Martin’s Best Week 16 NFL Bets: Dolphins and More
Previous Week’s Record: 1-2
Overall Season Record: 24-17
We have arrived in the last week of 2020 for the NFL, the penultimate one of the season. And you know what? Good riddance to the worst year ever. The one that made us play with fear and uncertainty, the one that infected players and coaches from coast to coast, the one that kept fans away from cheering on the teams they love!
No matter what happens the rest of this year, the best bet you should make is that 2021 will be better for everyone.
Now let’s take a look at what Week 16 has in store for us. One thing is for sure, I am not putting any money on the Pittsburgh Steelers. They couldn’t even beat the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football to give us a winning slate last time around. For shame.
You can find every game’s odds here on the Yahoo! Sports website. We took the ones as of Thursday morning.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (7-7) vs. MIAMI DOLPHINS (9-5)
Two teams heading in opposite directions.
The Raiders are 1-4 in their last five games, just a push away from being eliminated from playoff contention and from their 17th season with eight or fewer wins in their last 18 tries dating to 2003. Their defense has allowed 36.0 points per game since they were 6-3.
The Dolphins are 8-2 in their last 10 and 5-2 with Tua as their promising starting quarterback that doesn’t seem to make the same mistake twice. He takes care of the ball and the defense forces opposing turnovers while allowing 21 points or less in five of their past six contests.
I don’t really care whether Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota start at quarterback for the Raiders. I’m going with the Dolphins, and the Raiders don’t even cover at home.
My pick: Raiders 20-27 Dolphins (-3)
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-8) vs. CAROLINA PANTHERS (4-9)
The NFC East is such a shitshow that it is currently being led by a team whose owner currently believes he is the victim of a extortion while their backup quarterback is fined for “pulling a Harden” (AKA breaking COVID-19 protocols for stupid reasons).
An organization in such a state of disarray shouldn’t be just two wins away from a division title and the fourth seed in the NFC playoffs, and yet that is exactly where the Ron Rivera Riverboaters find themselves.
Christian McCaffrey looks to be MIA for the Panthers for the sixth straight game, and why wouldn’t he be? All his presence can do is increase his risk of aggravating his quad injury and putting Carolina’s top five draft pick in jeopardy.
The Panthers have allowed seven sacks combined in their past two games against the Broncos (11th in the league in that category) and the Packers (10th). Now they will face a hellacious Washington front four led by rookie sensation Chase Young that’s tied for fourth in the league in sacks.
My pick: Washington (-2) 20-17 Panthers
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL PICK
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (6-8) vs. BUFFALO BILLS (11-3)
As if 2020 wasn’t bizarre enough, we end it with the division-leading Buffalo Bills that boasts a quarterback that is also an MVP candidate facing a Patriots team with nothing to play for and serious questions under center for this game and for the future. It’s like the Freaky Friday of football.
The Pats were a Cam Newton fumble away from at least forcing overtime in Buffalo back in Week 8, but they ended up losing 24-21 instead during what would be the beginning of the end for them.
The Bills’ offense has averaged 34.8 points per game since then, and they are a Kyler Murray Hail Mary in Arizona away from being 8-0 since Week 7.
Their firepower and motivation to secure the second seed in the AFC will be too much for Belichick and his players to overcome.
My pick: Bills (-7) 31-23 Patriots
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