USA Today Sports

NFL's biggest betting mismatches: Week 17

Each week, Jason Logan breaks down some of the underlying mismatches in the NFL, hoping to give you an inside edge when handicapping the schedule. Here are four of the biggest betting mismatches from Week 17:

Washington Redskins at New York Giants (-3.5, 45.5)

Redskins’ first-half defense vs. Giants’ slow starts


A big part of the Redskins’ downfall this season was the early holes the team dug itself. Washington’s defense couldn’t stop opponents from jumping out a quick led, putting pressure on Robert Griffin III to air it out and taking the bite out of a running game that ranks among the best in the NFL. The Redskins allowed opponents an average of over 17 points in the first half and that’s been even worse recently, giving up an average of 23 points in the first two frames the past three outings.

However, the Giants may let the Redskins off the hook in Week 17. New York takes a while to get things going on offense, scoring only 8.4 first-half points per game on the year – lowest in the NFL. Turnover troubles have snuffed out plenty of scoring drives for Eli Manning & Co. The G-Men did manage to put 13 points on the board in the first 30 minutes versus Detroit last week but are averaging 4.3 first-half points the last three games.
 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-13, 47)

Bucs’ offensive penalties vs. Superdome crowd

The Saints are a completely different team in the Big Easy and a lot of that has to do with the environment. The Superdome crowds are not only giving New Orleans some extra energy on offense but have helped the defense limit opponents to just 15.4 points per home game – third lowest – compared to 22.4 points per road game.

The Superdome faithful narrowly missed the record for the loudest indoor crowd earlier this month and will be a bug in the ear of Bucs’ rookie QB Mike Glennon all game. Tampa Bay has been one of the least disciplined offensive lines in the NFL, getting flagged for delay of game nine times – tied for most in the NFL – for a total of 40 yards lost this season. The Buccaneers have also been whistled for 15 false starts and 23 holds equaling 227 yards lost – second most in the NFL. 

Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers (-9.5, 45)

Chiefs’ bench vs. Chargers’ playoff push

Andy Reid is toying with the idea of resting his starters against the Chargers in Week 17, and by the looks of this spread, oddsmakers are expecting the Chiefs head coach to do just that. Reid told the media he could play his backups Sunday, much like he did when he was on the sidelines in Philadelphia. With Kansas City inked into the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs, there is no need to risk injury in the finale.

The Bolts, on the other hand, are hoping for a Xmas miracle. San Diego can make the postseason cut with a win over Kansas City and losses to the Ravens and Dolphins. However, those games kickoff at 1 p.m. ET and the Chargers could know their fate ahead to this 4:25 p.m. ET start. San Diego already has a win over the Chiefs in Arrowhead, stealing a 41-38 victory on a TD in the dying moments back in November.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (+7.5, 52.5)

Eagles’ run defense vs. Cowboys’ RB DeMarco Murray

The Eagles may have dodged a bullet with the back injury to Dallas QB Tony Romo heading into this win-and-in NFC East showdown. But, on the other hand, Philadelphia may face a caged beast in the form of Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray. Murray is pissed with his role in the Dallas offense, after watching his dominant first-half efforts go to waste due to careless play calling in the second half. He’s second in the NFL in yards per carry - 5.4 ypc – and is 10th in the NFL in total yards on the ground despite sitting 19th in rushing attempts.

Sure, Murray has taken advantage of all the space Romo creates but he will be going up against an Eagles defense that ranks 30th in the league - 392.7 yards against per game. Philadelphia has been bullied by runners in its six losses this season, including giving up three rushing TDs to the Vikings’ third-stringer two weeks ago. Murray will get plenty of touches and could take a season’s worth of frustration out on the Eagles Sunday night.

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Posted by docpj72
11 months ago

I like the over in the Eagles/Boys game better-2 suspect D's and both teams can move the ball. 52.5 is high but I see at 34-28 type game....
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Posted by lowballs45
11 months ago

I can't help you guys out if you don't sign up with our team. we are 7-1 in bowl games so far. all but one winner so far has been UNDERS in bowl games. I mentioned couple weeks ago that most of all these fool covers experts would be telling you to bet OVERs in bowl games and now I have proven that they are bullshit handicappers. darn these cappers and go with our winning team. thanks for all support we have been getting ladt 2 weeks and we will keep up with winning numbers.
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Posted by %^$%
11 months ago

Posted by HolladayExpress 1 day ago -7.5 Is a lot to give on the road. That's the key. Posted by KAYLE163 1 day ago KELLY AND FOLES WILL CHOKE That's secondary, but also true.
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Posted by wackycracker
11 months ago

If Dallas wins I'll get up on my roof and yell ---C'MON MAN !! Birds by 14
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Posted by degengambler34
11 months ago

It's kind of ridiculous to point out that murray vs. the eagles defense is a mismatch when on the other side of the ball you can say the exact same thing with mccoy vs. that HORRENDOUS cowboy defense. I do think this cowboy game will be closer than alot of others think though.
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Posted by degengambler34
11 months ago

It's kind of ridiculous to point out that murray vs. the eagles defense is a mismatch when on the other side of the ball you can say the exact same thing with mccoy vs. that HORRENDOUS cowboy defense. I do think this cowboy game will be closer than alot of others think though.
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Posted by sports_Network
11 months ago

DeMarco Murray? right! he's no savior to a win.......hello Joe Public, the Cowboys fade into the sunset; 'another' home embarrassment, Eagles 38 Cowboys 24
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Posted by mikeru3
11 months ago

Philadelphia -6.5. Fat Nasty Large
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Posted by bobafett
11 months ago

dallas!!!!
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Posted by DWN
11 months ago

hvacdawg, I agree that Dallas may win but that is asking a lot for Dallas to hold anyone to 21, that defense is horrendous! If they held every team to 21 they would have the best record in the NFL - their only loss would be to KC.
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Posted by DarthHambly
11 months ago

The Redskins and Giants' first-half woes are not a "mismatch" but are equally bad and complementary so they do not belong in this column. I wonder how Jason's mismatches have done against the spread over the course of the season. Sunday night's game will have the highest SNF ratings of the year with all the Dallas haters tuning in for an expected slaughter. A lot of Dallas fans want Dallas to lose too so Jerry Yoda Jones finally shakes things up.
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Posted by chillinmcm
11 months ago

Pretty sure the "mismatch" was the exact same when Tampa went to play Seattle and how did that turn out
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Posted by HolladayExpress
11 months ago

-7.5 Is a lot to give on the road. Although this game could easily be an Eagles blowout. I am definitely more concerned with Romo out now though, there will be no guaranteed choke
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Posted by KAYLE163
11 months ago

KELLY AND FOLES WILL CHOKE
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Posted by betToWin111
11 months ago

Hvacdawg you are a complete fool.....but don't get me wrong I like that you feel that way.
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Posted by betToWin111
11 months ago

Because Romo will not play but Dallas will not only cover but they will WIN this game. 1. They are at home 2. They beat them this season all ready 3. Eagles defense isn't good 4. Murray is a running beast 5. Orton is a decent backup 7. They will not be prepared for pass play Keep that line low ;)
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Posted by hvacdawg
11 months ago

room will play. his back is okay. take the 7.5 points to the bank. even orton would be good enough to cover if dallas defense shows up. cowboys defense will decide the game, not the offense. if they hold philly to 21 or less , dallas will have a good chance to win.
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Posted by hvacdawg
11 months ago

meant romo
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Posted by TeThienDaiThanh
11 months ago

Eagles will win by 17 points , yes for sure 100%
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Top Response

Posted by sports_Network
11 months ago

"DeMarco Murray? right! he's no savior to a win.......hello Joe Public, the Cowboys fade into the sunset; 'another' home embarrassment, Eagles 38 Cowboys 24"