Breaking down the betting odds, lines and trends for the NFL Week 16 Saturday games.
The Baltimore Ravens are one of three 8-6 teams in the AFC not leading their division but still hoping to get into the postseason. That would explain why the Ravens are consensus 13.5-point home favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com for Saturday’s matchup with the hapless Indianapolis Colts (3-11), who have nothing to play for except draft positioning in the last two weeks of the regular season.
Baltimore would currently lose tiebreakers with the Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills, the two others that share the same record right now. But the Titans and Bills have more difficult schedules than the Ravens to close out the year, something working in their favor. This game against the Colts certainly qualifies as easy when compared to Buffalo visiting the New England Patriots and Tennessee hosting the Los Angeles Rams.
The problem is, historical betting trends tend to favor the underdogs instead. Indy has not only won nine of the past 11 meetings with Baltimore straight up but has also covered the spread in nine of the previous 10, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. However, the Colts have dropped five in a row SU as dogs, and they had quarterbacks Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning under center in previous matchups.
Later on Saturday, the Minnesota Vikings (11-3) will continue their charge for the top seed in the NFC when they visit the Green Bay Packers (7-7) as 9-point road favorites at the sportsbooks. With Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers being placed on season-ending IR, Minnesota will not have to worry about him trying to lead his team to the playoffs.
The Packers were eliminated from postseason contention following a 24-21 win for the Atlanta Falcons over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football.
Regardless, the Vikings have won three of the past four meetings SU and against the spread in this series versus their NFC North rivals. Minnesota has also gone 5-2 SU and ATS in its last seven Saturday games and 7-2 ATS in its previous nine at night. Most trends favoring Green Bay can be overlooked due to the absence of Rodgers, who originally suffered a broken clavicle that required surgery in the first meeting in Week 6.