It’s a short week for all but six teams in the NFL this week as Week 16 starts on Thursday, has 12 games on Christmas Eve, another two on Christmas Day and then the finale on Boxing Day.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
Odds: Giants -3
The Giants became the second 10-win team in the NFC after beating the Detroit Lions on Sunday. They have now won eight of their last nine contests and their defense has played particularly well. They’ve allowed a total of just 13 points in their last two contests and that came against the teams that were No. 1 and No. 2 in the NFC at the time of the matchup.
Meanwhile, the Eagles are 5-9 after getting edged in Baltimore, their fifth consecutive loss. Philadelphia is aiming for their first NFC East win as they’re 0-4 in the division, which includes a 28-23 road loss to the Giants in Week 9. Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz has really struggled; he’s coming off an outing where he threw the ball 42 times but amassed just 170 yards. His quarterback rating has dropped by the month and a matchup against a red-hot defense doesn’t figure to help matters.
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
Odds: Packers -7
So much for Adrian Peterson rushing back. The Vikings are 7-7 after getting routed 34-6 at home to Indianapolis even with the help of Peterson. The Vikings picked an awful time to have their worst game, giving up a season-high 34 points.
The Packers are 8-6 and have won four straight after a 30-27 win in frigid Chicago, taking their NFC North record to 3-1. However, that loss came back in Week 2 in Minnesota as the Vikings won 17-14 over the Packers. These two teams look like they are heading in opposite directions right now, and unless the Vikings can establish their running game this figures to be too tall an order for them.
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Odds: Steelers -4.5
Christmas Day presents another episode of one of the NFL’s most bitter, physical rivalries. The Pittsburgh Steelers will host the Baltimore Ravens with first place in the AFC North up for grabs.
The Ravens are 8-6 after their win over Philadelphia, which now makes it five wins in their last seven contests. Their only two losses in that span are to the two teams that lead each respective conference. As for the Steelers, they are 9-5 after coming back on the road in Cincinnati for their fifth win in a row.
The Steelers can clinch the division title with a win, but the Ravens won 21-14 in Week 9 in Baltimore and are now 4-1 SU and 3-1-1 ATS in their last five against the Steelers.
Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs
Odds: Chiefs -4
The theme of division rivals continues on Sunday as the Broncos are 8-6 after their 16-3 loss at home to New England. It was reported that there was shouting in the locker room as the defense is upset at the offense’s lack of production (Denver has scored 13 points in two games, allowing 29), so it’s unclear what type of mindset they’ll be in for this contest. The Broncos just can’t seem to run the ball with any consistency as they’re 28th in rushing yards per attempt. They have also struggled against winning teams this season as they are 1-4 SU and ATS against teams above .500.
The Chiefs are 10-4 after stumbling at home to Tennessee, but they’re a perfect 4-0 in the AFC West.
Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys
Odds: Cowboys -7
Week 16 ends Monday in Dallas where the Cowboys are 12-2 after beating Tampa Bay. They got the job done but looked shaky for a third straight week.
The Detroit Lions are 9-5 after their road loss to the Giants and it has to be disappointing for them. They still control their own fate but a matchup in Dallas where they are a touchdown underdog followed by a meeting with the red-hot Green Bay Packers has to have them worried. They can feel the pressure from the Packers. Dallas is 6-1 at home while the Lions are just 3-4 on the road.
The Cowboys can clinch homefield throughout the playoffs with a win here. They are 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS in their last five against the Lions, who would clinch the NFC North with a win and a Green Bay loss.