It is hard to believe that there are only three weeks left of the regular season. Of course, it would usually only be two weeks, but the NFL added the 18th week and that means one more set of games before the playoffs. Hopefully this current COVID outbreak and the adjusted protocols allow players, fans and bettors to enjoy the postseason to the fullest.
Lines are out for Week 16, but there are a lot more uncertainties than usual. Along with COVID worries, there are two Monday games and two Tuesday games to finish up the previous week.
The thing about COVID is that it can work both ways. It can hurt you with the line that you get or help you with a number that you’d have no chance of getting as news breaks. It is a risk that simply comes with the territory right now in the NFL.
Here are two early lines I like for Week 16:
San Francisco 49ers (-3.5, 44.5) at Tennessee Titans
This is a short week for the Niners, who have to make the long trip to Nashville and play on Thursday night, but this is a story of two teams going in opposite directions. San Francisco is playing extremely well right now. The 49ers grade highly in advanced metrics like DVOA and the Titans are falling off the face of the earth without Derrick Henry. Ryan Tannehill isn’t good enough to carry this offense and Julio Jones is hurt once again. AJ Brown may return this week, but that still doesn’t appear to be enough.
The lookahead line for this game was primarily a pick-em, but after Tennessee blew a lead to Pittsburgh and San Francisco looked strong in the win over the Falcons, the line reopened with the 49ers a clear road favorite. Tennessee had four more turnovers in the game against the Steelers and has turned the ball over 13 times in the last four games.