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NFL Week 17 DraftKings Sportsbook Pool Predictions

Matt LaMarca breaks down his picks in the DraftKings Sportsbook Pool for Week 17 of the NFL season.

NFL: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re looking to combine sports betting and DFS, DraftKings Sportsbook Pools are for you. It combines your knowledge of sports betting with the upside of a DFS-style prize pool.

DraftKings is offering up a new free-to-enter pool for the 2022 NFL season. It runs for the first 17 weeks of the season, and users are allowed to pick their five favorite spreads each week. You’re also allowed one self-appointed bye week, meaning each player will pick 80 games by the end of Week 17. The players who do the best will have a chance to take home part of a $100,000 prize pool, plus millions in bonus prizes.

Let’s take a look at my five favorite picks for NFL Week 17.

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions:

The Pick: Bears +6.5

The Bears enter this contest with nothing to play for, while the Lions are still very much alive in the playoff race. They’re not 100% in control of their own destiny, but 538 gives them a 70% chance of making the postseason if they win their final two games.

However, “motivation” is something that is typically overvalued by casual bettors. Most teams are trying to win every game, so there’s really not a ton of room to try harder. That makes teams who “need to win” overvalued when they’re playing a team like the Bears.

Historically, teams with a winning percentage between 40 and 60% have posted a record of 126-163-9 against the spread when favored in Week 15 or later. Those are teams that are typically fighting to make the postseason, but the added pressure often outweighs the perceived boost in motivation.

The Bears were thumped by the Bills last week, but they have played some quality football of late. They’ve lost eight straight games, but a lot of those contests have been very competitive. They lost by five points to the Eagles and three points to the Dolphins, and they lost by just one point when these two teams met in Chicago. Ultimately, this feels like too many points to lay with the Lions, who haven’t shown the ability to stop a decent high school offense this season.

San Francisco 49ers at Las Vegas Raiders:

The Pick: 49ers -5.5

This number is all the way up to 49ers -9.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook, and it’s hard to pass up four free points of value. That includes the key number of seven, so they’re not meaningless points either.

Even if this number was only available at 9.5, I would still side with the 49ers in this contest. They have been an absolute wagon of late, winning eight straight games. Six of those wins have come by multiple scores, and one of the exceptions was an eight-point win in Seattle. Their defense has been dominant, ranking first in the league in yards and points per game allowed, while their offense hasn’t missed a beat with Brock Purdy under center. Even losing Deebo Samuel hasn’t hurt, with Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk more than enough to pick up the slack.

Now, they’ll get to face a borderline NFL quarterback in Jarrett Stidham. He’s never started an NFL game before, and his brief performances don’t inspire much confidence. He’s averaged just 3.3 adjusted yards per attempt with two touchdowns and four interceptions. I don’t like his chances of succeeding in this matchup, and the Raiders’ defense is not going to be able to stop the 49ers. This one could get ugly.

New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks:

The Pick: Jets -1.5

The Jets have their savior back in the lineup. Mike White might not be a great quarterback, but he’s well-respected by the team and is miles better than Zach Wilson. Wilson is looking like a colossal bust as a former No. 2 overall pick, and he won’t even be active this week vs. the Seahawks.

The return of White should be a huge shot in the arm for the offense, and so should the matchup vs. Seattle. They rank just 26th in Football Outsiders defensive DVOA, and they have a bottom-12 unit against the run and the pass.

The Seahawks’ passing attack was the reason they were successful earlier this season, and they’ve regressed badly over the past few weeks. Geno Smith has averaged just 5.68 adjusted yards per attempt over the past three weeks after averaging 8.52 adjusted yards per attempt through his first 12 contests. He disappointed massively last week in a cake matchup vs. the Chiefs, and now he has to navigate one of the toughest matchups in football.

Ultimately, I like the Jets’ chances of keeping the Seahawks’ passing attack in check, and if they can do that, I like their chances of winning this matchup.

Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers:

The Pick: Vikings +3.5

I have faded the Vikings for the better part of the past three months. In fact, the last time I remember being on the Vikings was back when they played the Packers in Week 1. No team has been more fortunate than Minnesota this season, who continue to find new ways to win each week. Two weeks ago, they overcame the largest deficit in NFL history, and they followed that up with a game-winning 61-yard field goal last week vs. the Giants.

However, things have started to shift in terms of public perception. Most people realize that the Vikings aren’t nearly as good as their record, and now they’re actually listed as 3.5-point underdogs vs. the Packers.

That feels like a bit of an overreaction. The Packers have won three straight games, but they haven’t exactly been a juggernaut over that stretch. Two of their wins were against the Bears and Rams, and while their win over the Dolphins was more impressive, they were outgained by 75 yards in that contest. That said, because the Packers have been a staple of the playoffs in the past, people want to believe that they’re going to make a run to the postseason.

That seems like a mistake. The Packers still have all the same issues they’ve had all season, and I don’t think they’re going win this game by more than a field goal. The Packers also fit the same “must win” trend as the Lions, so history suggests the Vikings are the right side as well.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens:

The Pick: Steelers +2.5

The Ravens are going to be without Lamar Jackson for the fourth straight game, and that does not bode well for their chances against the Steelers. The Steelers have been a completely different team with T.J. Watt in the lineup this season, posting a record of 6-2. They’re just 1-6 without Watt, so they would likely be in the playoff hunt if not for Watt’s injury.

The Steelers have absolutely dominated their past two opponents, outgaining them by a combined margin of 675 yards to 410. They needed a late field goal to get past the Raiders, but that’s not an accurate reflection of how competitive that contest was.

Additionally, Mike Tomlin is arguably the best in the business when it comes to covering the spread as an underdog. The Steelers are 50-27-3 against the spread in that scenario since Tomlin took over, including a mark of 20-8-2 as a divisional underdog.

Year-to-Date Results: 57-23 (2-3 last week)

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.