Week 16 NFL best bets: A play on every game

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Week 16 of the very unique 2020 NFL season is here.

With COVID-19 concerns in several games, be sure to check injury reports as we get closer to kickoff. Our experts Drew Dinsick, Dave Tuley and Matt Youmans combine to give their opinions on every game.

All odds as of Thursday evening, from VSiN's NFL odds page.


Cleveland Browns (-9.5, 47.5) at New York Jets

Tuley: The advance line for this game a week ago was Browns -10.5, but after the Browns beat the Giants (and especially after the Jets upset the Rams 23-20 as 17-point underdogs and + 1100 on the money line), the line is in single digits. My first impression that the line is a little short, however, the Jets outplayed the Rams and have been more competitive in recent weeks than most people were giving them credit for (4-2 ATS their last six games). This also fits the old “swagger theory” from my ViewFromVegas Forums that a team that snaps a long losing streak usually follows it up with another good performance as they “get their swagger back.”

Pick: Jets + 9.5

Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (-8, 46)

Tuley: The Bengals are another “swagger” play as they snapped a five-game losing streak with their 27-17 upset of the Steelers on Monday night. But even if the Bengals hadn't won, I would probably still be on them here as the Texans shouldn’t be favored by more than a touchdown against any NFL team.

They are the better team here and should have a better record than 4-10, but they’ve only won by more than a touchdown twice this year (Week 5 vs. the Jaguars and Thanksgiving vs. the Lions). Still, the Texans are still playable in teasers, so I’ll be cheering for a middle.

Pick: Bengals + 8

Indianapolis Colts (-1.5, 45) at Pittsburgh Steelers

Tuley: For those curious, the Steelers were an example of an “anti-swagger” play when they had their 11-0 start to the season snapped by Washington in Week 13 and then lost again the next week to the Bills (of course, in the Steelers’ case, the hangover extended another game with the loss to the Bengals). I’m not willing to jump back on them getting just 1.5 points, but they’re my favorite teaser of the week getting more than a touchdown. This should be a defensive battle, especially by today’s standards, so my favorite bet of all is on the Under. 

Pick: Under 45, plus Steelers in teasers

Chicago Bears (-7.5, 47) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Youmans: It’s not all bad news for the Bears, who have won two in a row are ready to get back over .500 with a win at Jacksonville. The returns of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and running back David Montgomery have triggered the offense. Trubisky is suddenly making more plays than mistakes, and Montgomery carried the ball 32 times for 146 yards and two touchdowns against the Vikings in Week 15. This bet is based more on fading the Jaguars, who dropped their past two games by 26 and 21 points. It’s critical for Jacksonville (1-13) to lose its final two games and hold onto the No. 1 pick in the draft. A franchise that has been a hopeless joke cannot afford to lose Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who could change the next 10 years. This is absolutely a must-lose game for the Jaguars.

Pick: Bears -1.5 on a teaser with Saints -1

Tuley: The Jaguars were the biggest dog that let us down in Week 15 as they were run over by the Ravens. The Bears are 7-7 and back in the playoff hunt as they continue their streaky ways (5-1 start, 0-6 stretch, 2-0 last two weeks -- note that the Bears were a “swagger” play last week after snapping losing streak the week before). However, while we agree that the Bears should not be favored by this many points, I’m not sure if I’m ready to bet the Jaguars. I plan to just stick with the teaser.

Pick: Pass, except for Bears in teasers


Atlanta Falcons at Kansas CIty Chiefs (-10.5, 54)

Tuley: Here’s the big dog we really like this week. Despite nearly blowing the cover in true Falcons form, Matt Ryan and the offense showed it can match any team score for score even if the defense is still soft. The Chiefs, despite their 13-1 SU record, continue to play close game after close game (they’re just 7-7 ATS). In addition, the Chiefs haven’t beaten any of the other NFC South teams by more than 3 points while the Falcons beat the Panthers on the road and had one-score losses to the Saints and Bucs in their most recent meetings, so we’ll gladly take double digits here.

Pick: Falcons + 10.5

Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-3, 49)

Tuley: The Broncos have been good to us as underdogs this season (though they let us down in the 48-19 loss to the Bills last Saturday). I’d love to fade Anthony Lynn for as long as he’s still a head coach (we don’t have an official stat, but he easily leads the league in clock/game-management mistakes), but I’d still rather get + 3.5 if it becomes available. Even if it doesn’t get there, we’ll definitely use the Broncos in teasers up to + 9 or better. This should come down to the wire (the Broncos won the first meeting 31-30).

Pick: Pass unless Broncos get to + 3.5, but using Broncos in teasers regardless

Carolina Panthers at Washington Football Team (-2.5, 44.5)

Tuley: The Panthers covered for us against the Packers last Saturday and have been competitive overall (8-6 ATS despite 4-10 SU record). I’d love to take them against a Washington team that is leading the NFC East but still not too trustworthy, but the line is a little short. The Panthers are right there with the Steelers as my favorite teaser plays of the week. But I also like the Under as the Panthers’ defense is certainly capable of shutting down the Washington offense (did you see what they did to Aaron Rodgers in the second half last Saturday?) while we all know how good the Washington defense is.

Pick: Under 44.5, plus Panthers in teasers

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-1.5, 47.5)

Youmans: In the movie “Dumb and Dumber,” Harry Dunne looked at Lloyd Christmas and said, “You know, Lloyd, just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this … and totally redeem yourself.” If things go according to plan for the Rams, coach Sean McVay might be having a similar talk Sunday afternoon with quarterback Jared Goff. The Rams need to redeem themselves after allowing the 17-point underdog Jets to win their first game of the season in Week 15. L.A. still can win the NFC West, and a win in Seattle is a must.

When these teams met on Nov. 15, Goff passed for 302 yards, and the Rams defense sacked Russell Wilson six times and intercepted him twice. The Rams rank first in the league in total defense (286 ypg) and third in scoring defense (19.2 ppg). Off an embarrassing loss, the underdog with the far superior defense should get redemption.

Pick: Rams + 1.5

Tuley: These NFC West rivals have had pretty good seasons but have also thrown in some clunkers, none more prominent than the Rams’ 23-20 loss to the previously winless Jets. This is for the NFC West lead (the Rams are a game behind, but would have the tiebreaker with a victory as they also won the earlier meeting). The line is too short for me to take the Rams, but I’ll use them in my teaser portfolio.

Pick: Pass, except for Rams in teasers

Dinsick: Another potential shootout is on tap in the divisional battle for NFC West supremacy in Seattle. The McVay-led Rams have scored early and often against Pete Carrol’s base defense in recent years and the Rams will almost certainly continue this trend as they come in full strength off an embarrassing loss to the New York Jets in Week 15. Seattle was rudderless against the Rams in their first meeting after losing a key offensive lineman in game, and the Seahawks have adapted their approach fairly well in recent weeks despite not really being tested by legitimate competition. Russell Wilson is capable of performing at an MVP level as we saw earlier this season and Seattle should score enough in this contest to bring an over play into clear focus considering the low total of 47. Fair price is 51 by my numbers so I am firing away on the over and looking for the Rams as a live ‘dog.

Pick: Over 47

Philadelphia Eagles (-2, 49.5) at Dallas Cowboys

Tuley: Here we go again with another short line that’s putting me on the teaser. The Eagles’ bandwagon is filling back up since Jalen Hurts took over at QB, but I’m still willing to fade them. Opposing coaches also have a couple weeks worth of tape on the Hurst-led offense. Of course, the Cowboys’ defense still can’t be trusted either so this will be one of my least-used teaser options. 

Pick: Pass, except for Cowboys in teasers

Tennessee TItans at Green Bay Packers (-3.5, 56)

Tuley: We get a pretty good Sunday nighter again with the Titans visiting the Packers in what could be seen as a potential Super Bowl preview (I know most people still think the Chiefs will be the AFC’s representative, but I still like the Titans’ chances for my 40-1 future-book bet from the summer). The Titans’ offense is right there with the Packers for the top-scoring offense and this should be a shootout that comes down to a field goal, so I love having the + 3.5 working for us.

Pick: Titans + 3.5

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