NFL Computer Picks | Week 17

Our NFL Computer Picks are chosen using an algorithm that analyses historical sports data to give you the bets that offer the best value bets to beat the New Jersey sportsbooks. In this article, we’ll provide you with our top Week 17 NFL Computer Picks. These matchups include the New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks.

Computer Picks Week 17

New Orleans Saints (-13/ML: -590) at Carolina Panthers – Total: 45.5

Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019 – 1:00 p.m. EST

Week 17 Computer Pick: Saints to cover the spread

Week 17 Computer Pick: Saints to cover the spread

The New Orleans Saints already have the NFC South wrapped up. But a win against the Carolina Panthers could potentially mean getting a bye in the first round of the NFL Playoffs. Earlier this season, the Saints got a scare from the Panthers, yet emerged with the narrow victory. Our betting pick this time around is for the Saints to win and cover the 13-point spread. Let’s dive into the numbers to see why we’re confident in our wager.

Week 17 Betting Line: Saints at Panthers

The opening line was Saints -11. However, we’ve seen 77 percent of public bets come in, and here we sit now at -13. It makes sense, considering the Saints have a lot to play for and the Panthers don’t. In theory, this is Carolina’s playoff game. But if this week’s performance is anything like last week in Indy, it’ll be a long day. New Orleans is firing on all cylinders at the right time, so look for one of the best teams in the NFC to make its mark in this game.

Saints Betting Form

The Saints aren’t holding any of their starters back in this game, knowing that a slip up by other NFC teams could land them a first-round bye with a win. Head coach Sean Payton has been saying that they’ll play on Sunday like it’s a playoff game – music to our ears. We’re getting one of the NFL’s best head coaches and quarterbacks against an interim coach and a rookie quarterback.

QB Drew Brees will look to tack on to Hall-of-Fame resume with a big day on Sunday. Speaking of tacking on, Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas already broke the NFL single-season record last week with a monstrous performance against the Titans and he’ll look to add on to that. No team in the NFL has been able to stop Thomas this season, whether they’re double-teaming him or creating zone schemes to confuse Brees.

RB Alvin Kamara even got back on the good foot last week, so look for the Saints to get him some more touches to feel good going into the playoffs. After all, the Panthers are allowing the second-most rushing yards per game (145.4) this season.

Panthers Betting Form

The Panthers come into this contest on a seven-game losing streak. Firing Ron Rivera certainly didn’t help matters and now this team is in a state of confusion as to which direction they’re heading in next. Typically, teams that are downtrodden like the Panthers will have guys fighting for a roster spot next season. With the exception of a few, players are begging to get out of this situation in Carolina. In conclusion, don’t expect this team to be prepared against an opponent of this magnitude.

QB Will Grier made his NFL debut in Indy last week and it was awful. The former Florida/Louisiana Tech signal-caller had three picks and didn’t lead the Carolina offense to any touchdowns – only two field goals. The only thing the Panthers can look forward to this week is RB Christian McCaffrey becoming the third player in NFL history at that position to have 1,000 rushing and receiving yards in the same season.

Week 17 Computer Pick: Saints (-13)

The Saints have won five of the last six meetings against the Panthers, with the only loss coming in a meaningless Week 17 game last season. While the games have been close, this is a not a Panthers team in the right form. Look for a motivated Saints team to take care of business early and never look back.

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-16/ML: -1000) – Total: 44.5

Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019 – 1:00 p.m. EST

Week 17 Computer Pick: Patriots to cover the spread

Week 17 Computer Pick: Patriots to cover the spread

The New England Patriots will look to clinch a first-round postseason bye with a win over the Miami Dolphins. Earlier this season, the Patriots dismantled the Dolphins, winning by a score of 43-0. Our betting pick is for the Patriots to win and cover the massive spread once again. Let’s look at some facts to see how we arrived at this conclusion.

Week 17 Betting Line: Dolphins at Patriots

Just like the game above, we’re seeing a team with plenty to play for against a team that is going on vacation right after this game. This line also jumped two points in the favorite’s direction, rising from -14 to -16. Surprisingly, 64 percent of public bets are actually rolling with the Dolphins to cover the 16-point spread. The Patriots are one of the best ATS teams in football, so we’ll certainly be going against the public for this wager.

Dolphins Betting Form

The Dolphins basically had their playoff/Super Bowl last week in a thrilling overtime win against the Bengals. Now, they’ll have to muster up enough energy against the best team of this century. We’ve been on the Miami bandwagon (at least to cover) plenty of times down the stretch. But sometimes you have to fold your hand when you know something bad is on the horizon.

Perhaps the biggest matchup in this game is QB Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Patriots secondary. We know that Fitzpatrick is prone to turning the ball over with great regularity and that defense on the other side is one of, if not, the best in the business. Look for the Patriots to have one of their best statistical days of the season.

Patriots Betting Form

The Patriots can clinch a first-round bye and the No. 2 seed with a victory on Sunday. And let’s be honest, they should get it. While New England has struggled against some of the league’s better teams, Miami is not one of them. The Patriots play a very meticulous type of football while their counterparts like to sling it all around the year. In fact, the way to beat the Patriots is by running the football, and there’s no way the Dolphins will be capable of doing that.

As we mentioned, the key to winning this game will certainly be the defense. However, running the football and controlling the pace of play will work in their favor as well. Look for the Patriots to get the RB trio of Sony Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead going early and often. If that doesn’t work, Tom Brady will find Julian Edelman all day – not a bad Plan B.

Week 17 Computer Pick: Patriots (-16)

All in all, the Patriots know how badly they need this game. As Brady is getting up there in age, these first-round byes become more important than ever. Everyone in the Patriots organization knows this, so look for them to come out and play one of their most focused games of the season. After all, they’ve been making quick work of these lesser opponents all season.

San Francisco 49ers (-3.5/ML: -182) at Seattle Seahawks – Total: 47

Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019 – 8:20 p.m. EST

Week 17 Computer Pick: 49ers to cover the spread

Week 17 Computer Pick: 49ers to cover the spread

The NFC West title, a home playoff game and potentially the No. 1 seed in the NFC are all at stake when the San Francisco 49ers travel to face the Seattle Seahawks. In the first meeting, it was the Seahawks that got the overtime victory against the 49ers. However, our betting pick this time around is for the 49ers to get the win and cover the 3.5-point spread. Let’s look at the reasons why we’re rolling with the favorite.

Week 17 Betting Line: 49ers at Seahawks

With the Seahawks suffering a ton of injuries to their running backs, 73 percent of the public bets have gone to the 49ers. The public gets no argument from us here, considering Seattle loves to run the football and now it’ll be relying on guys that have no in-game experience this season. Not to mention, the 49ers would love to get some revenge on the Seahawks for ruining their perfect season on their own home field.

49ers Betting Form

Ever since the calendar flipped to December, the 49ers have been involved in nothing but dramatic endings. In fact, each of their four games this month has come down to the final whistle. With all that being said, it’s kind of interesting to see them favored by slightly more than a field goal on the road. To us, that means something. It means there’s a reason why.

Motivation is certainly one aspect. This is a 49ers team that hasn’t been in the position to win a Super Bowl yet under head coach Kyle Shanahan. Having home-field advantage throughout a very difficult NFC Playoffs would help quite a bit. Especially for a QB like Jimmy Garoppolo, who has yet to play in a postseason game. Granted, the 49ers play a brand of football that can be played in any stadium on the face of the Earth. But why not make it easier and have two games played at home to get to the Super Bowl?

Seahawks Betting Form

It seems like there has been more talk about the Seahawks bringing RB Marshawn Lynch back to the team, rather than the game itself. After all, there’s a lot at stake here. It sounds crazy to even think about, but could a team like the Seahawks not be fully focused on this game? Perhaps, in the long run, maybe they’d be better suited acclimating Lynch back into a workhorse role that would prepare him for a playoff run.

Speaking of Lynch, his role in the Seahawks offense doesn’t just entail running the football. There are multiple schemes that this team runs, some of which keep the running back in on pass protections. Sure, Lynch has been with the team before. However, it’s certainly worth wondering how that aspect of the game will play out.

All in all, a lot of adjustments need to be made, and the Seahawks don’t have all the time in the world to make them. QB Russell Wilson has been one of the worst at his position on throws outside the pocket in recent weeks; that’s certainly something to look out for.

Week 17 Computer Pick: 49ers (-3.5)

There are a lot of moving pieces with this matchup and, with the exception of the quarterback position, nearly all of them seem to be in favor of the 49ers. These injuries could not have happened at a worse time for the Seahawks, and we’re seeing the impact of those misfortunes in the spread. The Seahawks really haven’t been the dominant team at home that we’ve known them to be. Look for the 49ers to go on the road and take care of business.

Al Walsh
Al Walsh Chief Sports Writer