We’re down to two weeks remaining in the 2020 NFL regular season and also two weeks remaining in our quest to finish above .500 here in underdog corner for the second straight season.
We sit at 21-23-1 against the point spread following a 1-1-1 Week 15 as the underdog Chicago Bears won outright in Minnesota, the Jacksonville Jaguars failed to cover as a near-two-touchdown ‘dog in Baltimore and Drew Brees rallied the host New Orleans Saints to a late-game push against the field goal-favorite Kansas City Chiefs.
That 1-1-1 week certainly didn’t further our quest, and we all know it’s also a net wagering loss as well. So, on to …
NFL underdog predictions: Week 16
Detroit Lions (+9.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady and the 9-5 Bucs are a win away from wrapping up a playoff berth while the 5-9 Lions are playing without several coaches, including interim head coach Darrell Bevell, due to COVID-19 protocols.
Despite losing six of its last eight, though, Detroit hasn’t packed it in. Witness QB Matthew Stafford insisting on playing through a painful rib injury last week and putting up an offensive fight in a 46-25 loss in Tennessee.
Look for more of the same Saturday.
Speaking of Saturday, the early kickoff means Christmas Day shapes up as a travel day for the Bucs, who can’t be overly excited for a holiday in the Motor City.
Look for Brady and Co. to do just enough to win and head back south — much like they did in Sunday’s come-from-behind 31-27 win in Atlanta — but not enough to cover a near-double-digit spread. Take the Lions and the points.
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New York Giants (+10.5) at Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are on a roll, riding a three-game win streak and covering in their last four. There’s still motivation for Baltimore to keep the pedal down as well as even at 9-5, the Ravens are on the outside looking in at the AFC playoff picture.
Don’t forget, though, that the 5-9 Giants also are in the thick of the postseason hunt as well as they sit only a game behind NFC East-leading Washington and own the tiebreaker advantage.
With the league’s sixth-best run defense, New York should be able to hold its own against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ league-leading rushing attack, while a return by QB Daniel Jones would breathe some much-needed life into a sputtering offense.
Overall, the G-Men are a perfect 6-0 ATS as road underdogs this season, and look for them to keep it close and get the cover here.
Los Angeles Rams (+1.5) at Seattle Seahawks
This matchup between 10-4 Seattle and 9-5 Los Angeles is the de facto NFC West championship game. So there certainly should be no lack of focus in this Sunday afternoon tilt.
The Rams, in particular, will be smarting after coming out on the wrong end of the biggest upset loss of the season, falling last Sunday at home to the previously winless New York Jets.
L.A. had won and covered in four of its previous five games while the Seahawks have been up-and-down with 4-3 SU and 2-5 ATS marks over their last seven outings.
In the series, meanwhile, the Rams have ruled of late, winning five of the last six outright, including a 23-16 home victory in Week 10, and covering in four of those six contests.
And with Seattle’s usually formidable home-field advantage negated by 2020, we’re going with the Rams — and the better defense — on the road.
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