Week 17 NFL best bets: A number we like on each game
We’ve reached the final week of the NFL regular season and ESPN betting analysts Joe Fortenbaugh, Preston Johnson and Doug Kezirian, sports betting deputy editor David Bearman, Matt Youmans of the Vegas Stats & Information Network and Seth Walder of ESPN analytics are here to tell us what they like from this weekend’s NFL slate. (Note: The Cardinals-Rams game is off the board due to the uncertain statuses of Kyler Murray and Jared Goff.)
Season ATS (against the spread) records:
NFL & CFB Best Bets
Clay 1-0 (24-11 on season)
Youmans 1-2 (28-28-2)
Fortenbaugh 2-3 (32-32-1)
Kezirian 3-0 (20-20-1)
Bearman 0-3-1 (15-22-2)
Johnson 2-1 (22-26-1)
Note: Caesars Sportsbook lines displayed as of Wednesday; all times Eastern. Picks on lines available at time of posting.
1 p.m. games
Pittsburgh Steelers (-2, 38) at Baltimore Ravens
Youmans: John Harbaugh made the expected move by announcing that quarterback Lamar Jackson and several other Baltimore starters will sit. The AFC’s top seed is secured and Jackson will be MVP, so Harbaugh’s decision was easy. The favorite flipped from Ravens -1 to Steelers -2.5 after the news.
Pittsburgh needs the win and help to reach the playoffs. Still, the Steelers have been anemic on offense, scoring 10 points in each of the past two games with Devlin «Duck» Hodges as the starting quarterback. Mason Rudolph, who was responsible for Pittsburgh’s only touchdown pass in a Week 16 loss to the Jets, is out with a shoulder injury. The Steelers might also be without running back James Conner because of a quad injury. Hodges’ backup is Paxton Lynch.
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