NFL Week 16 Preview, Odds, & Predictions

Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints passes against the Kansas City Chiefs during the third quarter in the game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 20, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Just two weeks remain in the 2020 NFL regular season. Here’s what you need to know for each Week 16 matchup and what the NFL betting lines are. BetMGM has all the NFL betting action you need, including futures, weekly betting lines, and live online sports betting.

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Minnesota @ New Orleans (-7)

The Skinny: A little Christmas Day football action to start Week 16. Minnesota’s playoff hopes are 98 percent gone after losing to Chicago last week. And New Orleans is one game back from the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Drew Brees was up-and-down in his first game back from injured ribs. He should have a better showing against a Vikings defense with young cornerbacks and a poor pass rush.

The Prediction: Saints 28-21

Tampa Bay (-9) @ Detroit

The Skinny: Tampa Bay’s offense seemed like it needed a wake-up call all season. It may have gotten one last week, trailing 17-0 at halftime to the struggling Falcons before coming back to win 31-27. The Bucs face the worst scoring defense in the league, giving them another chance to score big. Tampa Bay is 6-0 this season when scoring at least 28.6 points.

The Prediction: Buccaneers 34-14

San Francisco @ Arizona (-4)

The Skinny: Arizona is clinging to the No. 7 seed in the NFC right now at 8-6, one game ahead of the 7-7 Bears. Once hovering around .500, the 49ers are now 5-9 and are on a three-game losing streak. The Cardinals had a close call last week against Philadelphia. They’ll want to jump on a 49ers team that is 5-9 against the spread.

The Prediction: Cardinals 24-14

Miami (-2.5) @ Las Vegas

The Skinny: Raiders quarterback Derek Carr says he hopes to play this week. If not, Marcus Mariota filled in nicely for the injured Carr last week. And what a fun matchup it would be to see Mariota vs. Tua Tagovailoa. This is a pivotal game in the AFC playoff picture. Miami is currently the No. 7 seed at 9-5. Las Vegas is No. 9 at 7-7. The Dolphins are slightly favored and are 11-3 against the spread.

The Prediction: Dolphins 31-24

Atlanta @ Kansas City (-10)

The Skinny: The Chiefs are 13-1 and on a nine-game winning streak. But they haven’t exactly been dominating lately. Their last six wins have all come by six points or less. Kansas City now faces a Falcons team that is 4-10 but just gave playoff-hopeful Tampa Bay a close game. We’ve seen some upsets in recent weeks to top NFL teams like Pittsburgh and New Orleans. Don’t be surprised to see a one-possession game here.

The Prediction: Chiefs 35-27

Cleveland (-8.5) @ New York Jets

The Skinny: The Jets are no longer winless, which has received a mixed reaction from fans as they no longer own the No. 1 overall pick. It was a quality win, too, against a playoff-contender in the LA Rams. Cleveland has no time to mess around in this one. The Browns are right in the middle of a tight AFC playoff race at No. 5. Teams four-through-six are all 10-4, while teams seven-through-eight are 9-5.

The Prediction: Browns 41-24

Indianapolis (-2.5) @ Pittsburgh

Darius Leonard #53 of the Indianapolis Colts and Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers dive for a loose ball at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 22, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The Skinny: The Steelers are falling fast. After an 11-0 start, they have lost three straight games, with the last coming against a now 3-10-1 Bengals squad. Indianapolis is on the opposite trajectory, winning three straight games to hit 10-4. This game has a huge impact on the AFC playoff seeds. Two teams are 11-3, and three teams are 10-4. Pittsburgh is struggling right now offensively and hasn’t scored more than 20 points in the last four games. The Colts have the 11th best scoring defense.

The Prediction: Colts 27-17

Carolina @ Washington (-2)

The Skinny: Carolina has the worst record in the NFC and isn’t playing for much at this point in the season. Washington is clinging to its playoff spot right now at 6-8, but NFC East rivals Dallas and the Giants are 5-9, and Philly isn’t out of the mix either at 4-9-1. Washington is playing solid ball right now, winning four straight games until narrowly losing 20-15 to Seattle. Its last two games are against Carolina and the Eagles. Washington just has to win out to reach the postseason.

The Prediction: Washington 21-14

Chicago (-7) @ Jacksonville

The Skinny: Mitch Trubisky has injected some life into this Chicago team after returning as the starting QB. The Bears have won two straight and are 7-7, currently one game behind Arizona for the last seed in the NFC. There’s little to suggest Jacksonville has a shot at a win here, especially since the Jaguars “control their own destiny” for the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The Prediction: Bears 35-14

New York Giants @ Baltimore (-10)

The Skinny: New York’s four-game winning streak has quickly turned into a two-game losing skid. The Giants have averaged 6.5 points per game in these last two losses. Baltimore, meanwhile, has a great record of 9-5 but currently sits one spot out of the playoff picture because the 9-5 Dolphins have the tie-breaker. The Ravens have an 8-5-1 record against the spread this season and won’t need to do too much offensively to get a W in this one.

The Prediction: Ravens 24-10

Cincinnati @ Houston (-9)

The Skinny: The Bengals were a bit of an afterthought coming into last week. At 2-10-1 and without their one bright spot in rookie quarterback Joe Burrow, no one thought much of Cincinnati’s game against Pittsburgh. That is until the Bengals upset the Steelers 27-17. On the flipside, Houston is 4-10 and losers of three straight. The only people paying attention to this game are fans of both teams and bettors. Cincinnati is 8-6 against the spread, and Houston is 5-9.

The Prediction: Bengals 28-24

Denver @ Los Angeles Chargers (-3)

The Skinny: Both teams are 5-9 and out of playoff contention. For the bettors, Denver is 5-2 against the spread on the road this year while LA is 3-4 ATS at home. Also, the Chargers are 1-3 ATS when being at least 3-point favorites.

The Prediction: Denver 24-21

Philadelphia (-1.5) @ Dallas

The Skinny: Neither team here is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs despite 5-9 and 4-9-1 records. There’s a renewed sense of energy with the Eagles, though. Jalen Hurts has impressed in his first two starts. He’ll continue to win over the Philly fan base with a win over rival Dallas.

The Prediction: Eagles 28-24

Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle (-2.5)

The Skinny: Everyone loves to see the New York Jets as their opponent for the week. That is until you hand them their first win of the season. That’s what the Rams did last week. But it’s important not to let that spiral the season out of control. The Rams are still sitting fine at 9-5 overall, one game back in the NFC West behind Seattle. Even with empty stands, the Seahawks are still tough to beat at home and are 6-1 at newly-named Lumen Field.

The Prediction: Seahawks 31-28

Tennessee @ Green Bay (-3.5)

The Skinny: This is a tremendous matchup that will influence playoff seeds. The Titans are holding on to the No. 4 AFC seed right now at 10-4, but AFC South rival Indianapolis is 10-4, as well. Green Bay is one game ahead of New Orleans for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. The Packers have had two close games against opponents they probably should have handled easier — Detroit and Carolina. Give us the Packers at home, where they are 6-1 this season.

The Prediction: Packers 28-27

Buffalo (-6.5) @ New England

The Skinny: Buffalo continues to climb into the conversation as legit Super Bowl contenders. The Bills have the No. 2 seed in the AFC at 11-3. Both sides of the ball are playing well right now, most notably quarterback Josh Allen and his top target Stefon Diggs, who has the third-most receiving yards in the NFL with 1,314. The Bills should handle New England, who had a mini midseason turnaround to hit .500 before losing two straight games where the offense scored three and 12 points.

The Prediction: Bills 35-14

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Sam Herder is a writer for BetMGM and HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.

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