Betting Recap – Week 16

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Overall Notes

National Football League Week 16 Results
Wager Favorites-Underdogs
Straight Up 11-4
Against the Spread 9-6
Wager Home-Away
Straight Up 9-6
Against the Spread 9-6
Wager Totals (O/U)
Over-Under 8-7
National Football League Year-to-Date Results
Wager Favorites-Underdogs
Straight Up 156-77-1
Against the Spread 105-127-2
Wager Home-Away
Straight Up 118-115-1
Against the Spread 113-119-2
Wager Totals (O/U)
Over-Under 113-114-6

The largest underdogs to win straight up

  • Bengals +7.5 (ML +275) at Texans, 37-31
  • Jets +6.5 (ML +250) vs. Browns, 23-16
  • 49ers +6 (ML +230) at Cardinals, 20-12
  • Cowboys +3 (ML +155) vs. Eagles, 37-17

The largest favorites to cover

  • Buccaneers (-12) at Lions, 47-7
  • Ravens (-9.5) vs. Giants, 27-13
  • Bears (-9) at Jaguars, 41-17
  • Saints (-6.5) vs. Vikings, 52-33

The Biggest Disappointment of the Week

If you bet the Cleveland Browns early in the week at an open of -10, or -9.5, you were greeted with the news Saturday afternoon that the team's top four wide receivers on the depth chart - Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, Donovan Peoples-Jones and KhaDarel Hodge were each positive for COVID-19, and they would be out for Sunday's game against the New York Jets. That meant the team had to call-up two wide receivers from the practice squad to join WR Marvin Hall on the 53-man roster. Not so good. The game closed at -6.5, and even that was never going to happen.

The Browns fired out to a 3-0 lead with a field goal to cap off their initial drive, and there were some thoughts they might be OK. That idea was quickly erased when they fell for a trick play, as WR Jamison Crowder hit WR Braxton Berrios for a 43-yard touchdown late in the first quarter to take a 7-3 lead, covering the first-quarter spread at +2.5 (-130), by the way.

They added a pair of touchdowns early in the second quarter, and midway through the third, pushing their lead to 20-3. It was their biggest lead of the season. RB Nick Chubb cut the lead to 20-10 with a 1-yard touchdown run late in the third, and RB Kareem Hunt added a touchdown early in the fourth, slicing the lead to 20-16. That's as close as the Browns would get.

The Jets tacked on a field goal late, making it 23-16. Cleveland had a chance to tie, but QB Baker Mayfield had a fumble on fourth and short. They recovered ahead of the line to gain, but only the fumbler can advance the ball, so it was returned to the spot of the fumble, which was short. That was Cleveland's last gasp, and Browns side bettors never really had a chance at a cover.

The Biggest Disappointment of the Week - Part II

Going back to Saturday's game between the Miami Dolphins-Las Vegas Raiders, it was a rough night if you were laying the two points with the Raiders, or holding an 'under' (47) ticket.

 Things were going according to plan if you bet the Raiders +2.5 and/or the 'under' (47). The Raiders were up 7-3 after 15 minutes, and they held a 13-6 lead into halftime. However, the Dolphins tied it up 13-13 on their first possession of the third quarter, while Daniel Carlson closed the scoring late in the third quarter to restore the lead of the home side, 16-13.

There were no points in the first 10:59 of the fourth quarter until Jason Sanders booted a 22-yard field goal to tie the game 16-16 with 4:01 left in regulation. Under bettors were still in great shape, and the Raiders were still covering. Then, things went haywire.

QB Derek Carr hits WR Nelson Agholor on an 85-yard touchdown strike just 24 seconds later to take a 22-16 lead, but Carlson misfired on the point-after attempt. That would be costly.

RB Myles Gaskin galloped 59 yards on a pass and catch from newly inserted QB Ryan Fitzpatrick just 42 seconds later, giving the Dolphins a 23-22 lead with 2:55 to go in regulation. Still, the 'under' was hitting, and the Raiders were also cashing with the points. Carlson atoned with 22-yard field goal to make it 25-23, crushing the dreams of under bettors. The Dolphins got the ball back and ended up driving down for a 44-yard field goal attempt from Sanders, and the Dolphins pulled off a miracle 26-25 win.

Total Recall

The lowest total on the board for Week 16 was the Carolina Panthers-Washington Football Team (41.5) game, and apparently it wasn't low enough. The Panthers had a 6-0 lead after 15 minutes, and a 20-3 lead over former head coach Ron Rivera and WFT, and 'over' bettors actually were on pace for a winner for a while. But the Washington defense tightened up in the second half, and pitched a shutout. However, Rivera decided to bench ineffective QB Dwayne Haskins in favor of backup QB Taylor Heinicke too late, and the home side could only close to within 20-13. That's how it ended, and the 'under' was never in doubt.

The highest total on the board this week was in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Detroit Lions (55) game on Saturday afternoon. The Bucs certainly did their part, throwing up 47 points, but the Lions were able to muster up just seven. It was a rough finish, too. The Bucs held a 34-0 lead at halftime, and they were up 47-7 after 45 minutes, but a scoreless fourth quarter had 'over' bettors just shaking their heads in disbelief.

As far as the primetime games were concerned, we covered the Dolphins-Raiders situation above. On Sunday night, the Tennessee Titans-Green Bay Packers (52.5) played in a winter wonderland at Lambeau Field. It was snowing pretty good early on, but tailed off in the end. The teams struggled to get their footing early on, and we had just six points after 15 minutes. Green Bay took a 20-6 lead into halftime, and they were just about halfway to the over, too. After 28 total points in the second half, mostly thanks to the Pack, there were a total of 54 points on the board for a narrow 'over' play. The 'over' is 2-0 in primetime games of Week 16 with Monday's game between the Buffalo Bills-New England Patriots (46.5) still pending.

So far this season the under is 27-19 (58.7%) across 46 primetime games. In 2019, the 'under' went 31-17-1 (64.6%) during primetime games.

Looking Ahead to Week 17

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

The Bengals are finishing up strong, winners of the past two games as underdogs of a touchdown or more, while the Ravens are still playing to get into the playoffs. Baltimore has covered five straight games, and they're 7-1 ATS in the past eight inside the AFC North, including a dominant 27-3 in Charm City back in Week 5 as 12.5-point favorites, a number similar to this one. The 'under' easily cashed in that game, too.

The Ravens defense has been the story lately, allowing 17 or fewer points in three of the past four games. The exception was that wild 47-42 win in Cleveland on Dec. 14 in Week 14. The Ravens are also 9-3 ATS in the past 12 games on the road, and 8-3 ATS in the previous 11 against teams with a winning record, too. As far as the Bengals are concerned, they have covered five of the past six at home, while going 4-1 ATS in the past five at home as a 'dog. They're also 1-6-1 ATS in the past eight games in the month of January, but 4-0 ATS in the past four games played in Week 17.

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

The Cowboys and Giants square off at Met Life Stadium on Sunday, and Dallas is still alive for the NFC East Division title. They need to win, and then turn into the biggest Philadelphia Eagles fans for Sunday Night Football. These teams met back in Big D on Oct. 11 in Week 5, with the Cowboys squeaking out a 37-34 win. That was the day that things changed for the Cowboys, as QB Dak Prescott was knocked out of the game, and it meant a revolving door of QBs Andy Dalton, Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert due to injuries and COVID-19. Dalton is back healthy and this team might be playing the best football of anyone in the division. Dallas has won three in a row, averaging 36.0 PPG, and they have covered three in a row, too. The G-Men are eliminated from playoff contention now, but boy wouldn't they love to ruin the chance of their rivals from going to the playoffs.

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)

The Titans are probably still thawing out after a bone-chilling loss in Green Bay in the snow. The Titans need to pick up a win in their finale or get some help to make the playoffs. There is a still a chance they could be the odd-man out in the AFC race, so don't expect any let-up in Houston. Tennessee is 5-2-1 ATS in the past eight games against teams with a losing record, although they're just 6-19-1 ATS in the past 26 road games against teams with a losing home mark. The Texans were bounced by the Bengals at home in a high-scoring game, and they're now 2-5 ATS in the past seven at home, and 2-6 ATS in the past eight against teams with a winning record.

In this series, the Titans are just 1-5 ATS in the past six trips to Houston, and the home team is 7-2 ATS in the past nine meetings. However, rarely has their been a Houston team that is this poor and inconsistent, so those trends might not hold much water.

Washington Football Team at Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)

The WFT heads to the City of Brotherly Love looking to bring an NFC East Division title to D.C. Washington rattled off four straight wins against Cincinnati, Dallas, Pittsburgh and San Francisco, and looked like they were going to cruise to the division title. But narrow losses to Seattle and Carolina at home the past two games have them reeling. While they have been inconsistent on offense, total bettors love them at the window. The 'under' is 4-0 in the past four for Washington, and 9-2 across the past 11 overall. In Week 1, Washington topped Philadelphia by a 27-17 score as 5.5-point underdogs as the 'over' hit. Philly is also out of the running for the NFC East title due to their loss in Dallas in Week 15, but they could spoil things for Washington. However, the Eagles are ice cold, going 1-6 SU/2-5 ATS across the past seven.
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