Freedman’s NFL Week 16 Trends & Early Bets: 7 Games to Target for Holiday Weekend

Freedman’s NFL Week 16 Trends & Early Bets: 7 Games to Target for Holiday Weekend article feature image
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Ralph Freso/Getty Images. Pictured: Josh Allen.

Week 16. Christmas week. The end of the season is in sight. We’re almost home.

Let’s take a look at some trends for the early spreads.

Although I’m not a trends bettor, I find that trends help me identify spots I should consider further when analyzing games. Using our Bet Labs database, I have uncovered some intriguing NFL trends for three games this week.

All lines are from our NFL Odds page.

Note: I am writing this before the Week 15 Sunday Night Football & Monday Night Football games. Results of those contests might impact the historical trend data as well as Week 16 lines below below.

Early Week 16 NFL Picks

Click on a pick to skip to that analysis.

Pick Bet Now
Saints -7 vs. Vikings FanDuel
Dolphins -1.5 at Raiders FanDuel
Panthers +1.5 at Washington FanDuel
Browns -10 at Jets FanDuel
Giants +10 at Ravens FanDuel
Packers -4 vs. Titans DraftKings
Bills -6.5 at Patriots FanDuel

New Orleans Saints (-7) vs. Minnesota Vikings

Kickoff: 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday | TV: FOX/NFL

Quarterback Kirk Cousins is not bad, but he’s definitionally mediocre. With the Vikings, he is 22-22-1 against the spread (ATS).

And in big spots — highlighted national games — Cousins has notably underwhelmed throughout his career, especially in games not on Sunday (i.e., Thursday & Monday Night Football).

Against Cousins on any day other than Sunday, opposing teams are 14-6 ATS, good for a 35.8% return on investment (ROI).

As for the Saints, quarterback Drew Brees is an A-graded 146-117-6 ATS (8.6% ROI) for his career in the regular season.

  • Action: Saints -7 (-110) at DraftKings
  • Limit: -7 (-110)

Miami Dolphins (-1.5) at Las Vegas Raiders

Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. ET on Saturday | TV: NFL

It’s not hard to bet on the Dolphins. For the year, they are a league-best 11-3 ATS (52.2% ROI).

Since joining the team last season, head coach Brian Flores has driven the Dolphins to 20-10 ATS (29% ROI). And if you remove the first month of last year, during which the Dolphins were experimenting drastically with their personnel, Miami is 20-6 ATS (48.8% ROI).

The Raiders are likely to be without quarterback Derek Carr (groin).

  • Action: Dolphins -1.5 (-110) at FanDuel
  • Limit: -3 (-110)

Carolina Panthers (+1.5) at Washington Football Team

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday | TV: CBS

I have only a few betting rules, and one of them is to bet on Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as a road underdog almost no matter what.

I didn’t do it in Week 15 — because another one of my rules is to bet on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at home — but I love Bridgewater in this particular spot.

As a road underdog, Bridgewater is 19-2 ATS (76.4% ROI) in his career.

The Football Team is 9-5 ATS this year, but sometimes you gotta look yourself in the mirror and say, “When in Rome.”

No disrespect to Washington, but I think Carolina should be favored.

  • Action: Panthers +1.5 (-110) at FanDuel
  • Limit: PK (-110)

Cleveland Browns (-10) at New York Jets

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday | TV: CBS

Note: I am writing this before the Browns play in the Week 15 Sunday Night Football game. The result of that contest might impact the Week 16 spread for Jets-Browns.

The Jets just won their first game of the season — and I don’t care. They are still bad.

And New York will likely have a new quarterback next year, which means we must take advantage of the few opportunities we have left to fade Sam Darnold.

Opposing teams are 22-13-1 ATS (23.8% ROI) against Darnold.

If I had something nice to say about Jets head coach Adam Gase, this is where I would put it.

  • Action: Browns -10 (-110) at FanDuel
  • Limit: -10 (-110)

New York Giants (+10) at Baltimore Ravens

Kickoff: 1 p.m. ET on Sunday | TV: CBS

Note: I am writing this before the Giants play in the Week 15 Sunday Night Football game. The result of that contest might impact the Week 16 spread for Ravens-Giants

The Ravens had a tough COVID-impacted stretch in the middle of the season, losing four out of five games between Weeks 8-12, but they have now won three straight with a total point differential of +48.

They are rounding into postseason form.

But I can’t help but bet against them as home favorites.

Road underdogs are 12-7 ATS (22.3% ROI) against the Ravens in quarterback Lamar Jackson’s starts.

The Giants are 8-5 ATS (17.9% ROI) this year.

  • Action: Giants +10 (-110) at FanDuel
  • Limit: +10 (-110)

Green Bay Packers (-4) vs. Tennessee Titans

Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET on Sunday | TV: NBC

I’m a pretty simple person: I like to bet on quarterbacks who win, and Rodgers wins.

For his career, he’s 117-84-5 ATS (13.9% ROI).

And he has been especially dominant at home, going 57-33-3 ATS (23.3% ROI) at Lambeau Field.

It’s an added bonus that the Packers have an extra day to rest and prepare since they played on Saturday last week.

  • Action: Packers -4 (-110) at DraftKings
  • Limit: -5.5 (-110)

Buffalo Bills (-6.5) at New England Patriots

Kickoff: 8:20 p.m. ET on Sunday | TV: NBC

The Bills are 9-5 ATS (24.8% ROI) this year, and they clinched the AFC East thanks to their dominant 48-19 road win in Week 15 over the Broncos.

And now, in the words of my freshman psychology professor, “It’s time to kill the father.”

The Bills go on the road to face the Pats for the second time this year, and I am amazed this line isn’t significantly higher.

Buffalo is better than the Patriots in all areas of the game, and being on the road is not a major impediment at all. Bills quarterback Josh Allen is 12-5-2 ATS (32% ROI) on the road in the regular season for his career.

As for the Patriots, they are 6-8 ATS this year and against teams with an ATS win percentage of at least 55%, they are 1-5 ATS.

The Patriots are no longer the Patriots.

  • Action: Bills -6.5 (-110) at FanDuel
  • Limit: -7 (-110)

Matthew Freedman is 912-717-33 (56.0%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.

The Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs, Freedman is commonly called the Oracle & the Labyrinthian.