NFL Week 16 best bets
Eleven games down, four more to go in Week 16 of the 2022 NFL season.
Throughout the season, our VSiN experts will combine to give their best bets on every game. Check back for more picks as we get closer to kickoff.
Odds are from DraftKings (unless noted) as of Thursday night. Go to VSiN.com for Betting Splits for each game and live odds across the NFL market.
Sunday, 1 p.m.
Wes Reynolds: The Packers have taken the early money here. Green Bay has been an afterthought considering they are just 6-8, and this has been a highly disappointing season. They are in third place in the NFC North, but they are still in the NFC Playoff chase, and the schedule sets up nicely for them with a win this week in Miami. The Pack closes the season with home divisional revenge games against Minnesota and Detroit.
Green Bay ranks 7th in Offensive DVOA on the season, and that’s up to 3rd over the past six weeks. Green Bay runs the ball very efficiently and can chew up the clock. Furthermore, Aaron Rodgers has found some rhythm with his full corps of receivers finally healthy and should exploit a beatable Miami pass defense that ranks 26th in Pass Defense DVOA.
The Packers’ main weakness is stopping the run as they rank 32nd, dead last, in Rush Defense DVOA. However, Miami is not built to take advantage of that as they are a team that relies on speed and motion in lieu of a power running game.
Miami finally comes home after a three-game road trip that sees them return on a three-game losing streak. The Dolphins ranked 20th in Overall DVOA the last three games, including 21st on offense. The Chargers and the 49ers showed the blueprint for slowing down the speedy Dolphins offense by jamming Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and the entire receiving corps and taking away the middle of the field. Last week, the Dolphins gained 405 yards and averaged 7.1 ypp in the 32-29 loss at Buffalo. That looks impressive on the surface, but they had two big plays each of 67 yards. Take away those two plays and Miami averaged just 4.93 ypp.
Green Bay is finally coming together, while Miami is starting to feel the pressure of trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016 with essentially a new team that has never done it before. Meanwhile, the Packers have made the postseason three straight seasons and in 11 of the past 13 seasons. Experience matters this time of year. Aaron Rodgers is also 8-1 ATS in his last nine games as an underdog.
Pick: Packers +4
Sunday, 4:30 p.m.
Adam Burke: The Broncos are going to get Russell Wilson back this week and have become a clear road favorite against the Rams. The shine came off of Baker Mayfield in the frigid conditions of Lambeau Field, and now he draws a Broncos defense that has held up its end of the bargain and been one of the league’s top units throughout most of the season.
The Rams’ defense has stiffened a little bit lately. Aaron Donald is still week-to-week with his ankle injury, so he may not return this week, but it may not matter. Denver is 30th in Rush EPA and 27th in Rush Success Rate. The Broncos are 29th in EPA/play overall. The Wilson experiment has not worked out, and the Nathaniel Hackett experiment has really not worked out.
The Mayfield experiment has the chance to work out. Sean McVay did well with Jared Goff after a horrendous first season with the Rams. Baker has shown flashes in his career but has been pulled down by injury, and he’s had balls batted down at the line of scrimmage. Now that he’s going back inside at SoFi Stadium, there’s a good chance he looks better this week than he did last week in the bitter cold against the Packers.
Frankly, I just don’t think the Broncos are worthy of laying a road price against anybody. I like the under here, but I also like the Rams getting points.
Pick: Rams +2.5
Sunday, 8:20 p.m.
Dave Tuley: This wasn’t among my plays earlier this week, as I didn’t feel the Cardinals were getting enough points. The Buccaneers opened at -4, and then the line went to -6.5 when it was announced that Arizona’s Colt McCoy would be out and Trace McSorley would make his first NFL start. The line has since steamed to 7.5, and I can’t resist taking the Christmas/Sunday night dog getting more than a touchdown. (Note: SNF dogs are 10-5 ATS on the season.)
I know it’s hard to trust the Cardinals, who have lost their last four games and six of seven, with the only win coming against the equally disappointing Rams. The Cardinals are also only 2-5 ATS down the stretch, as they’ve barely been competitive.
However, even though the Buccaneers (6-8) lead the NFC South, they’ve underperformed all season and shouldn’t be favored by more than a touchdown over anyone. Tom Brady has a knack for keeping his team in games, even when the offense is struggling, but the strength of the team is the defense that ranks No. 7, allowing just 314.7 yards per game. That has led to this having a low Over/Under of 39.5 points, even though it’s not among the Week 16 “weather games.”
Pick: Cardinals +7.5