Bills quarterback Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

NFL BEST BETS, DEC. 26

Patrick Werkmeister

Now that it is Week 16 of the NFL, the playoff picture is finally starting to lock in as the regular season enters the home stretch of December. Although some have already definitively staked their postseason claim, there are still plenty of open spots left for the playoffs. However, even losing a single game this time of year is not a good sign for the team’s playoff aspirations. December football is where the cream rises to the top and I think that will be reflected in some of the wins on Sunday. With that in mind, here are the best bets for this NFL slate. 

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Giants (+10) @ Eagles
From Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Saquon Barkley and the New York Giants look to steal one on the road against Jalen Hurts and the Eagles. Philly opened as nine-point home underdogs, but now they are currently favored by 10 points vs their division rival. While the Birds are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games as a favorite, the Giants are a very impressive 6-2 ATS in their past eight matches vs NFC East opponents. In Week 15, they were narrowly defeated by the Dallas Cowboys, whereas the Eagles won at home against the Washington Football team, 27-17. Additionally, New York is 4-0 ATS in their last four trips to Philadelphia. With starting quarterback Daniel Jones out for the season, the blueprint for victory for the Eagles is to run their offense through third year back, Saquon Barkley. The Giants have the personnel on defense to keep this average offense at bay. Last time they met in Week 12, the Giants came away with the victory, 13-7. Although they haven’t looked great this year, they will be the very hungry underdogs in this one, so expect them to keep it close. Take the Giants plus the points. 

Bills (+1) @ Patriots
In this AFC East matchup, Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills travel to Foxborough to face off against Mac Jones and the New England Patriots. The Bills opened this game as two-point road favorites, but that line has flipped and they are currently one point underdogs. Although the Pats are 7-1 ATS in their previous eight games, Buffalo has seemed to recover from their mid-season struggles as they now look like their 2020 self again. Additionally, New England is a shoddy 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games played during primetime. Although the Pats have proven they are a lock for the postseason, they still must overcome their division contender. However, New England has flaws of their own on offense and a lot of questions that have no answers. The offense has mainly benefited from the brilliance of Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. However, in Week 15, they were exposed by the Indianapolis Colts in a 27-17 loss. Although this Patriots defensive unit is among the top of the league, they have been scorched in each tough test they have had. At first place in the AFC East, I believe New England’s reign will come to an end by the final buzzer of this one. Take Buffalo plus the points, where they matchup extremely well with this Patriots squad in ideal weather conditions this time.

Steelers (+10) @ Chiefs
For this AFC showdown, Pat Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs host Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Chiefs opened as nine-point home favorites and they are currently listed as whopping 10-point favorites. Although Kansas City is a perfect 5-0 ATS in their last five games, Pittsburgh is 5-1 ATS in their last five games vs the AFC. In Week 15, the Chiefs defeated the LA Chargers and the Steelers pulled off an improbable victory vs the Tennessee Titans. Even with a banged-up roster, the Steelers are still able to play up to competition. Although the Chiefs are the current one seed in the AFC, they will have to make do without their superstar tight end, Travis Kelce. With their season more on the line than the opposition, Pittsburgh is the hungry dog in this match and hungry dogs run faster. Pittsburgh is in a strong position to cover in this meeting, even though they’ve been inconsistent, they’ve been a top team ATS this year. They should easily cover this wide margin. Take the Steelers plus the points. 

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