For legions of bettors, the keyword is Over.
For one ecstatic gambler, the word is overjoyed.
Those concepts summarize NFL betting trends for Week 17.
The public expects big offensive numbers in key matchups, while one gambler relishes a “Fin-Tastic Finish,” turning $5 into nearly $500,000 on a DraftKings moneyline parlay last week.
Here are our NFL betting trends on games ticketed for high gambling volume.
In three major games, the revealing data involves the total more than the spread. That’s where we’ll look, with DraftKings data.
Baltimore Ravens -3.5 (Best Live Odds: ) vs Miami Dolphins
Total: 47 (Best Live Odds: )
Midweek Sentiment: 71% handle is on the OVER
The top two AFC seeds tangle in Baltimore. The winner may parlay this into one free postseason step via the first-round bye awarded to the top conference team.
Both the 12-3 Ravens and 11-4 Dolphins come off emotional victories. The Dolphins topped the Dallas Cowboys, 22-20, with a final-play field goal. The Ravens toyed with the San Francisco 49ers — yes, you read that right — the Niners, in a 33-19 road rout. They blew out the No. 1 NFC seed on the Niners’ home field.
And now the leaders of both conferences meet.
Heck, the last time Tua Tagovailoa was in Baltimore, he threw for 469 yards and six touchdowns. He led a last-second march for a 42-38 Miami victory last year.
This one won’t reach that total, probably, but it’s a late-season match of exceptional teams.
Baltimore has won five straight. Its defense rattled the cool and collected Brock Purdy, notching four interceptions against a player heavily mentioned in NFL MVP talk.
Lamar Jackson was equally impressive with subtle pocket movement and passes to wide-open receivers. The Ravens absolutely gashed the Niners and have become the second Super Bowl choice at +350 at DraftKings (Best Live Odds: ).
Miami survived a gallant Dallas Cowboys rally, driving for a last-play-of-the-game field goal. The matchup had a classic postseason look and intensity.
Look for Jackson, Gus Edwards, Zay Flowers, and Nelson Agholor as Baltimore scoring threats. Tua, Raheem Mostert, and Tyreek Hill pace the Dolphins.
Dallas Cowboys -6 (Best Live Odds: ) vs Detroit Lions
Total: 53.5 (Best Live Odds: )
Midweek Sentiment: 86% handle is on the OVER
Fill the air with footballs. Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, Jake Ferguson, and Tony Pollard can light it up for the Cowboys, who lead the NFC with 451 points.
Jared Goff, Sam LaPorta, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Jahmyr Gibbs can hit paydirt for the Lions, who have tallied 72 points in their last two games.
As for the spread, the sportsbooks were too sharp on this one. Normally, bettors might catch a break on the Dallas line, as the Cowboys lost two straight road games while Detroit notched two straight victories. The Lions also won the NFC North for the first time in 30 years and have an outside chance to land the No. 1 playoff seed.
You’ve got a 10-5 team giving nearly a touchdown to an 11-win team.
Ah, the books know the Cowboys are the NFL’s only unbeaten home team and can sweep its home slate with a victory here.
Here’s something to consider on Detroit’s behalf.
San Francisco’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens makes this game more meaningful to Detroit. There should be no hangover or desire to rest players.
Bettors might also keep an eye on Brandon Aubrey once props go up. The Dallas kicker is having an awesome season and any total in the 7.5 range for him with plus numbers or low minus numbers is a strong consideration. He has set an NFL record with 33 successful field goals to start a career.
Seattle Seahawks -3.5 (Best Live Odds: ) vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Total: 41.5 (Best Live Odds: )
Midweek Sentiment: 98% handle is on the OVER
Two teams that have struggled offensively are expected to produce fireworks here.
The Steelers got an unheard-of 34 points last week, complements of sloppy tackling by the Cincinnati Bengals. The team nonetheless has a breakout wide receiver in George Pickens, whom the team finally utilized last week. He set the tone with an 86-yard catch and run touchdown.
Najee Harris may have taken the top running back slot back from Jaylen Warren.
The Seahawks are not for the faint of heart.
They won two games in pulsating final-drive fashion against the Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans. Seattle spread bettors may wait for this line to hit 3 and then try to buy it down to -2.5.
The hook is one big reason that Pittsburgh has 66% of the early spread support.
Both teams are 8-7 with a different vantage point.
The Seahawks would be in the playoffs if they started today. The Steelers are one of five AFC teams chasing the final Wild Card slot. They have never endured a losing season under Mike Tomlin, which is remarkable.
It would not be surprising if this game goes down to the wire.
But according to the bettors, it would be a surprise if there were less than 42 points scored.
Watch This Trend: Eagles Struggle in the Second Half
Philly has been outscored in the second half in four straight games. Against the New York Giants last week, they let a 17-point lead slither to five before finally notching a 33-25 victory.
When the Eagles host the Arizona Cardinals this week, bettors might look at a Philly-Arizona first-half, second-half combo, or the Arizona price to win the second half during halftime.
NFL Week 16: Fin-Sanity
One of the most endearing trends of legalized sports wagering is a customer gaining a life-changing score for the price of an expensive coffee.
One DraftKings customer pocketed nearly $500,000 on a $5 bet.
That’s right, a multi-legged parlay for the following players to score:
- Najee Harris
- Gabriel Davis
- Jahmyr Gibbs
- DK Metcalf
- Jerome Ford
- Chris Rodriguez
- Jonathan Taylor
- Calvin Ridley
- James Conner
- Raheem Mostert
- Javonte Williams
- D’Andre Swift
- Isiah Pacheco
- Christian McCaffrey
This was a unique ticket because it contained name players who, for the most part, scored early.
The only tight squeeze, in retrospect, is the fact that Pacheco suffered a concussion and did not play for much of the game. But he got his marker first.
The bet underscores the magic of legalized wagering and the power of a big book.
“We didn’t offer anything like this in the brick-and-mortar age, because we did not have the staff,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told Gaming Today.
“We see something hit for $10,000 and $20,000 every day and you get a good share of $50,000 and $100,000 payouts. But this is heartwarming because it is a game-changer for the person who had this. Most of the time, these bets don’t come in, but when they hit, they do a lot for people.”