Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:00 AM
Sunday Blitz - Week 16
GAMES TO WATCH
Texans at Eagles (-2 ½, 46 ½) – 1:00 PM EST
Houston (10-4 SU, 6-7-1 ATS) is on the doorstep of capturing the AFC South title following an 0-3 start. The Texans rebounded from a 24-21 home loss to the Colts in Week 14 to hold off the Jets last Saturday, 29-22. Houston jumped out to an early 16-3 lead, but New York rallied to grab a 22-19 fourth quarter advantage. Deshaun Watson hit DeAndre Hopkins on a 14-yard touchdown connection with 2:15 remaining to give Houston the lead and a late field goal to push on the closing side of seven.
In spite of a disappointing start, the Eagles (7-7 SU, 5-9 ATS) are still in the mix to win the NFC East after last season’s Super Bowl hero bailed them out last week. Nick Foles paced the Philadelphia offense with 270 yards passing as the Eagles held off the Rams, 30-23 to cash as heavy 13 ½-point underdogs. The Eagles rushed for three touchdowns as Philadelphia cashed in the underdog role for the first time this season.
The Texans will be without running back Lamar Miller (1,080 yards), who is out with an ankle injury. Houston has never beaten Philadelphia in four lifetime meetings, as the Eagles beat the Texans as short road favorites in their last matchup in 2014. The Eagles look to improve on a 2-5 ATS record in the role of a home favorite this season, while the Texans have won and covered in their last two opportunities as a road ‘dog.
Best Bet: Eagles 26, Texans 20
Buccaneers at Cowboys (-7, 48) – 1:00 PM EST
For the second straight season, Tampa Bay (5-9 SU, 6-7-1 ATS) will finish with a losing record as the Bucs are coming off consecutive defeats to the Saints and Ravens. The offense didn’t fare well the last two weeks by scoring a total of 26 points, while barely covering as 8 ½-point underdogs in a 20-12 defeat at Baltimore. Tampa Bay has hit the UNDER in four straight games, while the Bucs are seeking their first road victory since the Week 1 upset of New Orleans.
The Cowboys (8-6 SU, 8-6 ATS) saw their five-game winning streak come to an abrupt halt in last week’s 23-0 shutout at Indianapolis. Dak Prescott failed to throw a touchdown pass for the third time this season, while Amari Cooper was limited to 32 yards receiving after amassing 217 yards in the Week 14 overtime win against Philadelphia. The good news for the Cowboys is Dallas looks to improve on a 6-1 record at AT&T Stadium, while covering in five of those victories.
This is the second time this season that Dallas is listed as a touchdown favorite, as the Cowboys held off the Redskins on Thanksgiving, 31-23. The last time these teams hooked up came in 2016 as Dallas won, 26-20, but the Buccaneers covered as seven-point underdogs. Tampa Bay is seeking its first win in “Big D” since the season opener of 2001.
Best Bet: Cowboys 28, Buccaneers 24
Steelers at Saints (-6 ½, 53) – 4:25 PM EST
In spite of dropping three consecutive games from Week 12 through Week 14, Pittsburgh (8-5-1 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) is back in first place in the AFC North after holding off New England, 17-10 as 2 ½-point home underdogs last Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger tossed a pair of touchdowns, including a 17-yard connection to Antonio Brown to give the Steelers a 14-7 second quarter lead. Pittsburgh improved to 4-0 SU/ATS in the underdog role, while receiving their most points in a regular season game since being listed as a 7 ½-point ‘dog to New England in an 11-point loss in 2016.
The Saints (12-2 SU, 10-4 ATS) are playing their first game at the Superdome since Thanksgiving night as New Orleans is coming off a 2-1 road trip. After Dallas put a halt to New Orleans’ 10-game winning streak in Week 13, the Saints rallied past the Buccaneers the next week, then edged the Panthers, 12-9 last Monday night. New Orleans had several opportunities to cover as six-point favorites, but a late fumble out of the end zone resulted in a touchback and killed a chance for an ATS win.
The defense has stepped up of late for the Saints by limiting their last six opponents to 17 points or less, while hitting the UNDER in five straight contests. Pittsburgh is riding a five-game UNDER streak away from Heinz Field, as its last road OVER came in Week 3 at Tampa Bay. The Saints have won the last two matchups with the Saints since 2010, including a 35-32 triumph at Heinz Field in 2014 as 3 ½-point underdogs.
Best Bet: Saints 31, Steelers 20
Kevin Rogers (4-1 last week, 37-36-2 this season)
Jets +2 ½
Giants +9 ½
Chris David (3-2 last week, 48-26-1 this season)
Panthers +3 ½
Texans +2 ½
Jets +2 ½
BEST TOTAL PLAY
UNDER 44 ½ - Bengals at Browns (1-0 last week, 9-6 this season)
Cleveland routed Cincinnati in its last matchup at Paul Brown Stadium, 35-20 last month. The Browns have cashed three straight UNDERS since that win, while finishing UNDER the total in four of the past six home contests. The Bengals have scored 21 points or fewer in five of the last six games, as Cincinnati dropped 30 points on Oakland last Sunday. The last four meetings in Cleveland have finished UNDER the total as this game should continue the trend.
TRAP OF THE WEEK
The Dolphins have compiled an impressive 6-1 record at Hard Rock Stadium as Miami hosts Jacksonville in its home finale. The Jaguars have lost five of six road games with the last victory away from north Florida coming in Week 1 against the Giants. Miami has covered in all three opportunities as a home favorite of 3 ½ points or less, while the Jaguars have won once since the start of October. Something doesn’t seem right with the Dolphins laying 3 ½ against Cody Kessler.
BIGGEST LINE MOVE
The Panthers opened as 3 ½-point favorites against the Falcons at the Westgate Superbook last week. However, after the announcement of Carolina shutting down quarterback Cam Newton for the rest of the season, the Panthers flipped to a 2 ½-point underdog. Carolina has lost six straight games since a 6-2 start as they turn to former Old Dominion standout Tyler Heinicke to try and end this skid. The Falcons own a 1-5 road record, while being listed as a road favorite for the second time this season.
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW
The 49ers are the first team since 2001 to be listed as a home underdog in three consecutive weeks, while winning in the first two opportunities. San Francisco beat Denver and Seattle in the first two chances, as the Niners welcome in the Bears as a ‘dog once again. In case you were wondering, two teams fell into that situation in ’01 as both the Redskins and Seahawks fell into this rare system. Seattle lost to Miami and Washington beat Seattle, so there isn’t a huge sample size, just an interesting nugget.
Want FREE picks for Week 16 in the NFL? Check them out here for the top three games of the weekend along with other insider selections.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]
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