The penultimate week of the NFL’s regular season kicks off Saturday night with Atlanta’s trip to Detroit.
The Falcons (10-2, 5-2 road) can secure the No. 1 berth in the NFC with a one win from its final two, while the Lions (4-10, 2-4 home) is looking for the season to be over as quick as possible.
Whilst this particular matchup isn’t likely to set any ratings record, the NFL schedule this weekend does include some must see action, all of which will be pivotal to the playoff pictures.
Here’s Casino Review’s pick of this weekend’s schedule.
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks (Sunday, 8:20 PM ET)
Sunday Night Football features what is arguably the biggest clash on the schedule. San Francisco (10-3-1, 5-2 road) looked to be runaway winners of the NFC West early in the year but a surprising Seattle (9-5, 6-0 home) is still within touching distance of last year’s division champions.
The Niners will head to CenturyLink Field knowing that the Seahawks are unbeaten at home and currently in beast mode. The ’hawks have run off 50-point outings the past two weeks, albeit against Arizona and Buffalo, two of the league’s weaker sides.
San Francisco can secure the division by being the first team this season to win in Seattle. The Seahawks can’t win the division this weekend, but a win in this one sets up a must win scenario in Week 16, as the Niners host Arizona and the Seahawks host St. Louis.
Favorite: EVEN Spread: EVEN Total: 40
Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
The Bengals’ trip to Heinz Field could decide which of these sides heads to the postseason. There’s still a possibility that both could, but with the surprising Indianapolis Colts visiting Kansas City this weekend, it looks like the Colts will wrap-up one of the Wild Card berths.
Pittsburgh (7-7, 4-2 home)has struggled of late, dropping four of five, but the Steelers currently have an advantage an advantage over Cincinnati (8-6, 5-2 road); a 24-17 win in Week 7. If the Steelers win this weekend they will leapfrog the Bengals in the standings and lockup two important tiebreakers; the head-to-head and division record.
Cincinnati won’t be rolling over for its division rival though, and with a superior record on the road and five wins in the last six, the Bengals could finish the Steelers for the season, ensuring both they and the Colts play come January.
Favorite: Pittsburgh Spread: 4 Total: 44
New York Giants @ Baltimore Ravens (Sunday, 4:25 PM ET)
Not only can Cincinnati secure a postseason berth, there’s still a chance that Cincinnati can win the AFC North. To do so would be at the expense of the Baltimore Ravens.
Already assured of a playoff berth, Baltimore (9-5, 5-2 home) needs a win over the Giants (8-6, 3-4 road) this weekend or a win over Cincinnati next weekend. John Harbaugh’s team would prefer it to be this week.
The Giants meanwhile are in the thick of an NFC East battle that cannot be decided until next week. Tied with Washington and Dallas at 8-6, but tellingly trailing in the divisional record tiebreaker, the Giants need to win this weekend just to keep pace.
Separating these sides is not easy, as shown by the opening odds. Baltimore has lost three straight whilst New York has dropped four of its last six. The Giants however have more riding on this game.
Favorite: EVEN Spread: EVEN Total: 47
Washington Redskins @Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
Washington (8-6, 4-3 road) can cement its place as division frontrunners with a win over NFC East bottom feeders, Philadelphia (4-10, 2-5 home). A victory would give the Redskins an insurmountable 4-1 record within the division, enough to beat either the Giants or Cowboys were it to come to a tiebreaker. The Eagles will be playing to finish off the bottom of the NFC standings.
Favorite: Washington Spread: 7 Total: 45½
New Orleans @ Dallas Cowboys (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)
Winners of five of the last six, Dallas (8-6, 4-3 home) will simply look to make it to a Week 17 matchup with Washington in a position to win the NFC East. That means matching the Redskins’ result this weekend.
New Orleans (6-8, 2-5 road) is no longer alive in the playoff race but will be looking to secure a .500 record to close out the season. However, the Saints are 1-6 against teams with a winning record this season, which puts the advantage squarely on the side of Dallas. Still, this one is most definitely a make-or-break game for the Cowboys.
Favorite: Dallas Spread: 3 Total: 51
Week 16 Schedule
Saturday: (8:30 PM ET) Atlanta @ Detroit
Sunday: (1 PM ET) Oakland @ Carolina | New Orleans @ Dallas | Tennessee @ Green Bay | Minnesota @ Houston | New England @ Jacksonville | Indianapolis @ Kansas City | Buffalo @ Miami | San Diego @ NY Jets | Washington @ Philadelphia | Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh | St. Louis @ Tampa Bay; (4:05 PM ET) Cleveland @ Denver; (4:25 PM ET) Chicago @ Arizona | NY Giants @ Baltimore; (8:20 PM ET) San Francisco @ Seattle