The NFL Playoff Race: A Week 16 Snapshot

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BetMGM Staff @BETMGM Dec 21, 2021, 2:45 PM

The NFL Playoff race will come down to the wire this season. With so many NFL teams still vying for playoff spots, there are a handful of intriguing NFL betting lines with postseason implications this week. So let’s have a look at two Week 16 matchups that will have a major impact on the playoff standings.

Buffalo at New England (-2.5)

  • Date: Sunday, Dec. 26th
  • Time: 1:00 P.M. EST on CBS
  • Venue: Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA
  • Participants: Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots

The Buffalo Bills play the New England Patriots this week in a game with significant playoff implications.

The Patriots passed only three times to beat the Bills 14-10 in Week 13. The Patriots rushed the ball 46 times for 222 yards, in part because of the weather.

However, the Patriots got run over by Jonathan Taylor and the Indianapolis Colts last week. Taylor rushed 29 times for 170 yards and a touchdown while Carson Wentz only attempted 12 passes.

The Patriots are first in the NFL in points allowed per game (16.2), while the Bills are second (17.4). Both teams also do well at defending the pass, with Buffalo ranked first in passing yards allowed per game (175.6) and the Patriots third (185.1). The Patriots have a weakness that I think could cost them this game, though: run defense.

Buffalo has a capable running back in Devin Singletary, who has 134 carries for 633 yards and a 4.7 average. With Cole Beasley out this week and in COVID/reserve, the Bills might need more focus on the ground attack. Considering that the Patriots have allowed an average of 198.3 yards per game on the ground in their last three games, I think Buffalo will find success with their rushing attack and win this week.

Denver at Las Vegas (-1.5)

This week will be the second time in their last two games that the Las Vegas Raiders will face a backup quarterback.

Both of these 7-7 NFL teams have a chance of getting into the playoffs, but they’ll need a win this week to keep pace in a crowded AFC race.

I don’t expect Drew Lock to match numbers with Derek Carr this week. The Las Vegas Raiders quarterback averages 297.3 yards per game and ranks 11th at the position in QBR. Drew Lock has received significant playing time twice this season. The first time was in Week 4 against the Baltimore Ravens. He was 12 of 21 for 113 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. He also filled in last week after Teddy Bridgewater was injured in the third quarter and was six of twelve for 88 yards and a touchdown.

The Ravens give up the second-most passing yards in the NFL per game (264.9), and the Bengals are 26th (249.8). The Raiders are ranked 13th (225.3). I don’t believe Lock can have much success against a better defense than the one he faced in Week 4 or last week.

I believe that this will be a low-scoring game, but I have more faith in Carr against the Broncos defense than I do in Drew Lock. I’m picking the Raiders to win by a touchdown.

NFL Playoff Race In Week 16

We can’t ask for a better gift on a holiday weekend than a week full of NFC action featuring teams vying for a spot in the postseason.

So who do you think makes the most significant moves in the playoff standings this week? Open an account today at BetMGM’s sports betting site and make your picks. You can receive a risk-free bet of up to $1,000.

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Our BetMGM authors are sports experts, with a wealth of knowledge of the sports betting industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news across players, teams and coaches, providing betting previews and predictions, fun facts and more.

Our BetMGM authors are sports experts, with a wealth of knowledge of the sports betting industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news across players, teams and coaches, providing betting previews and predictions, fun facts and more.