The playoff race is tight with three regular season games remaining. Many key match-ups in Week 16 will be the most watched and bet games of the weekend. That includes Saturday and Christmas Day as Cleveland travels to Green Bay with the Packers currently holding onto the No. 1 playoff seed in the NFC and the Browns nearly facing playoff elimination after being hit hard with COVID. The Christmas Day nightcap is Indianapolis at Arizona with the Colts surging winning five of their last six games while the Cardinals have lost two straight including last week as a 13-point favorite at Detroit.
The rest of the weekend includes a half dozen games with major playoff implications. Be sure to follow all the injury reports from leading sources like Pro Football Focus, and the latest NFL news and COVID cases impacting teams and Week 16 games.
Following the Tennessee Titans come from behind last second 20-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers Thursday night, the NFL hopes for more close contests. Both the 49ers and Titans are in the playoff picture, and you can check out the rest of the teams playoff position heading into key Week 16 games.
Seven teams from each conference make the playoffs, with the top-four seeds reserved for division winners.
- Kansas City Chiefs (10-4)
- New England Patriots (9-5)
- Tennessee Titans (10-5)
- Cincinnati Bengals (8-6)
- Indianapolis Colts (8-6)
- Los Angeles Chargers (8-6)
- Buffalo Bills (8-6)
In the hunt – Baltimore Ravens (8-6), Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6-1), Cleveland Browns (7-7), Las Vegas Raiders (7-7), Denver Broncos (7-7)
- Green Bay Packers (11-3)
- Dallas Cowboys (10-4)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-4)
- Arizona Cardinals (10-4)
- Los Angeles Rams (10-4)
- San Francisco 49ers (8-7)
- Minnesota Vikings (7-7)
In the hunt – Philadelphia Eagles (7-7), New Orleans Saints (7-7), WFT (6-8)
The league also hopes for more scoring. Following the higher-scoring results in Week 14 when games averaged 51.7 points per game, scoring slid to a season low 38.8 points per game in Week 15.
Compare all the Week 16 lines and odds from leading legal US online sportsbooks with additional game insight from sports betting news site TheLines.com. Also, playoff implications and odds are updated from Pro Football Focus.
Week 16 Key NFL Games
Check out the predictions in each link from ESPN, FanDuel, numberFire, FiveThirtyEight on key games impacting the playoff picture. Additional comments from FanDuel Sportsbook Director of Trading John Sheeran on betting support for selected games.
Saturday, Dec. 25
The Packers are 6-0 at Lambeau Field and the only unbeaten team at home. Green Bay is the only team to have clinched a playoff spot heading into Week 16.
“Our number was 2, and we’re seeing a lot of buy-in on the Colts with recent results, but still decent two way action,” FanDuel’s John Sheeran said on Thursday’s Bet the Board Podcast.
The Colts are 8-0 when the NFL’s leading rusher Jonathan Taylor rushes for at least 100 yards.
Sunday, Dec. 26
“Our number was only Bengals -2. We saw some professional money on the Bengals, and we moved to -3.” Sheeran said. Now on Saturday the line shot up further with Lamar Jackson (ankle) still sidelined as news broke that backup quarterback and last week’s starter Tyler Huntley (illness) is questionable to play.
More issues for the Ravens with practice squad quarterback Chris Streveler placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday. That leaves recently signed Josh Johnson as the team’s only available quarterback. Whoever starts at quarterback will be operating behind an offensive line minus two starters.
Vikings star RB Dalvin Cook is out and was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The line has crossed over the key number 3 with more money on the Rams.
“We made this a pick ‘em game, so we’re very much on the Bills side,” Sheeran said. “We opened Patriots -1, moved to -2.5, and now we’re at -2. “Were taking Buffalo for our lives with plenty of interest on the Patriots.”
“We’re not as high as the market, although this line ticked up to 10.5.” With the WFT activating QB Tyler Heinicke from the reserve/COVID-19 list, Sheeran added, “I think somewhere closer to 8 may be where the number ends up, but we’ve seen decent support on Dallas.”
The Cowboys are 8-1 SU and 9-0 ATS against NFC opponents this season, and also 11-1 SU and 10-2 ATS in its last 12 division home games.
Monday, Dec. 27
NFL Week 16 Betting Data
Much of the consensus data for the most bet games of Week 16 included the Packers and Browns on Christmas Day. The Chiefs – Steelers and Patriots – Bills are also heavily bet games. Teams taking the most spread money include the betting favorites Packers, Chargers, Rams and now Bengals.
This could be one of the biggest betting weeks of the season with so many key games impacting the playoffs. More bettors will be looking to line their pockets and rebuild their bankrolls after a tougher Week 15 and spending on Christmas gifts.
You can bet on it.