Week 17: Vegas Vs. Fantasy

Using Vegas' odds, lines and spreads, Fantasy Football Expert Armando Marsal gets a feel for how this week's matchups will pan out. It's not a perfect science; however, it illustrates trends generated by some of the world's best handicappers.

It was not until I began playing DFS that I started using Vegas lines as part of my research and determining factor when setting up my lineups. These lines can provide so much information each week. It gives you an idea of the potential game flow we could expect. High totals and close spreads, usually indicate a potential shootout. Whereas, a low total with a low spread is a game that is not expected to have a lot of fantasy goodness aside from the defenses. These lines are set by math wizards and some of the best handicappers in the world. They spend countless hours studying patterns, teams, and situations. For those who are not familiar, spreads are the amount of points a team is expected to win or lose by. The point total is the amount of points both teams combined are projected to score.

My goal each week is to look through the lines and point out which offenses you should be targeting and which defenses are in good situations. Let’s dive right into it.

The chart below shows the three games this week with the highest point totals. I included where it opened and the current live line. This can give you an idea of where the public is putting their money on. Generally if the total opens at one number and it begins to rise, the public is betting the over and vice versa.


Open Total

Live Total


Falcons vs. Saints




Lions vs. Packers




Colts vs. Jaguars




The Falcons and Saints game has one of the highest projected totals I have seen this season and the highest of the week. Atlanta is still playing to clinch the second seed in the NFC, so this game means a lot to them. All of the usual suspects are in play here as this offense has the highest implied team total at 32 points. In their last meeting earlier this season, it was the running backs, Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman that did most of the damage. They combined for 296 total yards and four touchdowns. On the Saints side, Mark Ingram, Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, and Brandin Cooks all make viable options considering the plus matchup and potential game script.

The Lions and Packers game is my favorite one to game stack this week. These two teams are playing for their division and potentially a playoff spot. The Packers, led by Aaron Rodgers, are one of the hottest teams in the league at this time. Rodgers and Jordy Nelson are my top stack of the week, and both are very strong plays this week. You can also consider Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery in your lineups. From the Lions side of the ball, Matthew Stafford, Golden Tate, and Eric Ebron are all strong plays. Marvin Jones has struggled as of late, but this is a good matchup for him and his best game this season did come against Green Bay. However, he is very volatile. In DFS, you can make a case for Zach Zenner at a very low price.

Both the Colts and Jags have nothing to play for, but there is still some fantasy goodness in this game. Last week I was on the Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson bandwagon, and I am thinking of hopping back on this week. The matchup is one that favors them and why not finish the season on a high note. Blake Bortles threw for 205 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for another touchdown against Indy earlier this season. Allen Robinson was the recipient of one of those touchdowns. On the Colts side, Andrew Luck makes for a very strong play, and his pass catchers do as well. I am also anticipating that Frank Gore will finish out the season strong as he has had a very good year. The usual suspects are in play for this offense.

The next thing I want to focus on is the game with the lowest point total.


Open O/U

Live O/U


Titans vs. Texans




The Texans have clinched their division and have nothing to play for, while the Titans lost quarterback Marcus Mariota for the season and will start Matt Cassel in their season finale. This matchup has very little fantasy appeal. For the Texans, their defense is a strong play, and in DFS, Alfred Blue is enticing at a reasonable price across the industry. For the Titans, there is not much to like here with Cassel under center.

The last thing I want to cover is the game with the biggest spread.







I expect this to be a lopsided matchup, and so does Vegas. I am very interested in the Seahawks offense in this contest. Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin, and Jimmy Graham are all in play, as well as, Thomas Rawls so long as he is healthy enough to give it a full go. The Seahawks are still playing for a potential first round bye. They need to win and the need Atlanta to lose. Wilson has been playing well recently and gets a great matchup. He should shred this defense apart. You can also consider the Seahawks defense.  

Vegas lines are very helpful, and prop bets can be as well. You can see yardage totals, projected touchdowns, and all sorts of different lines that can help you project what a player is expected to do. Best of luck to all this week.

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