Week 16 marks the penultimate week of the NFL season, including a rare Christmas Day football game and a Saturday triple-header. The Minnesota Vikings visit the Big Easy for a Christmas afternoon matchup against the New Orleans Saints. Plus, the Miami Dolphins attempt to fend off the Baltimore Ravens for the final AFC Wild Card spot.
Typically, sports fans are greeted with NBA action on Christmas. However, this yuletide season features a special NFL Xmas edition on Friday, followed by three Saturday games in Week 16.
This week is typically the busiest and craziest of the year with everyone trying to juggle work, family, and the holidays. If you’re too busy with real life to catch up with the NFL, here’s our quickie betting preview for Week 16 to get you up to speed.
Minnesota Vikings (7-7) at New Orleans Saints (10-4)… The Saints have the biggest point differential (+100) in the NFC, and that’s with Drew Brees missing four games. He’s back in the lineup and gearing up for the postseason. The Saints lost the #1 seed in the NFC, but currently occupy the #2 spot. LINE: NOLA -7, TOTAL: 51.5
Saturday Winter Wonderland
Tampa Bay Bucs (9-5) at Detroit Lions (5-9)… The NFL scheduled three games on the Saturday after Christmas, but Tommy Boy Brady will be the main draw. Brady is ranked #4 in touchdowns (32) and #5 in passing yards (3,886). He’s closing in on 4K for the 12th time in his career. The Bucs need one more win to lock up a wild-card spot, but an upset here could make things messy next week. LINE: TB -9.5, TOTAL: 54
Miami Dolphins (9-5) at Las Vegas Raiders (7-7)… Miami is one win away from securing an AFC wild-card spot. The Dolphins are also the top team in the NFL against the spread with an 11-4 ATS record. The Raiders kissed their postseason hopes goodbye during their maiden voyage in Sin City. LINE: Miami -3, TOTAL: 47.5
San Francisco 49ers (5-9) at Arizona Cardinals (8-6)… Due to strict COVID-19 protocols, the Niners are playing their home games in Arizona, so this must feel weird for them — playing a road game against the Cards. The Cards beat the Niners in Week 1, but went 1-2 in division play since then. LINE: AZ -5, TOTAL: 49
NFC West Championship Bout
LA Rams (9-5) at Seattle Seahawks (10-4)… The Rams suffered a humiliating loss against the 0-13 Jets, and one of the worst home-choke jobs as -17 favorites in the last two decades. They got a wake-up call and swift kick in the junk before a game that could determine the division. A win for the Seahawks puts them one step closer to an NFC West title. The Seahawks dropped the first meeting in mid-November. LINE: SEA -1.5, TOTAL: 47.5
AFC Big Dogs
Indianapolis Colts (10-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)… This should have been the Game of the Week for Week 16, but the exhausted Steelers lost three in a row after an impressive 11-0 start. Phil Rivers and the Colts still have a shot at the AFC South title. LINE: Indy -1.5, TOTAL: 44.5
Chicago Bears (7-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-13)… The Jags currently hold the #1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. They’d hate to do something stupid, like beat Da Bears to cough up the chance at drafting Trevor Lawrence. Meanwhile, the Bears could sneak in the back door of the playoffs if they win the next two games and watch the Cards lose both of their final two games. LINE: CHI -7.5, TOTAL: 47
New York Giants (5-9) at Baltimore Ravens (9-5)… Both teams are in must-win spots if they expect to reach the postseason. The Giants have a 10% shot at winning the NFC East title, but Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are on their own mission to snatch the final AFC wild-card spot. LINE: BAL -11, TOTAL: 45
Carolina Panthers (4-10) at Washington (6-8)… Washington currently sits in first place in the NFC East with a 75% chance to win the NFC Least crown. Riverboat Ron Rivera hosts his old team when the Carolina Panthers go to Washington. LINE: WAS -2.5, TOTAL: 44.5
Philadelphia Eagles (4-9-1) at Dallas Cowboys (5-9)… Jalen Hurts makes the Eagles must-see TV, while the Dallas Cowboys are still mathematically in the playoff hunt with a 5% chance to advance, according to FiveThirtyEight. LINE: Philly -2, TOTAL: 49.5
Jalen Hurts is SPECIAL 😤
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 20, 2020
Atlanta (4-10) at Kansas City Chiefs (13-1)… Kansas City holds the longest winning streak with nine-straight victories. Patrick Mahomes has the inside track to MVP and leads a potent offense that cranks out 31 points per game. Atlanta dropped three close games in a row. Seven out of their 10 losses occurred by one score or less. LINE: KC -10.5, TOTAL: 54
Cleveland Browns (10-4) at NY Jets (1-13)… The Jets finally won a game to end their winless streak, but they cost themselves a winning ticket in the Trevor Lawrence Sweepstakes. The Jets, at -207, have the worst point differential in the league. LINE: Cleveland -9.5, TOTAL: 47
The Justin Herbert Show
Denver Broncos (5-9) at LA Chargers (5-9)… The Chargers’ Justin Herbert has stellar numbers for a rookie, which is why he’s the frontrunner to secure Offensive Rookie of the Year. He’s ranked #8 with 3,781 passing yards, but could be in the top five if he played every game this season. Through Week 15, Herbert tossed 27 touchdowns and tied Baker Mayfield for the NFL rookie record. Herbert delivered an OT win last week to essentially derail the Raiders’ postseason chances. LINE: LAC -3, TOTAL: 48.5
Poo Emoji Game of the Week
Cincinnati Bengals (3-10-1) at Houston Texans (4-10)… The Bengals ambushed the slumping Steelers on MNF last week. The Texans are stuck in a three-game slide with two losses against the Colts in the last three weeks. LINE: HOU -8, TOTAL: 46
Prime Time TV Games: Titans/Packers
SNF: Tennessee Titans (10-4) at Green Bay Packers (11-3)… This could be a Super Bowl matchup, if the Titans knock off KC, of course. The top two scoring teams in the league average 31 points per game. The total for this must-see Sunday Night Football battle opened at 55 and currently sits at 56 points. Aaron Rodgers leads the NFL with 40 touchdowns and Ryan Tannenhill is ranked #5 with 31. Derrick Henry, the top rusher in the league, is only 321 yards shy of 2K. LINE: GB -3.5, TOTAL: 56
MNF: Buffalo Bills (11-3) at New England Patriots (6-8)… The Bills have the second-best ATS record in the NFL at 9-5. This AFC East tilt on Monday Night Football is meaningless because the Pats will miss the playoffs for only the second time since the Brady/Belichick era began. But this is also the Gotta Get Unstuck Game of the Week, so expect the public to bet the Bills late on Sunday and early Monday. LINE: Buffalo -7, TOTAL: 46
NFL Week 16 betting lines are provided by the Circa Casino in downtown Las Vegas.