When everything culminates in the last week of the season, the different teams’ levels of urgency is more crystalized--or so it would seem.

Thinking that the teams in more crucial situations stand a better chance to cover the spread is just wrong. Whatever insight you have in not terribly exclusive. The risk is in becoming overconfident because we think we have such a good read on all the teams at this point in the season. There are sub-.500 teams that are dwindling and ones on the upswing. There are good teams who can afford to take a break and those who still have work to do. And there are a lot of variations within.

Many of us have made the mistake of thinking this is the easiest time of the year to get a clear read on teams, especially on the mental side of things. Lest we forget the brightest minds in football betting are also on the case. We might think we have it all figured out by the final week of the season, but we have to remember that we still have to beat the bookies.

Share this article with friends:

Leave a comment:

Quit wasting your hard earned money! Make the switch from -110 to -105 odds today!
Doc's Sports NFL Picks

NFL Betting

  • Reduced Juice - Loot explains how reduced odds football betting works and where you can find this valuable asset.
  • What is a Point Spread? - Many new to the game struggle to understand why one side has a (+) while the other has a (-) in front of a team. We explain what the spread is and how it works.
  • Football Bets - All the different types of wagers that you can make when betting on football games.
  • What Professional Handicappers Do - Learn the tricks of the trade and increase your odds of beating the books!
  • Key Numbers - The article that bookies don't want you to read!
  • NFL Betting Quiz - Test your football wagering prowess with Loot's 10 question quiz!
  • Super Bowl 52 Predictions - Loot gives his preseason picks for which teams are most likely to win "the big game" along with middle of the road and a longshot that is sure to surprise you!
  • 2017 NFL Season Wins Predictions - Loot breaks down every team and gives his opinion on how they'll do vs. the number!
  • 2017 NFL Bye Weeks - The first set start in Week 5 and the final byes take place in Week 11. Loot also gives tips on betting on teams coming off byes.
  • 2017 NFL Coaching Changes - We seem to be in an era where football coaches become disposable in an instant if they don't win. 2016 was no different as a handful of teams made the switch. Check out who went where right here!


  • Famous Football Players - Biographies of the best and greatest NFL football players of all-time.
  • Greatest NFL Players of All Time - A list of all time greats at each position. Each position has it's own dedicated article!
  • Best Quarterbacks of All Time - Joe Montana heads our list of top 10 QB's, however, Tom Brady is a sure bet to give him a run for his money by the time his career is said and done.
  • Best Running Backs of All Time - We list the top 10 greatest ball carriers of all-time. The order may be debatable, as Jim Brown, Barry Sanders and Walter Payton all brought something special to the gridiron.
  • Football Lingo - One must be very familiar with all of the terms, slang and jargon associated with this game to win at football betting. Find a slew of pigskin terminology right here!
  • Football Quotes - Funny and memorable sayings from around the National Football League including comments made by Vince Lombardi and John Madden.
Reduced Juice Sports Betting 100% Sportsbook Bonus Best Parlay Odds Online