Week 15 of the NFL season technically ended less than 48 hours ago and we’re already beginning the next week of games. COVID is truly throwing quite the wrench into “normal” isn’t it?
The Titans and Niners play tonight in what should be one of the more interesting games of the slate. The Christmas day doubleheader also looks intriguing, especially the Colts-Cardinals game. The Bills-Patriots game is one more that could cause a bit of shifting in the AFC playoff race, so I’ll also be keeping an eye on that one, as well.
Let’s get into it, huh? Of course, all odds below are via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Thursday Night Football
49ers (-3) vs. Titans - O/U 44.5
Prediction: 49ers - The 49ers are riding a sizable wave of momentum in recent weeks while the Titans are on an opposite path. They’ve lost three of their last four games with their only win in that span coming against the Jaguars. As far as I can tell, this team isn’t much without their star players.
Browns vs. Packers (-7.5) - O/U 46
Prediction: Packers - The Browns may still be ravaged by COVID-19 by the time these two teams play and even at full strength, I’d still give this game to the Packers. If Cleveland’s defense doesn’t get back most of, if not all of their starters, I just don’t see them beig even slightly competitive against Green Bay.
Colts vs. Cardinals (-1) - O/U 48.5
Prediction: Cardinals - This is by far my favorite game on the week 16 schedule. Two really good teams who like to win in opposite fashions. The Cardinals want to air it out and deploy four wide receivers on more plays than any other team in the NFL. On the other side, the Colts want to run the ball from start to finish with their MVP-level back Jonathan Taylor. No matter how this game goes, a really good team is going to win it.
Sunday Morning Games
Giants vs. Eagles (-10) - O/U 40.5
Prediction: Eagles - The Giants are a bad team and the Eagles at least aren’t playing like one. That’s enough for me to pick Philadelphia here.
Rams (-2.5) vs. Vikings - O/U 49.5
Prediction: Rams - The Rams have turned things around after a slight drop in performance. Back-to-back wins over divisional opponents has them on the right track and a sub-.500 Vikings team likely isn’t going to be able to stop the likes of Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp from having another big day. I’ll take the Rams to continue raising their stock in the NFC payoff picture.
Bills vs. Patriots (-2.5) - O/U 43.5
Prediction: Patriots - The first game between these two teams was a slugfest in the snow. The Patriots got the better of the Bills since the latter has almost zero semblance of a run game this season. However, if the weather is somewhat normal for Sunday in Foxborough, I expect the Bills to put up much more of a fight. In the end, I just think the Patriots are too well-coached in the secondary.
Buccaneers (-10) vs. Panthers - O/U 44
Prediction: Buccaneers - The Bucs may have lost Chris Godwin for the season but they’ve still got Tom Brady, which is all any team needs. The Panthers will be trotting out Cam Newton at quarterback and if his recent play tells us anything, it’s that there’s no way he’s going toe-to-toe with Brady. Bucs win this one easily.
Jaguars vs. Jets (pk) - O/U 41
Prediction: Jets - I don’t want this game anywhere near my eyes. This is also the first game I’ve seen this season where DraftKings just throws their hands up in the air and says, “Yeah, this game sucks. One of these terrible teams has to win so just pick on.” I’m taking the Jets here because they’re just the lesser of two dysfunctional teams.
Lions vs. Falcons (-6) - O/U 43
Prediction: Falcons - The Lions were able to knock off the Cardinals a week ago but I don’t believe they’re lucky enough to string another win together. I’m taking the Falcons here and I expect a big game out of Cordarrelle Patterson who was wrongfully snubbed from this year’s Pro Bowl.
Ravens vs. Bengals (-3) - O/U 45.5
Prediction: Ravens - Whether Lamar Jackson plays or not, I just really like this Ravens team and the way they’re built. The Bengals are winners of their past two but I have a feeling Baltimore is going to be extra motivated to avoid the season sweep by a division rival.
Sunday Afternoon Games
Bears vs. Seahawks (-6.5) - O/U 43
Prediction: Seahawks - The Bears are a bad football and almost unwatchable at times. The Seahawks have several exciting players despite also being a pretty bad football team. It’s been quite the fall from grace for Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson but there’s still enough life in them to beat a lowly Chicago team.
Broncos (-1) vs. Raiders - O/U 41.5
Prediction: Broncos - If there was a way for both of these teams to lose, I’d wish for that. With the Broncos mostly out of the playoff picture, I’m taking them over the Raiders to hopefully quell the large group of teams in the hunt for a postseason berth.
Steelers vs. Chiefs (-7.5) - O/U 44
Prediction: Chiefs - The Chiefs have been as hot as anyone. Some blown catches against the Chargers could have brought their win streak to a halt but it seems like the football gods are still on their side for the time being.
Sunday Night Football
Washington vs. Cowboys (-10.5) - O/U 47.5
Prediction: Cowboys - Washington gets back their starting quarterback in time for this game and that may be enough to make them competitive in a great divisional matchup under the lights.
Monday Night Football
Dolphins vs. Saints (-3) - O/U 39
Prediction: Saints - The Saints are coming off one heck of a defensive performance against Brady and the Bucs. It didn’t help Tampa Bay when their top two receivers went down but shutting the G.O.A.T. out for the first time in over 15 years is just insane. I’ll take the Saints to carry over that momentum into a game with a hot Dolphins team.