We've reached Week 16 of the NFL season, and ESPN betting analysts Joe Fortenbaugh, Preston Johnson and Doug Kezirian, sports betting deputy editor David Bearman and general editor Ben Fawkes, Fantasy's Mike Clay, and Matt Youmans of the Vegas Stats & Information Network are here to tell us what they like from this weekend's NFL slate.
Season ATS (against the spread) records:
Clay 2-0 (23-11 on season)
Youmans 0-4 (27-26-2)
Fortenbaugh 0-5 (30-29-1)
Kezirian 2-0 (17-20-1)
Bearman 0-3 (15-19-1)
Johnson 2-1 (20-25-1)
Note: Caesars Sportsbook lines displayed as of Wednesday; all times Eastern. Picks on lines available at time of posting.
Saturday's 1 p.m. game
Houston Texans (-3, 49.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bearman: The Bucs have quietly won four in a row behind an explosive offense that has scored 28 or more points in each game during the winning streak and in six of the past seven. I'm tempted to take the points at home, but Houston is playing for a division title, so the total seems like a safer play. The Bucs have been an over machine, hitting it 11 of the past 12 games, and they did their part in the one under game, scoring 25 first-half points, but Jacksonville, is, well, Jacksonville. Win, lose, cover or not, one constant has been scoring and allowing others to score. Since the over-the-total run began in Week 3, all but that Jags game have hit 50 points, and most haven't been close. Tampa Bay's games are hitting the over by 14.5 points (with an average total of 63 per game), making the sub-50 total surprising. It's not as though the Texans' games are in the low 40s, either, as four of the past five and eight of the past 10 have seen at least 45 total points. Even without wide receiver Chris Godwin suiting up for the Bucs, quarterback Jameis Winston is good for four or five total touchdowns (for both teams), so take the over and root for points.