Week 15 was one of the strangest weeks for NFL betting that I can remember.
We saw nearly all of the favorites win during the 1 p.m. slate, most of which were in convincing fashion. But in the afternoon and on Sunday Night Football, we had some of the biggest upsets of the season as the 49ers took down the Seahawks and the Nick Foles-led Eagles beating the Rams in Los Angeles.
Week 16 looks to be just as exciting with multiple games having significant playoff implications. With that said, here are my five best bets of the week:
5 Best Spread Bets for NFL Week 16
1. Tampa Bay (+7) over Dallas
One of my favorite bets of the week is picking Tampa Bay to cover against the Cowboys in Dallas. The Buccaneers enter the week as seven-point underdogs at 888sport, and that line seems to be getting higher each day. While Dallas needs to win this game to clinch the NFC East, the Buccaneers could be a "playoff spoiler" as they have enough weapons on offense to stay in games.
In their last three games against the Cowboys, Tampa Bay has covered the spread in each game. Against a banged-up Cowboys' team that could be missing All-Pro guard Zack Martin, I expect Tampa Bay to keep this close, at the very least. Look for this game to be decided late in the fourth quarter.
2. Pittsburgh (+5.5) over New Orleans
The Pittsburgh Steelers are an odd team to figure out.
In Week 14, the Steelers lost to the Raiders in Oakland by a field goal. But then, as a home underdog, they beat the Patriots by a touchdown as they held New England to just 10 points. Pittsburgh seems to play up or down to their competition each week, and I expect the same this week against the Saints in New Orleans.
While the Saints are 4-0 against the spread in their last four home games, the Steelers are 10-2-1 in their last 13 games on the road. With the Saints playing on the road on Monday Night Football in Week 15, I expect them to be a little flat to open the game.
3. Minnesota (-4.5) over Detroit
The only favorite I "love" this week is Minnesota traveling to Detroit.
According to the NY Times Playoff Simulator, the Vikings will have an 82 percent chance of making the playoffs with a win over the Lions. Minnesota has everything to play for in this game while Detroit is a slumping team that has now lost three out of their last four games The Vikings haven't been the juggernaut that everyone envisioned entering the season, but they typically do take care of business against their division rivals.
Over their last nine games against division rivals, they are 7-1-1 with the tie coming against the Packers earlier this season. This line has the potential to move up significantly before kickoff, so get it on it now before it moves.
4. Seattle (+2.5) over Kansas City
One line that doesn't make sense to me this week is the Seahawks being 2.5 point underdogs at home against the Kansas City Chiefs.
I know how explosive the Chiefs' offense is, but the Seahawks don't lose at home, especially not in a primetime game. Since 2010, the Seahawks are 16-2 at home in primetime games. Over the last 21 games, they are 15-3-3 against the spread, 5-1 as a home underdog in primetime. Seattle still needs to secure a win to make the playoffs, and the last thing they want to do is to have to win on the road against the Cardinals in Week 17.
A "W" against the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football would be an excellent way to gain some momentum entering the playoffs. I will take Seattle and the points at home, but if you are feeling aggressive, the Seahawks money line of +112 might be the way to go.
5. Oakland (+2.5) over Denver
In what is likely the final game at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum, the Raiders will host the Denver Broncos on Christmas Eve.
With the Broncos' loss in Week 15 to the Cleveland Browns, they are now out of the playoff hunt in the AFC. Denver will have nothing to play for on Monday night, and I fully expect the Raiders' crowd to be loud in the team's final home game. The Raiders have been feisty, as of late, covering in three out of their last six games. Neither team is particularly good, but I like the Raiders to win their final game in Oakland.
On 888sport, a six-point tease of Oakland (+8.5), Tampa Bay (+13) and Seattle (+8.5) is +153 and is my tease of the week. I also like a money line parlay Minnesota and Seattle (+261) as well.