Best Bets Against the Spread Week 16 – Christmas Eve Edition
Happy Holidays to all! We hope everyone had an excellent NFL season. We’re winding down the year of football. After this, we have just one more regular of season week before the NFL playoffs. Check back later this weekend for more picks, on Sunday and Monday’s games, and obviously, follow us throughout the NFL Playoffs.
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San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns +4.5 Total: 43.5
Few will be tuning into the Chargers at Browns matchup on Sunday afternoon, as both teams are out of the playoff race, but it’s one of my favorite games to target from a betting perspective. Both teams are playing for pride and are far out of the playoff race.
The Chargers have been perhaps the unluckiest team this season from an injury perspective. They’ve lost starting All-Pro cornerbacks and receivers and have had several injuries to their offensive line. They’re far out of the playoff race with a 5-9 record and are coming off a 19-16 home defeat against Oakland last week.
Cleveland is the worst team in football. They’re still the only team without a win, but trail the 49ers by just one game, as they have just a lone victory. The Browns fell to 0-14 after getting blown out 33-13 at Buffalo last week.
Betting action has been heavy on the Chargers since the odds opened at San Diego -6.5. However, the line hasn’t moved with that action. The odds are Chargers -4.5 at most betting sites as of this writing.
The Browns haven’t won any games, but not only that, they seemingly never cover the spread this season. With all that said, there’s a lot to like for Cleveland this week.
The Chargers are coming off a demoralizing home loss, where they lost to a divisional rival. Not only that but Raiders’ fans took over Qualcomm Stadium in their playoff-clinching victory. San Diego is traveling across the country to take on Cleveland and is still dealing with a myriad of injuries at all positions.
Robert Griffin III isn’t a good quarterback, but he could have some success against a defense that isn’t playing for anything and is just waiting for the season to end. Cleveland should keep this one close and may get finally get their first victory of the season.
Pick: Browns +4.5
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills -4 Total: 42
The Dolphins head Ralph Wilson Stadium to take on their Bills as they fight for a playoff spot. The Fins will once again be without starter quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, but Matt Moore has played exceptionally well as a backup in recent years. These two AFC East division mates met back in October in Miami, a game the Dolphins won 28-25.
If the playoffs started today, Miami would get the last Wild Card spot, the final seed in the AFC. They are well-rested coming into this Sunday’s game, after handing the Jets a 34-13 beat down at the Meadowlands on Thursday Night Football to improve their record to 9-5.
The Bills are out of the playoffs this season and may see significant changes to their coaching staff and front office after it was reported that head coach Rex Ryan would be fired after the conclusion of the season.
They got their first victory in two weeks after defeating the Cleveland Browns last week in Buffalo. The win gave them a 7-7 record on the season, which put them in third place in the AFC East. They won’t make the playoffs but still have a chance for a winning season and the potential to play spoiler against Miami.
Betting action has been down the middle for the most part on this game. The Bills opened as -3 favorites, but have now moved to -4, across the board.
Bettors and the public are learning more and more how hard it is to play at Ralph Wilson Stadium. ‘The Ralph’ is one of the toughest places to play in the league. The Dolphins are coming in with a backup quarterback in a divisional rivalry game.
Miami is also one of the worst teams in the league at stopping the run and Buffalo runs the ball more than any other team in the league. This is a recipe for success for the home team in a game where they are favorites for good reason.
Pick: Bills -4
New York Jets at New England Patriots -16.5 Total: 43.5
The Jets head to Foxboro to take on the Patriots in a game that is easily projected to be the most lopsided of Week 16, and perhaps the season. These two teams played back on November 28th, a game New England won 22-17.
A lot has changed for the Jets since that time. They’re now starting rookie Bryce Petty at quarterback. Running back Matt Forte may not play in Week 16. They have also lost five out of their last six games, including a 34-13 loss at Miami last Saturday to drop their record to 4-10.
The Patriots have had their injury issues, which include tight end, Rob Gronkowski being out for the rest of the season, but they’re still the best team in the AFC currently and are in line for home-field advantage and a first round bye.
They improved their record to 12-2 after defeating the Broncos 16-3 at Denver last week.
New England opened as -14 favorites in this one. This has swelled to -16.5 after about 60 percent of wagers have come in on the Patriots.
I’m almost always going to bet against a team in the NFL with a nearly 17-point spread. The league is simply too competitive for teams to cover double-digit spreads consistently, particularly one this high.
Yes, I know the Jets are terrible, and Bryce Petty shouldn’t be a starting quarterback in this league, but this is still a professional football team in a rivalry game. They may be able to cover 16.5 points, but my money is on the Jets to keep this one close.
Remember, the Patriots offense without Gronkowski isn’t quite the same fearsome unit. Tom Brady’s efficiency and New England’s overall scoring drops significantly without him.
Pick: Jets +16.5