– Jon Ramsey
I can’t believe it is already week 16
Bills fans’ thoughts about their team are obscene
The playoff hopes are slim
Just like Rex’s job prospects are dim
While Whaley hides behind a smokescreen
I hope everyone has a great holiday season and that you only bet on winners this week!
Christmas Eve 1pm
Washington at Chicago (+3)
Love the Bears here, Barkley is looking like a real quarterback while the Redskins killed their playoff hopes last week. The Redskins also played on Monday night so it is a short week for them to travel to Chicago on Christmas Eve. I think that the road teams will have extra trouble this week because of the holidays. Weather could also be a problem for a team that likes to throw as much as the Redskins do. Take the Bears and the points.
Miami at Buffalo (-3.5)
Interesting spread for a Dolphins team that is 9-5 and basically just needs a win to get into the playoffs and knows that they have New England next week. I would have expected it to be lower than it is. I am torn about this game from the Bills view as I think it either goes really well with Taylor and Rex fighting to save their jobs or it goes really bad as everyone gives up on the season. If they were already eliminated from the playoff hunt, I’d lean towards the really bad side of things… but I think they fight for at least one more week.
Atlanta at Carolina (+2.5)
Carolina went into Washington with nothing to play for on a Monday night and really handled the Redskins with ease. Now they host a division rival, but still have nothing to play for, while Atlanta has Tampa Bay breathing down their necks. The showing by Carolina was the team from 2015, finally showing up. Kuechly is still unlikely to play and the Panther defense has allowed almost 275 yards passing per game, not the best stat when you are going against Matt Ryan and one of the most dynamic passing offenses the NFL has seen in years. I can’t see how the Panthers will stop the Falcons on offense, so I will lay the 2.5.
Minnesota at Green Bay (-6.5)
With the Giants losing last night, the Cowboys don’t have much to play for so in order for Green Bay to stay within 1 game of Detroit they know they must win vs the Vikings. Rodgers said that his team would run the table and have done so since. They almost slipped up vs the Bears but pulled it out in the end. The Vikings started 5-0 but have been dreadful since and got pounded at home by the Colts last week. This is a big rivalry game, but I think the Vikings are done for the season.
NY Jets at New England (-17)
When is a point spread too high? 17 points is a ton and the Jets have the type of defense that can just rush 4 and get to Brady. The Jets offense is what worries me as Bryce Petty will be the one lining up behind center. There is little doubt in my mind that NE wins this game easily, but I think it will be more like 24-14 than 31-3. I’m going to plug my nose and take the Jets.
Tennessee at Jacksonville (+5)
Are the Titans good enough to go on the road to a division rival and lay 5 points? The Jaguars got their coach fired last week after almost beating the Texans. When these two teams played earlier in the year, the Jags allowed the most points they had all season, giving up 36 to the Titans. It is little things like that, that make an out of it team play hard and besides, don’t the Jags have God on their side with Saint Doug Marrone?
San Diego at Cleveland (+5.5)
I saw a stat this week where the Browns are 2-12 vs the spread. So, not only can they not win a game, they consistent perform below the expectations of Las Vegas. In all honesty, why should that change now? If Cleveland had a win, I think teams like San Diego who have nothing to play for would take it a bit easier, but there is a pride factor at stake with players. Nobody wants to be the first to lose to a 0-14 team. Saw it with Buffalo last week and I think you will see it with the Chargers this week.
Christmas Eve 4pm
Indianapolis at Oakland (-3.5) *** Best Bet ***
The present #2 seed in the AFC is only favored by 3.5 points vs a Colts team that has to travel to the West Coast, spend Christmas Eve away from family, and need a real miracle to have a chance at the division. I can’t see how any of that helps the Colts and I can’t see how the Raiders get stopped by a Colts defense that is in the bottom of the league in pass defense. Very similar game to Carolina/Atlanta you have a good passing team playing against a bad pass defense. I think this spread is way too low and it is my best bet of the week.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans (-4)
Tampa Bay knows that if they can beat the Saints and win next week vs the Panthers they can punch their ticket to the playoffs. Yet they are 4 point underdogs to a Saints team that can score a lot of points but cannot stop anyone either. The Bucs also proved that they can slow down the Saints offense as well holding the Saints to 11 points the first time they played. I know that the Saints have lost some close games, but the Bucs are going to be so amped for this game and I cannot take the Saints laying 4, 3 maybe but 4 is too many.
San Francisco at Los Angeles (-3.5)
What an awful terrible game. There has to be better things to do in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve than to watch these two duds play. These two teams are just plain bad and my rule when 2 bad teams play is to just take the points.
Arizona at Seattle (-8.5)
These two teams played one of the most boring games of the year earlier in the year when they played to a 6-6 tie. The Seahawks have continued to play well since that game, while the Cardinals have kept up their unimpressive ways and are currently 5-8-1. There a bunch of rivalry games this weekend and this is one of them, but I can’t see Seattle taking the Cardinals lightly, they know that if they win out they get that precious 1st round bye. While the Seahawks are 2-2 in their last 4 games, I think they see the light at the end of the tunnel and finish strong.
Cincinnati at Houston (-1)
Weirdest line of the week for me as this is a must-win for Houston and they looked 1000x better with Tom Savage at quarterback. Cincy on the other hand had the Pittsburgh game won and just kinda let down at the end and their rivals from the Steel City pulled out the victory. I think the immediate reaction for most is to pour a bunch of money on the Texans. But AJ Green is supposed to return and the Texans are pretty banged up on defense. Also, the spread is really making me think that Vegas knows something that I don’t… so when I get that feeling, I go with Vegas and I am going to take Cincy.
Baltimore at Pittsburgh (-5.5)
One of the best rivalries in the NFL is a Christmas present to all of us as we get to see Pittsburgh’s dynamite offense go against the Ravens dominant defense. If the Steelers win they clinch the AFC North and really hurt the Ravens playoff hopes. However, if the Ravens win, they can clinch the division with a win in week 17 vs the Bengals, while the Steelers will be in playoff trouble. The rivalry, the playoff importance and the fact that you will most likely be sick of your family by 4pm on Christmas makes this the best game of the weekend. If you are a Bills fan, this game could also decide your team’s playoff hopes as well. The Ravens won at home 21-14 earlier in the year holding Bell to 32 yards rushing and Roethlisberger under 300 yards passing. What most people miss is that the Ravens really can’t do much on offense themselves. I like the Steelers here to win, they have home field, it is for the division and I don’t see the Ravens sweeping the Black and Yellow. But I do think it will be an exceptionally close game, so I will take the Ravens and the points.
Denver at Kansas City (-3.5)
A win and the Chiefs are in the playoffs, while the Broncos desperately need to win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. There were news stories out of Denver last week that the Denver defense was angry at the Denver offense for their lackluster performance vs the Patriots defense at home on Sunday. The defense felt that holding Tom Brady to 16 points was doing more than their fair share and wanted to see the offense score more than 3. However, I have some bad news for them, the Denver offense just isn’t very good and going against a tough Chiefs defense on Christmas night in Kansas City sure isn’t going to help things. The Chiefs aren’t going to make very many mistakes and Denver’s main plan to victory is to reply on those mistakes by their opponent. Sorry Denver, looks like the only way you will be back to the Super Bowl this year is to buy a ticket.
Detroit at Dallas (-7)
Love love love the Lions here. Dallas locked up the #1 seed with the loss by the Giants on Thursday night football. While the Lions know that Green Bay is hot on their heels and that they need to keep winning. Dallas might start to give Elliott some rest these last couple weeks and we might even see a Tony Romo sighting. Dallas still might play to win, but if they do it’ll be by less than 7. Stafford and the Lions know that they cannot let up.
– Jon Ramsey (@YardsPerPass)