Upset Picks for NFL Week 17, 2020

| December 29, 2020 9:10 am PDT

Week 17 is a pretty good spot to chase elite betting value with some NFL upset picks. It’s the week where some of the best teams rest or limit key stars, or bad teams just have nothing to lose.

Things often do not go as expected, and there is merit in trying to exploit the unpredictable nature of the final week of the NFL regular season.

Last week was a bad week for my NFL upset picks, but I see numerous spots to confidently target in week 17. Let’s go over my favorite week 17 NFL upset picks and why they make sense.

New York Giants (+135)

The G-Men host the Cowboys in a pretty epic battle for a shot at the NFC East crown. Whoever wins can get first place if the Washington Football Team loses, but it’s tough not to give New York the edge here.

For one, it’d be poetic justice for Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett to knock out his former team en route to a division title.

Secondly, the Giants are the way more cohesive team from a coaching and defensive perspective.

New York also hung 34 points on this Dallas defense earlier this year, so it’s quite arguable a weak Cowboys defense could bend enough to allow a shaky Giants offense to play well.

There’s also the fact that New York is at home, while they obviously offer intriguing value as the underdog. Ultimately, I trust a sound defense more than Mike McCarthy or Andy Dalton right about now, and I’ll gladly jump on the +135 moneyline.

New York Jets (+151)

Do I feel amazing about betting on the Jets to end the year with a third straight win? No, and it doesn’t come any easier given the fact that they’re getting Bill Belichick and the Patriots.

New England seems to have mailed it in, however, and it’s unclear if they’ll even let Cam Newton finish the year as their starting quarterback.

They probably shouldn’t, which means Jarrett Stidham is the likely starter. That’d be good news for the Jets, who have played well the last two weeks. I say, let it ride.

Miami Dolphins (+163)

The Dolphins are another fine addition to my week 17 NFL upset picks, seeing as they have every reason to keep playing hard as they try to get into the playoffs.

Miami is in if they win, but they still have to take care of business against the rival Bills.

It’s worth wondering how hard Buffalo pushes to claim the #2 overall seed, but it’s pretty arguable Miami has much more incentive to win here.

Miami’s defense and running game give them a shot here, and if Tua Tagovailoa can’t get it done, we could always see Ryan Fitzpatrick slide in and rescue the Dolphins with more plays like this.

In all seriousness, the Dolphins need to win to get in the playoffs. Getting them at +163 at BetNow  with their season on the line feels like a steal.

Chicago Bears (+205)

Ditto for Da Bears. Mitch Trubisky has been (gulp) good, and Chicago has slid into the NFC’s final playoff spot thanks to three straight wins.

Chicago hasn’t been taking out world-beaters (Texans, Vikings, and Jaguars), but they’ve been doing so pretty convincingly. They also have upped their game offensively, scoring 30+ points in each of their last four games.

The Bears will be out for blood for two reasons; they get into the playoffs with a win here, and the Packers slapped them around pretty good in their previous meeting a few weeks ago.

While that was a beating, Chicago rallied late in that one, and their offense has been in sync ever since. If it stays that way, they could upset the Packers at home and punch their ticket to the playoffs.

Summary

Sports bettors can’t ignore narratives, momentum, desire, and will. Analytics, data, and trends should be the lifeblood of your NFL betting strategy, but ignoring incentive and other intangible aspects of pro football could be a mistake.

I think that’s especially the case as we look for some week 17 NFL upset picks.

Will, every team in need of a big win get it? Of course not. The Cowboys and Giants are in the same exact situation, and only one can win.

The Bills can get the #2 seed, and Miami needs to win to hold onto their playoff spot. Chicago needs to do the same, but the Packers obviously want the #1 seed in the NFC.

These are conflicting goals, and only one side in each situation can get what they want. Sometimes it pays to go on the side that has the better payout, though.

Hopefully, bettors see things break their way if they go with my NFL upset picks for week 17. For more sports betting insight when it comes to the NFL and other genres, check out our sports betting blog.

Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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