FOX sports betting analyst
Week 16 of the NFL season is unique.
The weather will play a factor in some of these games, there are some notable quarterback injuries and some prize races could end after the weekend.
And as always, I’ve got some bets for you that I hope will put some cash in our pockets by the end of the weekend (bets via FOX Bet).
Were the Kansas City Chiefs exposed in their 30-24 win in Week 15?
Nick Wright weighs in on whether the Kansas City Chiefs were exposed in their Week 15 overtime win against the Houston Texans.
Sea falcons at Heads (1 p.m. ET Saturday, FOX)
I’m sure the Chiefs will cover any game where they are a short favorite by three points or less. And I certainly hope they cover in those rare cases where they are underdogs. However, if the Chiefs are favored by more than a touchdown, take the other side.
Kansas City couldn’t cover nine points against the Broncos two weekends ago, jumping out to a 27-0 lead before holding on to win by six. Last weekend, the Chiefs were 14.5-point favorites in Houston, and needed overtime to escape with a win. A month ago, the Rams went to Arrowhead, taking 15-16.5 points without Matt Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald. The Chiefs won, but it was an ugly 26-10.
I don’t know why the Chiefs play like this against inferior opponents, but it’s been a trend for years. Turnovers, lackluster game plans, poor red zone offense and a lack of defense make these games closer than they should be.
Seattle comes to town and the Seahawks need a win to stay afloat in the NFC playoff race. And while Seattle hasn’t played well on offense over the past month, the Hawks can still move the ball on the Chiefs’ defense. KC’s defense allows everyone to move the ball. This unit ranks 24th in defensive DVOA. Even if the Chiefs do their thing and post a score inside the 30, their defense will allow points to a desperate Seattle Seahawks team.
I’ll take the Seahawks to cover.
COLLECT: Seahawks (+9.5 at FOX Bet) to lose by less than 9.5 points (or win outright)
Can Brock Purdy lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl after clinching the NFC West?
FOX Sports NFL analyst Eric Mangini joins Colin Cowherd on The Herd to discuss the San Francisco 49ers’ 21-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 15.
commanders at 49ers (4:05 p.m. ET Saturday, CBS)
I’m discarding all my principles of play in this game. I take the favorite of the home team, with 7.5 points, whose coach has regularly struggled in this place. Give me the super-hot Niners against the Chiefs — a team coming off a loss on national television. Of course, the line is inflated. I do not care. San Francisco will win big.
The commanders started slowly. They had a single win through five weeks, then struggled to beat the Bears in Week 6. Carson Wentz was benched. Taylor Heinicke took over the offense and sparked the entire team. Washington then won six of its next seven, including handing the Eagles their only loss of the season. The other five wins were close. The Commanders beat the Packers by two, the Colts by one and the Falcons by six. Then came the games against the Giants, who had a bye week. Against the Giants, Washington recorded a tie and a shutout, and now the team is looking to miss the playoffs.
Washington has struggled to beat better teams because of Heinicke’s limitations. He’s a fun player to root for, but ultimately, he’s not good. The Commanders are scoring just 16 points per game since he took over, and now they head to San Francisco.
The Niners defense is the best in the NFL. They don’t allow points, their defensive line is ferocious, the linebackers are quick and the secondary is quick. Teams don’t score against them, and I’m not sure what would drive the Chiefs to score in this game.
The 49ers offense continues with third-string quarterback Brock Purdy running the show. Kyle Shanahan doesn’t ask much of Purdy, relying on the run game, offensive line and screen game. However, when Purdy is tasked with pitching it, he looks more competent than expected. The Niners are a real offense with Purdy. And while the Chiefs defense is excellent, this is a game where the Niners can wear them down.
Washington’s defense will be on the field for a long game. San Francisco would score late to cover this game and bring the lead to double digits at the final whistle.
COLLECT: 49ers (-7.5 at FOX Bet) to win by more than 7.5 points
Geoff Schwartz played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his freshman year. He is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.
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