The NFL’s Week 16 slate of games looks to bring an uncertainty level that oddsmakers haven’t seen since the 2020 season, according to TheLines.com, which tracks odds in the US regulated sports betting market.
COVID-19 outbreaks in Week 15 caused three games to be postponed into Monday and Tuesday – Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks at the Los Angeles Rams, and Washington Football Team at the Philadelphia Eagles – alongside the regularly scheduled Monday night clash between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears.
This pushed half the NFL Week 16 schedule onto standby as oddsmakers waited for the remaining Week 15 games to be played.
Five games have double-digit spreads, including two with noteworthy playoff implications, and six have spreads of 3.5 or lower, according to a consensus of that nation’s largest legal online sportsbooks — including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, and PointsBet.
Oddsmakers are expecting the potential of more outbreaks, combined with late-season injuries and winter weather, to affect scoring. Half of the Week 16 schedule has an over/under of 45 points or less and no game features a point total of 50 points or more.
If this holds, it would be the first time in two seasons that not a single game would reach the 50-point over/under threshold.
Brett Collson, lead analyst for TheLines.com, commented: “We were all hoping to put this kind of uncertainty behind us after the 2020 season brought unprecedented challenges. The odds could still significantly shift this week as the pandemic rears its ugly head again. Unfortunately, that might be a fact of life for the rest of the season.”
The consensus point spreads for Week 16 games, as of Monday, December 20:
- San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) at Tennessee Titans; over/under 44.5
- Cleveland Browns at Green Bay Packers (-7.5); over/under 45.5
- Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals (-1.5); over/under 49
- Detroit Lions at Atlanta Falcons (-4.5); over/under 44
- Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5); over/under 44.5
- Los Angeles Rams (-3) at Minnesota Vikings; over/under 49
- Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-1.5); over/under 44
- Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets (-2.5); over/under 41.5
- New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-10); over/under 42
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-11.5) at Carolina Panthers; over/under 47.5
- Los Angeles Chargers (-10.5) at Houston Texans; over/under 47.5
- Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks (-7); over/under 43.5
- Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (-10.5); over/under 46.5
- Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders (1.5); over/under 42.5
- Washington Football Team at Dallas Cowboys (-10); over/under 47.5
- Miami Dolphins at New Orleans Saints (-3); over/under 40