- The NFL features multiple massive matchups this week, including the Indianapolis Colts as 1.5-point favorites over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Other pivotal games include the Los Angeles Rams battling for the NFC West against the Seattle Seahawks (-1.5), and the Green Bay Packers (-3.0) hosting the Tennessee Titans.
LAS VEGAS – The NFL has reached its penultimate weekend with Week 16 featuring numerous important games across the league.
Many thought the NFL wouldn’t make it this far back in September when the season kicked off, but with some intense scheduling adjustments and just a few positive COVID tests, the NFL looks as it could wrap up a successful season.
The playoff picture is taking place and NFL fans and bettors are monitoring where many of the top teams’ currently sit in the standings.
There are three games this week that could have a huge impact on the way the playoffs turn out, beginning with the AFC matchup between the 10-4 Indianapolis Colts and the 11-3 Pittsburgh Steelers.
Odds for all of the NFL games can be found at any of the legal online sportsbooks.
NFL Week 16 – 1:00 p.m. EST
- Indianapolis Colts -130
- Pittsburgh Steelers +110
- Spread: IND -1.5
- Over/Under: 45.0
The Steelers are currently in first place in the AFC North, but just one game ahead of the Cleveland Browns who they will meet in the final game of the regular season next week.
The Colts are in second in the AFC South, currently tied with the Tennessee Titans. Both teams need a win this week to secure the lead in their respective divisions.
The Steelers have lost three games in a row following their 11-0 start and are now officially in paper tiger territory. Many criticized the Steelers’ win streak as simply overcoming weak opposition, and that theory appears to be true following disappointing performances against the Buffalo Bills, Washington Football Team, and the Cincinnati Bengals last week.
On the other side, the Colts are winners of three straight and have actually awakened some offensive power to go along with their consistent defense. The Colts have scored at least 26 points in eight of their last nine games, and have ascended to the eighth-highest scoring offense in the NFL at 28.5 points per game.
Bettors looking to make on play on this game should note that both teams are 8-6 against the spread this year. The Colts have covered the spread in their last four road games, while the Steelers have failed to cover in four straight overall.
The next game of note for Week 16 might be the deciding factor in another division, the NFC West.
NFL Week 16 – 4:25 p.m. EST
- Los Angeles Rams +105
- Seattle Seahawks -125
- Spread: SEA -1.5
- Over/Under: 47.5
The 9-5 Los Angeles Rams just suffered one of the worst upsets in NFL history, losing to the 0-13 New York Jets in a game where they were a 17-point favorite.
The team that took the field last week simply had no business being anywhere close to playoff contention, and will now face the 10-4 Seattle Seahawks with hopes of taking the lead in the NFC West.
The Seahawks’ much-maligned pass defense has been shaping up a bit in recent weeks, elevating the team defense to 14th in the league in points allowed; much improved from the bottom-five status they held earlier in the season.
That pairs well with the offense led by Russell Wilson, which currently ranks fourth in the NFL in scoring. They will go up against a Rams defense that ranks third in the league in points allowed.
Bettors should note that the Rams are 4-0 against the spread versus teams with a winning record this season. The success of the Rams hinges largely on Jared Goff and the offense, who seem to love to play down to or elevate themselves to the level of competition at hand.
They will certainly need to improve their performance scoring the ball in order to keep up with the Seahawks.
Finally, bettors are keying into the odds for the inter-conference matchup between the Tennessee Titans and the Green Bay Packers.
NFL Week 16 – 8:20 p.m. EST
- Tennessee Titans +155
- Green Bay Packers -175
- Spread: GB -3.0
- Over/Under: 56.0
A matchup between two division leaders is still paramount in the quest for playoff seeding.
The 10-4 Titans are trying to fend off the Colts in order to avoid having to jostle in the Wild Card race, while the Packers are looking for a possible backdoor shot at a top seed in the NFC.
The Titans have the NFL’s No. 1 scoring offense at 31.1 points per game. That might be surprising to some who haven’t watched the explosive weapons on Tennessee’s offense in recent weeks.
— 929ESPN (@929espn) December 20, 2020
Unfortunately, that offense has to complement a defense that ranks 21st in scoring, allowing 25.8 points per game.
They will have the job of stopping Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, who own the third-best scoring offense at 31.0 points per game.
Needless the say, the over/under is set relatively high at 56.0 points, but not too high to be out of reach for either of these teams. The Titans have hit the over in 10 of their 14 games, while the Packers have gone perfectly even at 7-7 against the point total.
Both teams would love a big win on a primetime stage, but it is hard to deny that the Titans need it far worse than the Packers. Whether that translates to increased effort on the field remains to be seen.
Jimmy began his journalistic journey as a stat recorder and PA announcer for his middle school baseball team. Full of experience across print, broadcast, and sports radio, he brings his knowledge and toolkit to the LegalSportsBetting team. You can find him watching sports, making parlays, and listening to music on any day ending in Y.