NFL Best Bets Week 16

by Ahaan Rungta · Betting & Props

This is NFL Best Bets Week 16! Here, we provide our best game line bets for the NFL slate each week on sportsbooks.

Each week’s article features picks on either the moneyline, spread, game total, or team total. For each bet, we will provide a wager size recommendation (note: 1 unit = 1% of your gambling bankroll). It’s important to keep your exposure disciplined and stick to the recommendations. It is always worth line-shopping at the time you place your bet so that you can get the best value available online.

In Week 15, we picked up a win and a push. The Lions got the job done against the spread in a blowout bounce back effort at home on Saturday. The Browns completed a comeback to win by exactly three (the spread we got) on Sunday.

We are now 13-12-1 on the season. Let’s finish the regular season with a bang, starting with these Week 16 bets on the books.

1.5 units: Vikings +3.5 (-115, BetMGM)

Just one week after we bought back in on the Lions and their potent offense, we are fading that imbalanced roster in a poor spot. Last year, these teams faced off once since the trade of tight end T.J. Hockenson. In that contest, the Vikings lost 34-23 on the road. This time, Minnesota has to deal with Nick Mullens at quarterback and just lost by a field goal to the beaten-up Cincinnati Bengals. Yet, they are only underdogs at home by about a field goal. That is because this is a bad draw for Detroit. The Lions have been learning their deficiencies in bunches lately.

Since coming off their bye in Week 10, the Lions rank No. 30 in dropback EPA per play allowed. This makes them one of the easier passing defenses Mullens will have to face. With all his weapons healthy and Minnesota picking up a run game behind the emergence of Ty Chandler, the Vikings offense should be more comfortable this Sunday despite the flaws of their quarterback.

Vikings Defense

Offensively, the Lions have usually taken care of business against weak opponents behind a flurry of huge plays and a sturdy offensive line. However, the Vikings defense has heated up. They are No. 3 in drop back EPA per play allowed since Week 10. They are the far superior defense in this matchup. Now at home, they should be able to exploit Jared Goff who has been notoriously worse outside of Detroit in his Lions career.

Finally, this game fits a trend with a large sample size. Since 1989, in the “late season” (Week 16 onward), underdogs of less than eight in games with Vegas totals in the 40s are 164-72-6 against the spread when facing a team that missed the playoffs in the previous season and have a better winning percentage in the current season. That is good for a 69.5% hit rate and a +31.86% ROI. Let’s back the trend here again in a bounce back spot for the Vikings at home while also snagging the key number of three. This is playable at +3 as well at pick ‘em juice (-110) or better.

1 unit: Ravens/49ers total UNDER 47 (-108, DraftKings)

The Week 16 slate is complete on Monday night with a potential Super Bowl preview. We are hopping on an NFL system that has been a cash machine lately. Monday Night Football totals of at least 40 points are on a 28-4-1 “under” run when the spread is within 6.5 points as it is in this contest. It makes sense to back the defenses in this game.

The 49ers win on defense by stifling the run (No. 7 in run stop win rate) and pressuring the quarterback (No. 9 in pass rush win rate) while their weakness is in the secondary. This season, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has seen a massive dip in throwing metrics (e.g., accuracy rating and completion percentage) when under pressure and is missing Mark Andrews.

On the other hand, the Ravens have one of the best secondaries in football, ranking No. 3 in PFF’s coverage grade this season and No. 13 in drop back EPA per play allowed since Week 10. Although the 49ers offense has been almost matchup-proof when healthy, they have also faced very few defenses of Baltimore’s caliber. The last time they did was against the Browns in Week 6 when San Francisco lost 19-17.

It is time to fade both of these contenders’ offenses and trust their defensive stars in Week 16 to continue the Monday night under wagon.