- Week 16 of the 2020 NFL season continues Christmas Day
- Our Best Bets were 0-3 in Week 15 (19-28-1 overall, -10.74 units)
- Read below for analysis on the Week 16 NFL slate and our favorite ATS picks
Just two weeks remain in the NFL regular season and there’s still plenty of playoff spots and division titles up for grabs. One of the most tightly contested divisional races is in the NFC West, and Sunday’s matchup between the LA Rams and Seattle Seahawks could go a long way in determining the champion.
Seattle enters play with a one-game lead over LA, and that contest highlights our Week 16 best bets.
Week 16 ATS Picks
|Los Angeles Rams vs Seattle Seahawks||SEA (-1.5)||LAR (+1.5)||1|
|Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Chargers||LAC (-3)||LAC (-3)||1|
|Tennessee Titans vs Green Bay Packers||GB (-3)||GB (-3)||1|
Odds taken Dec. 24th at FanDuel. See bottom for rest of Week 16 Picks.
Pick #1: Rams Upset Seahawks
After watching the Rams inexcusably lose to the previously winless New York Jets last week, few casual bettors will be running to the window to bet LA. But despite the embarassing defeat, the line for this game is moving towards the Rams. LA opened as a 2.5-point underdog but that number has already shrunk to +1.5.
With a Week 16 win over the Rams, we could clinch the NFC West.
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) December 22, 2020
The Seahawks meanwhile, enter play in an offensive funk. The “let Russ cook” movement is officially dead, and Seattle has scored 23 points or less in four of their past six outings. Last week versus Washington, they barely eclipsed 300 total yards, and Wilson failed to reach 210 passing yards for the third time in his past five starts.
Russell Wilson has had five straight weeks with under 300 passing yards.
He had five 300-yard passing games in the first 8 games this season.
He ranks in the bottom 10 in the NFL in Total QBR, interceptions, and sacks in the last 5 games. pic.twitter.com/9kLGlKkGU4
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 20, 2020
A matchup versus the Rams isn’t likely to fix Seattle’s offensive issues, as LA’s defense ranks fourth by DVOA and dominated the Seahawks in their first meeting. Aaron Donald and company held Wilson to 220 passing yards and 16 points, while forcing three turnovers and racking up 6 sacks en route to victory.
Highest-graded interior DL of 2020:
1. Aaron Donald – 93.2
2. Cameron Heyward – 90.3
3. Tyson Alualu – 90.2
4. Chris Jones – 90.1 pic.twitter.com/zUwIYgqkYA
— PFF (@PFF) December 16, 2020
The Rams are 4-1 versus Seattle in their past five meetings, with their only loss coming by 1 point, in a game where they missed a 44-yard game-winning field goal in the final seconds.
Pick #2: Chargers Over Broncos
Sticking with Los Angeles based teams, our next target is the Chargers as 3-point favorites over the Denver Broncos.
LAC crippled Las Vegas’ playoff hopes last week on Thursday Night Football, winning as a 3.5-point underdog despite playing for the majority of the game without its top-two receivers. Both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams were limited versus the Raiders, but are expected back after 10 days of rest.
Justin Herbert made more history Thursday night, matching Baker Mayfield for the most TD passes by a rookie in NFL history.
Herbert also had his 7th 300-yard passing game, breaking a tie with Andrew Luck (2012) for the most by a rookie in NFL history. pic.twitter.com/415RXQdpTn
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 18, 2020
That’s good news for Rookie of the Year favorite Justin Herbert, who shredded Denver in their first matchup this season. Herbert threw for 278 yards and 3 TD versus the Broncos, and is fresh off a 314-yard performance against Las Vegas.
Also working in LAC’s favor is a rash of injuries to Denver’s secondary. The Broncos are down three cornerbacks and were just lit up for 48 points and 359 passing yards by Josh Allen and the Bills.
To make matters worse, Denver’s run defense has been putrid since Week 7, surrendering 1,065 rushing yards and 11 scores to enemy running backs over that stretch.
Pick #3: Packers Get Past Titans
Arguably the best game on the Week 16 slate is the Sunday nighter between the Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers and the Pack are 3-point home favorites, and are set-up to smash versus this Titans defense.
Only five teams have surrendered more QB production than Tennessee, in large part thanks to its non-existent pass rush. The Titans rank last in the NFL in sacks and pressure rate, which spells trouble against Rodgers.
Blink and you’ll miss it. 👀
Nobody in the NFL has a higher passer rating while getting the ball out this quickly than @packers QB Aaron Rodgers.
NBC Sports | @awscloud pic.twitter.com/fT1LsNgJx7
— Sunday Night Football (@SNFonNBC) December 24, 2020
The two-time MVP leads the NFL in passer rating from a clean pocket, with a ridiculous 35-4 TD-to-INT rate. In addition to their pass rush woes, Tennessee’s coverage unit has been abysmal this season. They’ve given up the second most catches and fourth most receiving yards to wide receivers, and will now have to deal with Davante Adams, the league’s highest graded wideout. Advantage Green Bay.
Davante Adams: 134 targets without a drop
The longest active streak in the NFL pic.twitter.com/K6uoBPs6XE
— PFF (@PFF) December 16, 2020
On the other side of the ball, there’s no denying Tennessee’s offensive prowess, but they’ve racked up a ton of production versus some awful defenses this season. The Titans have scored at least 30 points on nine different occasions, but just one of those games was against a top-16 graded defense according to Pro Football Focus.
The Packers rank 15th on defense by PFF’s grades, and have done an excellent job versus opposing team’s passing games. Only six teams have allowed less production to opposing wideouts and their pass rush has come alive recently with 14 sacks in their last three games. The big question will be whether or not they can contain the NFL’s rushing King Derrick Henry.
Week 16 Quick Picks
- Saints (-7) vs Vikings: New Orleans extracts some revenge for last season’s playoff loss to Minnesota.
- Lions (+10) vs Buccaneers: Tampa Bay has fallen behind by double-digits in half of their games this season. Eventually it’s going to come back to bite them.
- Cardinals (-5) vs 49ers: Arizona needs a win to solidify its playoff hopes, and a C.J. Beathard led team doesn’t pose much of a threat.
- Dolphins (-3) vs Raiders: Miami is 11-3 ATS this season and have covered in four straight.
- Falcons (+10.5) vs Chiefs: Potential let down game for KC after last week’s hard fought win in New Orleans.
- Bears (-7.5) vs Jaguars: With Trevor Lawrence now in its sights, Jacksonville cannot afford to win another game. Chicago meanwhile, has played very well recently as they look to keep the playoff dream alive.
- Texans (-7.5) vs Bengals: Cincinnati beat Pittsburgh last week despite completing just seven passes. That game was their Super Bowl, and we can expect them to turn back into a pumpkin on the road versus Houston.
- Browns (-9.5) vs Jets: Cleveland is rolling and need this game to keep its bid for the AFC North title alive.
- Ravens (-10.5) vs Giants: Baltimore has quietly averaged over 40 points in its last three outings, rounding into form for a postseason run.
- Washington (-1.5) vs Panthers: With Alex Smith expected to return we can confidently back Washington versus a Carolina squad with nothing to play for.
- Cowboys (+2.5) vs Eagles: Philadelphia’s offense has dramatically improved with Jalen Hurts under center, but the defense is still a mess. They gave up 526 total yards to Arizona and don’t have the secondary pieces to slow down Dallas’ elite receiving crew.
- Bills (-7) vs Patriots: Buffalo completes its first season sweep of New England since 1999.