LAS VEGAS, Dec. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The penultimate week in the NFL season will offer some oddities, including four of the widest point spreads of the season. Late-season blowouts are to be expected as struggling teams finish out their years with little to play for, but pandemic concerns are throwing a wrench at oddsmakers, too, according to TheLines.com, which tracks odds in the U.S. regulated sports betting market.
As of Monday morning, the New England Patriots (-15.5), San Francisco 49ers (-15), Buffalo Bills (-14) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-13.5) all are significant double-digit favorites over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, and New York Jets, respectively, according to a consensus of that nation’s largest legal online sportsbooks — including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, BetRivers, Caesars, and PointsBet. All four games feature matchups of postseason contenders against teams with little at stake, a common theme in the final weeks of every regular season.
But oddsmakers are also factoring the potential havoc that Covid could have on some team’s rosters, especially when key players are involved. That will keep scoring expectations relatively low, with 13 games with a projected point total of 46 or less. In fact, the matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys features an over/under of 50 points, which is just the second time in three weeks that a game has reached that threshold. By contrast, the first week of the NFL season featured five games with point totals of 50 points or more.
"Bettors need to be vigilant in the last few weeks of the season," said Brett Collson, lead analyst for TheLines.com. "Whether it is struggling teams playing out the string, Covid continuing to affect rosters, or inclement weather that can hold down scoring, oddsmakers are factoring in a lot of moving parts."
The consensus point spreads for Week 17 games, as of Monday, Dec. 27:
- Atlanta Falcons at Buffalo Bills (-14); over/under 44.5
- New York Giants at Chicago Bears (-6); over/under 38.5
- Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5) at Cincinnati Bengals; over/under 49
- Miami Dolphins (-3.5) at Tennessee Titans; over/under 41
- Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts (-7.5); over/under 45.5
- Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots (-15.5); over/under 42
- Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-7); over/under 38
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-13.5) at New York Jets; over/under 45.5
- Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) at Washington Football Team; over/under 45
- Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-6); over/under 45.5
- Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers (-15); over/under 45
- Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys (-5); over/under 50
- Detroit Lions at Seattle Seahawks (-7.5); over/under 42.5
- Los Angeles Rams (-3) at Baltimore Ravens; over/under 46
- Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-7); over/under 48
- Cleveland Browns (-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers; over/under 41
About the TheLines.com:
TheLines is a leading source for news, analysis, and research related to the market for regulated sports betting in the United States. Affiliated with the PlayUSA.com Network, TheLines.com provides original daily reporting and offers player advocacy tools related to the advancement of safe, licensed, and legal online sports betting. Based in Las Vegas, the PlayUSA Network is independently owned and operated, with no affiliations to any casino — commercial, tribal, online, or otherwise.
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