NFL Week 16 arrives with the NJ sports betting world still in a state of shock.
The New York Jets, shaking up the NFL by stunning the Los Angeles Rams as a whopping 17-point road underdog, headline our Week 16 Odds Five.
New York Jets win, but are still 1-13
The Jets, who obtained their first victory, retained the NFL’s penchant for surprising fans and rewarding a few savvy New Jersey online sportsbook gamblers.
Their 23-20 triumph over the sleep-walking Los Angeles Rams, who entered with nine wins, became the largest upset of the year.
The Jets burned an avalanche of moneyline parlay tickets but also rewarded a few sharp bettors. A tip of the hat to the 5% of SugarHouse sportsbook patrons who went against the grain, taking the Jets odds on the moneyline at +1000.
As they return to MetLife Stadium to oppose the 10-4 Cleveland Browns in Week 16, the Jets sport a satisfying achievement. This was the same team that took a 40-3 shellacking from the Seattle Seahawks one week earlier.
But it was also the same Jets team that scored on its opening drive for the eighth straight game. Plus, they actually held a lead for the sixth consecutive game, indicating they should have won three or four previous games.
No home field advantage at MetLife Stadium
The Browns, methodically proficient in Sunday’s 20-6 triumph over the suddenly-lifeless New York Giants, look for the MetLife Parlay in Week 16.
Facing the Jets, they try to match the San Francisco 49ers, who swept the Giants and Jets handily on this field in Weeks 2 and 3.
Here is some irony. Who has the most wins at MetLife Stadium, the combined home of the Jets and Giants, this season?
The answer would be the Giants and Niners, with two apiece. And the Browns can tie them this week.
The Giants, meanwhile, were too tricky for their own good in the first half against the Browns Sunday night. Three red zone trips, three points after a fake field goal and a 4th-and-short run into the line from the six-yard line produced no results.
There’s a reason teams don’t make the playoffs.
Two ugly home losses to the combined tune of 46-13 have kept the Giants out of first place.
Will Eagles-Cowboys game matter?
In the NFC East, the now last-place Philadelphia Eagles and second-place Dallas Cowboys sport a unique, two-tiered perspective to their heated rivalry Sunday.
In the early-afternoon game, both teams commonly root for the Carolina Panthers to defeat the host Washington Football Team. If that doesn’t happen, both teams will be eliminated from the postseason before they even take the field for the late-afternoon contest.
If Carolina scores the mild upset, Dallas and Philadelphia then fight for the right to eliminate one another. Now that would be the Eagles and Cowboys.
If the game means something, betting will pick up briskly just before kickoff. And if a Carolina win is matched by the Baltimore Ravens’ expected victory over the New York Giants, Philly or Dallas could take a significant leap.
A Washington victory, however, coupled with a Baltimore victory, gives the Football Team the division outright on Sunday.
#Eagles are in last place in the NFC East w/ 2 games left and can STILL conceivably win the division.
Would need to win both games vs. Dallas/Wash.
Need Wash to lose to the Panthers next week.
Need the Giants to lose to either the Ravens or Cowboys.
Likely? No. Possible? Yes.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) December 21, 2020
Many chances here.
Washington is a slight favorite to defeat the four-win Panthers at home, but Carolina sports a mobile quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater, who could give Washington problems.
Washington sits in the rarified air of 6-8, good for the top spot.
Jalen Hurts still Eagles starting QB
The Eagles did not win against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, but they have found a quarterback. Jalen Hurts provided leadership via three touchdown passes thrown and one rushing touchdown in Philadelphia’s gut-wrenching 33-26 loss.
It was the best game the Eagles have played in several weeks, but they failed to capitalize on the earlier loss by the Washington Football Team to the Seattle Seahawks.
Hurts provided mobility and leadership. He had three touchdown passes in the first half. His predecessor Carson Wentz did not have a three -TD game this year. The biggest difference between quarterbacks is Hurts’ ability to extend plays either by scampering for a first down or moving out of the pocket to find receivers.
Bills have championship potential
Josh Allen had a terrific game for the Buffalo Bills against the Denver Broncos, accounting for four touchdowns, two rushing and two passing. Cole Beasley found all kinds of room to operate as a receiver, looking as formidable as Julian Edelman did when complementing Tom Brady during the Patriots’ championship runs.
The Buffalo defense also scored a touchdown in the 48-19 road romp.
In winning their first AFC East title since 1995, the Bills are knocking on the door of the number two seed. They only trail the Pittsburgh Steelers by one game and would capture the tiebreaker if it came into play.
Buffalo plays the now-eliminated New England Patriots on Monday Night.
No Brady, and no Patriots playoff run
It was an anti-climactic bowout for the New England Patriots, who had made 11 straight playoff appearances before their hopes ended with Sunday’s 22-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
New England simply doesn’t have the weapons, quarterback Cam Newton can’t throw a deep ball, and the team is not built to come from behind.
In the meantime, former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady finally looks comfortable in Tampa Bay. The Bucs obtained a character-building victory in Atlanta. They rallied from a 17-0 halftime deficit to defeat the host Falcons, 31-27.
Brady stepped nicely into throws, receivers ran good patterns and the team displayed a rhythm it had not shown in several weeks. Granted, this was the Falcons, not a playoff team, but Tampa Bay needed it.
The 9-5 Bucs are right in the playoff chase before visiting the Detroit Lions on Saturday.
NFL Week 16 around the league
There is a Christmas game in Week 16, featuring the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints. It marks the first time in NFL history that the league has played a game in every day of the week.
It includes three Saturday games:
- Tampa Bay at Detroit, 1 p.m.
- San Francisco at Arizona, 4:30 p.m.
- Dolphins at Raiders, 8:15 p.m.
Tampa Bay, Arizona and Miami all need their games, making the competition interesting.
Sunday’s key games include the Rams and Seahawks for the NFC West lead and the Tennessee Titans versus the Green Bay Packers.
photo by ASSOCIATED PRESS