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NFL Week 16 schedule: 5 best bets on underdogs

The NFL Week 16 schedule is in full swing, and these five underdogs are good bets to both cover and perhaps even win.

5. New Orleans Saints (+2.5) vs. Miami Dolphins

Ian Book is about to make his first NFL start. Oh, and it comes on Monday night, in a huge spot against the Dolphins, with both teams at 7-7 and desperately trying to make the playoffs. So why roll with the former Notre Dame quarterback here? Because Sean Payton is an elite head coach, the Saints’ defense will force Tua Tagovailoa into mistakes, and Miami’s offense as a whole isn’t scary. New Orleans at home, even with Book, is a quality gamble.

4. Indianapolis Colts (+1) at Arizona Cardinals

The Colts are going to be without a litany of starters on Christmas night as they deal with COVID, but they still have running back Jonathan Taylor, an excellent defense led by DeForest Buckner and Darius Leonard, and a fantastic coaching staff. Additionally, the Cardinals are struggling with their own health problems, namely quarterback Kyler Murray not being 100 percent and receiver DeAndre Hopkins out until the postseason. If the Cards are going to win, Murray has to be excellent.

3. Carolina Panthers (+10) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This is about the Bucs’ injuries. Tampa Bay will be without receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, along with running back Leonard Fournette and linebacker Lavonte David. Tom Brady should be enough by himself to beat the lowly Panthers, but Carolina can keep this within 10 points if it gets anything at all from the quarterback position (huge if these days).

2. Buffalo Bills (+2.5) at New England Patriots

Buffalo and New England both need to win this game, but the Bills are trying to avenge a loss earlier this month and have the better roster. Josh Allen is the best quarterback in Foxboro on Sunday, and while the Patriots certainly can control the game in the trenches, Buffalo can win it riding the talents of Allen, both in the air and on the ground. Taking the points here is the smart move, even if you think New England is going to win a close game.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars (+1.5) at New York Jets

Let’s be quick here. The Jaguars are a terrible team, but so are the Jets. You take the points if you’re getting them against the Jets, because that’s an incredibly gift regardless of who the other team is.

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