Which NFL Games in Week 16 Matter? (2017)

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When betting the NFL in the waning weeks, it is always a wise idea to wager on games that matter for both sides, and typically there are only a few worth placing money on.

Playing for Just Pride?  Teams Tend to Play Looser

Case in point: Baltimore entered their Week 16 game controlling their own destiny against a Colts team that had nothing to play for but pride.  Sometimes pride matters!  As a huge double-digit favorite (-13), the Ravens managed to win by a mere 23-16, securing the victory only in the final two minutes.

Some final remarks from Ravens coach John Harbaugh: "It was not the best played game by us. We made a number of mistakes, starting with me."

These Week 16 Games Can Be Targeted by Gamblers

Falcons vs. Saints - ESPN.com notes that, as far as the New Orleans Saints (10-4) and the Atlanta Falcons (9-5) are concerned, the NFC playoffs start Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

New Orleans is a -5.5 favorite in this one.  You better believe this Week 16 NFL game matters!

The team that wins here is likely to march into the Playoffs but the title will still be up for grabs with Carolina holding the lead in this exciting down-to-the-wire division.

If the Saints win and Carolina loses at home to Tampa Bay, New Orleans would clinch the NFC South by virtue of its regular-season sweep of the Panthers.

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The Saints Drew Brees has elevated his game this season, By Week 13, he had passed Peyton Manning for 2nd place in career completions as they beat Carolina 31–21.

Rams vs Titans - The Titans trail Jacksonville by two games in the AFC South. To make their Week 17 home game against the Jaguars a showdown for the division title, they have to defeat the Rams and hope the 49ers can beat Jacksonville, which seemed highly unlikely just a few weeks ago but suddenly San Francisco is playing better football, albeit against teams that are either not good or perhaps overrated (a la Tennessee, for whom they beat).

Tennessee still has a good shot at making the Playoffs even without a division win provided they can beat the Rams here.

Two wins cinches no worse than a wild-card spot, regardless of what Baltimore or Buffalo, the other 8-6 teams, do in the last two weeks.
"They know where we are at," Titans coach Mike Mularkey said of his players. "They know we have a great opportunity sitting right in front of us that is very reachable if we come in here the way we've come in here, with the mindset of putting in a good week's worth of preparation.
"We need to put 60 minutes of good football together, one game at a time."

The Rams are a -6.5 road favorite here.

Seahawks vs Cowboys - Two 8-6 teams battling it out to make the Playoffs.  The loser here will likely be restricted from moving forward.

For the Cowboys to make the playoffs and take full advantage of being back to full strength, they likely need to win out and get some help elsewhere. Dallas (8-6), Seattle (8-6) and Detroit (8-6) trail Atlanta (9-5) in pursuit of the NFC's final wild card spot entering Week 16.

The Cowboys do get running back Ezekiel Elliott back from his six-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.

Dallas was at -4.5 here.

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Ezekiel Elliott is back for Dallas following his weeks long suspension

Bills vs. Patriots - It's easy to pass over this game thinking the Pats have it in the bag and Buffalo is done for the season.  But the Bills are 8-6 and still very much in the Playoffs picture while the Patriots are fighting to secure a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

We'd be remiss in failing to point out that the Bills have never beaten Tom Brady in Foxborough when he's played an entire game.

They are also a +11.5 underdog though New England has only beaten the Bills by more than that number in four of the last ten meetings.  They did so in the last two however.

- Dan Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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