NFL Week 16 Accumulator: Chiefs against the spread is huge value
We’ve reached the penultimate week of the regular season. The playoff spots are beginning to get booked and the battle for the wild card spots is getting hotter and hotter.
Last week we saw the three leading teams in the league struggle. The Chiefs and Rams lost whilst the Saints stumbled to a narrow victory over the Panthers. In the background the Bears and Steelers delivered important victories to push themselves further into the Super Bowl conversation.
Bengals @ Browns
Sunday, 23 December, 18:00
The Bengals season ended long ago. QB Andy Dalton hit the IR, followed by receiver AJ Green and finally fellow wide out Tyler Boyd. Joe Mixon is a fantastic running-back but he can’t do it all alone. With the offence spluttering, it puts even more pressure on the defence and they’ve buckled under the pressure.
The Bengals have given up 29.5 points per game, the second worst total in the league and only marginally behind the Raiders. Cincinnati have given up the fourth highest number of both rushing and passing yards, too. This bodes well for Nick Chubb, the dynamic rookie Browns RB who will feast. It also gives Baker Mayfield a chance to further push his credentials as this season’s best rookie QB.
The Browns have long been the NFL’s joke team, but this season have finally turned a corner. Years of high draft picks have left Cleveland with a surplus of great talent and they’re starting to put it together. 26.5 points is a high target, but I think the Browns should be able to stick it on the hapless Bengals.
Bears @ 49ers
Sunday, 23 December, 21:05
Khalil Mack has to be the trade of the season. When the Bears gave up a raft of future draft picks for the edge rusher there were doubts whether they’d overpaid. They haven’t. Mack is in the running for the league’s MVP gong and has helped tighten what was already an impressive unit into the NFL’s premier defence.
The Bears have allowed a measly 18.9 points per game this season and Mack, Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan et al have been regularly shutting down the best QBs in the league.
The 49ers have put up some strong scoring numbers just recently, but won’t be able to do that against Chicago. Nick Mullens isn’t an elite QB and will be riding the pine next season once Jimmy Garoppolo recovers. The rookie Dante Pettis has shown some real talent at the receiver position with smooth routes and slick footwork, but I don’t think the 49ers will have enough to be able to reach 20 points against this strong Bears side.
Rams @ Cardinals
Sunday, 23 December, 21:05
The Rams have lost two games on the spin for the first time since Sean McVay took charge. LA started the season in red hot form and at one stage looked like they could go through the regular season unbeaten.
You’re probably wondering why I’m going to suggest backing the Rams with a huge -12.5 handicap. Put simply: the Cardinals are woeful. This last week Arizona lost to the Falcons by a huge 26 point margin and the week before went down by 14 points to the Lions, another poor side.
McVay will be hungry to gain redemption and the Cardinals need to be very scared. McVay will scheme to put Jared Goff in the best possible position to lead his side to victory and the QB will overcome his poor recent run of form.
The Cardinals give up an average of over 26 points per game and more importantly 144.9 rushing yards per game. That bodes well for Todd Gurley, who should put up some big numbers against a defence that has real problems stopping the run.
Chiefs @ Seahawks
Sunday, 24 December, 01:20
The Chiefs narrowly lost to the LA Chargers last week and this week face a difficult trip to Seattle. Seattle is the home of Starbucks, grunge music and the Legion of Boom. The Legion of Boom is now a fading memory, but the coaching and attitude that created the defence that underpinned the Hawks’ Super Bowl win is still there.
Since Kareem Hunt was released by the Chiefs, they haven’t looked quite right. It means the bookies think that this game in the cold Seattle weather and in front of the loudest fans in football, will be hard. I, however, think it offers the best bang-for-its-buck of the whole weekend. I’m backing the Chiefs with a large handicap and at this price it has to be taken.
Patrick Mahomes is still the leading candidate to be the league’s MVP. The quarterback has that rare skill of making the difficult look supremely easy. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce will be his main outlets in this match and you’d think that Kelce will get lots of opportunities to make serious yardage. I’m confident Mahomes will overcome this tough Seahawks defence and beat the handicap by some margin.
Recommended NFL ACCA
Back the Browns Over 26.5 Points @ 4/5
Back the 49ers Under 19.5 Points @ 5/6
Back the Rams (-12.5) @ 8/11
Back the Chiefs (-7.5) @ 85/40
Total ACCA Odds: 17.05/1
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