There are quite a few road teams that are playing for their playoff lives in Week 16. According to BetMGM’s NFL betting lines, 11 teams opened as road underdogs this week.
Many of these teams, like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills, are right on the playoff bubble and need wins to get into the postseason.
With this in mind, here are three road teams I like on the NFL underdog betting lines to cover the spread in Week 16.
Bills (+2.5) at Patriots
- Date: Sunday, Dec. 26th
- Time: 1:00 PM EST on CBS
- Venue: Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA
- Participants: Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots
These teams played in Week 14 on Monday Night Football when the New England Patriots won a memorably windy game, 14-10.
Mac Jones only attempted three passes, and Josh Allen could only muster 15 completions.
Buffalo’s first meeting with New England was stylistically unusual for the offensive-minded Bills, as they rank seventh in passing offense (and fifth in passes attempted) among all NFL teams. The weather clearly hampered their typical game management plans.
If the Pats have to abandon the run game to keep up with a Bills’ passing barrage, they could struggle. The Patriots attempt the 25th-most passes per game and are 17th in passing offense (227.4 passing yards per game).
Buffalo averages the 13th-most rushing yards per game, while New England ranks 24th in rushing yards allowed (122.4 per game).
A win in this game would help solidify the Bills’ chances of making the postseason. I expect their balanced offensive attack to give them an advantage in this game.
Colts (+1) at Cardinals
- Date: Saturday, Dec. 25th
- Time: 8:15 PM EST on NFL Network
- Venue: University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ
- Participants: Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals
The Indianapolis Colts have gone 5-1 in their last six games, while the Arizona Cardinals have gone 3-3.
The Colts won their last two games by outscoring their opponents 58-17. Meanwhile, Arizona dropped its previous two games, including a double-digit loss to the lowly Detriot Lions.
Colts running back Jonathan Taylor leads the league with 17 touchdowns and 1,518 rushing yards. Furthermore, Indianapolis is 8-0 this season when Taylor reaches the 100-yard rushing mark in a game.
I expect that trend to continue in this game, as the Cardinals are not particularly good at stopping the run, ranking only 17th in rush yards allowed per game (112.8).
The stingy Colts defense should also give the struggling Cardinals offense problems, as their 2.2 turnovers per game is best in the NFL. I believe the Colts will win this game outright and hand their Cardinals their third-straight loss.
Steelers (+10) at Chiefs
It’s hard to bet against the Kansas City Chiefs right now. After winning seven straight games, the Chiefs once again look like potential Super Bowl champions.
The Steelers love to keep games close, though, and I believe they can cover this spread.
Pittsburgh has lost by more than 10 points only twice this season, both times to the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Steelers’ defensive strengths also match up well with the Chiefs. They rank 11th in passing yards allowed per game, the area where Kansas City excels on offense. Pittsburgh’s defense has also played well on third down, holding opponents to a 38.95% conversion rate, which is 13th in the league.
Maybe most importantly, the Chiefs currently have 13 players in COVID-19 protocols, including Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Obviously, these are two of the Chiefs’ primary weapons and will be hard to replace.
If the Steelers can limit the Chiefs’ passing attack and get stops on third down, I think they’ll be able to keep this game within double digits and cover the spread.
NFL Underdog Betting Lines: Week 16
Road underdogs can provide a lot of value to bettors, especially with the playoffs looming.
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