Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Presumably because it’s Christmas Eve, there is no NFL game on Thursday this week … or the rest of the season. However, there is a game on Christmas on Friday, meaning the unique 2020 season will be even more unique in one regard. It’s the first season at least one NFL game has been played every single day of the week. A few games earlier in the year were moved to Tuesday and Wednesday due to COVID-19 postponements.
The Christmas game, which goes up against the NBA’s loaded five-game slate in that league’s marquee regular-season day, features the Minnesota Vikings at the New Orleans Saints. It has potential playoff ramifications for both – the Vikings are barely alive, while the Saints could clinch the NFC South with a victory. The teams met in the Wild-Card round in January in the Big Easy and the Vikings pulled off a 26-20 overtime walk-off stunner on a controversial TD pass. New Orleans is -7 this time, and the favorite has won seven of the past eight in the regular-season series.
There are three Saturday games in Week 16, and the marquee matchup is the primetime affair between the Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders from Sin City. That has potential playoff ramifications for both and is Miami’s first-ever trip to Las Vegas. It could be an all-Hawaiian QB matchup between Dolphins rookie Tua Tagovailoa (who will start) and the Raiders’ Marcus Mariota (who probably starts with Derek Carr injured). Miami is -3 and 9-1 ATS in its past 10 games.
Likely no head coach wants to win more Sunday than the Washington Football Team’s Ron Rivera as his club hosts the Carolina Panthers. Rivera was fired last December by Carolina and was easily the best coach that franchise has ever had. Rivera won two NFL Coach of the Year awards there and might win a third in 2020. While the Panthers are playing out the string, Washington is fighting for an NFC East title and could clinch it Sunday with a win and some help. The Football Team is -2.5 and 5-0 ATS in its past five games.
The marquee AFC matchup is the Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers in a potential playoff preview. Two excellent defensive teams and two Hall of Fame quarterbacks in the twilight of their careers in the Colts’ Philip Rivers and the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers are on a three-game losing streak and +1.5, a very rare time they are home underdogs with Big Ben under center. The Colts are 1-15 SU in their past 16 in Pittsburgh.
No question the top NFC matchup is the Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks with the NFC West title at stake – the Seahawks could clinch it with a victory but lost to the Rams 23-16 in Week 10. Los Angeles could still win the West by winning out. Seattle is -1.5, but the favorite is just 3-8 ATS in the past 11 in the series.
Monday Night Football wraps up for 2020 with the Buffalo Bills at the New England Patriots as Buffalo looks for its first season sweep of the series this century. The Pats are eliminated from playoff contention at +7. They are 1-7 ATS in their past eight night games.