The final weeks of the NFL season are some of the hardest to handicap. From bad weather, tanking teams, possible spoilers, and franchises fighting for the playoffs, there are plenty of traps along the way for bettors in late December. However if you can find the right angle, there is more than enough value to go around.
Here’s a NFL Week 16 road map, plotting a course through those pitfalls Sunday.
Jacksonville is in the midst of a race with the St. Louis Rams (who have Washington's pick) and the Oakland Raiders for a Top-3 pick in the NFL draft. With both the Raiders and the Jaguars sitting at 4-10, both teams can't really afford to win another game, especially Jacksonville.
The team has problems filling the stadium thanks to a string of losing seasons in the small Florida market and desperately needs a franchise player to draw crowds. The Jaguars are 5-point home underdogs hosting Tennessee Sunday.
Playing for coach
The Raiders might be a prime tanking candidate if not for the recent rumors that respected head coach Dennis Allen is on the hot seat. With the Raiders 4-2-1 ATS away from the Oakland Coliseum and already posting an upset win over the Chargers early in the season, Oakland’s added motivation could make this a close game with their California rivals.
It’s a good value spot for the Raiders when you throw in the travelling army of Silver and Black fans that invade San Diego and rookie QB Matt McGloin trying to earn a chance in 2014 against a soft Chargers secondary.
Buffalo will be looking to upset the Miami Dolphins in a big way at Ralph Wilson Stadium Sunday. The Bills can't really tank at 5-9 and are a stellar 5-1 ATS in the friendly confines of upstate New York this season.
The Bills pass rush, led by Mario Williams, should give a Dolphins team, well noted for its offensive line issues, serious troubles. Miami has been playing well and has worked its way into the playoff picture after upsetting the Patriots at home. But Buffalo is a very good home team that matches up well with the Fins.