Week 16 in the NFL has some great matchups on both ends of the spectrum, with multiple games being played with serious playoff implications for both teams and other games that are simply for NFL draft order. My three favorite games this week to bet are the three biggest games on the schedule because there are no concerns about the motivation of any teams heading into these matchups.
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers (-6.5)
The 49ers are a 6.5-point favorite at home in Levi’s Stadium, where they are taking on the 8-6 Rams, who are holding onto their playoff hopes by a thread. The Rams are coming off an absolute thrashing on national television against the Cowboys, while the 49ers lost a rough game against the Falcons.
Neither team should feel good about what happened last week, but I don’t think that the games are that similar. The Falcons upset the 49ers in a surprising and trappy spot for a good 49ers team. The Rams knew that they had to go into Dallas and take care of business to help their playoff odds significantly, and that did not happen at all.
I think that this also gives us a little insight as to how these teams may approach this game, as the Rams are playing like a team that has already given up, and this matchup is very, very bad for them. Los Angeles has struggled with elite pass rushers all season long, and the first matchup between these two was a primary example of that.
Jared Goff was absolutely horrible in the first matchup, and I don’t see any reason why that would change in this game. The 49ers should be able to pressure Goff at will and cause a lot of issues. I love the 49ers here to win big.
Dallas Cowboys (-1.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
Dak Prescott has a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder, which has caused some line movement and rightfully so, but I am not concerned about the Cowboys as a whole in this game. The Cowboys have one of the more talented rosters in football top to bottom, and they are playing to clinch a playoff spot this week.
The Eagles are very injured, and they have just struggled all season regardless of the injuries. Basically, every key player that hasn’t gotten injured has just underperformed outside of Zach Ertz on either side of the ball, and I think that will be exposed here.
The Eagles have lost to Miami and needed come-from-behind drives in the fourth quarter to win games against the Giants and the Redskins in the last three weeks. That is about as bad as a 2-1 three-game stretch could possibly get.
I expect the Cowboys to dominate this game from the jump, and I don’t think that this line is very representative of what these teams currently are. I like the Cowboys to win this game by double digits.
Green Bay Packers (+5.5) at Minnesota Vikings
Why is the line this big? I just don’t really understand the line here, and it is forcing me into a play on the Packers. Overall, I think that these two teams are very comparable, leading me to think that the line should be something like -3 in favor of Minnesota at home.
The Vikings will also be without Dalvin Cook, which shouldn’t be positive in any way. I like Minnesota’s backups, but they aren’t going to be better than Cook, and I have concerns that the coaching staff may be less likely to try to exploit the Packers’ porous run defense if they have to do it with a third-string running back, even if I think that they would have success if that was the game plan.
The Packers have plenty of ways to move the ball, and I think that this line is just disrespectful to one of the best teams in the NFC this year. Give me the Packers +5.5.