Thursday Night Football Betting Preview & Free Picks

Dec 20, 2023

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Welcome to Oskeim Sports’ Week 16 NFL betting preview and free picks report for Thursday, December 21!  Oskeim’s award-winning sports handicappers provide bettors with valuable information on Thursday’s games.  Be sure to check out Oskeim’s premium sports picks for sale at the online store!

New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams (-4) (-110)

Report: Los Angeles is coming off a 28-20 win over Washington in which wide receiver Cooper Kupp recorded his 23rd career game with 100 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown.  New Orleans arrives off a 24-6 win over the Giants in which the Saints’ pass rush finished with a season-high seven sacks.  Quarterback Derek Carr had his highest passer rating of the season (134.8) and the Saints have won two straight entering Thursday’s affair against the Rams.

Since 2001, NFL home favorites with extended rest on deck are 249-195-8 ATS (56.1%), including 92-66-4 ATS (58.2%) since 2016. Since 1990, NFL favorites with three or fewer days of rest are 151-110-7 ATS (57.9%) versus opponents with the same amount of rest. Since 2001, Thursday Night Football favorites are 114-82-8 ATS (58.2%), including 63-42-2 ATS (60%) as hone favorites from Game 3 out. Since 2004, non-divisional NFL home favorites with revenge are 31-12-2 ATS (72.1%) in Thursday affairs, including 16-5-1 ATS (76.2%) since 2015, covering the spread by an average margin of +4.82 points per game. Let’s also note that Los Angeles head coach Sean McVay is 5-2 ATS on short rest.

For bettors looking for New Orleans’ support in this game, Oskeim’s database has two NFL situations that should pique your interest.  Since 2009, NFL road underdogs of four points or less coming off a home game that went under the total are 189-138-9 ATS (57.8%), including 73-49-2 ATS (59.8%) since 2019, covering the spread by an average margin of +1.7 points per game.  Since 2011, NFL teams in games with totals greater than 45 points are 110-87-9 ATS (55.8%) if the average total in their last three games is 42.5 points or less, covering the spread by an average of +1.41 points per game.

As for the total, Oskeim’s database leans with the under.  Since 1990, NFL road teams coming off three consecutive home games are 131-86-1 to the Under (60.4%) in games with totals of less than 47 points, including 42-17-1 UNDER (71.2%) since 2015, covering the total by an average of -2.1 points per game.  Since 2019, late afternoon or evening NFL games are 165-115-7 to the Under (58.9%), including 70-41-1 UNDER (63.1%) since the start of the 2022-23 season.  However, the Rams’ offense is second in the NFL in pace, snapping the ball once every 27.6 seconds, and 23rd in run rate (40.2%).

Los Angeles quarterback Matthew Stafford has been more aggressive with his wide receivers.  Since Week 12, Stafford has a 21.3% big-time throw rate, 12.0 yards per attempt, and six touchdowns on passes targeted 10-plus yards downfield.  Stafford should have time to throw in the pocket against a New Orleans defense ranked 23rd in pass-rush win rate this season.  The Rams’ ground game has been more productive since the return of running back Kyren Williams in Week 12.  Since that date, the Rams’ rushing attack ranks sixth in expected points added per rush and ninth in success rate.  The Rams also rank in the top 5 in forced missed tackles per attempt, yards after contact per attempt and explosive rush rate.

Oskeim Sports gives free NFL Picks and NFL Predictions throughout the 2023-24 NFL season. Oskeim Sports has been an industry-leading sports handicapping service since 2007. Its lead handicapper, Jeff Keim, has received 73 awards in football, basketball, baseball and hockey, including 15 handicapping championships and 53 Top 5 finishes. Visit daily for free NFL odds, totals and free picks.

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