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NFL Betting: Best Week 17 bets on first half, team total and other betting markets

Oct 25, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) attempts a pass during the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The sports betting industry has exploded in recent years, ushering in an assortment of new and innovative betting opportunities. At this point, it feels like someone can wager on almost any event occurring during the course of a football game.

Some of the most worthwhile betting opportunities exist in the derivatives market. A derivative is any betting line that is derived from another; the most common example is first-half odds, which are derived from the full-game counterpart. Numerous other options exist, however, spanning from first-half spreads and totals to betting by the quarter.

Bookmakers spend a significant portion of their time and resources handicapping full-game lines efficiently. This helps as a proxy for derivative bets and creates opportunities for those willing to research and find discrepancies in markets that can be capitalized on. Full-game markets get all of the headlines, but the bread is buttered in places where people often don’t look initially.

Before kickoff, we can evaluate individual derivative bets by utilizing some of our predictive models along with team tendencies and production when starting a game. The charts referenced highlight teams' early-game ability through the first 16 weeks of the season. These will be our guide as we continue to look for value in some other derivative betting markets. Our written picks went 1-1 in Week 16, pushing us to 19-15 on the season.

NFL Week 17 ushers in a number of unique situations, with the closest comparison being what used to be referred to as preseason. Resting players and motivation, among a litany of other variables, are added into the discussion for the final week of the 2020 regular season, opening up betting value which can then be magnified by condensing on one team's outcome. 

Let’s dive into the best derivative bets to make for the Week 17 NFL slate.

ARIZONA CARDINALS @ LOS ANGELES RAMS

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