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NFL Week 16: Jack’s Best Bets for Sunday’s Games

NFL Week 16 Best Bets for Sunday's Games

NFL WEEK 16 BEST BETS FOR SUNDAY'S GAMES - The NFL scheduled most of its games for Saturday and left us a trio of Christmas clunkers to ring in the holiday season. If these games have you feeling like the Grinch, worry not. Your favorite NFL handicapper happens to be alone today with nothing better to do than tell you to take the under in the Broncos game.

Even without the punch in our eggnog, these games do give rise to some pretty important questions. Will Santa visit the Dolphins and keep them in the playoff hunt? Will Baker Mayfield play Rudolph and save the afternoon game? Is Tom Brady going to talk to his kids today?

Writing those stupid puns will be the most fun I have all day. Let's get to the picks.

Green Bay Packers at Miami Dolphins


















Kickoff: 1:00 pm on FOX

The most intriguing game of the day arrives only a few moments after you've finished clearing the wrapping paper your kids flung across the room in hopes you bought them a professional grade camera so they can become a TikTok star.

The Green Bay Packers (6-8) travel to sunny South Beach to face the Miami Dolphins (8-6). The Dolphins try to stop a three-game skid after a tough loss to Buffalo last Sunday. Miami cannot clinch a playoff berth with a win, but they can put themselves in an advantageous position and hold onto the 7th spot in the playoff hunt.

Santa visited the Packers on Christmas Eve. Green Bay needed four teams to lose in order to stay in the hunt. All four teams lost on Saturday, which keeps Aaron Rodgers' hopes alive that he can make the playoffs, lose in the Wild Card round, and then go on the Pat McAfee show and complain. A Christmas miracle indeed.

The line opened at the Packers +2.5 and has ticked up to +3.5.

Evenly Matched

The Packers have slowly improved their offensive numbers all season. Per Football Outsiders, Green Bay ranks 7th in offensive pass DVOA and 3rd in offensive rush DVOA. Packers running back, Aaron Jones, has been incredibly efficient this year, ranking 4th in DYAR. He has a 56% success rate as well.

The problem for the Packers is that Miami has a serviceable run defense and a good front seven. Where the Dolphins struggle is in the passing game. They rank 26th in defensive pass DVOA. If Aaron Rodgers can hit his receivers, the Packers can score points.

The Packers defense has been much maligned, but the secondary has improved this season. Green Bay's defense still stinks against the run and the Dolphins rely on the run more than people think. I expect both teams to utilize the run until it stops working. Expect fireworks in the second half.

This game is evenly matched for a lot of reasons. I have the line at Packers +3, so I am happy to hammer the underdog here and get the half point.

Jack's Pick

Packers +3.5

Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Rams


















Kickoff: 4:30 pm on CBS

Los Angeles does Christmas the right way: it's never cold and there's a designer jewelry store on every corner. Hopefully, Sean McVay will enjoy his last Christmas in L.A., before he abandons his team, absconds with the franchise secrets to success, and joins the FOX broadcasting company to say things like "Well, I think the Steelers have a great run game."

The Denver Broncos (4-10) will take their stout defense and silly offense on the road in a Christmas afternoon game against the reeling Los Angeles Rams (4-10).

Neither of these teams are playing for much. Russell Wilson is back from concussion protocol and should have all his offensive weapons. Not that it matters. Meanwhile, Baker Mayfield will attempt to crack the code against one of the best defensive units in the game.

Anemic Offenses

I don't see much value in this line, because you can't count on either team to play consistent football. Both offenses are weak. Per Football Outsiders, The Rams are ranked 27th in DVOA for total offense, while the Broncos are ranked 28th. Neither of these offenses play particularly fast either. Denver runs a play every 27.55 seconds and it takes the Rams over 29 seconds between plays.

The only play in this game is the under. The under is 11-3 in Broncos games this year. Vegas can't seem to adjust this points total low enough for the under to stop hitting.

The only caveat with the under play is that the Broncos seem to have figured something out on offense over the last two weeks. Denver is averaging 26 points over their last two games and the under is 0-2 over that stretch. However, Denver's opponents were the Chiefs and the Cardinals. The other team has to score in order for the over to hit. The Rams offense is hardly as potent as the Chiefs.

Play the trends here and take the under.

Jack's Pick

Under 36.5 Total Points

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals



















Kickoff: 8:20 pm on NBC

I'm not going to make any more jokes about how Tom Brady is alone for Christmas. I am also alone today. Tom and I will be the only ones watching this game. I'll watch it on my living room couch that has two broken legs because I sat down on it too quickly. Brady will watch the game from an iPad he'll chuck into a heater before halftime.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8) attempt to hold onto the division lead over the surging Carolina Panthers, as they travel to Arizona to play the Kyler-less Cardinals (4-10).

This line opened at Cardinals +3 but shot up to +7.5 after news broke that Colt McCoy had been ruled out with a concussion. Trace McSorley will get the start for Arizona as they try to upset the Bucs.

Rookie QBs

Tom Brady had never lost to a rookie QB in their first start until he ran into Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers. I don't expect a repeat of the Purdy game, because the Cardinals defense stinks and Arizona doesn't know how to utilize their weapons or protect a young QB.

The Buccaneers have a lot to play for ever since the Panthers resurgence.  The Bucs should be motivated to put Arizona away quickly. Yes, yes. Tamp Bay is 1-8-1 in their last 10 games ATS. That's horrible, but the Cardinals are 4-6 in their last 10 ATS.

Neither of these teams want to cover, but Arizona will have too much trouble scoring in this one to keep it close. Look for a blowout.

Jack's Pick

Buccaneers -7.5

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