Let’s look at all 16 of the the Christmas week’s games, including recent series results, ATS and SU records, Trends and make some NFL picks in the Holiday spirit.
Both the calendar year 2015 and the NFL Regular Season are down to their ends, and despite a couple of surprises like the still unbeaten Carolina Panthers, this year is starting to look like last year. Fresh from the world’s largest sportsbook, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook here in now chilly Sin City, here is the Advance—sometimes also called the Early or Lookahead—NFL Line for Week 16 and it’s amazing how many teams still actually have a shot at postseason play.
Thursday, December 24, 2015
San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders -6: The Oakland Raiders (5-8 SU, 6-7 ATS) host their California and AFC West buddies and no Partners in Pain, the San Diego Chargers (3-10 SU, 4-9 ATS) at the O. coliseum in Oakland next Thursday night in a second straight disappointing primetime TNF matchup (Last Thursday: Buccaneers-Rams) and a meeting where apathy should rule the evening. When these two met earlier this season in San Diego in Week 7, the Raiders won outright and covered ATS, 37-29 as the game flew Over the Total (48) by 20 points. Here in Oaktown last season, the Chargers won 31-28 but failed to get the money ATS as 7-point favorites. The Trends support backing the Silver and Black here as the Raiders and QB David Carr are now 10-3 ATS the L13 and San Diego and mercurial QB Philip Rivers seem like a wounded and lost franchise wondering where The Future will take them. This one could be a real Pass-fest.
Free NFL Pick: Raiders -6
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles -4: The second Saturday game of the season sees Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins (6-7 SU, 6-7 ATS) head to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia next Sunday afternoon to face DeMarco Murray and the Eagles (6-7 SU, 6-7 ATS) in a huge NFC East showdown and a game which will likely leave the loser crying and out of the Postseason. Heading into this weekend (Week 15), the Eagles were the projected 9th seed in the NFC while the Redskins were the No. 4 seed, believe it or not Mr. Ripley. No need to be good these days, just present in some cases? Woof. Please straighten this mess out, Roger Stokoe Goodell. This is not the NBA or the NHL, or is it? Bless you, MLB. Anyway, when these two met earlier this season in Week 5 in Landover, Washington won outright 23-20 as 3-point underdogs so a little bit of City of Brotherly Love and Right Elbows to the Ribs Revenge may be served up here on the day after Christmas when all good Wrapping Paper goes to Heaven. The Heart says Philadelphia gets that Revenge here and ruins the Redskins fake-dream season and the Head say that laying the 4 points now with the Eagles may look good later.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings -3: QB Teddy Bridgewater and the Minnesota Vikings (8-5 SU, 10-3 ATS) welcome Eli Manning and the New York Giants (6-7 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) to TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis next Sunday night in an NFC showdown which will surely have a Playoff feel with the G-Men the projected No. 10 seed in the conference and the Vikings the 6th seed heading into Week 15 play (Minnesota hosts Chicago, New York hosts unbeaten Carolina). The last time these two played, the Giants won and covered, 23-7 as 4-point favorites in 2013 in East Rutherford while the last meeting here in the frozen Midwestern city Prince helped put on the map, New York NFC also won and covered, this time as 5-point chalks back in 2010 when you didn’t have hair growing out of your ears. The Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. are 3-1 ATS the L4 on this series and 4-1 ATS the L5 here in the Land of 10,00 Lakes. Note that the Vikings are one of the NFL’s three heavy Under teams, posting a head-turning 10-2-1 ATS Under mark heading into Week 15.
Chicago Bears +3 -120 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3 Even: The Chicago Bears (5-8 SU, 6-7 ATS) head south to the city of Tampa next Sunday in Week 6 action to face a former division-mate (NFC Central), the Buccaneers (6-7 SU, 7-6 ATS), in a game more important to the currently 7th-seeded hosts and Rookie QB Jameis Winston (Chicago is the projected 12th seed heading into Week 15).The last time these two met, the Bears defeated the Bucs, 21-13 last season at Home at Soldier Field, covering as 4½-point favorites ATS, while the last meeting here in the Sunshine State was way back in 2005 and saw the Lovie Smith-coached Bears win outright as 3-point underdogs, 13-10 here at Raymond James Stadium. Of course, Mr. Smith is now the Head Coach of these Buccaneers. This is probably a good game to take gun-slinging QB Jay Cutler and the visiting Bears (4-2 SU Road) both getting the 3 points early on here and on the Money Line as Chicago will want nothing to do with losing to Tampa Bay, no matter how bad or over the Regular Season is or has been. Note that TE Zach Miller (Illness) and WR Alshon Jeffery (Calf) missed practice on Wednesday (for Week 15) and should be monitored, but with Chicago 4-2 on the Road this season, backing Da Bears before they hibernate seems like the right call, Yogi.
Free NFL Pick: Bears +3 Even
Carolina Panthers -6½ vs. Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan and the free-falling Atlanta Falcons (6-7 SU, 4-9 ATS) welcome Cam Newton and the possibly still unbeaten Carolina Panthers (13-0 SU, 10-3 ATS, at Giants on Sunday) to the Georgia Dome next Sunday for this Week 16 NFC South game which would usually be a showdown, but for this season has to be characterized as a letdown. When these two met earlier this season in Charlotte, RB James Stewart and the Panthers stole the Falcons soul, 38-0 and easily covered ATS as 8½-point favorites while in this game in Atlanta last season, Carolina rolled to a 34-3 win, getting 3½ as a live Road underdog. Everything screams Cats here and if you can lay the 6 early, you’ll probably feel smart next Tuesday and maybe like a damn genius by next Sunday afternoon while drinking your Nog of Egg and watching your new HDTV. Besides outscoring the Falcons, 72-3 in those aforementioned L2 meetings, the Panthers are 6-1 ATS the L7 in the series but just 2-5 ATS the L7 Away in the Peach State where the Southern girls’ simple drawl can make you a very happy man. What’s worse, is Atlanta has L9 straight ATS after starting 4-0 ATS and with so much promise. Also worth noting, the Under in Falcons games is 8-0-1 ATS the L9, so best get your Thinking Cap on Papa Smurf.
Free NFL Pick: Panthers -6½
Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills -5: Tyrod Taylor and the Buffalo Bills (6-7 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) head to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo next Sunday afternoon to face the No-Tony Romo Dallas Cowboys (4-9 SU, 4-9 ATS) in a game which is pretty meaningless as the host Bills are the 9th projected seed from the AFC heading into Week 15 while Dallas is the projected 14th seed in the NFC and have about as much chance of tasting the NFL Postseason as GOP Presidential candidate Lindsey Graham does of peeing in the White House bathroom. The last time these two met, the then Chan Gailey-coached Bills were walloped by the Cowboys in sorta Big D (Arlington), 44-7 in 2011, losing as 5-point underdogs while the last time they played here in Buffalo, the Cowboys won 25-24 in 2007 but host Buffalo was getting 10½ points and covered ATS. Dallas will be losing just one hour in Travel (MST to EST), but the Winter Weather in upstate New York may make Texas hands trying to catch cold footballs stiff and uninterested. The Cowboys are 4-1 ATS the L5 in this series but the Bills are 3-0 ATS the L3 played here at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Lean to the team that might not mind, and be used to the potentially freezing weather that day. Word.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New Orleans Saints -4: Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8 SU, 6-7 ATS) head to The Big Easy in Week 16 to face Drew Brees and the host New Orleans Saints (5-8 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) for this inter-conference game which strangely enough may have meaning to both teams despite the lame, late-season Records with Jacksonville the AFC’s 11th projected seed heading into this weekend, Week 15, and New Orleans the NFC’s 13th projected seed. So in simple words, they’re both done. The last time these two met, the Saints won 23-10 at Jacksonville in 2012 covering ATS as 8-point chalks. New Orleans is 3-0 ATS the L3 in this series. Too ugly for me.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions -6½: Bring out your dead. Bring out your dead. What happened to the NFL this season? Here, Blaine Gabbert and the San Francisco 49ers (4-9 SU, 6-7 ATS) head three Time Zones east (PST to EST) and 2,298 miles to Ford Field in Detroit to face Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and the Lions (4-9 SU, 4-9 ATS) next Sunday afternoon in yet another meaningless game, this one an inter-divisional NFC affair. The last time these two faced each other, the Niners won outright 25-19 as 5-point underdogs here in Motown in 2011 and San Francisco is 5-1-3 ATS the L9 in this series and 4-1 ATS the L5 here in Detroit but those were 49ers teams who cared and had a much better Roster than this patched together 2015 version. A total stay away.
Cleveland Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs -11½: Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns (3-10 SU, 4-8-1 ATS) head to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City next Sunday to face Alex Smith and the upstart Chiefs (8-5 U, 7-6 ATS) who had W7 straight heading into Week 15 play (KC at Baltimore) and look like a team nobody in the AFC will want to draw in the opening round should it come to that. The last time these two AFC sides met on the gridiron, the Rob Chudzinski*-coached (*my Holiday gift to you, readers) Browns lost 23-17 here in Missouri but covered by a point getting 7 as Road underdogs. Cleveland is 4-1 ATS the L5 in this series, but you can tell from the SuperBook Advanced Line here that this is your Grandma’s Kansas City Chiefs team anymore.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Miami Dolphins No Line: Nobody has screwed up more Advanced Lines, Opening Lines, Sportsbook Directors’ theoretical free Time and dreams of poor young children in the state of Indiana than Colts QB Andrew Luck...and now his backup Matt Hasselbeck. Here the disappointing yet still alive—much like tepid GOP Presidential candidate and lamp-post Jeb Bush—Colts travel south to Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens to face the Dolphins (5-8 SU, 4-9 ATS) next Sunday in a game with only meaning to the AFC’s current (Week 15) projected No. 4 seed, Indianapolis. So with 6-7 Records heading into Week 15, both the AFC’s Colts and the NFC’s Redskins are projected 4-seeds with losing Records. Waitress, another shot and a beer please and if you would, please knock me upside the head as the words being typed are not matching the NFL calendar, yet all is absolutely right and festive Kris Kringle-y delusions of a Washington-Indianapolis Super Bowl remain like that hardened mint toothpaste chunk in your bathroom sink. Get some. The last time these two AFC sides played, the Colts won outright, 23-20 as 2½-point underdogs in Naptown in 2012 while the last meeting here in Miami-Dade County, Indianapolis won by a 27-23 score, covering ATS by 1 point as 3-point chalks in 2009.
New England Patriots -3 -120 vs. New York Jets: This one looks like it could be fun. Outstanding CB Darrelle Revis and the New York Jets (8-5 SU, 7-5-1 ATS) welcome the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots (11-2 SU, 6-4-3 ATS) and QB Tom Brady (66-48-1 ATS on Road) to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey next Sunday afternoon for a Week 16 AFC East showdown which will matter to both AFC East teams for different reasons. When they met earlier this season at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, New England defeated QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and New York AFC, 30-23 and pushed ATS as 7-point Home favorites. The J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets! are 1-4-1 ATS the L6 in this series and with Brady, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman playing for Homefield Advantage in the AFC, many may want to lay the 3 with New England early on. This will likely be one of the best games on the Week 16 schedule.
Free NFL Pick: Patriots -3 -120
Houston Texans No Line vs. Tennessee Titans: TJ Yates and the Houston Texans (6-7 SU, 6-7 ATS) head to LP Field in Nashville next Sunday afternoon for this AFC South showdown with Rookie QB Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans (3-10 SU, 4-8-1 ATS) in a game which looks like it could hold huge significance for the visitors who, heading into Week 15 play, are the AFC’s projected 10th seed and could still win the division with the Colts (6-7) Suspect and also having QB issues of their own. Earlier this season in Houston when these two met, the Texans defeated the Titans, 20-6, covering the Point Spread easily as 3½-point favorites and Houston is a sparkling 8-1 ATS the L9 in this series and 4-0 ATS the L4 here in the Volunteer State where you can smell the barbecue ribs if you stick your nose out the window. When this line finally comes out, immediately bet Houston is the thought.
Free NFL Pick: Texans -
Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals -4½: Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (9-4 SU, 8-5 ATS) head to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale next Sunday to face Carson Palmer and the host Arizona Cardinals (11-2 SU, 7-6 ATS) in one of the better games on the week’s slate. The last time these two NFC giants met, the Cardinals lost 31-17 at Green Bay in 2012, failing to cover ATS as 10½-point underdogs. The Packers and 10th-year Head Coach Mike McCarthy (98-69-4 ATS) are 3-1 ATS the L4 in this series and may need this game much more than future hall of Fame WR Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and the host Cardinals who lead the NFL in Total Yards (417.5 ypg) and could very well be NFL champions this season. May be a good Over.
St. Louis Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks -14: Russell Wilson and the red-hot Seattle Seahawks (8-5 SU, 6-6-1 ATS) host the St. Louis Rams (5-8 SU, 5-7-1 ATS) at CenturyLink Field in Seattle next Sunday afternoon in a Week 15 NFC West affair which may matter more to the defending NFC champion and hosts. When these two met earlier this season, the Rams upset the Seahawks as 3½-point underdogs in St. Louis, 34-31 while in this game here in the Emerald City last season, Seattle won 20-6 as 11-point favorites, covering ATS. The Seahawks are 4-2 ATS in the L6 in this series and with Revenge on their minds, the 2nd Half winds at their backs and new-boy Case Keenum possibly in at QB for St. Louis, it’s all systems go on the Seahawks and their foaming-at-the-mouth Defense here.
Free NFL Pick: Seahawks -14
Pittsburgh Steelers No Line vs. Baltimore Ravens: Flex Scheduling sent this AFC North pretender out of primetime and to the 1 p.m. (EST) TIme Slot and I think we all know who’s to blame. Here, Ben Roethlisberger and the awakening Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5 SU, 7-4-2 ATS) head to M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore next Sunday to face the Ravens (4-9 SU, 3-8-2 ATS) in a game which will surely hold huge importance to WR Antonio Brown and the Steelers. When these two met earlier this season at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, the Steelers lost 23-20 but pushed getting 3 points when QB Joe Flacco was still healthy for Baltimore. The Steelers are 4-1-1 ATS the L6 in this series and 5-2 ATS the L7 here in Crab City and will be very motivated in this particular spot. Expect heavy money from both Sharps and the General Public when a number goes up on this bad boy.
Monday, December 28, 2015
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Denver Broncos -4½: Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals (10-3 SU, 9-2-2 ATS) head two Time Zones west (EST to MST) to Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver to face either old QB Peyton Manning or new QB Brock Osweiler and the Broncos (10-3 SU, 7-4-2 ATS) in this Week 16 inter-divisional game which will have huge implications for Homefield Advantage in the conference and will be a tough loss for the Loser likely eliminating any chance of staying at Home through the Postseason. When these two last met, the Bengals won 37-28 last year in the Queen City, covering ATS and winning outright as 3½-point underdogs. The best bet here is to probably just watch as this look’s like one of three great games on the week’s schedule and to remember that wonderful 11-2 ATS 1st Quarter Under run that Denver’s on this Regular Season.
SUPERBOOK NFL WEEK 16 ADVANCED LINE FREE PICKS: Raiders -6 over Chargers, Bears +3 Even over Buccaneers,
Panthers -6½ over Falcons, Patriots -3 -120 over Jets, Texans over Titans, Seahawks -14 over Rams (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)