- Ravens Keep Rallying With New York Giants Win
- Packers to Topple Titans as Division Leaders Collide
- Buffalo Bills Condemn Patriots to Losing Season
New York Giants @ Baltimore Ravens
The New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens will clash in Week 16, both of the understanding this is a must-win matchup for either franchise to keep alive their playoff hopes.
Baltimore (9-5) are third in the AFC North approaching the penultimate round of this NFL season, two wins behind leaders the Pittsburgh Steelers and one off the Cleveland Browns in second.
The Giants (5-9), meanwhile, sit third in the NFC East, the only division from which all four teams can still mathematically qualify for the post-season with two matches left to play.
It’s no surprise the Ravens are shorted as low as -600 with Borgata considering they’re on the cusp of a season’s best four wins in succession, while the +425 Giants have lost two in a row.
This will be only the sixth meeting between these two franchises and their first encounter since October 2016. The Giants have won two of the last three run-ins with the Ravens but are 2-4 against this foe all-time, including the 34-7 hammering they suffered at Super Bowl XXXV (2001):
New York Giants @ Baltimore Ravens Game Info
Date: Sunday, December 27
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Venue: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
TV Info: FOX
The total points over at M&T Bank Stadium is 45.5 priced at -105, a mark these two teams have beat in four of their six encounters to date. The issue here is that the defensive priorities of the New York Giants (also read: weak offense) could strip the Ravens of some of their potency in attack.
To contrast the two at present, the Giants have accumulated 13 points total in their past two games, while Baltimore are averaging more than three times that amount in Weeks 13 to 14.
Last season’s MVP, Lamar Jackson, has been in slick form of late and has been a major factor in the Ravens’ current three-win streak.
The quarterback situation at MetLife Stadium is less tenable after Colt McCoy stood in as New York’s starting quarterback for their 20-6 loss to the Browns last time out. The signs looks promising that Daniel Jones could return to the starter role this Sunday, however:
Daniel Jones looks a lot better at the start of today’s #Giants practice than he did early last week. Even did a sprint out in warmups. Joe Judge evaluating closely here. But if he doesn’t have a setback, his chances look better than last week to play vs #Ravens Sunday pic.twitter.com/RzLrjuIYOL— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) December 23, 2020
The Giants’ focus has to be on defense if they’re to get anything out of this game, akin to their surprise 17-12 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 13. That game saw them effectively pacify one of the league’s best passing units, but the priority will shift this week to stopping Baltimore’s elite rush offense.
The favored Ravens should still cover a 10.5-point spread at -115—as they have done in seven of their nine wins to date this season—but could verge on their lower-scoring side of the campaign. Running-backs JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards are in the kind of form to break down even the stingiest defenses at present, while wide receiver Marquise Brown has broken his mid-season slump.
Add to that the motivation that Baltimore could still feasibly beat the Steelers to the AFC North title, and John Harbaugh’s side seem almost certain to cruise at home.
Giants @ Ravens Prediction: Ravens by 16
- New York Giants: +425
- Baltimore Ravens: -600
Titans @ Packers
Fireworks look guaranteed to set off at Lambeau Field in Week 16 when the Tennessee Titans visit the Green Bay Packers, with so much riding on the line for both franchises.
Tennessee (10-4) are current leaders of the AFC South and travel to Wisconsin as the highest-scoring team in the NFL this season (436 points). NFC North pace-setters Green Bay (11-3) have racked up only two points fewer thru 14 games, making it difficult to pick apart two of this season’s most impressive outfits and genuine contenders for Super Bowl LV.
Still, BetMGM have picked the Packers as -185 favorites for this clash, while Tennessee customers can rally behind the visitors as +155 underdogs having lost once on the road all season.
The Titans have emerged victorious in four of the last five matchups between these teams, but the Packers waltzed away as rampant 55-7 winners the last time they met around Christmas (Dec. 23, 2012).
Tennessee Titans @ Green Bay Packers Game Info
Date: Sunday, December 27
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Venue: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
TV Info: NBC
Aaron Rodgers played a major role in that festive frenzy and is enjoying the kind of form to suggest Green Bay are capable of covering the 3.5-point spread at -105 odds. The Packers have lacked their usual punch at times during recent wins over the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers—whom they beat by 7.5 points on average—but anything looks possible with Rodgers at quarterback and playing with confidence:
His chances look promising at home to Tennessee, who have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL this year—only four teams have allowed more passing touchdowns in 2020, three of whom are at the bottom of their respective divisions.
The Titans make up in part for their porous defense with an elite running game, with Derrick Henry being the crown jewel atop their treasure trove of rush talents:
Only two players in NFL history have recorded 100-yd games in 9 straight road games or more:— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) December 23, 2020
9* Streak 10
1,336 Yards 1,363
15 TD 6
S/O Derrick Henry for putting up Barry Sanders numbers! pic.twitter.com/TKZhIcoBfn
That being said, there’s a much greater balance to the way Green Bay operate with the ball, and that combined with their superior defense could spell bad omens for Sunday’s guests. AJ Brown has stepped up to the plate as Ryan Tannehill’s most effective catching option, but the Packers simply look more expansive in their options and less likely to be stumped when Plans A, B or C don’t work out.
Matt LaFleur’s side are available at +310 odds to win by one to six points at Lambeau Field, where the Minnesota Vikings are the only away team who can brag of victory this season. Despite a poor record in their more recent outings opposite Tennessee, this season’s Packers look like the more pragmatic problem-solvers across the field.
Titans @ Packers Prediction: Packers by 6
Tennessee Titans: +155
Green Bay Packers: -185
Odds via BetMGM TN
NFL Week 16: Bills @ Patriots
The Buffalo Bills can further underline their place as AFC East winners for the 2020 season if they manage to beat the New England Patriots in Foxborough in Week 16.
Sean McDermott’s men sit atop their division with an 11-3 record heading into the final weeks of the season, though they can still underscore their best campaign in more than 20 years. The Bills are enjoying their best season since 1999 when they finished 11-5, having failed to notch 13 regular season victories since 1991 when they ended as Super Bowl runners-up.
The 2020 season has been considerably less prosperous for the Patriots, who will miss out on the playoffs for the first time in 12 years and could record their first losing season since 2000, Bill Belichick’s debut season as their head coach.
New England are available at +245 moneyline odds with Unibet, while New Jersey-based customers can find Buffalo as -315 favorites and fancied to clinch a new season’s best of five wins in a row.
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots Game Info
Date: Monday, December 28
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Venue: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
TV Info: ESPN
Much of Buffalo’s success this season has come down to the improved form of quarterback Josh Allen. However, the Pats’ defense has hope in that regard given only the Dolphins (16) and Rams (15) have conceded fewer passing touchdowns than their 17 this season.
The Bills have averaged 35 points per game in their last six outings, and Allen most recently impressed with 359 yards, two passing touchdowns and two rushing TDs of his own in a 48-19 thrashing of the Denver Broncos in Week 15.
While McDermott looks settled on his QB for years to come as long as he’s happy with the franchise, Cam Newton’s New England experiment hasn’t worked out as many might have hoped.
The Patriots notched a combined 15 points during recent back-to-back defeats against the Los Angeles Rams and Miami Dolphins, with coach Belichick proving testy when asked for a status update regarding his quarterback situation this week:
Bill Belichick doesn’t tip his hand on if he is sticking with QB Cam Newton this week. Here is the opening Q&A this morning. pic.twitter.com/qE2bAnHua3— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) December 23, 2020
With playoff football no longer on the table, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Belichick roll the dice in some selections and had minutes to those who need them, even if it means greater risk to the result. As such, the Bills look like great value to beat a seven-point spread at -110, while they’re an even more appealing +110 to over 8.5 points.
Buffalo emerged on the winning side of a 24-21 result when they met New England in November, but a more comprehensive win is to be expected this time around.
Bills @ Patriots Moneyline Odds & Prediction: Bills by 9
Buffalo Bills: -315
New England Patriots: +245
Odds via Unibet NJ