Week 16 – everyone’s biggest fear.
That’s largely due to the fact that you’re either playing meaningful football or you’re not and players pre-game aren’t even sure which to be more nervous about.
On one hand, it’s important to be contending at this time of year, but on the other hand, the nerves leading into a game that matters can be exceptionally tense and cause inexplicable dips in form.
You need to be aware of these perms when betting on Week 16, because nothing is truly as it seems. My suggestion? Focus more on coaching than on the individual players.
This is the week you see aggressive coaches lose their strut and go conservative.Get your NFL bets on at PaddyPower.com
Detroit Lions @ Denver Broncos (-7.0) – 10/11
Of course, this has absolutely nothing riding on it. It would potentially have been billed as a race for a top-end pick, but with Denver now looking like they have a future star at the quarterback position, it may be in their best interests to actually notch some career wins for Drew Lock to build confidence.
Lock’s mechanics are very good. He’s not the best reader of a defence, but this is the ideal matchup for him that case – Detroit play more man coverage than any other team in the NFL. He won’t have to dissect zones or anything – just send a man in motion before the snap to see who’s matched up with who.
You can guarantee Noah Fant will have a big day for this very reason.
It’s tough to go to Denver at the best of times, but that Colorado breeze in December takes its toll and the usual three-point advantage a home game gets you on the spread can be doubled in this situation.
As for the remainder of the spread? I’d give Denver a five-point swing on the handicap at a neutral venue, so I expect them to cover here.
Baltimore Ravens (-9.5) @ Cleveland Browns – 10/11
Run the well dry.
The Cleveland Browns may not be trying to lose but the key development is that they’re not trying very hard to win, and teams who don’t try hard to win definitely give up trying not to lose by a wide margin when they fall behind.
The biggest enemy of backing against a big favourite on the spread is garbage time points that handicap the spread. This won’t be a problem here as Cleveland will have all but downed tools by then.
Freddie Kitchens might have his job for next year, but he’ll do well to recoup his dignity.
Get your NFL bets on at PaddyPower.com
Oakland Raiders (+7.0) @ Los Angeles Chargers – EVS
The Oakland Raiders are running out of time as the Oakland Raiders. They were stung late in their last-ever game at home, which acted as a fitting tribute to their time in the Bay Area.
But this is a good football unit. Derek Carr doesn’t turn the ball over, while they’ve almost certainly got the Offensive Rookie of the Year running between the tackles.
The Chargers coughed the ball up seven times and don’t get home advantage here. Time to wake up, odds-setters.