NFL Week 16 expert picks and odds for Cowboys vs. Eagles, Bengals vs. Patriots and every other game (2024)

NFL Week 16 features most games being played on Saturday instead of Sunday. You’ll need to adjust your schedule as eight games kick off in the 1 p.m. ET window on Saturday. There are three games on Christmas Day, but if we’re being honest, the NFL schedule makers didn’t do their best picking those games for the spotlight. Only one of the six teams playing on Sunday has a winning record. See below for odds, storylines and expert picks from every NFL Week 16 game.

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The Chiefs are the biggest Week 16 favorite, as they’re favored by 9.5 points at home against the Seahawks. Kansas City needed overtime to beat the Texans as 14-point favorites on the road in Week 15.

We’ve already seen one huge market swing this week. The Cowboys opened as 1.5-point favorites at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. Around 2 p.m. ET Monday, rumors started to swirl about Jalen Hurts availability for the game, and Dallas jumped up to a 6-point favorite after the news that Hurts suffered a sprained shoulder against the Bears. The Cowboys are now favored by 4.5 points.

Buffalo, Tennessee, Baltimore and San Francisco are all big favorites that are favored by more than a touchdown.

NFL betting trends

  • Favorites are 141-76-2 straight up, but underdogs are 117-95-7 against the spread (55.2%)
  • Unders are 121-100-2 (54.8%)
  • Primetime unders are 26-19-1 (57.8%)

NFL playoffs clinching scenarios

Six teams have already punched their tickets to the playoffs with three weeks remaining in the regular season. The Cowboys, Eagles, Vikings, 49ers, Chiefs and Bills will play in the NFL’s annual tournament. For simplicity’s sake, I’m only listing the teams that can get in or clinch a division title with a win in Week 16. Our NFL staff has the full playoff picture here.

  • Philadelphia clinches NFC East and No. 1 seed with a win at Dallas.
  • Bills clinch AFC East with a win at Chicago.
  • The Bengals clinched a playoff spot with the Jets loss to the Jaguars on Thursday night.

All odds are from BetMGM and update live. All games are Saturday unless noted they are on another day.

Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets (Thurs.)

You probably did not come into the 2022 NFL season expecting to see the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets playing a massive Week 16 game with huge playoff implications, but here we are. The Jets are looking to get back on track after losing three in a row and four of their past five games and are favored by less than a field goal.

Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET on Thursday at MetLife Stadium. The game will be televised on Amazon Prime.

While the Jets’ season is rapidly fading away after a fast start, the Jaguars are on a second-half surge that has seen them climb to within a game of Tennessee for the top spot in the AFC South. A win on Thursday would also push them ahead of the Jets in the AFC wild-card race.

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Quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been the driving force behind the turnaround. He enters Thursday’s game with a passer rating over 106 in five of his past six games while throwing 14 touchdowns to only one interception during that stretch. It should be no surprise that the Jaguars are 4-2 over that stretch with numbers like that.

The Jets, meanwhile, will be starting Zach Wilson for a second consecutive game as Mike White has again been ruled out due to injury. Wilson, the No. 2 pick in 2021, lost his starting job more than a month ago because of his ineffective play. He returned to the lineup on Sunday and threw for more than 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but he also completed just 50 percent of his passes and threw another costly interception.

With games against Jacksonville, Seattle, and Miami remaining (all playoff contenders), the Jets’ path to the playoffs is looking very difficult, especially given their recent play.

Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears

When the Bills and Bears take the field on Saturday, only Buffalo will be playing with hopes of improving playoff positioning. As expected in a game between top- and bottom-tier teams, the 11-3 Bills are heavily favored. They enter as near double-digit favorites.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET at Soldier Field in Chicago. CBS will televise the game.

Justin Fields and the Bears are a healthy balance of fun and competitiveness. They’ve fought hard against some of the best teams in the NFL throughout the season but often haven’t finished the fight with wins. Will Saturday’s matchup with Josh Allen and the Bills, who can clinch the AFC East with a victory, follow a similar script that many Chicago games have already? Or can the Bears play the role of spoiler late in this season?

Atop the AFC standings heading into Week 16, the Bills, who’ve already clinched a playoff spot, control their destiny to a first-round bye. And though the following week’s matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals may very well be the most important game left on the schedule for the Bills, as far as seeding goes, they must not overlook the 3-11 Bears. Eight of Chicago’s 14 games played this season have been decided by one score, while nine of Buffalo’s have.

Detroit Lions at Carolina Panthers

The Detroit Lions are one of the hottest teams in the NFL and have climbed back into playoff contention with wins in six of their past seven games. They look to keep that push against a Carolina Panthers team that is still in contention for the NFC South despite their 5-9 record. The Lions are less than a field-goal favorite on the road.

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Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET Saturday from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. The game will be televised on FOX.

The Lions are the big story here as they have erased a 1-6 start to climb back to within a game of a wild-card spot in the NFC. Their only loss since the end of October was a tough last-second loss to Buffalo on Thanksgiving.

Quarterback Jared Goff has been the big story for the Lions, mostly due to his ability to play mistake-free football, throwing just one interception (to 12 touchdowns) over his past eight games. Given their remaining schedule, three games against teams with losing records (Carolina, Chicago and Green Bay), the Lions are in a prime position to continue this late-season surge and potentially sneak into a playoff spot. Given their recent play and the number of close losses they had early in the year, they might not be the team a top NFC team wants to see in the postseason.

The Panthers, meanwhile, have had one of the NFL’s weirdest seasons. They have used a revolving door at quarterback with Baker Mayfield, P.J. Walker and Sam Darnold all getting starts; they fired their head coach and traded or waived three opening-day starters on offense (Mayfield, Christian McCaffrey and Robbie Anderson).

Despite that and a 5-9 record, they are still very much alive in the NFC South, where every team enters the weekend at least two games under .500. For the Panthers, it is very simple: Win all three remaining games (Detroit, Tampa Bay, New Orleans), and the AFC South is theirs.

New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns

In what might be the greatest sign of the NFL’s parity, the 5-9 New Orleans Saints and 6-8 Cleveland Browns have a pulse in the playoff race. The Browns, winners of three of their past four games, are a field goal favorite going into Saturday’s game.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET Saturday from First Energy Stadium in Cleveland. The game will be televised on FOX. The weather will play a huge role in this game, with freezing temperatures and sustained wind gusting up to 50 mph.

The Browns are facing the far tougher challenge for a playoff spot, needing to win out and get some help elsewhere in the AFC. The Saints have a few paths to the NFC South crown, but the easiest one involves them winning their remaining three games (Cleveland, Philadelphia and Carolina).

Based on how both teams have played in recent weeks, this figures to be a sloppy, low-scoring game, and the over/under of 31 points (by far the lowest mark on the NFL schedule this week) illustrates that. The Saints have scored more than 21 points just once over the past six games, while the Browns, even with Deshaun Watson back at quarterback, have been awful on offense, scoring just two offensive touchdowns over the past three games. Running back Nick Chubb has also been limited in practice this week due to a foot injury.

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans

The Tennessee Titans need a win in the worst possible way, and they might be playing the right team to help them get one. The Titans are favored against Houston on Saturday as they look to snap a four-game losing streak. Tennessee will be without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill who will miss the game with an ankle injury.

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Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET Saturday from Nissan Stadium in Nashville. The game will be televised on CBS.

After storming out to a 7-3 record and looking like they were going to cruise to an easy AFC South title, the bottom has fallen out on the Titans’ season. They are now trying to hold off a surging Jacksonville Jaguars team for the division crown. Tennessee enters the week with just a one-game lead over Jacksonville. While the Titans still have everything in front of them and would clinch the division by winning out, they have two tough games against Dallas and Jacksonville to close out the season.

That makes Saturday’s game against a one-win Houston team one that they can not afford to lose. Rookie Malik Willis will start in his place.

The biggest problem for the Titans down the stretch has been an anemic offense that was already one of the worst and least explosive groups in the NFL this season and has only managed to get worse during the losing streak. The Titans have averaged just 12 points during the losing streak, and not even back-to-back 100-yard games from Derrick Henry have been enough to help that.

Seattle Seahawks at Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs will look to use Saturday’s game against Seattle to improve their chances at a first-round bye, while a Seahawks win would increase their chances of playing their way into the postseason. Kansas City is a double-digit favorite at home.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. FOX will televise the game.

All it took was a two-game losing streak for the Seattle Seahawks’ division title hopes to fade completely. Now at 7-7, they’ll have to finish the season strong to land one of the conference’s wild-card spots. And as luck would have it, Pete Carroll’s squad is off to the Midwest to take on Patrick Mahomes and a Chiefs team that still has much to play for. With wide receiver Tyler Lockett (hand surgery) out, the task will be even taller for the Seahawks to register their first win at Kansas City since 1999.

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As previously mentioned, the Chiefs have a lot to play for. No, they aren’t playing for an AFC West title (they’ve already locked up the division for a seventh straight year) but for a first-round bye in the AFC. Kansas City can keep itself in the race for the top spot with a win over Seattle on Saturday. Expect the game plan to feature the defense to hold up decently enough for Patrick Mahomes to do spectacular things on the other side of the ball.

Mahomes is now the favorite to win NFL MVP after Jalen Hurts suffered a sprained shoulder against Chicago.

New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings

The New York Giants may have saved their season with Sunday night’s win over the Washington Commanders. They can take another big step toward a playoff berth against a Minnesota Vikings team that has already wrapped up the NFC North. The Vikings are a field goal favorite for Saturday’s game.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET Saturday from U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The game will be televised on FOX.

The Giants season had started to slip away in recent weeks thanks to a 1-4-1 run that took them from NFC East title contention to the wild-card bubble. Sunday’s win at least helped solidify their spot in a playoff position. If they win two of their final three games (Minnesota, Indianapolis, Philadelphia), they will clinch their first playoff spot since 2016 and only their second in the past 11 years.

The stakes are not quite as high for the Vikings, who secured the division title this past Saturday thanks to the largest comeback in NFL history. They still have a mathematical shot at the top seed in the NFC and a first-round bye, but trailing the Eagles by two games with three weeks to play makes it very difficult.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is coming off back-to-back 400-yard passing games for the Vikings and will be going against a middle-of-the-pack Giants defense that allows 217 passing yards per game.

Minnesota remains one of the strangest 10-win teams in NFL history, entering Saturday’s game with only a plus-two point differential on the season. The Vikings are a perfect 10-0 in games decided by eight points or less this season, winning four by three points or fewer.

Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots

Two AFC teams looking to secure a playoff spot will battle with one another on Saturday afternoon when the Bengals and Patriots take the field. Looking for its seventh win in a row, Cincinnati will enter the weekend as road favorites.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. CBS will televise the game.

On the heels of one of the most improbable losses the NFL has seen in quite some time, the Patriots need to turn the page on Week 15 and have their best stuff ready for this Saturday’s date with the red-hot Bengals. New England is just outside the playoff picture with three games remaining.

After starting the season with back-to-back losses, not many outside of the Bengals’ locker room probably imagined the team would be entering Week 16 with a shot at a first-round bye. However, here’s Cincinnati, which dealt with key injuries throughout the season but managed to enter the weekend in third place in the AFC and just a game behind Buffalo for the top spot in the standings. Yet Joe Burrow and company still haven’t clinched the AFC North or a playoff spot. So, they’ve still got some tape to run down the stretch of the regular season, including Saturday against New England.

Atlanta Falcons at Baltimore Ravens

Saturday’s matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens features two teams looking to rally to capture division titles. The Ravens will take the field as just around a touchdown favorite.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. FOX will televise the game.

The Ravens have fallen out of first place in the AFC North. They’ll still have a shot at the division title as the current first-place Bengals have a tough schedule to get through, but Baltimore must take care of its own business in the meanwhile, including on Saturday against the well-below-.500 Falcons. Of course, the Ravens’ odds of winning this game would increase if Lamar Jackson could return to the field after missing the past two games with a knee injury. Until then, coach John Harbaugh has got to come up with a winning formula for an important Week 16 matchup to avoid dropping in the standings.

Speaking of fighting for a division championship, somehow, some way, the 5-9 Atlanta Falcons’ playoff hopes are still alive despite entering Week 16 at the bottom of the NFC South. How? Their 5-9 record is identical to the records of the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers, who all are on the heels of the 6-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers with only three games left. For the Falcons to stay alive, they’ll need rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder to grow up fast as he prepares to make his second start as a pro. If he and fellow rookies Drake London and Tyler Allgeier can make positive contributions, it may be enough for Atlanta to get past a Ravens team struggling to score points.

Washington Commanders at San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers look for an eighth straight win when they take on the still-in-the-playoffs-hunt Washington Commanders, and San Francisco enters as around a touchdown favorite.

Kickoff is set for 4:05 p.m. ET Saturday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. CBS will televise the game.

Washington would be in if the playoffs were to begin today, where it would join the rest of the NFC East to become the first division in the history of the NFL to have all four of its members make it to the postseason. But we’re a few weeks away from that potentially happening. In the meantime, Washington must rebound from a tough loss to the Giants on Sunday night and focus on stopping the hottest team in the league this Saturday.

San Francisco, which clinched the NFC West last week, should also be glad the postseason doesn’t start for another few weeks. In a season in which the Bay Area has seen its share of significant injuries, the final few weeks of the regular season should allow star wide receiver Deebo Samuel the time he needs to get healthy before the playoffs without rushing back before he’s ready. The last few weeks will also allow rookie quarterback Brock Purdy to continue getting more comfortable before the stakes are raised in the playoffs. This game against a good Commanders defense will be another good test for the Niners.

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

The Philadelphia Eagles have a chance to lock up both the NFC East and the No. 1 spot in the NFC with a win over the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys, who have already locked up a playoff spot of their own, are nearly a touchdown favorite.

Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m. ET Saturday from AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The game will be televised on FOX.

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The biggest reason the Cowboys are such big favorites against the 13-1 Eagles? The uncertainty around the status of Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Hurts is one of the top MVP candidates in the NFL this season, but he is dealing with a shoulder injury that could keep him out of the lineup. He will be replaced by backup Gardner Minshew if he cannot go. Minshew has only played in mop-up duty this season, attempting only four passes. He did, however, start two games a year ago, going 1-1 for the Eagles with four touchdowns and an interception.

While Hurts’ status remains in doubt, the Eagles are expected to get tight end Dallas Goedert back in the lineup after he was activated this week.

Dallas is trying to keep its slim divisional hopes alive after last Sunday’s brutal overtime loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Cowboys have lost only four games, with each of their past two coming in overtime. They have not lost a game in regulation since Oct. 16, when they were on the losing end of a 26-17 decision to the Eagles.

The big concern for the Cowboys might be the turnover problems that Dak Prescott has developed over the past few weeks. He has thrown seven interceptions over his past four games, including three games with two each. If Dallas has any hopes of beating the Eagles, even with Minshew at quarterback, that will have to change this week.

Las Vegas Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers

Saturday’s Raiders-Steelers game is a must-win for both teams as they try to play their way into the playoffs down the stretch. The Steelers are less than field-goal favorites.

Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh. NFL Network will televise the game.

How does one celebrate an improbable win? By getting on the plane and flying from one coast to the other to continue fighting for their playoff lives. That’s what the Raiders are doing this week as they get ready to take on a Steelers team that’s also barely hanging on to postseason hopes. Las Vegas has won four of its last five games and will look to win at Pittsburgh for a second straight season. For that to happen, the Raiders will need their defense to continue its solid play while getting Davante Adams involved early and often on offense.

Pittsburgh’s playoff hopes are technically still alive. Additionally, so is Mike Tomlin’s whole “never finished a season with a losing record” thing that has held true since he became the Steelers’ head coach in 2007. They’ll have both things in mind as they prepare to host the Raiders in Week 16. But with time running out on the season, it’s safe to wonder how realistic it is to accomplish either feat.

Green Bay Packers at Miami Dolphins (Sun.)

The Miami Dolphins are back home on Sunday after playing three consecutive games on the road, and it might be just what they need to get back on track in their push for a playoff spot. The Dolphins are more than a field-goal favorite against the Green Bay Packers.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET Sunday from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. The game will be televised on CBS.

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The Dolphins’ recent three-game losing streak has brought them back to the pack in the AFC wild-card race, but they should still be in a good position to end their postseason drought. All three losses have come on the road, where Miami has struggled all year, going 3-5. The Dolphins are 5-1 at home

The big concern for Miami the past few weeks has been the defense. It has allowed 78 points over the past three games.

On Sunday, they are going against a Packers team that has won two games in a row, is starting to pick up the pace offensively and is still clinging to slim playoff hopes. The emergence of rookie receiver Christian Watson has helped jump-start the passing game, while the Packers have averaged nearly 27 points per game over the past five games.

Given the play of both offenses, as well as the struggles of both defenses, there is the potential for this game to turn into a track meet. The over/under is set at 49.5 points, the highest mark for any game this week.

Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Rams (Sun.)

Two four-win teams are set to take the stage Christmas Day when the defending champion Los Angeles Rams host the Denver Broncos. The Rams are slight home underdogs in what’s projected to be one of the lowest-scoring games of the week.

Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. ET at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. CBS will televise the game.

Neither the Rams nor Broncos will be playing football beyond Week 18, so their matchup on Christmas Day will be all about draft positioning — just not for themselves. Denver swung big on a Russell Wilson trade last offseason, thus leaving them without a pick in the 2023 draft, and the same goes for Los Angeles, which sent out its 2023 pick in a trade package to the Detroit Lions that landed the Rams Matthew Stafford in 2021.

So, what is there to watch for? If you’re into the Baker Mayfield Hollywood story, he’ll likely be using the remainder of the season as an audition for his next contract. As we know, the audition could come with highs and lows worth following. But whatever Mayfield’s outcome is on Sunday, it will have been against a Broncos defense that is arguably the toughest in the NFL.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals (Sun.)

Putting a cap on the NFL’s Christmas Day slate is an NFC matchup between the Cardinals and Buccaneers. Despite losing two games in a row, Tampa Bay is a slight road favorite.

Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. ET at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. NBC will televise the game.

The Cardinals are down to the third-string quarterback for this game against Tampa Bay, which is a microcosm of what their 2022 season has become — untimely and significant injuries and lack of cohesion. So when they take the field against the Bucs, perhaps the only things that matter are avoiding further injuries and maintaining a good spot toward the top of the upcoming NFL Draft. Trace McSorley will get the start for Arizona.

Draft positioning is likely one of the last things the Buccaneers are worried about as they prepare for this important Week 16 Christmas game against Arizona. Despite a sub-.500 record (6-8), Tampa Bay sits at the top of the NFC South with three games left in the regular season. Tom Brady and the Bucs would be in the playoffs if they began today. But the playoffs don’t start for another few weeks, and the Super Bowl LV winners are hardly locked into that playoff spot. However, they’ll inch closer to doing so with a win over a Cardinals squad that’s lost four straight.

Los Angeles Chargers at Indianapolis Colts (Mon.)

Even though it looked a little sketchy at times for the Los Angeles Chargers, they have put themselves in a strong position to clinch a playoff spot this season thanks to some close wins over the past few weeks. They can take another step toward that against an Indianapolis Colts team that keeps finding new ways to embarrass itself this season. The Chargers are more than a field-goal road favorite.

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Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. ET Monday from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The game will be televised on ESPN.

Indianapolis has again decided to bench Matt Ryan. This time, the Colts will turn to Nick Foles to start.

The Chargers have won three out of their past four games to improve to 8-6 on the season, with each of those wins coming by less than a touchdown. They do not play a team with a winning record the rest of the way, getting the Colts, Rams and Broncos.

Los Angeles figures to be a favorite in those games, and given that schedule, it would take a monumental collapse to fall short of the playoffs.

The Chargers offense has been a bit of a disappointment this season, but after a slow start, Justin Herbert has started to get on a little roll over the past few weeks. He has topped the 310-yard mark in the past three games while throwing zero interceptions in three of his past four starts.

He should have a great opportunity to keep that momentum rolling against a Colts team that has lost four games in a row, each in an increasingly embarrassing fashion.

(Photo of Tony Pollard: Mike Carlson / Getty Images)

NFL Week 16 expert picks and odds for Cowboys vs. Eagles, Bengals vs. Patriots and every other game (2024)

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