The NFL playoff race is heating up with just three games remaining on the schedule. We had a change at the top after last weekend, with the Patriots dropping a matchup to the Indianapolis Colts. The defeat dropped New England down a seed line, with Kansas City now holding the top spot in the AFC standings.
In the NFC, the Packers retained the No. 1 seed with a win over the Ravens. They are the first team in the NFL to clinch a playoff berth, though a few more will have their shot this weekend.
There are some big games on the slate, starting with a Thursday night matchup between San Francisco and Tennessee. Check out BetMaker’s Week 16 NFL Best Bets before placing your next NFL wager. All odds courtesy of SugarHouse sportsbook.
49ers (-3.5) at Titans
San Francisco has been red hot over the last two months of the season, winning six of their last eight games to jump squarely into the playoff hunt. After beginning the year 2-4, the 49ers now sit at 8-6 and are one of three NFC West teams in the postseason picture.
It took a while for San Francisco to get things going as they struggled with injuries early in the year. Now, though, they’ve developed into one of the NFL’s most potent offenses, led by a strong rushing attack.
Tennessee is a team heading in the opposite direction, as an injury to their best player has severely halted their success. The Titans started off 6-2 behind the NFL’s top rusher Derrick Henry. A week eight foot injury sent him to the sidelines, however, and the Titans are just 3-3 since. That includes having dropped three of their last four contests.
These two teams couldn’t be in more different positions.
The Titans are failing to put points on the board, averaging just 14.8 points per game over their last four matchups. Not a good recipe when having to keep pace with a San Francisco group that’s notched 30 points or more in four of their last six.
Take the 49ers with confidence, even on the road.
NFL Pick: 49ers (-3.5)
Chargers at Texans – OVER 45.5
These two teams find themselves in very different situations late in the year. Los Angeles is battling for a playoff spot, sitting at 8-6 on the season. Houston, on the other hand, is just 3-11 with no shot of the postseason in sight.
The spread is enticing in this one, with the Chargers sitting at [-9] at SugarHouse, especially considering LA’s high scoring offensive attack. They’re a team that has a knack for keeping games close, though, no matter the opponent. We’ll pass on the pick and look to the point total.
Los Angeles possesses one of the NFL’s top offenses. They’re averaging 32 points per game over their last five outings. That includes totals of 37, 41, and 41 against much better defenses than the one they’ll face in Houston this weekend.
The Texans, meanwhile, have just enough juice to push this total over the 45.5-point mark. They put up 30 points on the Jaguars last weekend, and as long as they can get to that 17-to21-point range, this one should hit. Considering the Chargers have allowed 21 points or more in 10 straight contests, that may not be hard to do.
NFL Pick: OVER 45.5
Steelers (+7.5) at Chiefs
This one is a bit tricky. The Chiefs have been on an absolute tear, ripping off seven straight wins. Unfortunately, they may be a bit shorthanded when the Steelers come to town.
Thirteen players are currently in COVID protocol, including offensive playmakers Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. While they haven’t been ruled out, the possibility of them not playing is worth taking a chance on the Steelers.
Speaking of the Steelers, Pittsburgh has been an NFL best bet as an underdog this year. They opened last week’s matchup against Tennessee as a ‘dog before landing a 19-13 win. In all, they’re 6-3 against the spread when not favored with four outright wins.
Kansas City has covered in five consecutive contests but the possibility of missing players is too big of a risk with the [-7.5] spread. Considering that the last three meetings between these teams have been decided by six points or less, taking the Steelers and the points seems like the safer bet.
NFL Pick: Steelers (+7.5)