Each Monday morning during the season, I’ll preview three games with spreads that I think will move by the end of the week. This article is designed to help you get the best odds possible by helping you to decide if you should place a bet early in the week or if you should wait to wager until closer to kickoff based on potential line movements. I’ll include any early week leans and wagers that I make in my write-ups.
Note: These lines could swing wildly going forward with so many COVID-19 cases popping up across the country. I’m still going to bet games early in the week while acknowledging I’m going to be both helped and hurt by line movements throughout the week based on COVID-19 List additions. As always, bet within your means, especially with these early-week wagers.
Week 16 Opening Lines
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans (-7)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7.5) at Detroit Lions
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (-3)
Miami Dolphins (-2.5) at Las Vegas Raiders
New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens (-10)
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (-9)
Chicago Bears (-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs (-11)
Cleveland Browns (-10.5) at New York Jets
Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)
Carolina Panthers at Washington Football Team (-1.5)
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-3)
Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5) at Dallas Cowboys
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-1.5)
Sunday Night Football
Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers (-4.5)
Monday Night Football
Buffalo Bills (-6.5) at New England Patriots
Los Angeles Rams (9-5, 8-6 ATS) at Seattle Seahawks (10-4, 7-7)
Opening Line: Seahawks -1.5
Recent Results: The Rams are coming off an embarrassing performance to the previously winless Jets as they fell 23-20 as 17.5-point home favorites. Los Angeles is one of just five teams to lose outright as favorites of 17 or more points since 1978. The Seahawks hung on for dear life against the Football Team as they pulled out a 20-15 victory as six-point road favorites. The Seahawks have failed to cover in seven of their last 10 games after a perfect 4-0 ATS start to the season.
Injuries/Developments to Follow: Dynamic Seattle RB Rashaad Penny returned to the field last week for the first time since tearing his ACL last December, seeing two carries for six yards against the Football Team. I’m not expecting much from Penny for the rest of the season, but I’ll be interested to see if he gets more opportunities this week with Seattle’s offense sputtering a bit.
Potential Line Movement: The Rams aren’t going to see a whole lot of market support this week after last week’s debacle against the Jets. Jared Goff has had a sneaky bad season, which has been covered up by an excellent Rams defense. His bad season has also been covered up by the struggles of his 2016 draft classmate Carson Wentz. Goff is averaging 6.6 YPA with a 3.3% TD rate in his last nine games after a strong start to the season. Seattle’s offense has also hit a wall recently but their defense is finally starting to surge. The Seahawks haven’t allowed a team to reach 24+ points since Week 9, and they’re allowing just 13.0 points per game in their last four games — the Seahawks have played under the total in six straight games. The Rams beat the Seahawks 23-16 as three-point home favorites back in Week 10, but the Seahawks can exact some revenge and close out the NFC West with a victory this week. I locked in the Seahawks as short home favorites before this line finishes in the three-to-four point range.
Indianapolis Colts (10-4, 8-6 ATS) at Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2, 8-5)
- Opening Line: Steelers -3
- Recent Results: The Colts failed to cover as 7.5-point home favorites against the Texans last week, but you at least got a push if you bet the game correctly on the Colts side with plenty of -7s available all week. The Steelers will take the field on Monday Night Football against the Bengals as 14.5-point road favorites. Pittsburgh has failed to cover in their two previous opportunities as double-digit favorites.
- Injuries/Developments to Follow: The Colts escaped Week 15 without any major injury news after entering their contest with the Texans without any major injuries. The big news coming out of Pittsburgh is that Ben Roethlisberger intends to play an 18th season with the Steelers in 2021. Pittsburgh was relatively healthy heading into MNF with just James Conner looking questionable for their showdown with the Bengals.
- Potential Line Movement: The Colts failed to cover last week but they’ve still covered in four of their last six games with just one ugly performance mixed in there — a lopsided loss to the Titans in Week 12. The Steelers have failed to cover in three straight games with two outright losses in the mix. Pittsburgh is also 5-0-1 toward unders in their last six games with its offense looking broken in recent weeks, which should keep the Colts in the mix for all 60 minutes this week. The Steelers have yet to play in Week 15 against a hapless Bengals squad but there’s not a whole the Steelers can do to make this line move north of -3 since they’re not going to get style points for beating the worst team in the league. This line can only go down and there are -2.5s already out there so I locked in a full field goal while I could early in the week.
Miami Dolphins (9-5, 11-3 ATS) at Las Vegas Raiders (7-7, 7-7)
- Opening Line: Dolphins -2.5
- Recent Results: The Dolphins kept pace with the rest of the surging AFC Wild Card contenders as they officially eliminated the Patriots from the playoffs with their 22-12 victory as 1.5-point home underdogs. The Dolphins opened the week as favorites 2.5-point favorites before a four-point swing toward the Patriots. The Raiders all but ended their chances of reaching the AFC playoffs in their 30-27 overtime loss to the Chargers as 3.5-point home favorites.
- Injuries/Developments to Follow: The Raiders are likely to be starting backup QB Marcus Mariota this week with Derek Carr potentially done for the season with his groin injury. Mariota played well in relief as he accounted for 226/1 passing and 88/1 rushing against the Chargers. The Dolphins will look to get DeVante Parker (hamstring), Mike Gesicki (shoulder), and Jakeem Grant (hamstring) back in the lineup this week after they each sat out Week 15 with their injuries. The Dolphins lost LG Solomon Kindley to a knee injury last week, but they could get RB Myles Gaskin (COVID-19) back this week to fill out this backfield.
- Potential Line Movement: I grabbed the Dolphins at -1.5 on FanDuel on Sunday night but this line has shot up to -2.5 by the time of this writing. I’m going to stick with the Dolphins as they continue to be disrespected by the oddsmakers every week. They’ve now covered in four straight games and in nine of their last 10 games with their only blemish in their 20-13 loss to the Broncos in Week 11. The Dolphins have an NFL-best 11-3 ATS record and they’re now 17-6 ATS in their last 23 games. Meanwhile, the Raiders have failed to cover in four straight games and they would’ve lost each of those games outright if not for Gregg Williams’ bonehead defensive playcall at the end of Week 13. Mariota played well in relief of Carr last week, but Brian Flores and the Dolphins won’t be caught off guard by Mariota’s mobility this week like the Chargers were in Week 15. The Dolphins need to keep winning to reach the playoffs and they have the chance to officially knock out a sliding Raiders’ squad. I’m grabbing the Dolphins laying a short price now before this line reaches a full field goal.
Brolley’s Early Week 16 Bets
Indianapolis Colts +3
Chicago Bears -7
Miami Dolphins -2.5
Seattle Seahawks -1.5