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Opening NFL Odds and Betting Lines for Week 16 (2020)

| December 21, 2020 9:01 am PDT
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Some NFL betting lines are just doomed from the beginning. Going into last week, the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Rams were both massive favorites.

Both looked like locks to cover. Only one did.

In fact, the Rams burned bettors as bad as I’ve ever seen. They not only failed to cover a huge point spread, but they didn’t even win. Oh, and if you hadn’t heard, this unforgivable defeat came by the hands of the 0-13 New York Jets.

Oof, indeed.

When you first looked at last week’s NFL odds, you either thought there was no way you were betting on that game, or you were waiting for the line to shorten. The former was the better call, but it’s tough to know how to approach each game every time out.

To help just a bit more, I continue my weekly look at NFL pricing, and provide my insight for each contest. If you want to take your research a step further, I encourage you to read up on football betting strategy.

With that, here’s the early NFL week 16 odds.

Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints Odds

  • Vikings (+7) -105
  • Saints (-7) -115
  • Vikings to Win (+265)
  • Saints to Win (-315)
  • Over 51.5 (-110)
  • Under 51.5) -110

The Saints host the Vikings in a pretty crucial game for New Orleans. They need some help to steal the #1 seed in the NFC from the Packers, but if they win out, they still have a shot.

Getting the Vikings at home should help, as Minnesota’s defense doesn’t present much of a challenge. The spread looks fairly inviting if you want to back the Vikings, but there just isn’t much meat on the bone here.

The only bet that calls to me is the Over. New Orleans should be more in a groove with Drew Brees readying for his second game. He looked rather off in his return from injury.

If Brees is more like his old self, there’s enough offense here to get plenty of points on the board.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Detroit Lions Odds

  • Buccaneers (-7) -120
  • Lions (+7) +100
  • Buccaneers to Win (-365)
  • Lions to Win (+295)
  • Over 54 (-110)
  • Under 54 (-110)

Tom Brady and co. threatened to lose in embarrassing fashion more than anyone would like, but they once again thwarted their critics with a comeback win in Atlanta.

The Buccaneers are owners of the 6th seed in the NFC, but they aren’t even officially out of the running for their division just yet.

With a division title and/or seeding still on the line, consider the Bucs plenty motivated for a very winnable road game against the Lions.

Detroit has been pretty competitive ever since firing head coach Matt Patricia, though, and especially at home, they’re not the worst ATS bet to consider.

This is another spot where points are king, though. There isn’t much incentive to bet on the moneyline, and the spread still feels a bit tricky. The Over should be in play here, especially with both teams being involved in shootouts in week 15.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals Odds

  • 49ers (+3.5) -105
  • Cardinals (-3.5) -115
  • 49ers to Win (+175)
  • Cardinals to Win (-205)
  • Over 50.5 (-110)
  • Under 50.5 (-110)

The Niners appear to be dead in the water as far as the playoffs go, and they won’t know until later in the week what the status is for their top quarterback and running back.

San Francisco really can’t be trusted in any regard right now, so even though they offer value, they’re probably a team I’d be shying away from.

Arizona won a tough one against Philly to get to 8-6 and inch closer to locking up a playoff spot, and they should be solid bets to win and cover here. This is another appealing spot to push for the points, especially since this total feels a bit low at most NFL betting sites.

Miami Dolphins vs. Las Vegas Raiders Odds

  • Dolphins (-2.5) -110
  • Raiders (+2.5) -110
  • Dolphins to Win (-155)
  • Raiders to Win (+135)
  • Over 48 (-110)
  • Under 48 (-110)

Las Vegas has caved after a solid 7-5 start, as they’re now 7-7 and basically dead in the race for a playoff spot in the AFC. Miami still has a shot, as they’re now 9-5 and cling to the final seed in the conference.

The Dolphins probably need to win out to lock it up, so they’ll be plenty motivated to go into Las Vegas and get it done. The Raiders are going to be extremely tough to peg, however, as it remains unclear if Derek Carr (groin) will be ready to rock.

Las Vegas may almost hope he isn’t, as Marcus Mariota looked quite good in relief last week.

The Raiders should still be motivated to get a win here, and Mariota is the ultimate wild card. That might make finding a winner here a bit problematic, but the Las Vegas defense (30.1 points allowed per game) could play into the Over in this one.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Odds

  • Colts (+2.5) +100
  • Steelers (-2.5) -120

Perhaps one of the best games of week 16 goes down at Heinz Field, where Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers host the Colts.

Philip Rivers and co. still have a shot at the AFC North crown, while the Steelers (losers of two straight prior to their MNF tilt) will hope to prevent an epic collapse.

There is a good amount on the line here, but not many bets to attack. Once the Monday Night Football game is in the books, bettors will probably get their hands on pretty nice moneylines, and a playful game total.

I’d expect we get some points here (Over), while Indy as an underdog is very interesting.

Pittsburgh has some nice offensive weapons, but their defense has been slipping and they can’t run the ball. Those are usually not good things.

Chicago Bears vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Odds

  • Bears (-7.5) -105
  • Jaguars (+7.5) -115
  • Bears to Win (-350)
  • Jaguars to Win (+280)
  • Over 46.5 (-110)
  • Under 46.5 (-110)

Mitch Trubisky and company aren’t quite dead yet when it comes to the NFL playoffs. If they win out and get some help, snagging the 7th seed isn’t out of the question.

Jacksonville will likely back off from putting up much of a fight here, too. New York just did them a massive favor in basically handing them Trevor Lawrence, after all.

The Jags just need to lose the next two weeks, and the Clemson star will be theirs with the first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Jacksonville has fought hard in recent weeks, but they also just lost top running back James Robinson to injury.

I’m thinking a blowout win could be in the cards for Chicago, and you may want to bet accordingly.

Carolina Panthers vs. Washington Football Team Odds

  • Panthers (+2.5) -110
  • Washington (-2.5) -110

There isn’t much in the week of week 16 NFL betting lines for this Panthers vs. WFT clash, likely due to the unknown of injured starters like Alex Smith and Christian McCaffrey.

For now, bettors just know the Panthers are mild underdogs at BetOnline and other sportsbooks.

C-Mac has been trying to work his way back for weeks, and if he can finally play, it’ll make this clash a heck of a lot more interesting.

It’s already going to be fun, of course, as former Ron Rivera prepares to face his former Panthers squad for the first time on the opposite sideline.

Carolina is another team that has been in a ton of games, and getting back a stud like McCaffrey would surely make betting on this one even more difficult.

Ultimately, this is likely a game I’d just stay away from, but with McCaffrey possibly returning, Carolina as an upset special wouldn’t be all that wild.

Atlanta Falcons vs. Kansas City Chiefs Odds

  • Falcons (+11) -115
  • Chiefs (-11) -105
  • Falcons to Win (+395)
  • Chiefs to Win (-485)
  • Over 53.5 (-110)
  • Under 53.5 (-110)

Matt Ryan was on fire last week, as he put up over 300 yards and three touchdowns en route to a near-win against the Buccaneers.

Everything has been of the “close, but no cigar” variety when it comes to Atlanta, who blew a 24-7 lead in the deflating loss.

I suspect it’d be more of the same if they did build a lead, but doing so in Kansas City feels like a reach. The Chiefs have lost just once all year, and seem hell-bent on winning out to preserve their #1 seed in the AFC.

This spread is awfully thick, of course. Due to that, the only bet that really stands out is this explosive game total. There should be plenty of points in this one, so the Over obviously looks appealing.

Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Chargers Odds

  • Broncos (+3) +105
  • Chargers (-3) -125
  • Broncos to Win (+165)
  • Chargers to Win (-190)
  • Over 50 (-110)
  • Under 50 (-110)

Drew Lock and the Broncos face-planted last week, just one game after torching the Panthers. That makes their offense tough to trust, but their defense also got completely abused by Josh Allen.

Despite that, Denver will be a somewhat appealing underdog play in L.A., where they battle a familiar foe in the Chargers.

Los Angeles is fresh off of an OT win over the Raiders, but this is a team notorious for losing games they should win.

It’s likely coaching-based, and it’s worth wondering if a talented roster will finish so strong that it saves their head coach’s job.

There is decent value no matter which side you lean, but it’ll be worth checking up on L.A.’s injury report. They’re severely banged up, and winning two games in a row in that state is not easy to do.

The total also feels a bit low given the matchup both ways. Justin Herbert is having perhaps the best season ever for a rookie quarterback, and if he keeps it going here, this game should be rather explosive.

The previous meeting between these two sides totaled 61 points, after all.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks Odds

  • Rams (+2.5) -110
  • Seahawks (-2.5) -110
  • Rams to Win (+120)
  • Seahawks (-140)
  • Over 46.5 (-115)
  • Under 46.5 (-105)

I’m not entirely sure how the Rams will ever recover from a devastating week 15 loss to the Jets. New York hadn’t won a game all year, and for most of the game, the Jets dominated the Rams.

Sean McVay said that it was embarrassing and humbling, and how L.A. responds is going to be rather key.

This game will either see the Rams come out with a fury and just destroy the Seahawks, or we’ll see them completely lie down.

Seattle, on the other hand, hasn’t exactly looked elite lately. They’ve been winning ugly for the most part, and their first meeting with the Rams didn’t go so well.

This is a weird NFC West battle that’s likely best left avoided, but tight games like this do offer value on either side.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys Odds

  • Eagles (PK) -128
  • Cowboys (PK) +108
  • Over 49.5 (-115)
  • Under 49.5 (-105)

Don’t look now, but it is week 16 and the NFC East is still completely wide open. Every team in this division has their warts and aren’t really deserving of a playoff spot, but they also all have a chance to get in.

Only one will actually make it happen, and the door gets shut on either the Cowboys or Eagles this week. Both would have to win out to steal the division from Washington, so the loser gets sent packing.

It’s a tough one to peg, as Jalen Hurts has given the Eagles new life and is coming off a monster outing.

Dallas has actually looked great lately, too, as they’re now riding a two-game winning streak. The weird thing is their defense has been key to their last two victories, despite being a major issue for them all year.

Still, the Over is what stands out to me here. Neither defense is really reliable, and Hurts elevates the scoring potential, as we’ve seen lately.

Tennessee Titans vs. Green Bay Packers Odds

  • Titans (+4) -112
  • Packers (-4) -108
  • Titans to Win (+175)
  • Packers to Win (-205)
  • Over 55.5 (-110)
  • Under 55.5 (-110)

Lastly, we have Derrick Henry going up against a weak Green Bay run defense.

This is a matchup Henry should feast in, while the Titans have other explosive weapons in the passing game that could also be unleashed here.

The problem is Aaron Rodgers is in the midst of an NFL MVP-type season, and his 11-3 Packers do have a tendency to grind out wins, one way or another.

Tennessee’s defense is also not very good, as evidenced by multiple beatdowns they’ve endured this year.

A shootout is likely what bettors have on their hands. Hammer the Over on all of the Derrick Henry yardage props, and consider doing the same for this one despite a hefty total.

As far as the game itself, the Titans offer fantastic value ATS and as road dogs. Green Bay has taken out just one team with a winning record this year, and they’ve yet to prove they’re fully legit.

Summary

Getting a look at the early week 16 NFL odds reveals plenty of interesting wagers. There are some games with incomplete lines (or not at all), and that stems from injuries for the most part.

Two things stand out to me going into week 16 in the NFL; there should be a lot of points scored this week, and there is a lot on the line in these games.

These last two weeks feature a slew of tense rivalry games, while so many teams have major implications involving division crowns, seeding, or simply just trying to make the playoffs.

It’s going to be a pretty zany week, but hopefully my look at the week 16 NFL odds at least gets you off to a good start.

If you plan on betting on the games this week, hit up our NFL picks section for detailed betting previews for each contest.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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