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There is a free $5K Sportsbook Pool for NFL Week 16. You have to pick each of the games that are scheduled for Sunday, and the higher you finish on the leaderboard, the more money you earn.
Let’s take a look at all the contests slated for Sunday, including my five personal favorites.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles (-8.5)
The Pick: Eagles: -8.5
The Eagles are making a serious push for the playoffs. They’ve won four of their past five games, bringing them to 7-7 for the year. Their lone loss over that time frame was to the Giants, but they’ll have a chance to get some revenge on their home turf.
The Eagles' biggest strength recently has been running the football. They’ve racked up at least 176 rushing yards in seven straight games, and they’ve eclipsed 200 rushing yards in five of them.
That should play well against the Giants. Their biggest weakness this season has been on the ground, ranking just 28th in Football Outsiders rush defense DVOA.
We’re also getting a bit of spread value with the Eagles in this pool. The Eagles are up to -10.0 on DraftKings Sportsbook, but we can still grab them at -8.5 in this contest.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5)
The Pick: Bengals -2.5
These teams are pretty evenly matched at full strength. The Ravens rank 16th in team DVOA this season, while the Bengals are just slightly behind in 19th. However, the Bengals have outscored their opponents this season by 66 points, while the Ravens have done so by just 19 points. That gives the Bengals a clear edge in terms of Pythagorean Win Expectation.
The Ravens have played a ton of close games recently, but they’ve been on the wrong side of each of them. They’ve become the first team in NFL history to lose three straight games by four points or less.
They’ll try to get back on track vs. the Bengals, but they’ll have to do it without star quarterback Lamar Jackson. Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley played well in relief of Jackson last week, but he’s still a clear downgrade at the position. The line moved by two points after it was announced that Jackson was out, but we can still get the Bengals laying less than a field goal in this pool.
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots (-2.5)
The Pick: Bills +2.5
The Patriots' numbers are incredibly impressive this season. They had their seven-game winning streak snapped last week by the Colts, but they still rank fifth in DVOA. They’re also just one game behind the Chiefs for the top record in the AFC.
However, the Bills still stand out as the better squad. They rank third in DVOA – trailing only the Buccaneers and Cowboys – and they’ve been arguably the best defensive team in football this season. Their offense has been inconsistent, but they still have an incredibly high ceiling with Josh Allen at quarterback. He’s taken a step back from last year’s MVP-caliber campaign, but the Bills are still capable of putting plenty of points on the scoreboard.
The Patriots were able to beat the Bills in Buffalo in their first meeting, but that game couldn’t have been played in worse weather. There were sustained winds of greater than 25 miles per hour, which made passing the ball nearly impossible. Those conditions fit the Patriots’ skill set much better than the Bills’. I would expect Mac Jones to have to throw the ball more than three times in this contest, and I’m backing Allen over Jones every day of the week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-11.5) @ Carolina Panthers
The Pick: Panthers +11.5
The Buccaneers are coming off a shutout loss last week vs. the Saints. That was the first time Tom Brady has been shut out in approximately 15 years, so they should be able to bounce back vs. the Panthers. The Panthers’ D has been leaky of late, allowing at least 27 points in four straight games.
However, the Panthers have received plenty of sharp support in this matchup. There have been multiple steam moves and a reverse line move tracked on the Panthers, which has caused this line to dip to just 9.5 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
I’m willing to back the sharps in this spot. Not only are we getting a great price at +11.5, but we have the added benefit of fading the public. I would expect most of the attention to be on the Buccaneers in this pool, so we can pick up some ground if the Panthers cover.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5)
The Pick: Chiefs -9.5
The Chiefs had some hiccups early in the year, but they are officially rolling. Not only has their defense played exceptionally well, but their offense has started to heat up as well. Overall, they’ve allowed 17 points or fewer in seven of their past nine games, and they’ve racked up 82 points in their past two games.
The Steelers don’t seem like the team to break their mojo. They were able to secure a victory last week vs. the Titans, but the Titans lost that game more than the Steelers won it. The Steelers managed just 168 yards of total offense, but the Titans’ four turnovers were the difference. As long as the Chiefs don’t shoot themselves in the foot, I can’t see the Steelers keeping up with them.
Here’s who I’m targeting for the rest of the Sunday games. Remember, we’re looking to beat the competition and climb up the leaderboard, so I’ll be looking to gain leverage on the field and fade the public in situations where I don’t see a huge edge on the spread.
Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) @ Minnesota Vikings
Pick: Vikings +3.5
Los Angeles Chargers (-10.5) @ Houston Texans
Pick: Texans +10.5
Detroit Lions @ Atlanta Falcons (-5.5)
Pick: Falcons -5.5
Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets (-0.5)
Pick: Jaguars +0.5
Chicago Bears @ Seattle Seahawks (-6.5)
Pick: Seahawks -6.5
Denver Broncos (-1.5) @ Las Vegas Raiders
Pick: Broncos -1.5
Washington Football Team @ Dallas Cowboys (-8.5)
Pick: Cowboys -8.5
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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