Five-star deadbolt locks don’t come around very often. So when they do, you have to take advantage – which we did with our Week 15 Best Bets. The Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers seemed destined to go Over, and so it came to pass: Cincinnati won 34-23 (Over 46.5) to give our sharp readers an early gift for the holidays.
We had two more Overs for our NFL picks, and they both cashed in as well, as the late-season rollercoaster ride continues with another sweep in our favor. That brings our record in this space to 30-14-1, which guarantees we’ll finish the 2022 regular season in the black.
But why stop there? We have three more totals in our Best Bets for Week 16, but this time, we’re leading off with a contrarian Under in Tornado Alley.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Saturday, December 24, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium
Kansas City cashed in the Over last week, but we’re switching sides for what should be an unusually cold day for football.
Going Under in K.C.
As a general rule, cold temperatures aren’t enough to slow down offenses (see: last week’s Miami-Buffalo matchup). You usually need some rain, or heavy snow, plus some stiff winds to throw offenses off their game.
That’s unless it gets really, really cold. Which it should this Saturday afternoon in Kansas City. The weather forecast at press time calls for temperatures around 10 degrees at kick-off. That’s not including the wind chill, and yes, we’ve also got winds of 10-15 mph blowing from one end zone to the other.
We’re not calling this a five-star pick by any means. Patrick Mahomes is still in control of the best offense in the NFL, and Kansas City’s defense is still a porous No. 24 on the DVOA charts at Football Outsiders.
Then again, Seattle’s No. 12-ranked offense has been falling apart on them. The latest casualty: WR Tyler Lockett, who broke his finger last week and will miss at least one game. Tough gig.
NFL Pick: Under 49 (-110) at BetMGM
Cincinnati Bengals vs. New England Patriots
Saturday, December 24, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at Gillette Stadium
This isn’t a 5-star pick either, but the Bengals did so well for us last week, there’s no need to move off the Over for this matchup with New England.
We could spend hours praising Bengals QB Joe Burrow, but you know about him already. Let’s talk instead about the injuries Cincinnati suffered on defense last week:
- CB Cam Taylor-Britt (shoulder)
- EDGE Sam Hubbard (calf)
Both men are considered questionable for Saturday, but it looks like Hubbard will be out until the playoffs, leaving the Bengals without their leading pass rusher (6.5 sacks). They might still be without EDGE Trey Hendrickson (wrist) as well, although there’s some hope he’ll return this week.
As for the weather, this is another one of those situations where it’s going to be chilly, but not chilly enough, at around 20 degrees, with clear skies over Foxborough. Neither of these cold-weather teams should blink an eye at these conditions, nor should you.
NFL Pick: Over 41.5 (-109) at SugarHouse
New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings
Saturday, December 24, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at U.S. Bank Stadium
Weather won’t be a factor in Minneapolis this Christmas Eve, but the Under looks like it should be worth a standard one-unit wager for this matchup of mediocre offenses.
The Devil and Daniel Jones
The Minnesota Vikings are coming off a historic 39-36 comeback win over Indianapolis (Over 46.5) that the Colts could have avoided just by running/kneeling on every play when they were up 33-0 at the half, but brains are obviously in short supply in the NFL.
Except in East Rutherford, that is. Brian Daboll is one of the brightest guys in football, even if he doesn’t have much to work with in QB Daniel Jones, who ranks No. 21 on the passing DVOA charts at Football Outsiders.
Unfortunately for both Daboll and Jones, their offensive line has been decimated by injuries. Not literally; far more than 10% of their line is in sick bay, with guard Joshua Ezeudu (neck) the latest to go down.
There’s a good chance TE Daniel Bellinger (ribs) won’t suit up against the Vikings either. All of this is bad news for Jones, and good news for our Under pick. Bet accordingly.
NFL Pick: Under 47.5 (-104) at FanDuel