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NFL Week 16 opening lines, odds, spreads: Vikings vs. Saints on Christmas will make history; Rams vs. Seahawks huge in NFC West

The penultimate week of the 2020 NFL regular season arrives in Week 16.
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Never before in NFL single-season history had at least one game been played every day of the week. That will change for 2020 on Christmas Friday when the Minnesota Vikings visit the New Orleans Saints. The biggest Week 16 game, though, is likely Sunday's Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks matchup with the NFC West title hanging in the balance. The Seahawks opened as 2.5-point favorites on the NFL odds.

Every NFL season has games of course played on Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. The first Saturday games were in Week 15. Coronavirus postponements forced games on Tuesday and Wednesday this year, and now there's Vikings-Saints on Friday, which will be opposite the NBA's biggest day of the regular season.

Minnesota shocked the Saints in New Orleans last January in a Wild-Card Round game, 26-20 in overtime on a controversial walk-off touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Kyle Rudolph. Saints players believed Rudolph pushed off the defender and should have been called for offensive pass interference.

Any shot the Vikings had of reaching this season's playoffs vanished with a 33-27 home loss to Chicago on Sunday. The Saints are in the playoffs but lost out on a shot to clinch the NFC South in a 32-29 loss to the Chiefs in a potential Super Bowl 55 preview. That also basically ended any shot New Orleans had of being the conference's top seed. Green Bay now needs just one more victory to earn the NFC's lone first-round bye and is favored for the Week 16 Sunday night game vs. Tennessee.

The Rams (9-5) might have been looking ahead to the Seattle game as L.A. inexplicably lost as 17-point home favorites to the previously winless New York Jets on Sunday, 23-20. That was obviously the biggest upset of this season. It may also have cost the Jets a chance at Trevor Lawrence, but we'll dive deeper into that Monday.

Still, L.A. controls its destiny to win the NFC West because Los Angeles was a 23-16 home winner over the Seahawks (10-4) in Week 10. Russell Wilson struggled against that usually terrific Rams defense with no TD passes, two picks and a lost fumble. Seattle did clinch a playoff spot with Sunday's win at Washington. The Seahawks would win the West by beating the Rams this time.  

Will next Sunday be Adam Gase's last home game as the head coach of the Jets? Almost surely yes as New York hosts Cleveland, which opened at -10.5. Sunday also could be the last Jets home game for quarterback Sam Darnold, who is widely expected to be traded this offseason. The Browns considered taking Darnold with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft but wisely settled on Baker Mayfield. If the Jets can't get Lawrence, maybe they keep Darnold. 

There are no more Thursday games this NFL season and the final Monday night matchup features Buffalo at New England. The Pats have nothing to play for as they were eliminated from playoff contention with Sunday's loss in Miami. The Bills have clinched their first AFC East title since 1995 but still have seeding reasons to care. Buffalo looks for its first season sweep of New England since 1999, back when Tom Brady was still at the University of Michigan.

Opening William Hill Sportsbook NFL Week 16 odds (subject to change)

  • Friday: Vikings at Saints (-7)
  • Saturday: Bucs at Lions (+7.5)
  • Saturday: 49ers at Cardinals (-3.5)
  • Saturday: Dolphins at Raiders (+2.5)
  • Broncos at Chargers (-3)
  • Browns at Jets (+10.5)
  • Bengals at Texans (-9)
  • Colts at Steelers (-2.5)
  • Bears at Jaguars (+7.5)
  • Panthers at Washington (-2)
  • Giants at Ravens (-9.5)
  • Falcons at Chiefs (-11)
  • Rams at Seahawks (-2.5)
  • Eagles at Cowboys (+1)
  • Titans at Packers (-4)
  • Monday: Bills at Patriots (+6.5)

Who wins every NFL game this week? And which teams cover more than 50 percent of the time? Get picks here from the SportsLine Projection Model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times and ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch three of the past four years on straight-up NFL picks.

SportsLine Staff