FairwayJay's NFL Underdog Picks for Week 16
The NFL hot streak continues into Week 16, and we chip-in a more underdog picks and information you can bet on. Following a 2-0 result in Week 15, the NFL underdog picks posting here at OSGA are 9-0 ATS the last four weeks including 3-0 in Week 14 and 2-0 in Week 13 and Week 12.
That runs the 2022 season record to 30-21 (58.5%) ATS with 23 outright winners. As we complete our sixth straight season posting NFL underdog picks at Off Shore Gaming Association, the record now stands at 160-112 ATS, also 58.8% with 91 outright winners - a nice benefit for OSGA members and followers.
Week 15 was another good one for underdog bettors, as favorites went 12-4 SU but just 6-9-1 ATS. On Sunday, early kickoff games saw underdogs go 6-0 ATS before favorites bounced back in the late games to go 4-0 SU and 3-0-1 ATS with all three AFC West teams winning on the Broncos, Chargers and disbelieving, unbelievable final play to give the Raiders a 30-24 win over the Patriots and complete our 2-0 week with a win on Las Vegas. The Raiders market move went from a 1-point underdog when we released to 2-point favorite at close. We chipped in an additional bonus winner and analysis on the Broncos as Denver went from pk to -1 to -3 at close in their 24-15 win over the Cardinals while rushing for 168 yards on 34 rushing attempts - more positive profiles as we add below.
Now this week we're trying to get ahead of the projected market moves at the leading online sportsbooks with a play on the New England Patriots, who were a +3.5 point home underdog to the red hot Cincinnati Bengals. As of Wednesday, we now see mostly +3 with some support on New England. Regardless, we'll play the Patriots with some additional positive ATS profiles noted below and passed along from our friends and colleagues at Playbook Sports.
Along with the Thursday night game between the Jaguars and Jets (-1.5) in New York, there are 11 games on Christmas Eve on Saturday, Dec. 24, and 3 on Christmas Day Sunday, Dec. 25. The Monday Night Football game on Dec. 26 has some playoff implications with the Chargers (8-6) a 5-point road favorite at Indianapolis against the Colts (4-9-1).
The Jets (7-7) are currently out of the playoff picture but still in the race while the Jaguars (6-8) are just one game behind the Tennessee Titans (7-7) for the AFC South division title.
NFL Week 16 Odds and Spread Betting Data
Bet Count so far— Dave Mason (@DaveMasonBOL) December 21, 2022
71% JAX pk @ NYJ
53% MIN -4 v NYG
63% CLE -3 v NO
79% DET -2.5 @ CAR
75% CIN -3 @ NE
66% CHI +9 v BUF
54% HOU+4.5 @ TEN
82% SEA +10 @ KC
70% ATL +7.5 @ BAL
73% SF -7 v WSH
70% PHI +4.5 @ DAL
52% PIT -2.5 v LV
54% GB +3.5 @ MIA
56% DEN -2.5 @ LAR
Key games Saturday involving playoff teams include: (Line courtesy of BetOnline)
New York Giants at Minnesota (-4.5)
Cincinnati (-3) at New England
Seattle at Kansas City (-10)
The Seahawks (7-7) are taking the most spread bets as the biggest underdog and Seattle is still in the playoff chase despite four losses in their last five games. Seattle and the Detroit Lions (7-7) are just a half game behind the Washington Commanders (7-6-1) for the final Wild Card spot. The Lions have won 6-of-7 and been part of our underdog picks often.
NFL Weather for Week 16
Be sure to check Friday's injury report and note that Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence (toe) is questionable for Thursday night's game. Also, NFL Weather plays a key part in NFL games at this time of year, and bitterly cold conditions are in play in Chicago (0-5 degrees with 20+ MPH winds) for the Bills vs Bears contest along with Cleveland (5-10 degrees with 20+ MHP winds) between the Saints and Browns and the lowest over/under of the season at 32 points. In Kansas City (5-10 degrees with 10-15 MPH Winds) it will also be cold for the Seahawks vs Chiefs anticipated higher-scoring game with the highest posted over/under on Saturday at 49 points. It will be 10-15 degrees with 10 MPH winds in Nashville for the Texans vs Titans first to 20 points wins. The Falcons vs Ravens and second start for Atlanta QB Desmond Ridder will be another tough one in 10-15 degree weather and 15 MPH winds in Baltimore. And in Pittsburgh it will be 10-15 degrees with 15 MPH winds for the Raiders vs Steelers on the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception in the Raiders/Steelers playoff game by RB Franco Harris, who passed away yesterday at age 72.
NFL Week 16 Underdog Picks
New England (+3.5) vs Cincinnati - Patriots moneyline +150
Cincinnati at New England
I bet this Monday at +3.5 and remained their until today with most books now favoring Cincinnati -3. You can still get New England +3.5 at Bovada (-115) and other online sportsbooks lay up to -125. To be fair, I'll grade it at +3 if it remains there at a majority of sportsbooks into Saturday's kickoff in Foxboro, where it will be clear to partly cloudy with freezing temps below 20 degrees and 10-15 MPH winds making it feel closer to 0-5 degrees. That sucks to play in, but could be worse, and the Bengals have three combined starting offensive and defensive lineman not practicing yet this week. The Bengals (10-4) lead the AFC North and are the biggest money maker in the NFL at 11-3 ATS. With home games against the Bills and Ravens remaining, the Bengals road to the division title is still a tough one and don't expect much separation against the Patriots. Cincinnati is in the playoffs and will have a chance to reach their second-straight Super Bowl, which the Super Bowl champions and big underachieving Rams (4-10) will not be able to do. The Bengals ride a 6-0 SU/ATS run into this contest, but yards projections of less than 350 yards for both teams and poor special teams ratings for Cincinnati has us backing the home underdog Patriots (7-7). New England's rally and unfortunate loss last weekend leaves them as a longshot to make the playoffs with games against the Dolphins and Bills in Buffalo still remaining. The Bengals trailed 17-0 at Tampa Bay last week before turnover troubles buried the Buccaneers, who had four second half TO's and a 4-1 turnover deficit. Read my recent Winning and Losing the Turnover Battle article for more insight on NFL turnovers and impact on SU and ATS wins.
Brady also passed for 312 yards against the Bengals last week and Tannehill of the Titans 292 in recent weeks vs Cincinnati. The Patriots can balance the attack and New England did rush for 206 yards on 32 rushing attempts last week vs the Raiders indoors (Rhamondre Stevenson 172 on 19 carries). Both those numbers are very positive profiles (see below). The Bengals rushed for just 53 yards last week and rank No. 26 in rushing (100/game, 3.9 YPR). Quarterback Joe Burrow still ranks highly and is top-5 in passing yards (3,885). But the media has stopped talking about Bengals coach Zac Taylor the past two seasons after nearly running him out of Cincinnati following 2020 with bettors knowing he is still not near top tier or in the same league as the GOAT Bill Belichick, who is 14-0 ATS as a non-division 'Dog coming off a loss with New England.
ATS Situations and Rushing Stats
The Playbook Newsletter adds this awesome angle that is 10-1 ATS: Play against any NFL team that is 6-0 SU/ATS in its last six games (Bengals) if they are facing a sub .700 non-division opponent.
My weekly records from box score data for nearly two decades shows this season that teams who rush for at least 150 yards in a game cover the point spread at a 75% rate. Teams that outrush their opponent by at least 30 yards in a game are better than a 75% ATS winning situation and nearly 80% the past two seasons. Teams that run the ball at least 30 times in a game cover the point spread at a 78% success rate this season while teams that run the ball less than 23 times in a game cover at just a 16-17% rate.
Here's another ATS situation to note this week: Play against any NFL .500 exact favorite off a loss in Game 15 of the season - That’s because these teams are just 16-45-4 ATS in this role dating back to 1980. Worse, send these .500 choke artists home off a loss and they fall to 7-28-2 ATS. And if these same teams are facing a sub .500 opponent they are a heart-stopping 2-19-1 ATS in this role since 1980. The New York Jets (7-7) and Tennessee Titans (7-7) are up against it this week, but you clearly have to monitor and note the QB situations for all teams, including the opponents with Trevor Lawrence questionable and the Texans mixing up two QBs in Davis Mills and Jeff Driskel against the Titans.
Teams that are +3 or greater in turnovers in a game this season are now 28-1 SU and 27-2 ATS. Teams that are exactly +2 in the turnover column are 38-8 SU and 42-4 ATS.
Like last week's additional underdog pick ahead of the weekend games, check back for more picks and match-ups of interest in Week 16 along with information you can bet on.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper with unparalleled success in NFL pointspread prognosis. Fairway is recognized as one of the sports industry's insightful analysts, and he chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Follow FairwayJay here at OSGA.com and on Twitter @FairwayJay for more betting insights.