It’s the holiday season so, good will and cheer are being shared all over the world—but not in the NFL.
It may be Christmas, but it’s crunch time and NFL teams are scrambling to grab a playoff spot. That makes Week 16 a must-win week for several teams on the proverbial bubble. Teams that are out of the playoff picture still enjoy playing the role of spoiler, and on Christmas Eve they will attempt to knock the opposition out of the playoffs by gift wrapping a loss.
These four teams are on upset alert during this holiday weekend.
The Denver Broncos are coming off of a tough loss to the New England Patriots, but still have control of the AFC West. John Elway came out in the media this week and gave a strong vote of confidence to Tim Tebow and his future as a Bronco.
That may change this week if the Broncos lose to Buffalo. The AFC West is jam packed, and if they lose other teams will be ready to jump in and take the lone playoff spot.
This is a tough spot for the Broncos: They have to travel east to play in a tough place. The Vegas odds opened up with the Broncos as three-point favorites, and that should be the first indication of how close this game will be.
All the teams are sick of hearing about Tebow and get fired up to beat him. This week it’s Buffalo’s turn to beat Tebow.
Buffalo Bills (+3)
In the battle of New York, the Jets and the Giants will face off with their playoff lives on the line. Jet’s head coach Rex Ryan has already hyped this game up by exclaiming that the Jets are better than the Giants.
After a woeful game against the Redskins, the Giants need to win to keep pace with the rest of the teams in the NFC East. The Giants enter this game as three-point underdogs and that is a role that they have cherished in the past. The Giants are 11-4-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 16 games as an underdog of less than three points, and 6-2-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a double-digit loss at home.
The Jets were exposed by the Eagles last week and the Giants will make Rex Ryan eat his words this weekend.
The Cincinnati Bengals are in a must-win situation this weekend when they play the Arizona Cardinals. The Bengals will fall out of playoff contention this week when they lose to the Arizona Cardinals.
The Bengals have a banged up team—most notably rookie wide receiver A.J. Green who will be suiting up with a separated shoulder. Then they have the misfortune of running into one of the hottest teams in the league. The Cardinals have won six out of seven and beat good teams like Dallas and Philadelphia along the way.
Yet somehow the Bengals are 4.5 point favorites in this game. The Bengals are 7-21-1 ATS in their last 29 games as a favorite and 17-35-2 ATS in their last 54 games as a home favorite.
The Cardinals offense is alive and well and will not only win with the points, but win on the field.
The Dallas Cowboys control their own fate in the NFC East but with two crucial divisional games left, they can’t afford to stumble.
This week they will take on the hard-charging Philadelphia Eagles in prime time. After struggling through media scrutiny and injuries, the Eagles seemed to have righted the ship and still have a shot at the postseason.
The Eagles come into this game as two-point underdogs, but have already trounced the Cowboys in their previous meeting this season. LeSean McCoy had a career-best 185 yards as he led the Eagles in a lopsided Sunday night victory against the Dallas Cowboys.
The sports betting trends favor the Eagles in this game as the Eagles are 37-18 ATS in their last 55 games as a road underdog and the Cowboys are 1-5 ATS in their last six games when playing against the NFC.
In the last meeting, Tony Romo could not beat an Eagle defense that sacked him four times. The Cowboys have had trouble piecing together a complete game: They have a habit of finding ways to lose and if it happens again this week, they could be out of the NFL playoffs.
Philadelphia Eagles (+2)
This may be a holiday weekend, but the NFL will be anything but nice.