NFL Betting Odds: Week 16 Line Movements and Last-Minute News
This is it, folks. The penultimate week of the NFL regular season is upon us, and I couldn't be more excited for this week's slate of games if I tried. Not only do we have a tripleheader on Saturday, but each game brings something to the table to be excited about. The Texans are trying to lock up the AFC South, but they will have their hands full with the high-octane Bucs . The Patriots and Bills are clashing in Foxboro for what is essentially a division title as the Bills need to win out and hope the Patriots lose both games to claim their first division title in 20+ years. And lastly, the Rams and 49ers hook up in what should be a high-scoring affair with the Niners needing to win out to potentially secure the division and a first-round bye.
Sunday's action features some great games as well, with the Saints heading to Tennessee to take on the Titans, and then you have two big showdowns - one in the NFC East where the winner between the Cowboys and Eagles will almost certainly win the division and sneak into the playoffs, and the Monday night game between the Vikings and Packers that figures to be an instant classic as well.
As always, here are some line moves or potential game-changing injury notes for Week 16.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans (-3, 50): From what I've seen from the Buccaneers all season long is that it's not really a football game until Jameis Winston throws an interception. Thankfully for the Bucs, he tends to throw them early - I'm talking first pass attempt - and then he settles down before throwing one or two more throughout the game. Against the Texans, Winston should have plenty of time to go through his reads. And even without Mike Evans, Tampa figures to put up a bunch of points against a Texans secondary that isn't all that good. With that said, I'm a bit surprised by the line movement from Bucs -1 to Texans -3. I know that the Texans are playing for a division title and that this is a must-win game for them, but that doesn't always mean they are going to win the game. Tampa has shown that they can stop the run effectively, making teams one dimensional. If the Tampa defense holds up, Watson might find it difficult to produce or get on the same page with Hopkins. As for the total, this line opened up at 53, but has since been bet down to 50, presumably with the news that Chris Godwin might not suit up as well.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (+10, 49): I'm running out of ways to describe the Baltimore Ravens and their offense. They took Lamar Jackson's skill set and transformed it into one of the smoothest offenses we've seen all year. Now they get to take their show on the road in a division game against a Cleveland team that is toast and just playing out the last two games. This line opened up at Ravens -7 but has since been bet up to Ravens -10 , and with good reason. We simply don't see the Ravens offense slowing down at any point this season. And with the No. 1 seed in the AFC still up for grabs, the Ravens will likely play full throttle until told otherwise. The Browns have been a mess all season long. They've shown one or two signs of hope but ultimately will end the decade without a winning season. As for the total, it's held steady at 49 points. And depending on the weather, the Ravens should be good for 30, which leaves you needing the Browns to pitch in with 20.
New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans (+3, 50.5): I have to admit, this is a tricky spot for the Saints as they played on Monday in a very emotional game for the Saints organization as they honored the 10-year anniversary of the Super Bowl 44 winning team, while also witnessing Drew Brees make history by becoming the NFL's all-time leader in touchdown passes. Now they have to go on the road in a 1 p.m. start and face a Titans team that is fighting for their playoff lives. Similar to what I said about Houston, just because the Titans need to win doesn't mean they are going to. Yes, the Titans have had a nice second-half run thanks to the play of Ryan Tannehill, but the public is all over the Saints in this one as the spread has been bet up to -3 from its opening of -1. The Saints are relatively healthy. And barring a blowout or a freak injury, every key player should go the full 60-minutes in this game. The Titans are awaiting word on Derrick Henry, who should play but has been banged up the last few weeks with a hamstring issue. AS for the total, it opened at 51 but now sits at 50.5.
Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins (PK, 46.5): And lastly, the game everyone was waiting for me to talk about - the Dolphins and the Bengals. I don't think you could pay me enough to watch this game, but it's critical in the sense that both teams still have a shot at a top-3 draft pick. And if the Dolphins were smart, they'd lose this game on purpose. The line for this game opened up with the Dolphins laying three points at home, but the bettors seem to like the Bengals (which is weird) and have taken the spread down to a pick'em. As for the total, it sits at 46.5, which is up a full point from its opening. But who in their right mind would trust Andy Dalton or Ryan Fitzpatrick to put up a total of 47 total points? I know I wouldn't, which is why I am staying far away from this game.
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