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Best last-minute NFL bets ahead of Week 17

Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) scores a touchdown against San Francisco 49ers cornerback Josh Norman (26) during the fourth quarter at Nissan Stadium Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021 in Nashville, Tenn. Titans 49ers 181

Late-week betting action isn’t the best approach if long-term profitability is the goal. Game spreads and totals become increasingly sharp moving closer to kickoff, which is why betting game lines early in the week is the best approach. 

If betting early in the week isn’t an option, then targeting other markets where lines aren’t stale is key. Beating these markets takes a different approach than those focused solely on the game lines. We can take cues from bookmakers pricing the entire portfolio of offerings on a particular matchup. They arrive at the most likely path the game will travel and then use market dynamics to sharpen the number. In some way, game lines feed derivatives, player props and most other offerings under that matchup umbrella.

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We can start by seeing if there are any game lines we disagree with and utilize a couple of different approaches if so.

Mispriced scenarios should have even worse mispricing further downstream as errors compound. If the game line is only subtly off, it's smart to find where its errors are the most drastic.

In Week 16, this article's long-shot same game parlay fall short, but it did hit one a teaser.  After a break-even week, this article's betting record move to 11-24 on the season, down -2.16 units on the season.

It’s time to close strong using the approaches above, let's find the best last-minute NFL bets ahead of Week 17.

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Tennessee finally found its offensive rhythm in the second half of its Week 16 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers. The key, of course, was A.J. Brown, who recorded his highest PFF receiving grade of the season. He received 50% of the Titans' target share and was the only reason for their second-half offensive output. 

Miami has been stout defensively lately but still ranks as a league-average unit in PFF’s opponent-adjusted grades. The Dolphins are even worse in coverage, and Brown has a huge advantage, per PFF’s WR/CB matchup chart

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool you can use to help set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage, or the individual defenders.

The betting market seems to be overvaluing the Dolphins defense and the team's seven-game winning streak against less-than-stellar quarterback competition. Fading Miami's recent rise is should be one of the best opportunities on Sunday. PFF’s betting model finds over 1% value on the -170 moneyline. 


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