NFL chalk favorites and Overs reigned supreme to start December, much to the chagrin of sportsbooks, which suffered their worst two-week stretch of the season. But in Week 15 we saw regression finally hit as dogs went 6-4 ATS on Sunday and Unders went 7-3. Unders are now 123-97 (56 percent) on the season. With COVID-19 causing major headaches and volatile line moves, value-driven bettors may look to buy low on inflated dogs and also lean on teasers the rest of the way.
With that in mind, here are five games wise guys are targeting in Week 16.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS (PICK-’EM, 49.5)
These playoff hopefuls are trending in opposite directions. The Colts (8-6 SU, 9-5 ATS) are 7-2 over their last nine games and just beat the Patriots 27-17, covering as 1-point home favorites. Meanwhile, the Cardinals (10-4 SU, 9-5 ATS) once had the NFL's best record but have since lost two straight and just fell 30-12 to the lowly Lions, losing outright as 13-point road favorites. This early lookahead line was Cardinals -4. Sharps aren't outsmarting themselves on this one. As soon as this number dropped, wise guys pounced on the red-hot Colts plus the points, dropping the line down Arizona -1 or even a pick-'em. Short road dogs + 3 or less are 24-12 ATS (67 percent) this season. Craig Wrolstad, the lead ref, has historically favored road teams (67-50 ATS, 57 percent). The Colts also have a rest advantage, having played on Saturday while the Cardinals played Sunday.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-9.5, 45.5) AT HOUSTON TEXANS
The Chargers (8-6 SU, 7-7 ATS) just fell to the Chiefs 34-28, failing to cover as 3-point home dogs. Meanwhile, the Texans (3-11 SU, 6-8 ATS) just took down the Jags 30-16, winning outright as 6-point road dogs. This line opened with Los Angeles as an 11-point road favorite. The public is happy to back Justin Herbert and lay the points against the lowly Texans. However, we've seen this line tumble from Chargers -11 to -9.5. This was a result of a plethora of positive COVID-19 tests for Los Angeles. Conference dogs are 87-62 ATS (58 percent) this season. Home dogs of 7 points or more in December are roughly 55 percent ATS over the past decade. The Texans are one of your top contrarian plays of the week as well, with more than 75 percent of tickets backing the Chargers.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT NEW YORK JETS (-2.5, 41.5)
In the NFL draft was held today, these teams would have two of the top four picks. The Jags (2-12 SU, 4-10 ATS) have dropped six straight and just fell to the Texans 30-16, losing outright as 6-point home favorites. The Jets (3-11 SU, 4-10 ATS) have lost three straight and just fell to the Dolphins 31-24, although New York covered as a 10-point road dog. This line opened with the Jets as 1.5-point home favorites. The public sees two awful teams and doesn't know which to back. Yet we've seen the Jets move from -1.5 to -2.5, signaling sharp money laying the points with the short home favorite. Keep an eye on the weather in this one. The forecast calls for low 30s with possibly some rain and 15-mph winds. The total is 41.5. Tony Corrente, the lead ref, is 58 percent to the Under historically. The Jags are 11-3 to the Under this season.
DENVER BRONCOS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (-1, 41.5)
These AFC West rivals’ playoff hopes are hanging by a thread. The Broncos (7-7 SU, 7-7 ATS) just lost to the Bengals 15-10, losing outright as 3-point home favorites. Meanwhile, the Raiders (7-7 SU, 5-9 ATS) just beat the Browns 16-14, although they failed to cover as 3-point road favorites. This line opened at a pick-'em. We've seen respected money back Las Vegas, pushing the Raiders to a 1-point home favorite. One reason for the line move to Vegas: the Broncos are expected to start backup quarterback Drew Lock in place of injured Teddy Bridgewater. We've also seen some Under money show up, dropping the total from 42.5 to 41.5. Denver is 11-3 to the Under this season. Late-season divisional Unders are 17-12 (59 percent) since Week 11.
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-3, 39)
This “Monday Night Football” matchup features teams on winning streaks. The Dolphins (7-7 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) started the season 1-7 but have since won six straight. Miami just knocked off the Jets 31-24, although the Dolphins failed to cover as a 10-point home favorite. The Saints (7-7 SU, 7-7 ATS) have won two straight and just knocked off the Buccaneers 9-0, winning outright as 11.5-point road dogs. This line opened with New Orleans as a 3.5-point home favorite. The public is all over the Saints at home after their big win, yet we've seen this line fall from 3.5 to 3. This signals some sharp money grabbing the points with Miami. Prime-time dogs are 26-18 ATS (59 percent) this season. Road dogs + 7 or less are 61-27 ATS (69 percent). The total opened at a low 40 and has fallen to 39, signaling respected money backing a low-scoring game. Adrian Hill, the lead ref, is 29-16 (64 percent) to the Under. Both teams are 6-8 to the Under. Nonconference Unders are 42-28 (60 percent) this season.