The end of the season is always a great time to spot live NFL dogs against teams that may be in cruise control or looking more to stay healthy rather than win the game. Let’s take a look at a few such matchups in our Week 16 Upset Alert.
Chicago (10-4 SU, 10-4 ATS) at San Francisco (4-10 SU, 5-9 ATS) – Sunday, 4:05 PM ET
The best online sportsbooks, found at one of the betting industry’s leaders Sportsbook Review, is tagging the Bears as four-point road chalk after knocking off the Rams and Packers in consecutive weeks and covering the number in both contests. And those victories are the reason why Chicago will attract all that square play.
So, let’s step away from the masses and get with the sharps. Now understand, we don’t subscribe to the theory that every favorite is a square public side and every underdog is where you will find all the wise guy action. It often works like that, but everything is predicated on the number you get. Wait for all that steam to come in, the number shifts dramatically, you get the +2½ instead of the +3½ and the dog loses by three. They win, you lose and it’s all because you blindly tail without factoring in the line you are getting.
In this case the Niners are still getting +4 from the books, which we consider real value. We don’t see Nick Mullens having a career day by any means against a top-notch defense like the Bears, but the fact is that Mitchell Trubisky falters on the road as a favorite. Trubisky has all the makings of a top-tier QB for years to come but right now he’s just a 24-year-old kid without even two NFL seasons under his belt. He’s inclined to make “rookie” mistakes it’s just that all his talent often disguises those poor decisions. In addition, the Bears are likely liked into the third seed in the NFC playoffs.
Conversely, the 49ers are playing some very good football and Mullens seems to have found his niche after an historic debut, then some sloppy subsequent performances, and now two solid showings against the Broncos and Seahawks. Moreover, the Niners’ defensive front is getting more aggressive and the results are paying off. We don’t believe Trubisky or the Bears will be all that focused and could rest a key player or two with the playoff seeding all but clinched. Smells like a trap game to us.
Final Score: 49ers 20, Bears 17
NY Giants (5-9 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) at Indianapolis (8-6 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) – Sunday, 1:00 PM ET
The Giants are getting a bundle of points (+10) from the best online sportsbooks, and we are happy to take advantage of the largesse. Odell Beckham Jr. will likely suit up after getting a respite the past two weeks, and Saquon Barkley may, in fact, do more damage as an outlet receiver than a punishing runner because the Colts’ front line has stepped it up and has been stopping the run effectively.
The Colts will do damage against a Giants’ secondary that has struggled mightily this season but we don’t expect Indianapolis to be fully engaged as this is the proverbial trap game for them. Indy is coming off a huge shutout win over Dallas and is looking ahead to a divisional showdown with the Titans next week.
Conversely, Eli Manning is 19-8 against the spread when favored by seven or more over the course of his career. Manning has always seemed to step up in the underdog role and he especially shines when big odds are stacked against him. Below are a few trends working in New York’s favor:
- Giants are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS loss.
- Giants are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss of more than 14 points.
- Giants are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 road games.
- Giants are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game.
Final Score: Colts 31, Giants 24