NFL Best Bets: Christmas Day Slate

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    GB @ MIA1:00pmMIA -3.549.5MIA -3.5
    DEN @ LAR4:30pmDEN -336.5LAR +3
    TB @ ARI8:20pmTB -7.539.5TB -7.5
    Green Bay Packers (6-8) @ Miami Dolphins (8-6)

    Time 1:00pm EST
    Favorite: MIA -3.5
    Total: 49.5

    Key Injury Watch:
    GB: OUT – (OL) David Bakhtiari
    MIA: QUESTIONABLE – (OT) Terron Armstead, (LB) Bradley Chubb, (LB) Jaelan Phillips, (S) Eric Rowe

    Game Preview:
    Only 1 of the 6 teams suiting up on Christmas Day has a winning record, and it’s the Miami Dolphins. They’re 5-1 at home where they haven’t lost since Week 6 to the Minnesota Vikings who we now know to be one of the best teams in the NFC at 12-3. Miami is happy to be home for the holidays after 3-straight road losses to the 49ers, Chargers, and Bills.

    While the records don’t show it, this should be a playoff caliber matchup between the Dolphins & Packers as both teams are facing borderline must-win scenarios. The Dolphins cannot lose 4-straight and well, the Packers simple can’t lose any of their next 3. Let’s not make the mistake and be blinded by the Aaron Rodgers name here — he hasn’t thrown for 300+ yards in a single game this season. The 39-year old is a first ballot HOFer, that’s a sure thing, but betting on the Packers against the spread today is not! Let’s roll with the Miami -3.5 to make a statement following a really tough fought 3-point loss in Buffalo last week.
    PICK: MIA -3.5 & Over 49.5

    Denver Broncos (4-10) @ Los Angeles Rams (4-10)

    Time 4:30pm EST
    Favorite: DEN -3
    Total: 36.5

    Key Injury Watch:
    DEN: QUESTIONABLE – (OT) Calvin Anderson, (OLB) Randy Gregory, (RB) Latavius Murray, (OL) Dalton Risner, (CB) K’Waun Williams, (WR) Courtland Sutton
    LAR: OUT – (DL) Aaron Donald, (C) Brian Allen

    Game Preview: 
    This is the PERFECT opportunity to plan something nice with the family from 4:00 – 7:00pm. This game is so bad that the focus isn’t on the actual game but on career long friends Russell Wilson & Bobby Wagner facing each other for the first time wearing different uniforms. Makes sense though, this game means nothing for either team, both with 4-10 records and both without their top first round draft pick because of trades. The Seahawks have the 3rd overall pick from the Broncos and the Lions have the 4th overall pick from the Rams.

    The only way to get into this game is to bet on it but there’s just not too much to confidently go off of to be honest — this is a fade game if it wasn’t isolated on Christmas Day, but here we are. The gambling narrative that I’m rolling with today is Baker Mayfield playing for his career. He’s been a Ram for less than 3 weeks now but is making his 3rd start and has naturally been hyped up by offensive coordinator Liam Coen about dramatic improvement he’s made every day. What else is he supposed to say, but still, no one else has more to play for than Baker. The Broncos are dealing with a lot of injuries so I’m thinking this game will be more of a low scoring sloppy backyard football style matchup which benefits Baker.
    PICK: LAR +3

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8) @ Arizona Cardinals (4-10)

    Time 8:20pm EST
    Favorite: TB -7.5
    Total: 39.5

    Key Injury Watch:
    TB: OUT – (DT) Vita Vea – QUESTIONABLE – (S) Antoine Winfield Jr, (S) Mike Edwards, (S) Keanu Neal, (OT) Tristan Wirfs, (WR) Julio Jones
    ARI: OUT – (CB) Byron Murphy Jr, (QB) Colt McCoy – QUESTIONABLE – (CB) Antonio Hamilton

    Game Preview: 
    Arizona has lost 6 of their last 7 along with Kyler Murray to an ACL tear that forced the Cardinals to experience both Trace McSorely & Colt McCoy in last weeks 24-15 loss to Denver. Both were absolutely horrible, combining for a 33.7 QB rating (20/36 for 167 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs). McCoy is out with a concussion so McSorely will draw the start by default, but who cares, there isn’t a single scenario until live betting opens that will have me backing this Cardinals team right now.

    Despite their 6-8 record, Tampa Bay is actually in 1st place in the NFC South, currently controlling their own destiny. No one more than Tom Brady knows that anything can happen once the playoffs start, but they really need to win the next 3 to get there. The Bucs have probably been the most frustrating team to bet on all season long — they’re 3-10-1 against the spread, horrible, but I’m throwing the blinders on that with this matchup. I’d actually feel better with a larger alternate spread like TB -14 (+175) because I feel like it’s just all or nothing with the Bucs.
    PICK: TB -7.5

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