Here are the top NFL spread odds for Week 16, after hitting a solid 2-1 mark in Week 15 with Jacksonville +14.5, San Francisco +10.5, and Oakland +10.5 at Kansas City.
Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+11.5 at sportsbooks)
If Tampa Bay (2-12) is smart, it will simply lie down this week against the Packers and then next at home against New Orleans. That will get the Buccaneers the No. 1 overall pick and the chance to take their franchise quarterback in either Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston. Green Bay is tied atop the NFC North with Detroit and can't get caught looking ahead to next week's showdown with the Lions at Lambeau Field. The Packers will clinch a playoff spot with a win and losses by either Philadelphia (Saturday) or Dallas. Expect a monster game from Aaron Rodgers, who was clearly perturbed at himself following one of the worst games of his career last week in Buffalo. Rodgers was just 17-for-42 for 185 yards and two interceptions. He remains the NFL MVP favorite, but another game like that and he could be passed by Tom Brady. The Packers, who haven't visited Tampa in five years, are 3-0 after a loss this season. The Bucs also will be without one of their best defensive players in tackle Gerald McCoy, who has been shut down for the season. Tampa has lost four straight but was competitive in three of them. Really the Bucs only haven't been competitive in three of their 12 losses.
NFL Free Pick: Tampa +11.5 Green Bay is just 1-8 ATS on NFL odds in its past nine vs. teams with a losing record. All four Packers losses are on the road and they nearly also lost in Minnesota and Miami. Only one road game have they dominated: Week 3 at Chicago.
New England Patriots at New York Jets (+10.5 on NFL odds)
This should be a layup for the Patriots against the 3-11 Jets. New England clinches a first-round bye with a win and potentially the top overall seed in the AFC with a win and Denver loss in Cincinnati on Monday, which is very possible. However, a few things are concerning here if you are thinking of giving the 10.5 points. For one thing, it's the home finale for New York and presumably Coach Rex Ryan. His players love him, so do they go 110 percent in Ryan's final home game? The Jets generally play New England well, despite losing seven of the past eight meetings, because they hate the Patriots so much. New York nearly won in Foxboro in Week 7, falling 27-25 when Nick Folk's potential winning 58-yard field-goal attempt was blocked on the game's final play. The Jets dominated that game statistically for the most part, holding the ball for a whopping 40:54. Four of the last five have in the series been decided by three points or fewer. Finally, New York is playing a bit better, beating Tennessee last week and losing winnable games vs. Minnesota and Miami the previous two.
NFL Free Pick: Patriots win but Jets cover. New England has covered the NFL betting spread in just two of its past seven vs. teams with a losing record. The Jets have covered four of the past five meetings.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (+8 in NFL betting)
Here's yet another game where the home team is a big dog because it has nothing to play for while the road team is in playoff contention. Detroit is in the playoffs with a win and it needs to because obviously Green Bay should win in Tampa. Thus those two would play a winner-take-all for the NFC North title next week. The Lions will also clinch a playoff spot if the Eagles lose on Saturday in Washington. Detroit clinches a first-round bye with a win and losses by Green Bay and Dallas. The Bears are a total mess and they shockingly benched starting quarterback Jay Cutler this week for Jimmy Clausen. It will be Clausen's first start since going 1-9 as a rookie in 2010 with the Panthers. He was simply terrible that season and it led Carolina to draft Cam Newton. Guarantee you the Lions would rather face Clausen than Cutler, no matter how much Cutler has been struggling. Presumably this will be the final home game for Bears coach Marc Trestman and his staff. Expect many empty seats as there were on Monday night at Soldier Field when the Saints dominated Chicago.
NFL Free Pick: Detroit -8. The Bears have turned on their coaches and given up completely. The Lions have covered the past five meetings and dominated the Bears on Thanksgiving for the final three quarters in a 34-17 victory.