Week 15 was sort of all over the place. We saw upsets, huge letdowns, divisions clinched and many entertaining plays. This has resulted in plenty of movement in the NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 16.
The stakes are high for many teams this week. Sure, some matchups feature teams who are both trying to lose in the most creative way possible, but there is still over half the league who are in must-win mode. Desperation is high, which means aggressiveness and creativity will be just as high. There are overreactions and bitter fans throughout the nation, which has led to some interesting early week lines.
I feel there are some early lines that we will be able to exploit, if we lock them in now. There’s five early Week 16 NFL bets that I think you need to be placing right now. If you don’t, you are risking the line’s movement making the spread really unattractive. Be ahead of the wave of bets that will move these lines, and let’s get rich together. I’ll go through each matchup, then tell you just how much money you could make by locking them in right now.
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Chargers (-4.5) vs. Ravens
The Chargers are arguably the hottest team down the stretch, as they are now tied with the Chiefs, at 11-3. A win this week, plus a Chiefs loss, would vault the Chargers from the fifth to the first seed. On the other side, the Ravens currently hold the sixth seed and need to win to stay alive. Baltimore will be led by rookie Lamar Jackson. Well, they’re actually led by their defense, but Jackson will be at quarterback. The Ravens are a good running team under him, and to the surprise of nobody, the passing game struggles. They do not have enough offensive fire power to keep up with the Chargers, even if they are hobbled. Which, by the way, is the reason the spread is so close. However, they are optimistic that Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler, and even Keenan Allen will play this week. Once they are ruled active, the spread will widen.
This is obviously a matchup of the LA offense versus the Baltimore defense. Both are terrific units. However, the Ravens defense is noticeably worse on the road, giving more total yards and average yards per play. I think you need to lock in this bet before the likes of Gordon, Ekeler and possibly Allen log generous practice time.
Dolphins (-4) vs. Jaguars
The Dolphins are still alive in the AFC, and the Jaguars are a dumpster fire yet again. The offensive line is terrible, Cody Kessler isn’t an NFL-caliber quarterback and Leonard Fournette isn’t running with purpose. The defense has played better lately, but there’s too many individuals playing selfish instead of trying to help the team. Miami is a quiet 7-7, but 5-4 with Ryan Tannehill. This doesn’t seem impressive, but their 6-1 home record is. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are 1-5 on the road. The weakness of Miami seems to be their run defense, but the poor blocking from the Jags seems to equal this out. I expect this line to grow, likely by a half point each time Jalen Ramsey is interviewed.
Vikings (-6) at Lions
The Vikings seemed to figure their offense out a bit last week, after putting up 41 against the Dolphins. They did this while targeting Adam Thielen just twice, though I expect this to be much higher this weekend. The Lions are not good. Matthew Stafford is incapable of raising the level of play from inexperienced players, and there is no running game without Kerryon Johnson. The only good skill position player on the Lions’ offense is Kenny Golladay, which the Vikings will surely key on. The last time these two met, the Lions were at full strength (minus Golden Tate), while the Vikings were missing Everson Griffin. The result was a 15-point win for Minnesota. This is a road game for the Vikings, which usually means the defense will struggle, but this is usually because they are playing outside. They’ll cover this spread in Detroit, and I’d be surprised if this spread doesn’t move.
Packers (PK) at Jets
The Packers and Jets are dead even? Crazy enough, it’s true. This spread is clearly assuming Aaron Rodgers sits, because the Aaron Jones injury wouldn’t put the teams on equal playing fields. Rodgers played the full second half with this supposed groin injury, he has said he wants to play and interim coach Joe Philbin has said the same. With the amount of criticism Rodgers has gotten this season, he will play and look to end the season on a high note, if he has any say.
For the sake of argument, let’s just say Rodgers does get ruled out. Is Deshone Kizer that much worse than Sam Darnold on the other side? I personally don’t think so. Darnold looked better last week, since he used his legs more, but he still leads the league in interceptions despite missing time. And even with the plethora of injuries to Green Bay, the rest of the roster still may be better than the Jets’. So if Rodgers gets ruled out, I think the line may move by 1-1.5 points in favor of the Jets–not much. If he is ruled active, I would assume the Packers would be 3-3.5-point favorites, so lock in this pick’em line now.
Bears (-4) at 49ers
The Bears have clinched the NFC North, but there’s still motivation to win. They sit just one game behind the Rams for the two-seed, and they would love to get a team like the Rams traveling to Chicago again during the playoffs. This road game also means Khalil Mack will be returning to the Bay Area. I would assume there would be plenty of local Mack fans, as well as friends and family coming out to see him play. What’s worse than giving Khalil Mack more motivation? Not much. The 49ers won’t be able to stop him or cover Tarik Cohen offensively. So again, the Bears should cover this spread, but I also think it will move throughout the week. This very well could be a 6-point spread by Sunday.
How Much You’ll Make
These five game will bring you plenty of money this week. Here’s what you would profit by putting $100 on each of these picks against the spread:
Chargers (-4.5) = $86.96 Profit
Dolphins (-4) = $95.24 Profit
Vikings (-6) = $90.91 Profit
Packers (PK) = $86.96 Profit
Bears (-4) = $90.91 Profit
So, say we just nailed these five picks. That’s a total profit of $450.98.
But if you’re aggressive, like me, you would create some parlays out of these locks. Here are a few different parlays that include these lines. You will see that I throw in the moneyline from certain games to beef up the profit a bit.
Good luck with your Week 16 bets! If you lock some in, show me over at @FantasyFlurry on Twitter.