New power-broker scenarios embrace bettors after perhaps the wackiest week in league history, as they look ahead to the NFL Week 16 betting card.
The smoke clears from a menu that affected betting bankrolls with several high-impact moments.
- The largest comeback in NFL history — 33 points by the Minnesota Vikings over the Indianapolis Colts.
- Perhaps the dumbest play in NFL history, authored by the New England Patriots, a final-play backward lateral costing them a game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
- Seven games decided on the final play, two walk-off defensive touchdowns, and three overtime contests.
Gamblers never have it easy as they await Week 16.
Bettors eye a full Saturday slate and a three-game Christmas Day package. That is preceded by the Thursday night matchup between the Jacksonville Jaguars and host New York Jets.
NFL Week 16 Betting Lines
Here are point spreads, totals, and moneylines from top sportsbook apps for this week’s slate.
Some betting takeaways gamblers might play forward:
Bengals, Ravens Battle in AFC North
The 10-4 Cincinnati Bengals, who now own first place in the AFC South, try to hold position at New England against the shell-shocked Patriots. The 7-7 Pats committed one of the most horrific mistakes in league annals with a backward pass on the last play of a tie game, enabling the Las Vegas Raiders to gain a walk-off victory.
How the Patriots respond to the embarrassment will go a long way in determining this game.
The Bengals (-3.5 at New England on most oddsboards as of Monday) enter off of six straight covers. If they beat New England, it sets up a Week 18 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, effectively for the AFC North title.
Cincinnati will scoreboard-watch the Ravens and Atlanta Falcons. Lamar Jackson may be back at quarterback for the Ravens. They lost 13-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns without him. And bettors who wagered on Justin Tucker cannot believe his two missed field goals.
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Eagles All But Clinch NFC East
The Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys matchup has lost its urgency.
The 10-4 Cowboys won’t catch the 13-1 Philadelphia Eagles, who overcame a sub-par performance and the magic of quarterback Justin Fields to gain a non-covering, 30-25 triumph over the Chicago Bears at -8.5.
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy helped enable this situation by doing something erratic. He opted for a bomb with 56 seconds left while Dallas nursed a 34-31 lead over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The incompletion allowed Jacksonville to keep its final timeout, which was used to stop the clock and set up a game-tying field goal on the final play.
A freak deflection and walk-off score for Jacksonville followed. McCarthy not only caught heat from the media, but caused unhappiness from gamblers who had the Dallas moneyline linked to parlays.
Jalen Hurts takes matters into his own hands for the Eagles when necessary. He tallied all three of the team’s touchdowns on Sunday. The last time they struggled on the road, he scored the game-winning score in a 17-16 triumph over the Indianapolis Colts.
Meanwhile, Fields became the first quarterback since 1950 to rush for more than 70 yards five games in a row. He will remain a magician and prop-betting machine for gamblers, who will see if he can make it six against the visiting Buffalo Bills
A Moneyline Parlay That Helps Get Lions Into NFL Playoffs
Bettors keep riding the Detroit Lions gravy train. They lead the NFL with seven straight covers after surviving 20-17 against the New York Jets. Detroit also hit the Over 6.5 win total at most sportsbooks, rewarding bettors who backed them before the season.
The Lions are right in the playoff picture as they visit the Carolina Panthers as 3-point road favorites. They are tied with the 7-7 Seattle Seahawks for the last outside-looking-in spot and could be a playoff team by this time next week. Detroit trails the 7-6-1 Washington Commanders by half a game for the last position.
Seattle (+10) visits the Kansas City Chiefs, the Giants (+4) invade the Minnesota Vikings, and the Commanders (+7) visit the San Francisco 49ers. All three teams could lose, making the Lions a playoff team if they win.
The four developments would pay +320 at DraftKings in a moneyline parlay.
Figure out potential winnings: Parlay Calculator
Get-Right Time for Dolphins?
The 8-6 Miami Dolphins could be headed for “get-right” territory after three consecutive road losses. The last loss was a classic, a covering 32-29 setback against the Buffalo Bills at +7.5.
Miami (-4.5) hosts the Green Bay Packers as a deserved favorite in a Christmas Day game that sits right for them. Miami has played much better than the three losses would indicate. The Bills tallied the game-winning field goal on the final play. Miami could be due for a breakout.
Steelers Trending Up
The Pittsburgh Steelers, who are 2-point favorites when they host the Las Vegas Raiders on the 50th-anniversary celebration of the Immaculate Reception, face a rival that just obtained a miracle of its own. Both teams are 6-8 and come off victories.
Bettors are picking up one reason for Pittsburgh’s second-half improvement.
In the four weeks leading to Sunday’s 24-16 triumph over the Carolina Panthers, the Steelers were the third-best NFL team converting on third down.
That perception went on steroids in Charlotte.
The Steelers converted an astounding 12 of 16 for the game, and five of them on a drive for the ages to start the third quarter.
The Steelers slowly marched 91 yards in 21 plays, chewing up more than 11 minutes of the third-quarter clock. They converted five third downs on the drive, including a 3rd-and-10 deep in their territory. Line blocking was superb. Pittsburgh demoralized Carolina with the long drive.
This type of formula may enable them to finish the season strongly.
Chiefs Face Big Point Spreads
The Kansas City Chiefs, who struggled for a non-covering 30-24 overtime triumph over the Houston Texans, continue to face heavy point-spread lifting. The Chiefs were unable to cover a mountainous -14.5.
According to Caesars Sportsbook, road teams laying 14 or more points have now failed to cover seven consecutive times.
The Chiefs were -14.5 at Houston, their largest spread as road favorites since Sept. 21, 1969, at the Boston Patriots (-20, won 31-0), according to the book.
Bettors were divided, with 51% of the Caesars tickets and handle on the Texans.
In Week 16, the Chiefs (-10) face the scuffling Seahawks, who may soon need a life preserver. At 7-7, Seattle is leaking oil and has not covered in five weeks. Gamblers who have jumped on that trend have been banking the angle.
DraftKings Betting Recaps
Where the Public Nailed It: 94% of the money at DraftKings was on the New Orleans Saints-Atlanta Falcons game to go Under 43.5. It did, with New Orleans winning 21-18, and Atlanta covering +4.5.
Where the Slick Contrarians Prevailed: Only 15% of the moneyline handle of was on +180 for the Jaguars, who came from 27-10 down to topple the Dallas Cowboys 40-34 in overtime.
Thrill Ride That Almost Paid: Only 6% of the moneyline handle was on Houston +625 against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Texans took it all the way to overtime.
For the second time this year, the Jags paid big bucks to rank as the highest-scoring team on Sunday. Jacksonville returned a hefty +2200 to FanDuel gamblers who took them to lead the circuit. Back in Week 3, Jacksonville paid a whopping +5000 — the longest shot on the board –for its 38-10 pounding of the Los Angeles Chargers.
Books were less surprised with the Jags-Cowboys rolling up big digits. The event paid +600 as the highest-scoring game.
The Chargers and Titans paid +1200 as the low game, after the Chargers eked out a 17-14 win.
Washington also paid a sizable +2600 to be the lowest-scoring team, 12 points vs. the Giants in primetime. The gamblers who had it had to sweat out a late Washington touchdown negated by penalty.
Barkley Headlines PointsBet Payouts
Giants back Saquon Barkley generated the most handle at +130 to score against the Washington Commanders, and he delivered.
Gamblers hit two other nice props at PointsBet:
Daniel Jones to surpass 30.5 rushing yards was -110. The Giants quarterback reached 35 yards.
Washington receiver Terry McLaurin had a prop of 60.5 yards at -115 for the Over. He obtained 70 yards and bettors pocketed the ticket.