There may be 17 weeks in the NFL regular season, but Week 16 is when everything comes together in a crescendo of pointspreads and playoff bids, and if you play your cards right, payouts.
All but three of this week’s games have a chance to impact the postseason picture and three division titles are still up for grabs. So, if you haven’t taken care of your Christmas shopping yet, you’d better get at it before Sunday rolls around.
The NFC North is wide open with the Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, and Green Bay Packers all vying for top spot. Chicago is the favorite to take the division title at +112, but it’s shaping up to be a dogfight with the Lions at +219 and Packers at +221.
After a late slide, the New Orleans Saints need to win in Carolina to clinch the NFC South. Right now, it’s the Panthers who are set as -147 favorites to win the division.
Then there’s the NFC East, where the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys have been taking turns punting around the division lead for weeks. The Eagles are currently set as -167 favorites to end up on top but Dallas has a very winnable game against Washington this week too.
And, if that wasn’t enough to digest, the Seattle Seahawks have overtaken the Denver Broncos in our latest Super Bowl odds and are now at +247 to win the big game in February.
Buckle up, bettors.
The Miami Dolphins have won four of their last five games and control their own postseason fate over the next two weeks. With two wins, they’re in. Buffalo has had some tough luck with injuries this season and won’t have quarterback EJ Manuel or No. 1 wideout Stevie Johnson for this one. On the other sideline, Ryan Tannehill is coming on with eight touchdowns and two interceptions in the last three games and Miami’s defense allows just 21 points per game.
Pick: Miami Dolphins
The 49ers are playing their last game at Candlestick Stadium on Monday Night Football in a game they may need to win to solidify their playoff spot. Still, 13 points is a ton in this spot. This total looks a touch low.
Pick: Over 45
Here’s holding out hope that a week after the Cowboys’ flop against Green Bay, somebody in the organization realizes they wouldn’t be in this mess if they just pounded the rock with DeMarco Murray. Reminder: the Redskins give up 31 points per game.
Pick: Dallas Cowboys
Last week: 1-2.