Top Five Week 16 NFL Games & Odds
What are the top five games in Week 16 of the NFL? There’s another great slate this week and here is an early look at the top matchups.
1. Falcons at Saints, 1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday
First place in the NFC South is still up for grabs with New Orleans, Atlanta and Carolina all competing in a three-horse race. The Saints currently own the top spot in the division but if the Falcons win in New Orleans on Sunday and beat Carolina at home in Week 17, they would win the South. Oddsmakers clearly don’t envision that scenario playing out, however. According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Falcons are a 6-point road underdog this weekend in New Orleans. They were woefully unimpressive against a banged-up Bucs team in Tampa on Monday and will now play the Saints on short rest. That said, they did beat the Saints two weeks ago in Atlanta and the underdog is 7-1 against the spread in the last eight meetings between these two teams.
2. Vikings at Packers, 8:30 p.m. ET, Saturday
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the line for this game is currently off the board. The reason being is because oddsmakers don’t know if Aaron Rodgers will start against the Vikings with nothing to play for in Green Bay. With the Falcons’ 24-21 win over the Buccaneers on Monday night, Atlanta eliminated Green Bay from playoff contention. Thus, there’s no reason for Rodgers to play versus Minnesota on Saturday night. That said, Rodgers is ultra competitive and the Packers could decide that they owe it to the league to have their starting quarterback play. While novel, that’s not exactly the smartest thing to do so we’ll all have to wait to see what Green Bay decides. The Vikings wrapped up the NFC North title with a win over the Bengals last week but they could still get home field advantage throughout the playoffs if they were to win their remaining two games and the Eagles were to go 0-2.
3. Seahawks at Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. ET, Sunday
Even though both of these teams are currently on the outside looking, this is still a fascinating matchup. First of, Ezekiel Elliott returns from his six-game suspension this week and the Cowboys managed to win three straight games without him. Now at 8-6, the Cowboys could still land the sixth seed in the NFC if they win out and get a little help. Thus, this Sunday in Dallas is an elimination game against Seattle. In order to earn a playoff spot, the Cowboys need to win out, they have to have the Lions lose one more game, and they have to have one of the top three NFC South teams lose out. Atlanta could be that team, as the Falcons visit the Saints and host the Panthers the final two weeks.
The Seahawks, meanwhile, need to close out the year with wins at Dallas and home against Arizona, plus need another Lions loss and some help from the NFC South as well. After they were routed by the Rams last Sunday at home, Seattle is a 5-point road dog this weekend in Dallas after opening as only a 3-point underdog.
4. Bills at Patriots, 1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday
New England wrapped up first place in the AFC East Division with a win last Sunday in Pittsburgh but there’s still work left to do. The Patriots need to beat the Bills and Jets in the final two weeks to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. They should beat Buffalo on Sunday, but the Patriots are 11.5-point home favorite and public bettors are actually siding with the underdog Bills right now. Buffalo, at 8-6, is now in control of its own playoff fate. They finish the season against the Patriots and Dolphins and if they lose on Sunday they’ll need to beat Miami and get some help in the AFC in order to make the playoffs. We won’t go over all the scenarios for the Bills. Just know they have a shot.
5. Rams at Titans, 1:00 p.m. ET, Sunday
One week after destroying the Seahawks in Seattle, the Rams are now a 6.5-point road favorite to beat a struggling Titans team that still has aspirations of making the playoffs themselves. L.A. will clinch the NFC West with just one more win over the Titans or 49ers the next two weeks. They could also get in with one more Seattle loss (at Dallas, Arizona). The Titans, meanwhile, could still get in with a loss this weekend and a win over the Jaguars in Week 17. But with the way they’re currently playing, nobody would be surprised to see Tennessee complete its collapse and lose the next two weekends, even if Jacksonville has nothing to play for in Week 17.