Sports Betting

NFL Best Bets Week 16


I had mixed results last week. I went 11-5 overall, but 0-3 for the first time in this column. At least the Vikings kept it exciting until the end. We’re still at 61% for the year in our Best Bets and 59%, overall. In fact, I’m leading Tallysight’s Expert Rankings for picks against the spread


This week,  I’m giving picks for every game and listing them in order of confidence. Hopefully, we can do a little better than last week. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our readers and good luck this week!


Best Bets

Detroit Lions -3 at Carolina Panthers

The turnaround in Detroit has been remarkable. They’ve won six of their seven games and have played well on the road after an atrocious start away from home. The Panthers have played better over the last month, but they’re running into the Lions at the wrong time. 

Los Angeles Rams +2.5 vs Denver Broncos

Russell Wilson is back this week, so I’m downgrading the Broncos offense. This game has the second-lowest total of the week and my system has it going under. I don’t think either team wins by more than two points. 

Los Angeles Chargers -4.5 at Indianapolis Colts

The Chargers have been disappointing this year, but you could argue injuries are a big reason why. Nick Foles might give the Colts more of a chance to win, but after last week’s meltdown, I’d be shocked if this team can stay motivated. 


Good Bets

Minnesota Vikings -4.5 vs New York Giants

Two of the luckiest teams in the NFL meet in the Overachievers Bowl. I almost feel like both teams will somehow find a way to win a game they should lose, but I think the Vikings will get a little luckier and come out ahead. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -7.5 at Arizona Cardinals

Tom Brady must’ve been a good boy this year, because Santa delivered Trace McSorley at quarterback for the Cardinals on Christmas day. Sorley comes in with a 13.6 QBR and three interceptions in 15 attempts this season. Tampa Bay’s 5th ranked pass defense should have no problem stopping Arizona. 


Decent Bets

Cleveland Browns -3 vs New Orleans Saints

The Browns should run all over the Saints. Literally. They’re 8th in rush DVOA going against the Saints, who are ranked 23rd against the run in DVOA. Deshaun Watson hasn’t looked like the same player since he returned, but with three games under his belt now, this could be the game to get him back on track. 

Philadelphia Eagles +6 at Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys opened as a one-point favorite, but that shot up to +6 after Hurts was ruled out. Losing Hurts definitely hinders the Philly offense, but Gardner Minshew is a capable backup and I think the five point line movement is a bit much. I think Dallas probably wins, but the Eagles should keep it close.

San Francisco 49ers -7 vs Washington Commanders

I still think the 49ers might be the best overall team in the NFL, but that’s assuming Brock Purdy plays. I’m not sure even San Francisco can win with a fourth-string quarterback. The Commanders have been over-achieving and a course correction to mediocrity is coming fast. 

Buffalo Bills -8 at Chicago Bears

This is a prime matchup for the Bill offense. The only question is if the Bears will be able to keep it close. Justin Fields’ rushing creates all sorts of problems for any defense he faces, but he’s going to have to throw touchdowns for Chicago to have a chance. I don’t see that happening. 

Pittsburgh Steelers -2.5 vs Las Vegas Raiders

The Steelers have a big advantage in cold-weather games over the Raiders. Derek Carr is famously bad in below-freezing temperatures. Pittsburgh has won three of their last four games and I feel like Mike Tomlin is going to will this team to a winning record. Cold weather + Coaching = Steelers covering the spread.

Cincinnati Bengals -3 at New England Patriots

The Bengals are a top five team, in my opinion, and have won six in a row. I don’t think New England will be able to hang with them offensively. It’s tough to bet against Bill Belichick, but the Patriots are 0-2 as a home underdog this year, so I’m sticking with Cincinnati. 


Toss Ups

Green Bay Packers +4 at Miami

This is such a big game for both teams, so I expect a hard-fought, close game. I think this line is spot on, but in a meaningful game, I think it’s decided by a field goal or less. 

Tennessee Titans -3.5 vs Houston Texans

Ryan Tannehill is out, so this will be the Derrick Henry show. Henry has had four straight 200+ rushing yards games against Houston, so maybe Tennessee doesn’t need a quarterback, anyway. 

Baltimore Ravens -7 vs Atlanta Falcons

Lamar Jackson is out again, breaking the hearts of his fantasy owners. Tyler Huntley hasn’t been very effective, but I don’t have any faith in Atlanta’s rookie quarterback, Desmond Ridder, going against a Ravens defense ranked 8th overall in DVOA. 

Kansas City Chiefs -10 vs Seattle Seahawks

Kansas City should win this game, but their secondary is exploitable and Seattle could put up a lot of points against them. The Chiefs should win handily, but the Seahawks will keep it interesting. 


See all my NFL Picks Here

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