NFL Week 16 Odds, Best Bets & Predictions for Key Games

NFL Week 16 Odds, Best Bets & Predictions for Key Games

It’s Christmas week in the NFL and fans throughout the country will be hoping their teams can bring them some yuletide cheer. In week 15, some teams cemented themselves as the real deal, while others faltered just as they were gaining a lot of momentum and hype (I’m looking at you, Cowboys). The good news is, with just three weeks to go, there is still a lot to play for with plenty of teams having a possibility of snatching a wild card ticket to the playoffs.

What will Santa bring in week 16 of this topsy-turvy NFL season? Let’s take a look at some key matchups.

NFL Saturday, December 23

Pittsburgh SteelersPittsburgh Steelers 🆚 cincinnati bengals logoCincinnati Bengals

A lot of people have claimed the Steelers are one of the most puzzling teams this season. Their offense has been pretty ordinary most weeks (that’s being kind) and they haven’t really scored the points most would expect from a team that headed into week 15 with a 7-6 record looking to head to the postseason. Pittsburgh has been riding their defense since the start, but the bad news for Steelers fans is that unit is starting to crack. Following shocking back-to-back defeats to the Cardinals and Patriots, the Steelers were looking to get back on track against the Colts last week. Unfortunately, the defense couldn’t come to the rescue this time, giving up 30 points, while the offense once again looked poor. Mitch Trubisky threw 2 interceptions and just couldn’t get going. At 7-7 they head into a vital match with a resurgent division rival in the Bengals this week. Once again, Jake Browning came up clutch in an exciting 27-24 win over the Vikings last week, throwing for 324 yards and 2 TDs. Nobody saw this run coming from the Bengals with Browning under center but they are hot right now and have a real chance to improve their playoff chances with a win this week.

NFL, Christmas Eve

Minnesota VikingsMinnesota Vikings 🆚 Detroit lions logoDetroit Lions

It was a heart-breaking overtime loss for the Vikings last week. QB Nick Mullens, making his first start this season, had an up an down day, throwing for 303 yards with 2 TDs and 2 interceptions. They had big contributions from running back Ty Chandler, with 23 carries for 132 yards and a TD and receiver Jordan Addison, who posted 6 recs for 111 yards and 2 TDs. Bear in mind the Vikings have been without their starting QB (Kirk Cousins) and star receiver (Justin Jefferson) for a lot of this season so to still be 7-7 is laudable. They face a huge game this week against their division rivals and NFC North leaders, the Lions. Detroit has stuttered recently leading to some doubters piping up, but they silenced those voices with a resounding 42-17 win over the Broncos. Jared Goff had a bounce-back game, with 278 yards and 5 TDs. Rookie Jahmyr Gibbs had 100 yards on the ground with a TD while Amon-Ra St. Brown added 112 yards and a TD through the air. This was a statement victory for the Lions, who will look to enter the playoffs with this sort of momentum and confidence.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 🆚 Jacksonville JaguarsJacksonville Jaguars

We have been waiting for someone to take control of the NFC South all season, could the Bucs now be that team? They sit top of the division with a 7-7 record and walked into Lambeau Field last week against a Packers team with playoff aspirations of their own. The fact they emerged with a 34-20 win must surely gives Bucs fans hope they can now go on and win their division. Baker Mayfield is an enigma, but had one of his better days, throwing for 381 yards and 4 TDs and is now the only QB from an opposing team to leave that stadium with a perfect passer rating! Chris Godwin had 155 receiving yards while Rachaad White had 21 carries for 89 yards. The Bucs are upwardly mobile, the same can’t be said for their week 16 opponent, the Jags. In a 23-7 defeat to the Ravens, Trevor Lawrence had an O.K day, throwing for 264 yards and a TD, but they just made too many mistakes. The loss dropped the Jags’ record to 8-6, and there are now three teams at the top of the AFC South with an identical record. Just a few weeks ago it looked like a formality the Jags would win the division, now they are in a fight just to make the playoffs.

Miami DolphinsMiami Dolphins 🆚 Dallas CowboysDallas Cowboys

In their 30-0 beatdown of the Jets in week 15, the Dolphins proved they can survive without Tyreek Hill, who was inactive for the game, while the defense also stepped up in a big way. Sure, some may say it was only against the Jets, but you can only beat what is put in front of you and the Dolphins did that emphatically. Tua Tagovailoa threw for 224 yards and a TD. With Hill injured, Jaylen Waddle saw a lot of action, with 8 receptions for 142 yards and a TD while Raheem Mostert added another 2 TDs on the ground. The Dolphins offense continues to be varied and exciting, which could make for a high octane clash as they welcome the Cowboys to Miami this week. After the euphoria of Dallas’ win over the Eagles last week, they were brought back down to Earth in Buffalo. In the 31-10 loss, Dak had a bad day, with only 134 yards and an interception while the defense struggled to contain Josh Allen and co. They are 3-4 on the road and just look a different team when they leave Dallas. They will be looking for an instant response this weekend, otherwise, you can imagine the “typical Cowboys” narrative will start to appear again.

NFL, Christmas Day🎅

San Francisco 49ersSan Francisco 49ers 🆚 Baltimore RavensBaltimore Ravens

The San Francisco 49ers are on fire. They have already won the NFC West and moved a step closer to securing the NFC no1 seed with a 45-29 win over the Cardinals last week. Brock Purdy, once again, staked his claim for the MVP award with a 242 yard, 4TD showing. His teammate, Christian McCaffrey, must also surely be in the conversation for the award and he had another stellar day, with 115 yards and a TD on the ground, and another 72 yards and 2 TDs through the air. We know the MVP is usually a Quarterback award, but if there is one non Quarterback who could win, it’s surely got to be McCaffrey. While the 49ers look to secure the 1 seed in the NFC, their week 16 opponents are looking to do the same in the AFC. They sit at 11-3 and while they don’t look as impressive as the 49ers, they are a well-drilled machine who can grind down any team. That was evident last week against the Jags. Lamar Jackson didn’t have an amazing day through the air, but he played superman on numerous drives to keep the chains moving and the defense kept the Jags to only 7 points. Arguably the most important aspect of the win though was a breakout game for Tight End Isiah Likely, who recorded 70 yards and a TD. A lot of people worried about the Ravens when Mark Andrews got hurt, but if Likely can step up, that would be massive. This game is a good barometer for both teams as two heavyweights from both conferences collide, a possible Super Bowl preview?