Opening Line Report – Week 16

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There are just two weekends remaining in the National Football League regular season, and everyone is still jockeying around for playoff seeding, etc. It's going to be an outstanding finish. Happy Holidays to everyone, by the way.

Several teams found lumps of coal in their stocking in Week 14, so watch the Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers, for instance, as they are either mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, or hanging on by a thread.

Some teams, especially the skidding Panthers, could elect to rest star players due to nagging injuries with nothing left to play for. That's an important angle to take into consideration, so watch for news during the week.

(Consensus Odds as of Tuesday)

Saturday, Dec. 22

Washington Redskins at Tennessee Titans (-10, 37)

The Titans opened as 10-point favorites at all shops except for Caesars/Harrah's, which opened Tennessee at -9 1/2. However, after just a few minutes that was bet up to 10 to get in line with everyone else. There hasn't been a lot of movement on the total yet, but with QB Josh Johnson making his second straight start there isn't a lot of faith that this will be a high-scoring affair.

Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Chargers (OFF)

The Ravens heads into this game with a 7-3-1 ATS mark over their past 11 road games, but they're just 1-4 ATS in the past five against teams with a winning mark. The Bolts are coming off a huge win in Kansas City last Thursday, and they're 5-2 ATS in the past seven against winning teams. They have a lot of play for, as a potential first-round bye, and even the overall top seed in the AFC is still on the table.

Sunday, Dec. 23

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (-7, 46.5)

The Cowboys were blanked on the road in Indy last week, but Vegas is still a firm believer in the 'Boys. At Caesars/Harrah's, the line opened at -7, went up to -8 in the matter of a few hours, before tumbling back to -7 1/2. If you really feel strongly about a Dallas revival this week, Jerry's Nugget has Dallas at -6 1/2, while they opened the total at 46 and it dropped to 45 1/2. There is a one-point variance across the board, so shop around.

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-13, 45)

There is a little faith in the Bills early in the week, or doubt about the Patriots. You pick. Well, except at Westgate SuperBook which opened New England at -10 1/2, but the line quickly rose to -12 1/2 within 24 hours. Mirage-MGM and Wynn have the Pats at -13 and that line has help steady there, while Coasts saw some early money on Buffalo, pulling the line down from -13 to -12 1/2. Expect plenty of movement this week, if the first 24-36 hours is any indication.

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (-4, 50)

The Panthers lost their sixth consecutive game on Monday night, and they're eliminated from the postseason chase for all intents and purposes. After Monday's loss there were reports QB Cam Newton (shoulder) is not 100 percent, and it wouldn't be surprising to see the team tab QB Taylor Heinicke as the starter in the final two games, perhaps seeing what he can do. Watch that closely.

 Jacksonville Jaguars at Miami Dolphins (-4.5, 39.5)

The Dolphins are still alive in the AFC playoff hunt, but they need to keep winning. They're 6-1 SU at home this season, but bettors like the Jags early on. Atlantis opened the Fish at -5, but it moved to -4 within 12 hours. Westgate has seen the line yo-yo from an open of -3 1/2 to -4 1/2, back down to -4.

New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts (-9, 46.5)

The Giants were blanked last weekend at home, while it was the Colts doing the blanking against the NFC East contending Cowboys. That's likely why this line is so high. There hasn't been a ton of early interest, but the money which has come in appears to be on Indy. At the Stratosphere the line moved from -9 to -9 1/2 rather quickly. If you like the Colts, check into Treasure Island, who still had the game at -8 1/2 as of Tuesday early AM.

Houston Texans at Philadelphia Eagles (-1, 45)

The first-place Texans roll into the City of Brotherly Love, and they're facing a suddenly alive Eagles team. We saw this movie before when QB Nick Foles surprised the Rams last season before kicking off an eventual Super Bowl run. Is 2018 going to be Nick Foles II: The Return of St. Nick?

Most shops opened this game at a pick 'em or with Houston laying the point. It quickly turned. Mirage-MGM opened at Texans -1 and it was flipped to Eagles -1 within seven hours. At Caesars/Harrah's, the line went from pick 'em to Philly -1 1/2. This game might see some of the biggest movement of the week.

Minnesota Vikings (-5.5, 43.5) at Detroit Lions

The early money is on the Vikings, as they fight for their playoff lives against the lowly Lions, who have long since been eliminated.

Westgate opened the Vikes at -4, and it quickly moved to -4 1/2 within a few minutes of open. It is now sitting at -5 1/2, getting in line with most other shops. Caesars and Mirage are still sitting at -5 for now, if you love the Vikings. But act fast.

Green Bay Packers at New York Jets (PK, 44)

The Packers were mathematically eliminated from the NFC playoff picture last week, and the Jets are extremely banged up and limping to the finish line. It will be interesting to see who is actually starting on both sides of the football this weekend.

Atlantis opened the Jets at -2, but the early money flowed in on the Packers, going to -1 within an hour and a half, and to a pick 'em within two hours. William Hill has been seeing a lot of action on this game, opening with the Pack -3, going down to -1 by Monday morning, and then up to Jets -2 by midday before settling back at -1. The total saw a lot of movement, too, opening at 45 before tumbling to 43 1/2. 

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (-7, 45)

This Batte of Ohio features the Browns still mathematically alive less than a week until Christmas. It's been a while since the fans on the shores of Lake Erie could say that.

Cleveland won 35-20 in the first meeting in Cincinnati, and they'll be facing a Bengals team which is pretty much dead in the AFC race. Vegas has them installed as a touchdown favorite nearly everywhere, although Caesars/Harrah's and TI still have Cleveland at -6 1/2 for now. 

Los Angeles Rams (-14, 47.5) at Arizona Cardinals

The Rams have stumbled on offense the past two weekends, losing at Chicago and home against Philly, and suddenly there are some doubts about their championship chances.

Most shops have the Rams as a healthy two-touchdown favorite, although Jerry's Nugget is offering them up at just -13. The Wynn opened this line higher than most, sitting at 48 with little movement so far.

Chicago Bears (-4, 42.5) at San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers have been a fly in the ointment in Santa Clara, just ask the Broncos and Seahawks who left with damaging L's. The early money has been on the Bears, opening at the Strat at -3 1/2 and moving to -4. Westgate has seen a lot of movement, opening at -5, before slipping to -3 1/2, back up to -4 and then back to -3 1/2 again. It looks like there is a lot of belief in the Niners after their 3-1 ATS run in the past four home outings.

Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints (-6, 57)

The Steelers won a huge game at home against the Patriots last week, while the Saints grinded out an ugly 12-9 win in Carolina on Monday night. Will the short week favor the visitors? Well, the early money global at [...] is on the Steelers, as the game opened at -7 and slipped to -6. 

Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5, 53) at Seattle Seahawks

Both of these teams are coming off losses, and the Chiefs can ill-afford another if they want to stay on the perch in the AFC. A loss might mean an extra playoff game and no bye week to rest. Surprisingly there has been very little movement on this line, sitting at -2 1/2 at most shops. TI is offering up the Chiefs at -2 if you really love them.

The total varies from shop to shop, as high as 54 at Wynn, and 53 at Caesars, Golden Nugget, the Strat and Westgate, among others.

Monday, Dec. 24

Denver Broncos (-2.5, 44.5) at Oakland Raiders

There hasn't been a lot of early action on this game, opening at -2 1/2 at most shops in favor of the skidding Broncos. If you like the Raiders, you can catch at extra half-point at TI, with Denver favored by -3 there. The total has received a little attention, moving from 44 1/2 to 45 at Coasts. Westgate has the total at 44, if you like the 'over', and the line has toggled between -3 and -2 1/2 foir the past day.

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  • Compare the latest NFL Odds from the best sportsbooks before placing a bet on this week's games.
  • Check out the North Carolina Sportsbooks just before they launch legal online sports betting.