NFL odds changing as playoff-bound teams do battle
What are the odds that all eight teams involved in four Week 16 NFL games will all make the playoffs? Pretty good when you consider each controls their destiny, but the home teams are favored on the Week 16 odds list in every case.
NFL odds - Baltimore Ravens (9-5) at Dallas Cowboys -4 (9-5) O/U 39.5
This is a huge game for both teams, as the winner will be in the driver’s seat for a Wild Card berth. The key matchup in this game is the Ravens and their second-ranked defense against Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense.
The Cowboys’ offense will have to find a way to score on the ferocious defense of the Ravens. The Cowboys defense will have to stop the Ravens running game and hope Joe Flacco does not pick apart their secondary.
The loser of this game is probably be out of the playoffs. Look for the Cowboys to win this home game and cover the spread, setting up a Week 17 showdown with the Eagles for a possible NFC Wild Card slot. Underdog bettors can get better odds at Bovada
NFL odds - Arizona Cardinals (8-6) at New England Patriots (9-5) – 7.5 O/U 45.5
We bet this game early this week thinking the number would climb from the Week 16 opening odds of -7. It has climbed to as high as -8.5 at SportsBetting.ag, which is the best Cardinal underdog line.
The Patriots are in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC East and every game is crucial for them. The Cardinals have already won the NFC West, but they want to win this game badly so they can host a playoff game.
The Patriots have won three of their last four games, but this one will be a tough one facing a Cardinals team that has the second-ranked passing offense in the league. The Patriots and their 16th ranked defense will have to put pressure on Kurt Warner and not give him time in the pocket.
The Patriots offense is playing better in the second-half of the season, as they are starting to air it out more. Look for the Patriots defense to step up and win this game covering the spread.
NFL odds - Atlanta Falcons (9-5) at Minnesota Vikings -3 (9-5) O/U 43
The Vikings are currently in first place in the NFC North, but only one game up on the Chicago Bears. And they will start Tarvaris Jackson in this game, which hardly makes this a home lock. The Falcons are one of four teams with a record of 9-5, so if they lose they may be out of the playoff picture.
The key to this game will be if the eighth-ranked defense of the Vikings can stop Michael Turner and Matt Ryan. The Falcons really hope this game becomes a shootout, as they have the weapons to win that type of game. The Vikings will look to control the game on the ground, as Adrian Peterson, who leads the NFL in rushing, will get a lot of carries.
The Falcons only have the league’s 23rd ranked defense, so if they can’t contain Peterson it will be a long day for them in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The Vikings will ride Peterson and he will carry them to a home win. Dog bettors can get the Falcons at +3.5 at
NFL odds - Carolina Panthers (11-3) at New York Giants -3 (11-3) O/U 37
The winner of this game will have the inside track to have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Panthers only need to win one of their last two games or have the Falcons and Buccaneers lose one of their last two games to win the NFC South.
The Giants have lost two games in a row and need to get back on track if they are going to repeat last year’s performance. The Panthers have the league’s sixth-ranked rushing offense and they will have to move the chains against the Giants and their sixth-ranked defense.
Giants RB Brandon Jacobs may miss the game because of an injury and that may be a big blow Giants, as the Panthers defense is only mediocre at defending the run. The Giants will come out firing in this game after a couple of lackluster ones, as they will win this game and cover the spread.
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