The NFL almost allowed the NBA a full Christmas Sunday without sharing the spotlight. However, we are blessed with not only NBA and NCAAB but a three game NFL slate as well. The big question remains, where is the betting value in these matchups. Our expert breaks down each game with the matchups to watch and the best NFL Christmas Day Picks to tail.
Green Bay Packers (+160) at Miami Dolphins (-195) – Sunday, 1:00 PM EST
The Packers have finally gotten it going after a year filled with frustration and drama. They’ve won two in a row to move to 6-8. However, It appears like it’s too little too late for this team. They’ll head to Miami where the weather will surely be warmer. Every game the rest of the way will be a must win if Green Bay hopes to squeeze into the playoffs.
Aaron Rodgers will be looking to exploit a Dolphins secondary that has struggled this year. The Dolphins have the 6th worst pass D in the league and could find themselves in major trouble against the reigning back to back league MVP.
Green Bay Packers Notable Injuries: RB Aaron Jones (P), OL David Bakhtiari (O)
The Dolphins looked like they’d be able to coast into the playoffs. However, after losing 3 straight there’s a bit of unease back in Miami. Suddenly, this Sunday’s matchup against Green Bay has turned into a pivotal matchup for the Dolphins. A win will get Mike McDaniels’ squad back in good position to make the playoffs, while a loss could create panic.
The Dolphins are one of the best passing teams in the league and will be going up against one of the best passing defenses in the league. Jaire Alexander, the Packers lone Pro Bowler, will likely get the difficult task of covering Tyreek Hill. This should leave plenty of room for Jaylen Waddle to work with this Sunday.
Miami Dolphins Notable Injuries: DT Terron Armstead (Q), OL Eric Fisher (Q), LB Bradley Chubb (P)
Fantasy Football Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em
Green Bay Packers Start ‘Em
- Aaron Rodgers 2. Christian Watson 3. Aaron Jones
Green Bay Packers Sit ‘Em
- A.J. Dillon 2. Randall Cobb
Miami Dolphins Start ‘Em
- Tyreek Hill 2. Jaylen Waddle 3. Tua Tagovailoa 4. Raheem Mostert
Miami Dolphins Sit ‘Em
- Alec Ingold 2. Dolphins Defense
Green Bay Packers vs Miami Dolphins NFL Christmas Day Picks
Aaron Rodgers will get off to a fast start in this must win game for his team. Tua Tagovailoa will answer back but he ultimately gets outdueled by the far more experienced quarterback in a nail biter of a game.
Final Score: Green Bay 28 – Miami 27
Wicked Wagers – Packers ML (+160) / Over 50 (-112)
Wicked Player Prop – Jaylen Waddle Total Receiving Yards Over 63.5 (-118)
Denver Broncos (-152) at Los Angeles Rams (+125) – Sunday, 4:30 PM EST
The Broncos will be favored in the disappointment bowl. The Broncos-Rams matchup was once set to be a Christmas Day showdown, but it now appears to be a dud. Russell Wilson will be getting the start after missing last week’s contest with a concussion. We’ll see if he can build off his good performance from two weeks ago.
Latavius Murray is coming off his game of the year. The running back was able to go for over 100 yards and a touchdown in last week’s performance. He’ll look to follow it up against a Rams team that’s been able to defend the run well all year.
Denver Broncos Notable Injuries: DE Randy Gregory (Q), WR Courtland Sutton (Q), WR Kendall Hinton (Q), RB Latavius Murray (Q)
The defending champions, the Los Angeles Rams, have reached double digit losses with three games remaining in the season. No one would have expected the Rams to be eliminated by this point and for Baker Mayfield to be the team’s starting quarterback. That’s where we stand with Sean McVay’s aging team with little draft capital.
This game might not seem like much for either side, but it’ll be critical for Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield. The former first overall pick is playing for his spot in this league. The Broncos defense is one of the best in the NFL, led by a well rounded pass rush and a secondary capable of turning any quarterback over. Mayfield will be facing an uphill battle on Sunday.
Los Angeles Notable Injuries: DT Aaron Donald (O), WR Ben Skowronek (Q)
Fantasy Football Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em
Denver Broncos Start ‘Em
- Russell Wilson 2. Jerry Jeudy 3. Latavius Murray*
Denver Broncos Sit ‘Em
- Courtland Sutton* 2. Greg Dulcich
Los Angeles Rams Start ‘Em
- Cam Akers 2. Matt Gay
Los Angeles Rams Sit ‘Em
- Baker Mayfield 2. Van Jefferson 3. Tyler Higbee
Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Rams NFL Christmas Day Picks
Russell Wilson picks up where he left off, as the first year Bronco quarterback throws for three touchdowns on his way to a two score rout of the lowly Rams.
Final Score: Denver 21 – Los Angeles 10
Wicked Wagers – Broncos -3 (-108) / Under 36.5 (-107)
Wicked Player Prop – Jerry Jeudy Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+225)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-375) at Arizona Cardinals (+285) – Sunday, 8:20 PM EST
Despite their obvious flaws, the Buccaneers will be coming into their Week 16 matchup against the Cardinals as big favorites. Tom Brady’s team is two games under .500 but somehow still division leaders. A loss this week would put that division lead in jeopardy, making it a game the Bucs will need to have.
Brady will have to erupt in this matchup and he’ll want to do it early to put the Cardinals asleep. He’s struggled to play a complete game as of recently, turning the ball over in critical situations. How he handles a below average defense could end up determining his team’s postseason fate.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Notable Injuries: CB Antoine Winfield Jr. (Q), DT Vita Vea (Q), OL Tristan Wirfs (Q)
Colt McCoy’s concussion means the Cardinals will be turning to their third string quarterback this Sunday. Trace McSorley will be the guy under center, in what will be the 4th year quarterback’s 1st career start. McSorley is a dual threat quarterback and will be looking to utilize each aspect of his game. The Cardinals will be big underdogs but don’t count them out.
All eyes will be on DeAndre Hopkins in this matchup. The Buccaneers will likely throw a couple bodies at him to keep the star wideout in check. Expect the inexperienced quarterback to look to target Hopkins often.
Arizona Cardinals Notable Injuries: QB Colt McCoy (O), CB Byron Murphy Jr. (Q), WR Marquise Brown (Q)
Fantasy Football Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Start ‘Em
- Tom Brady 2. Mike Evans 3. Chris Godwin
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sit ‘Em
- Leonard Fournette 2. Russell Gage 3. Cade Otton
Arizona Cardinals Start ‘Em
- DeAndre Hopkins 2. Marquise Brown* 3. James Connor
Arizona Cardinals Sit ‘Em
- Trace McSorley 2. Trey McBride 3. Cardinals Defense
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Arizona Cardinals NFL Christmas Day Picks
The Buccaneers will once again get off to a slow start. The Cardinals will get out to a 10 point lead before Tom Brady is able to storm his troops back. He’ll have to work his late magic, and when he does, it will make the Buccaneers overwhelming favorites in the NFC South.
Final Score: Tampa Bay 24 – Arizona 20
Wicked Wagers – Cardinals +7.5 (-110) / Over 40.5 (-110)
Wicked Player Prop – Tom Brady Total Passing Yards 268.5 (-113)