NFL Week 16 Spreads, Money Lines and Totals
There was a time when NFL games on Christmas Day were strictly verboten. But in 1971, the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins played the longest and perhaps the greatest game ever. Miami won a double-overtime thriller 27-24 as a captivated nation postponed Christmas Dinner.
Although Christmas games remained rare, the blackout has been lifted in recent years. Week 16 figures to be a TV ratings bonanza, with multiple games scheduled each day throughout the Christmas holiday weekend.
Amazon Prime starts the weekend with a Thursday night NFC Matchup of the New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams.
Last year the Rams did not effectively handle their status as defending Super Bowl champions. Starting QB Matthew Stafford was indeed injured. But that was not the main reason for the Rams' woes. It was obvious that the Super Bowl championship went to their fat heads. The Rams were admiring their headlines, shooting countless TV endorsements, and growing old.
The Los Angeles roster was built for a 2021 Super Bowl run. And after the Rams won their Super Bowl championship over the Cincinnati Bengals, their window slammed shut. Los Angeles has an aging roster that struggles to stay in the lineup—starting with Matthew Stafford himself.
The New Orleans Saints Super Bowl window closed with the retirement of Drew Brees at the end of the 2020 campaign. Although Derek Carr’s arrival will upgrade the QB position, it will not likely be enough to spark a serious run.
NFL Betting Lines
NFL Week 16 Schedule
Saturday, December 23, features an outstanding doubleheader of action that features four playoff contenders.
It starts in the late afternoon with the Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the Cincinnati Bengals in what could be an epic AFC North Division showdown on NBC.
And then, in a rare Peacock game, the Los Angeles Chargers host the Buffalo Bills. If Los Angeles fails to make the 2023 NFL Playoffs, head coach Brandon Staley may be lucky to get a lump of coal for Christmas.
Christmas Eve falls on Sunday, December 24, and begins with what could be a showdown for the NFC North Division title between the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota was the surprise winner of the NFC North last year. At the same time, Detroit is the betting favorite to win the Old Black and Blue Division this year.
Christmas Eve also features a marquee brand matchup in the late afternoon window. The Miami Dolphins will host the Dallas Cowboys in a game that could have serious playoff implications. Dallas QB Dak Prescott and Miami QB Tua Tagovailoa could offer gamblers and fans a wide range of emotions.
Christmas Day begins with one of the greatest rivalries in pro sports. The Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders once played for the highest of stakes at a level of intensity and hatred that has never been matched since their halcyon days of the late 60s and early 70s. But a rivalry can only be real if both teams play for something big. These days, only the Chiefs fill that role.
Speaking of rivalries, the Philadelphia Eagles will host the New York Giants in an NFC East Division showdown and potential playoff preview. The Eagles and Big Blue kick off in the late afternoon on Christmas Day.
And then, on Christmas night, the San Francisco 49ers host the Baltimore Ravens in a potential Super Bowl preview.
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