Christmas has arrived, and while it is a joyous occasions there will be plenty of squirming by those betting NFL football on Dec. 24 and 25 -- with most games falling on Christmas Eve this year.
This year more than ever, the NFL has seen so many one-score outcomes or the final drive determining who covers the spread. For those not aware, this has not been a great year for the sportsbooks, particularly the past 4-5 weeks, with the public coming out ahead. That has been because of parlay exposure and having certain teams week-to-week taking what could be a small profit for the books and having them end up in the red because they are falling short on parlays. After breaking down the NFL odds, this is what I have for Week 16 selections.
2-Team Parlay: Saints (-3) & Texans (Pick'em)
After having a very good turnaround season, Tampa Bay ended has a rather difficult close to the season schedule-wise. Though they covered last week in Dallas, that did not help the Buccaneers in their quest for playoffs. After two poor games, Drew Brees blew up and laid 48 points on Arizona last Sunday. Now back in the comfort of the Superdome, New Orleans just lost at Tampa Bay 13 days ago and would love to squash the Bucs' postseason hopes.
Houston opened as a -2.5 point favorite vs. Cincinnati on Saturday night and has been pushed to a pick'em with questions about if former backup QB Tom Savage can play another fine game and star receiver A.J. Green ready for action for Cincinnati after missing the past four games. Though the Bengals might have more overall talent, the Texans are 6-1 SU at home while the Bengals have scuffled on the road at 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS. Also keep in mind Houston is 7-1 ATS vs. Cincy.
3-Team Parlay: Packers (-6.5) & Jaguars (+4.5) & Broncos (+3)
Green Bay is on a serious run and with a victory would play for NFC North title next week no matter what Detroit does Monday. Minnesota's defense is worn out and the offense never worked with Sam Bradford.
Jacksonville has an interim head coach and Tennessee has the pressure of having to win on the road to set up an AFC South title game with Houston next week. The Titans' running game will probably carry them to a win, but it will be hard fought and a field goal outcome.
Both Denver and Kansas City blew great opportunities last week. Each has to win on Christmas night, especially Denver to have any chance to defend its Super Bowl title. TV types keep reminding us how hard it is to win in Kansas City late in the season, yet the facts are since 2011 in the last four weeks of the year, the Chiefs are 8-5 SU and 5-8 ATS at Arrowhead Stadium, hardly overwhelming.
4-Team Moneyline Parlay
When it comes to moneyline parlays, I like to reduce risk and find situations where the teams I am choosing for NFL picks only have to win the game. Here are the four NFL teams I believe will do just that this week: Texans & Raiders & Steelers & Cowboys.
If correct, a $100 bet currently should pay $427 and change, which is a nice Christmas bonus.