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NFL Week 16 Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Week 16 gives us arguably the most spread out schedule of games this season. Two games will be played on Saturday, and three total will be played on Christmas Day, a Monday.

Sportsbooks are getting spreads locked in earlier than at any point of the season, and injuries have caused chaos for bettors, including yours truly.

Week 15’s picks went 1-4. It was a forgettable week, but maybe Santa Claus will bring good tidings and cheer by the time Week 17’s picks are posted.

If that isn’t enough to get your adrenaline going, this NFL betting slate for Week 16 is loaded with playoff implications.

Jeff Hicks’s 2023 NFL Best Bets Record: 36-42 (-10.86 Units)

*All odds and lines are current as of 10:15 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Dec. 19.

NFL Week 16 Best Bet

Bengals vs Steelers Under 37.5 Points (-110)

Caesars Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

I generally like the unders in late-season divisional matchups because the teams have one game under their belts against each other. That is exacerbated in Week 16 with this AFC North matchup.

Both teams are playing backup quarterbacks. Ja’Marr Chase is expected to be out because of a shoulder injury, and the Steelers offense hasn’t topped 18 points since November 12.

As nice of a story as Jake Browning has been, he has to face a tough Steelers defense without his best pass catcher. Putting faith in Mason Rudolph to lead an offensive revolution is also difficult. Rudolph’s best plays will come turning around and handing the ball off to Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren.

NFL Week 16 ATS Best Bets

Jaguars vs Buccaneers +1 (-115)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

The Jaguars offense plateaued weeks ago, but now that injuries are affecting both sides of the ball, including Trevor Lawrence, it is difficult to trust it.

The Bucs continue to play well on both sides of the ball while battling injuries, and that is difficult to pass on.

Lawrence is in the concussion protocol and playing through a high ankle sprain. The short flight to Tampa Bay isn’t the hurdle in a road game; it’s everything else.

DraftKings and ESPN BET are the only books offering Buccaneers (+1).


Keep up with all of our NFL lines for Week 16 and beyond:


NFL Week 16 Over/Under Best Bets

Commanders vs Jets Under 38.5 Points (-115)

ESPN BET Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

Even if you’re a fan of the Jets or Commanders, watching this game is not advised.

Despite having a .500 record towards the over after a loss, the Jets play in games that average -1.2 points under the implied game total in that situation. The under has also hit in 9 of 14 games for the other New Jersey resident.

The Commanders are going through the motions at this point, including playing Jacoby Brissett in garbage time Week 15. No matter the QB, the Jets defense is going to cause problems having the edge defensively.

Cowboys vs Dolphins Under 51.5 Points (-112)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

The top seeds in each conference square off in southern Florida and is the marquee matchup of the week. They’re also the top scoring offenses in the NFL, so pound the over, right?

Not so fast.

Both offensive lines suffered injuries Week 15 as Cowboys guard Zack Martin (quad) and Dolphins guard Austin Jackson (oblique) left their respective games. Both are desperately needed against top 10 defenses in sack percentage.

Miami is also without other starting linemen and it is not confirmed how Tyreek Hill‘s ankle progressed throughout last week even if he was testing his mobility prior to Sunday’s drubbing of the Jets.

There’s a lot of ways to list how the under is live compared to the over, especially with Dallas stalling in Buffalo and now facing a better defense.

NFL Week 16 Moneyline Best Bets

Lions vs Vikings (+148)

FanDuel Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 Unit

The Lions secondary has been nothing short of a disappointment in 2023. Nick Mullens just beat a bad Bengals secondary to the tune of 303 yards and a 2:2 TD-INT ratio in a road game with one less day of practice.

Minnesota has also performed better at home, allowing 20.5 points per game. That is better than playoff hopefuls from Jacksonville, Detroit, Seattle, and Philadelphia.

The Vikings and Lions get high marks for stopping the run. Each allow fewer than 3.8 yards per attempt, which puts the focus on the passing attacks. Neither gets after the QB well - both have a sub-4.5% sack rate at home (Vikings) or the road (Lions) - so then it comes down to talent.

I love Amon-Ra St. Brown, but Justin Jefferson is the best wideout in this game. T.J. Hockenson and Sam LaPorta are a wash based on their 2023 seasons. Detroit gets the depth edge for pass catchers, including running back usage in the passing game.

There’s a reason this game is only a three-point spread, but the home team has a lot more to lose, and would have an outside chance of winning the NFC North. Detroit is only 2-2 so far against divisional opponents.

Author

Jeff Hicks

Jeff is the Digital Content Coordinator at The Game Day. He has been covering sports in some fashion for a decade. He has been published on Yahoo Fantasy, 4for4, FantasyLabs, The Action Network, Bleacher Report, Daily Herald (IL), and numerous others. His first published piece was a poem in 8th grade, so naturally he progressed to sports writing.

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