NFL Week 16: 5 favorites to bet on Sunday
5. Chicago Bears (-4) at San Francisco 49ers
The Bears have locked up the NFC North, but the reality is they can still get a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs. Chicago has to win out and get a loss from the Los Angeles Rams, and while that’s unlikely, the chance remains. This week, the Bears travel to the west coast to take on the 49ers. San Francisco has played excellent football the last two weeks with wins at home over the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, but it’s tough to picture Nick Mullens beating this defense. Take the better team and swallow the points.
4. Los Angeles Rams (-14) at Arizona Cardinals
The line is huge. The Rams are on the road and laying two touchdowns, but this isn’t a typical game. Los Angeles has to win to stave off Chicago for the second seed, and the Cardinals are getting ready to clean house from top to bottom. Additionally, few teams have less of a home-field advantage than Arizona, with scores of empty seats awaiting. The Rams should have no problem bouncing back from two straight losses to hammer the worst team in the league.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars at Miami Dolphins (-4)
The Dolphins are the epitome of average at 7-7, but why are they only favored by four points here? Does Vegas not know that the Jaguars are a walking dumpster fire? Jacksonville started the season 3-1 before completely tanking the rest of the way. Now, the Jags are rolling with Cody Kessler under center, who failed to throw for a measly 100 yards against the Washington Redskins in a 16-13 loss last week. This should be a winning ring away for the Dolphins, who are trying to keep faint playoff hopes alive.
2. Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (-9)
The Browns are simply the better team, and while neither is playing for the postseason at this juncture, Cleveland is building momentum for 2019. The Browns have been playing much better since Hue Jackson was fired back in October. It’s hard to see Cincinnati staying in this one, especially with the motivation on the other side to take down Jackson, who is now an assistant with the Bengals. This one could get ugly early and continue on through.
1. Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-13)
The Patriots have to win this game. They don’t, and they are guaranteed not to get a bye in the AFC playoffs. The AFC East would also stay open should the Dolphins win, suddenly turning things completely upside down. While the Bills deserve a ton of credit for getting five wins this year during a rebuild, it’s tough to see Buffalo hanging in this one past halftime.