Heading into Week 16 of the NFL season, the playoff picture has begun to take shape. Only six teams, the Chiefs, Steelers, Bills, Packers, Saints, and Seahawks, have clinched their spot in the playoffs so far. With an additional seventh playoff spot available for this 2020 postseason, over half the league still has hope to claim one of the eight remaining spots.
Two MVP candidates, Aaron Rodgers and Derrick Henry, meet in Lambeau for a big matchup on Sunday night, as Rodgers looks to lead the Packers to the No. 1 Seed in the NFC. Patrick Mahomes looks to do the same in the AFC while adding to his MVP resume against a forgiving Falcons defense.
The New York Jets pulled the biggest upset of the season in Week 15, but may have jeopardized their chance at drafting their franchise changing QB, Trevor Lawrence. The Jets’ first win of the season allowed the Jacksonville Jaguars to slip into the lead for the No. 1 overall pick in next years draft. Both teams open as big home underdogs in their respective Week 16 matchups.
Let’s take a look across the league at all the matchups in the penultimate week of the 2020 NFL regular season.
All odds via BetOnline as of 2:00 PM ET Tuesday, December 22.
Friday, December 25th
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints -7, O/U 51.5 (4:30 PM ET)
The Vikings’ playoffs hopes are all but over after a disappointing loss to the Chicago Bears last week. Drew Brees looks to keep shaking the rust off after missing four games with fractured ribs. The Saints have already clinched a playoff berth, but look to keep control of the NFC South.
Saturday, December 26th
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -9 at Detroit Lions O/U 54 (1:00 PM ET)
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers look to punch their ticket to the playoffs, and keep hope alive for winning the NFC South crown. Detroit has been eliminated from playoff contention, and comes into the matchup banged up on both sides of the ball.
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals -4, O/U 49 (4:30 PM ET)
Kyler Murray looks to build off one of his best performances in his young career, throwing for a career high 406 yards last week. San Francisco has lost six of its last seven games after falling to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 15.
Miami Dolphins -2.5 at Las Vegas Raiders O/U 47.5 (8:15 PM ET)
Miami comes off a win against the Patriots, while the Raiders dropped their 4th game in the last 5, losing an overtime thriller to the L.A. Chargers. The Dolphins currently sit in the 7th and final playoff spot in the AFC, while the Raiders cling to playoff life.
Sunday, December 27th
Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs -10.5, O/U 54 (1:00 PM ET)
The Falcons lose yet another game in heart breaking fashion, giving up a 24-7 lead to the Buccaneers (and Tom Brady). Kansas City has won 9 straight, and Patrick Mahomes continues his MVP caliber season, but the Chiefs could be without rookie running Back Clyde Edwards-Helaire for the rest of the season.
Cleveland Browns -10 at New York Jets O/U 47 (1:00 PM ET)
The Cleveland Browns have won their 10th game, the most since 2007, and look poised to make it into the playoff field for the first time since 2002. The Jets come off their first win of the season, and in doing so, lose the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 Draft. At least for now.
Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers Pick’em, O/U 44.5 (1:00 PM ET)
The Steelers opened as a small home favorite but after a head scratching loss to the two-win Bengals the line moved to a Pick’em. They fall to the 3-seed in the AFC playoffs with the loss. The Colts have a chance to take over first place in the AFC South with a win and Titans loss.
Carolina Panthers at Washington Football Team -2.5, O/U 44.5 (1:00 PM ET)
The Panthers have lost eight of their last nine, and travel to face their former coach, Ron Rivera. The Football Team finds itself with a one game lead in the NFC East, but the division remains up for grabs, as all four teams can still win it.
Chicago Bears -9 at Jacksonville Jaguars O/U 47 (1:00 PM ET)
The Bears had a huge victory over the division rival Vikings in Week 15, keeping their playoff hopes alive. The Jaguars may have been the biggest winner of Week 15, even while losing their 13th straight game, as they claim control of the No. 1 pick with the Jets win.
New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens -10.5, O/U 45.5 (1:00 PM ET)
Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens have scored 40 points in back-to-back games, and look to stay in playoff contention. The New York Giants need to win their final two to get into the playoffs, and its uncertain if they will have starting QB Daniel Jones to do so.
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (Lines NA) (1:00 PM ET)
Ryan Finley led the Bengals to an improbable victory as two touchdown underdogs against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. He will face off against Deshaun Watson and the struggling Houston Texans, losers of three straight games.
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers -3.5, O/U 48.5 (4:05 PM ET)
Chargers QB Justin Herbert continues a stellar rookie campaign, leading the Chargers to an overtime victory over the Raiders, accounting for three touchdowns and 300 yards passing. The Broncos 27th ranked defense was absolutely shredded by the Bills and they have lost three of the last four.
Philadelphia Eagles -2.5 at Dallas Cowboys O/U 50 (4:25 PM ET)
Jalen Hurts has added some juice to the Eagles offense in his first two career starts, and looks to keep the Eagles alive in the NFC East. The Cowboys are coming off two straight victories and their best offensive performance of the season, scoring 41 points against the 49ers in Week 15.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks Pick’em, O/U 47 (4:25 PM ET)
Seattle clinched a playoff berth with a win in Week 15 over Washington, and took over first place in the NFC West when the Jets shocked the Rams. The Rams became only the fifth team since 1978 to lose when favored by 17 or more points. This game is for first place in the NFC West.
Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers -3.5, O/U 56 (8:20 PM ET)
Green Bay sputtered to the finish line in Week 15, barely holding off the Carolina Panthers, but remain in control of the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Derrick Henry comes to Lambeau looking to take advantage of a poor Green Bay rush defense and stay atop the AFC South.
Monday December 28th
Buffalo Bills -7 at New England Patriots O/U 46 (8:20 PM ET)
In a twist of fate, the Buffalo Bills clinched their first AFC East Title in 25 years. while the New England Patriots were eliminated from the playoffs altogether, the first time since 2008. Josh Allen continues his hot play and the Bills try to pass the Steelers for the No. 2 spot in the AFC standings.