As hard as it may be to believe, we’re in Week 16 of the NFL season and only two games (Chicago at Seattle and the Jacksonville Jaguars at the New York Jets) don’t have some sort of playoff ramifications.
We take a look at all 16 games and look to set you up for a Christmas miracle that will give you enough money to send Cousin Eddie on his way in his RV.
NFL Betting Odds and Lines: Week 16
San Francisco 49ers (-180) at Tennessee Titans (+145)
The Titans have been keeping their season together with duct tape and prayer, but they face a 49ers team that is on a roll and someone nobody wants to meet in the playoffs. San Francisco is a road favorite for a reason, but the bet I like here is the Over/Under (44.5 points at -105 Over, -115 Under). Neither team is lighting up the scoreboard, because both have injury-depleted offenses that will struggle to put up big points. Take the Under (-115).
Cleveland Browns (+290) at Green Bay Packers (-380)
The Browns are coming off a very short week and have to go on the road to play a Packers team looking to keep their foot on the gas to make sure the Super Bowl goes through Lambeau Field. The Packers are prohibitive favorites (7.5 points at -110 for both teams) and, while the Browns will be getting some of their key players back from COVID benchings, it won’t be enough. Take the Packers and lay the 7.5 points (-110).
Indianapolis Colts -103) at Arizona Cardinals (-117)
The Cardinals have been struggling down the stretch, which explains why they’re such a small favorite at home (1.5 points at -112 Colts, -108 Cardinals). They have the defense to apply pressure to Carson Wentz, who tends to fold in the biggest games, which is why, despite being viewed as a point-spread underdog, Arizona comes through. Take the Cardinals and lay the 1.5 points (-108).
Buffalo Bills (+110) at New England Patriots (-135)
The Patriots humbled the Bills in their first meeting in the middle of a Calcutta Clipper that grounded both offense and led to New England throwing just three passes. With the weather not expected to a dominant factor, the better team wins, which I still believe to be Buffalo. Take the Bills on the Moneyline (+110).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-520) at Carolina Panthers (+370)
The Bucs are coming off a humbling shutout home loss to the New Orleans Saints and there is going to hell to pay for that. Tom Brady will likely be given license to throw 50 times just to prove a point. Tampa Bay is a prohibitive favorite (10.5 points at -110 for both teams). Cam Newton is nearing the end of the line, and the Bucs will be looking to send him out on a sour note in this division rivalry. Take the Buccaneers and lay the 10.5 points (-110).
Los Angeles Chargers (-475) at Houston Texans
The Chargers have seen their division title hopes fizzle over the last month, but they’re still a playoff team at the moment. The Chargers are a solid road favorite (8.5 points at -112 Chargers, -108 Texans). There are four teams I will never bet on, and one of them is Houston. That doesn’t change here. Take the Chargers and lay the 8.5 points (-112).
Baltimore Ravens (+110) at Cincinnati Bengals (-135)
The Ravens are seeing their season crumble, having refused to send two games into overtime in the final seconds because of a lack of faith in their defense. The Bengals will be able to exploit a secondary decimated with injuries, which makes the Over/Under (44.5 points at -112 Over, -108 Under) look very possible, especially if Lamar Jackson (ankle) is back and needs big plays to keep pace. Take the Over (-112).
Jacksonville Jaguars (-108) at New York Jets (-112)
Of the two teams I refuse to bet on, two of them are in this game. I’m left with only one viable option – the anticipation that both offenses with stink out the joint. The Over/Under is the second-lowest of this week’s slate of games (41.5 points at -108 Over, -112 Under). Given the non-endorsement of either team, I’m left with no alternative. Take the Under (-112).
Detroit Lions (+200) at Atlanta Falcons (-250)
As much as I hate to say it, if the Lions had Jared Goff, I would take them to win. That said, the Over/Under is low (42.5 points at -112 Over, -108 Under), but with both offenses extremely limited on the talent side of things, I’m not confident either offense is capable of hitting 24 points. Take the Under (-108).
New York Giants (+360) at Philadelphia Eagles (-500)
Remember back when the Eagles refused to run the ball? A lot has changed. Philly has rushed for 175 or more yards in seven straight games. The last team to do that was the 1985 Bears and things worked out pretty well for them. The Eagles are solid favorites (9.5 points at -108 Giants, -112 Eagles), and they’re that big a favorite for a reason. Take the Eagles and lay the 9.5 points (-112).
Los Angeles Rams (-165) at Minnesota Vikings (+133)
The Vikings have been one of the most difficult teams to project this season, because they can look dominant at times and awful at others. The Rams are team nobody wants to face in the playoffs because of their talent. Both teams are capable of getting in shootouts, which is why they have the highest Over/Under of the week (49.5 points at -105 Over, -115 Under). This one has the smell of Minnesota opening a big lead only to have the Rams storm back. Take the Over (-105).
Chicago Bears (+230) at Seattle Seahawks (-300)
A pair of playoff teams from last year that have been huge disappointments this time around. Neither offense has found a rhythm this season, which is why there is a modest Over/Under (43.5 points at -103 Over, -117 Under). This one should come down to the fourth quarter with a field goal for one team to win 20-17. Take the Under (-117).
Denver Broncos (-110) at Las Vegas Raiders (-110)
Being at home hasn’t been great for the Raiders, who have lost four of their last five in front of Raider Nation. The Raiders are the smallest of favorites (0.5 points at -110 for both teams). It’s hard to bet on either of these teams, because they’re so erratic, but I like Denver’s defense better and taking the Broncos with the half-point means you still win in the event of a tie. Take the Broncos and the 0.5 points (-110).
Pittsburgh Steelers (+300) at Kansas City Chiefs (-400)
The Steelers keep getting the Last Rites only to win a game to save their season. They’re still in control of their own destiny, but the Chiefs are at home and a big favorite (7.5 points at -108 Steelers, -112 Chiefs). I firmly believe the Chiefs are the best team in the AFC and the Steelers are doing it with smoke and mirrors – a nice betting combination. Take the Chiefs and lay the 7.5 points (-112).
Washington Football Team (+440) at Dallas Cowboys (-650)
The hype surrounding the Cowboys is always too excessive, because Dallas bettors are always willing to give away too many points. This game is no exception as Dallas is a huge favorite (10.5 points at -108 WFT, -112 Cowboys). The teams play two weeks ago, and Dallas dominated until a couple of critical mistakes let Washington back in the game. I don’t see that happening this time as Dallas continues its quest for a high playoff seeding. Take the Cowboys and lay the 10.5 points (-112).
Miami Dolphins (+135) at New Orleans Saints (-170)
I really hate this game because a case can be made against both teams. The Saints have been far from dominant at home, but their defense is playing well. Miami is on a six-game winning streak, but five of those games were at home. The Saints are a solid favorite (3.5 points at -130 Dolphins, +165 Saints), but I think either team can win. In that case, I tend to lean toward getting some insurance. Take the Dolphins plus the 3.5 points (-130).
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