The Week 16 NFL betting schedule kicks-off with a Friday contest, followed by three Saturday games. And while that is a little unusual compared to the standard Thursday-Sunday start dates, the early line movement on all four of these games is what really caught my attention.
Minnesota at New Orleans
Friday, Dec. 25, 4:30 PM Eastern
Line: Saints -7 and O/U 51
In the past five weeks, Minnesota has two straight up wins and they are 0-5 ATS. The Vikings have allowed 28.2 points per game (PPG), and their opponents include teams like the Panthers, Jaguars and Bears. This team runs out of gas in the second half, where they rank 31st with an inflated 15.5 points-allowed average. Only Detroit (15.7) is more generous after half-time.
The Saints are scoring 28.4 on the season, QB Drew Brees is back from his ribs injury, they’re home off a loss and yet, this total is shrinking.
- The Vikings-Saints total opened at 52 and some books have reduced it to 50.5 as of Thursday.
This is a playoff revenge game for the Saints, who fell 26-20 to these Vikings in January. When home faves with playoff revenge meet in the second half of the season, the OVER is 11-4 (73%). Totals greater than 44 produced 7 OVERS and 1 UNDER. There is also this trend in effect, that is 70% in recent years.
- New Orleans is 32-14 OVER when playing at home off a close loss by six points or less.
Weather won’t be a factor in the dome. WR Michael Thomas (ankle) is OUT but RB Alvin Kamara is good to go and Brees has made a lot of average receivers look great, when given time in the pocket. One thing to keep an eye on is the status of the Saints O-Line. Nick Easton (concussion) and Andrus Peat (ankle) are on the injury report and it’s always nice to have the big O-Line in top form when betting a home fave or an OVER.
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Saints RB Kamara had 94 all-purpose yards in Week 15 against the Chiefs, and he’s averaging 8.6 targets per game when Brees is in the lineup
Visit my Matchups section for more Week 16 NFL betting trends and tips. Click on the team names to make the jump!
Tampa Bay at Detroit
Saturday, Dec. 26, 1 PM Eastern
Line: Buccaneers -9.5 and O/U 54
The Bucs played on the road against another NFC North opponent in Week 5, and it was a sad display. Since that 20-19 loss to Chicago, Tampa Bay is 6-3 SU and the setbacks were against the Saints, Rams and Chiefs.
- In six wins since Week 5, the Bucs are averaging 397.5 total yards of offense per game.
When Tom Brady gains more than 395 yards of offense, he has a career record of 101-35-3 ATS (74%). The OVER is 93-45-1 (67%) in this scenario, too. Detroit ranks 30th in the NFL with 401.4 total yards allowed per game. It’s no wonder this line has jumped from Bucs -7.5.
San Francisco at Arizona
Saturday, Dec. 26, 4:30 PM Eastern
Line: Cardinals -4.5 and O/U 49
The total is down a full point since Monday, and the money on Arizona has moved the betting line from -3.5. San Francisco (5-9) has been reduced to the role of spoiler, but think of Kyle Shanahan. Then think of Robert Saleh, the Niners’ defensive coordinator. Don’t they seem like the kind of guys that would absolutely cherish the opportunity to ruin Arizona’s playoff bid?
- Road dogs with a losing record are 25-5 (83%) when facing a team that won straight up last week, but failed to cover the spread.
Arizona covered for a lot of bettors last week, pushed for others and lost ATS on gameday bets at -7.5. Either way, there is another angle “live” on the Cardinals to counter the above trend. It’s for home teams off a home win. When favored against a foe that was lit up for 40-plus the previous week, the home team is 30-15 ATS (67%).
Miami at Las Vegas
Saturday, Dec. 26, 8:15 PM Eastern
Line: Dolphins -3 and O/U 47.5
First of all, it looks like QB Derek Carr (groin) will be back under center for the Raiders on Saturday. He was a full participant at practice on Wednesday, meaning Marcus Mariota will return to the backup role. Regardless of who starts, taking care of the football will be of utmost importance. Miami ranks third overall in turnover margin at +0.7 per game. The Raiders are T-23rd at -0.7 per game.
- Road teams with a strong turnover margin are 72-37 ATS (66%) after back-to-back games with one or less giveaways.
The Dolphins are being pounded here, with 73% action according to one source. It’s moved the line from -2 up to -3, and it’s worth noting that HC Jon Gruden’s record as a mid-sized dog between +3 and +7 points is 25-17 ATS (60%). That includes a 7-3 ATS record his past 10 times with the Raiders. This is one game where checking injury reports and shopping for the best line are crucial.