What Were the 2018 Week 17 Pro Football Betting Lines and the Outcomes of the Games?

The 2018 NFL season was one of the most exciting seasons in recent memory. With several high-quality games a week, there was never a dull moment.

The season also saw several surprising turn of events, with many games going against the point spread, while others saw the over/under hit the total. Below we’ll explore how the odds performed and which bets to place based on what actually happened.

Which NFL Team Had the Best Week 17 Performance?

NFL fans were treated to one of the best endings to an NFL season ever, with the Dallas Cowboys defeating the New York Giants in the season finale to secure the NFC East title, and subsequently, a playoff spot. For the 2017 season, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones boldly proclaimed, “This is a team that’s going to be better than anyone thinks.”[source]

With such strong words, could the Jones’ have been betting on Dallas? Indeed, they were. The Cowboys opened as 5.5-point underdogs in the finale against the Giants and posted a 54-48 victory, in a game that saw Dallas lead the entire way. The game’s final score was actually 48-49, with the underdogs prevailing in what many will consider to be the greatest playoff game ever played. The game’s final drive was historic, with Dallas scoring the game’s final 14 points.

The following week, the Kansas City Chiefs traveled to New England to take on the defending Super Bowl champions. The game was anticipated to be one of the top matchups of the week and was subsequently dubbed “Kansas City’s Revenge Game.” The underdogs took an early hand in the game as Kansas City scored early and often, with rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes III connecting with star receiver Kareem Hunt for three touchdowns and the eventual victory. The final score was 45-31, with the over/under hitting 58.5 points, which was bet to the tune of +140 in NFL circles.[source]

The Season’s Surprises

NFL fans are accustomed to witnessing high-scoring offense and exciting postseason matchups. In 2018, however, they were treated to something entirely different. Injuries befell several prominent players throughout the year, and a handful of surprising turn of events delivered some of the most memorable games of the season. Here are a few of the biggest shocks of the year:

Minnesota Vikings Overcome Trailing Odds to Defeat the Los Angeles Rams

A handful of games this year saw the point spread fall in favor of the underdog. Often, these games were decided by a field goal or less, with the favorite failing to cover the spread in four out of five matchups. The most memorable of these games saw the Minnesota Vikings defeat the Los Angeles Rams in Week 7. In that game, the Rams scored first, but the Vikings answered with 27 straight points, with a last-second 48-yard field goal by Wilksz giving Minnesota the victory. The Rams were unable to overcome a 12.5-point halftime deficit and lost by a final score of 31-28.

Jaguars Defense Dominates Seattle Seahawks Offense

In other upset-minded action, the Jacksonville Jaguars dominated the Seattle Seahawks in a 42-17 victory in Week 15. The Jags held the Seahawks to only two first-half touchdowns and a field goal in the second half. The following week, the underdogs were on the road again, this time against the Arizona Cardinals. The Jaguars defense held the high-powered offense of the Arizona Cardinals to one touchdown and a field goal in the first half. The second half was all Jacksonville, as they scored 31 unanswered points to secure the victory.[source]

New England Patriots Romp Over AFC East Bias For Second Straight Year

For the first time in over a decade, the New England Patriots did not win the AFC East. In fact, the 2018 season was the first time since 2007 that the Pats did not hold the division title. Nonetheless, the team’s second-half performance was enough to secure a 20-point victory over the Buffalo Bills in Week 15, with two Jimmy Garoppolo touchdowns, an interception return for a touchdown and a blocked field goal leading the way, along with some solid defense.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fall Short Of Top Seed In NFC South

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a stellar season, going 12-4 and clinching the NFC South title by beating out the New Orleans Saints in Week 17. In that game, Tampa Bay trailed at the half, but the defense stepped up and held the Saints without a touchdown for nearly the entire second half. The Buccaneers missed out on the playoffs, however, as they fell just short of a first-round bye, losing out on the chance to host a home playoff game. This was especially disappointing for the Bucs, as they had secured a wild-card spot a week earlier, but missed out on the top spot in the NFC due to a loss against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 15.[source]

Buffalo Bills Claim Second Straight Super Bowl

The Buffalo Bills claimed their second consecutive Super Bowl victory in February 2019. In the AFC Championship game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Bills trailed 17-0 at the half but came back to win in overtime, with two Josh Adams touchdowns keyed by some clutch defense by Tre’s Smith and Jordan Poyer. In the Super Bowl itself, the Bills defense stifled the high-powered offense of the New England Patriots, limiting them to only six points, which was the least they’ve ever scored in a Super Bowl. In fact, it was the first time in Super Bowl history that the favorite had failed to score 10 or more points.[source]

Carolina Panthers Claim First Vince Lombardi Trophy As Panthers Win The NFC

The Carolina Panthers had a great season, going 11-5 and claiming the NFC North title by defeating the Detroit Lions in Week 17. In that game, the underdog took an early lead, but the offense settled down and scored 27 unanswered points to secure the victory. In the playoffs, the Panthers made quick work of the Los Angeles Rams, scoring 28 unanswered points in the second half and claiming the NFC championship. During the NFC Championship Game, Carolina’s defense stifled the high-powered Rams offense, limiting them to only seven points. Offensively, however, the Panthers had their issues, with quarterback Cam Newton leading the league in interceptions, while running back Christian McCaffrey also had five fumbles, which were all returned for touchdowns by the defense. This was the first time in NFL history that an 11-5 season was not enough to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The following week, the Panthers traveled to New York to take on the Giants in the league’s first-ever outdoor game. The game was played at Giants Stadium and had a halftime show that featured several artists, including Maroon 5, who performed their hit song “MarryYou.”[source]

New York Jets Fall Short Of Wild Card On Day Of Game

The New York Jets had a very disappointing season, going only 7-9 and missing the playoffs entirely. In the team’s final game of the season, the Jets hosted the Indianapolis Colts, leading 3-0 at the half. The rest, as they say, was history. The Colts scored 42 unanswered points in the third quarter and eventually won the game by a final score of 49-27. It was one of the more one-sided games of the year, with the only thing that could have made it more lopsided was if the Colts had been more efficient on offense. As is, it was a blowout from the beginning to the end. Following the loss, head coach Todd Bowles was fired, as was offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. The Jets will begin a search for a new head coach, with candidates due in March. This was only the third time in the last 20 years that the Jets missed the playoffs, following the 2008 and 2009 seasons. After such a rough 2018, it will be interesting to see what direction the Jets go in in their search for a new head coach. Will they turn to an offensive-minded hire, or will they delve into the cornerback for the upcoming season?[source]