Bring on those Saturday games in NFL Week 16

December 17, 2019 12:04 AM

The Saints destroyed the Colts 34-7 on Monday Night Football, cashing one of the easiest wins of the year for the public as more than two-thirds of bets laid the points with New Orleans. The Saints opened at -8, reached -10 and closed at -8.5 or -9. Brave contrarian bettors cashed the under, which opened at 45.5 and was bet up to 49.5. It was a big win for the books as nearly nine-out-of-10 bets took the over. Primetime unders are now 29-17 on the season (63%). Drew Brees stole the show, going 29-30 for 307 yards and 4 touchdowns. In the process, Brees tossed his 540th career touchdown pass, breaking Peyton Manning's all-time record. 


As we turn our attention to Week 16, one unique variable to keep in mind is that Thursday Night Football is over, but we have three Saturday NFL games on tap. Historically, Saturday December games have provided a big edge to road teams.


Since 2003, Saturday road teams have gone 46-29 ATS (61.4%) according to Bet Labs Sports. Road favorites have gone 20-10-2 ATS (66.7%) while road dogs have gone 26-19 ATS (57.8%). 


Here are the matches for this Saturday

Texans -2.5 at Buccaneers

Bills plus 6.5 at Patriots

Rams plus 6.5 at 49ers


Tuesday's betting slate features 6 NBA games, 11 NHL games and 30 College Basketball games. For an updated betting breakdown of Tuesday's action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 3:30 p.m. ET.


Now let's discuss where early sharp action is going for NFL Week 16.


Dallas Cowboys (7-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)

Of all the Week 16 games, this one has the most on the line. These NFC East rivals are both 7-7 and engaged in a heated battle for the division crown and final playoff spot. Dallas snapped a 3-game losing skid last week with a clutch 44-21 blowout win over the Rams as 1-point dogs. The Cowboys are 8-6 ATS and plus 90 in point differential, averaging 27 PPG on offense and giving up 20.57 PPG on defense. The Eagles, once left for dead, have won two in a row, most recently beating the Redskins 37-27 and covering the -6.5 in epic fashion on a last-second fumble recovery scoop and score. Philadelphia is 5-9 ATS and plus 6 in point differential, averaging 23.86 PPG on offense and giving up 23.43 PPG on defense. These two teams met in late October and Dallas blew out Philadelphia 37-10 as 3-point favorites. 


This line opened with Dallas listed as a short 2.5-point road favorite. The recency biased public is loading up on the Cowboys, who looked great in last week's resounding win over the Rams. With more than three-out-of-four bets laying the points, the line briefly ticked up to 3. That's when value-minded pros got down hard on the Eagles at the key number of plus 3, which then dropped the line back down to 2.5. Philadelphia has value as a contrarian home divisional dog. Sharps have also leaned on the under, dropping the total down from 47.5 to 46.5. December divisional unders are 10-5 (67%) this season and 57% since 2003. The forecast calls for low 40s and 5 MPH winds. The over is 9-5 in Cowboys games and 7-7 in Eagles games. 


Green Bay Packers (11-3) at Minnesota Vikings (10-4)

This Monday Night Football grudge match has huge implications for the NFC North standings and playoff seeding. The Packers (11-3) lead the division and have clinched a playoff berth. Green Bay is riding a 3-game winning streak, most recently beating the Bears 21-13 as 4.5-point favorites. The Packers are 9-5 ATS and plus 47 in point differential, averaging 23.57 PPG on offense and giving up 20.21 PPG on defense. The Vikings (10-4) have yet to clinch a playoff spot. But if the playoffs started today, they would be in as the 6th seed. They also have an outside shot of leapfrogging the Packers in the division. Minnesota has won two straight, most recently crushing the Chargers 39-10 as 1-point road favorites. The Vikings are 8-6 ATS and plus 119 in point differential, averaging 27 PPG on offense and giving up 18.5 PPG on defense. These two teams met in Week 2 and the Packers won 21-16 as 3-point home favorites. 


This line opened with Minnesota listed as a 4-point home favorite. In a classic Pros vs Joes mismatch, two thirds of bets are taking the points with the Packers but sharps have gotten down hard on Minnesota, pushing the line up to -4.5 or -5 at some shops. Green Bay has value as road divisional dog (23-17 ATS 58% this season) and a short road dog plus 6 or less (51-37 ATS, 58%). The Vikings have value as a primetime contrarian "fade the trendy dog" favorite in the most heavily bet game of the week. The total has dipped from 46.5 to 45.5. December divisional unders are 10-5 (67%) this season and 57% since 2003. Primetime unders are 28-17 (62%) this season. The under is 8-6 in Vikings games but 6-8 in Packers games. 


Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6) at New York Jets (5-9)

If the playoffs started today, the Steelers would sneak in as the 6th and final seed. However, Pittsburgh can't afford a slip up down the stretch because the Titans (8-6) are right on its heels. The Steelers (7-5-2 ATS) just fell to the Bills 17-10 as 1-point home favorites, which snapped their three-game winning streak. Pittsburgh is plus 10 in point differential, averaging 19.21 PPG on offense and allowing 18.5 PPG on defense. The Jets (5-9 ATS) have no shot at the playoffs and are coming off a 42-21 loss to the Ravens last Thursday night as 17-point dogs. New York is -96 in point differential, averaging 17.64 PPG on offense and allowing 24.5 PPG on defense. 


This line opened with the Steelers listed as 3-point road favorites. Despite receiving two-thirds of bets, this line has remained frozen at 3 or even ticked down to 2.5 at some shops. This signals sharp reverse line movement with wiseguys grabbing the Jets are the key number of plus 3. New York enjoys 3 extra days of rest, having last played Dec. 12 vs Steelers last playing Dec. 15. The Jets also have value as a contrarian home dog with a low total (38.5). Low totals benefit dogs as the fewer amount of points expected to be scored levels the playing field and makes it harder for the favorite to cover. The forecast calls for low 40s and 5-8 MPH winds. The under is 11-3 in Steelers games and 7-7 in Jets games.


More sharp action

Bengals plus 1.5 to plus 1 at Dolphins

Texans-Bucs Under 52.5 to 51

Raiders-Chargers Under 47 to 46

Ravens-Browns Under 49 to 48.5


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