NFL Line Watch Week 16

By: Art Aronson | Monday, December 18, 2017

Game to bet now

Jacksonville at San Francisco (-5)

The Jags' shot at earning a bye took a huge hit when the Patriots defeated the Steelers on Sunday, but J-Ville did earn a spot in the playoffs with their systematic demolition of the Texans.  Next up on the checklist is earning a home game, and the Jags can do that by traveling across the country and defeating the suddenly-decent 49ers. SF has late-season momentum behind new QB Jimmy Garoppolo, and now a game that a few weeks ago may have looked like a layup is now anything but. Jacksonville resting players is now out of the question as the Jags floor the accelerator pedal and keep a close eye on Week 16 scores in Foxboro and Houston.

Game to wait on

Buffalo at New England (-10)

The Bills are in an unusual position.  They currently own the 6th and final playoff spot in the AFC, but due to complicated tie-breaker rules involving common opponents, they can actually win this game and fall out of the playoffs.  First things first, though, and that's staying competitive against a Patriots team that took care of the Bills in Buffalo in Week 13 but since then has lost to the Dolphins and scraped by against the Steelers, giving up 775 total yards in the last eight quarters.  Buffalo has been grinding away all season, and its PF/PA total is under water only because of two bad mid-season losses.  And historically, Buffalo has been more than competitive in late-season games in Foxboro.  Lots of moving parts here, not the least of which is the number of injuries the Pats are dealing with on the defensive side of the ball. This line could nudge one way or the other late-week.

Total to watch

Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee (48.5)

Motivation galore on both sides of the field in this one.  The Rams are all but in the playoffs (strange things would have to happen to keep them out), and they have plenty of wind at their backs after their destruction of the Seahawks in Seattle.  There's no reason to think that LA can't continue its solid offensive play this week against a Titans team that is reeling after tough back-to-back losses in winnable games (Arizona, San Francisco).  The total cover is this one could depend on Tennessee's willingness to pick itself off the mat and hang on to its playoff spot, which is surprisingly now in jeopardy.


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