NFL Week 16 Key Numbers: Browns Teetering On -3 With CJ Stroud Out

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Written By Mo Nuwwarah | Last Updated
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NFL Week 16 odds do not feature many games on key numbers, with only a few dancing around a field goal. That’s a stark contrast to last week, but some key playoff and divisional spots loom. The Texans, in particular, will again be without star QB CJ Stroud, and the market has moved from Texans -2.5 to Browns -2.5. Here, we’ll primarily focus on games hovering at or near these NFL key numbers with brief discussions of why or if they might move.

When betting on football, bettors must always keep in mind key numbers. NFL key betting numbers are precisely what they sound like. They are numbers in the spread that often hold the key to winning and losing. They frequently determine wins and losses in spread betting because they represent the most common margins of victory.

Football fans should naturally be aware that three and seven dominate (secondary key numbers include six, four, and 10). Things have changed a bit in recent years thanks to the longer extra point. But, historically, around 24% of games end with margins of three or seven.

NFL Week 16 Spreads Near Key Number of 3

Browns At Texans

This game has moved far off the look-ahead line of Texans odds at -1.5, but Houston did seem to impress the market a bit with its resiliency in winning without CJ Stroud. However, they’ll likely miss him in Week 16, facing a fearsome Cleveland defense.

Stroud’s NFL Week 16 injury status cleared up Tuesday, with the latest reports ruling him out another week with a concussion. The Texans must balance the need to avoid any long-term risks with their young star with the fact they’re contending in odds to make the NFL playoffs.

Could Cleveland hit -3 with Stroud now out? Before Stroud was ruled out, a majority of TheLines staff had the Browns as a better team than the Texans already in our NFL power rankings.

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Lions At Vikings

The first Nick Mullens start for Minnesota included some expected ups and downs. On the one hand, he engineered a “stat sheet victory” that included edges in yards and yards per play, which is better than anything Josh Dobbs has done of late. On the other hand, he threw two very costly interceptions in Bengals territory.

The Lions did what they usually do to bad defenses indoors in Week 15. But will any of that translate here against a Vikings unit that ranks in the top 10 in defense DVOA and EPA/play allowed?

The market saw enough to line Lions odds solidly onto the key number here after some initial -2.5s populated the board.

Seahawks At Titans

After the Texans outplayed the Titans despite a late change to Case Keenum at QB, the market has seen fit to move Seahawks odds closer to the key number here, but not quite all the way there. Even if Drew Lock must make another start, he’s shown he can move the ball in recent games, relieving the injured Geno Smith.

However, given Will Levis has also popped onto the injury report with an ankle sprain, a Malik Willis start has become a real possibility. That announcement would figure to move this market in Seattle’s favor, given Willis’ less-than-stellar history of NFL play. If bettors have any interest in Seattle, they’re likely best served to fire sooner rather than later.

Commanders At Jets

Quarterback uncertainty abounds in this game, and it has apparently netted out to little movement from the look-ahead line. Sam Howell exited the loss to the Rams, but the team maintains he’s still the starter. He could, however, find himself on a short leash. And Zach Wilson entered concussion protocol.

The backup situation easily favors the Commanders, as they have Jacoby Brissett. Trevor Siemian played for New York in lieu of Wilson, and he essentially embarrassed himself by helping lead the team to 1.9 YPP.

If Wilson is confirmed in, Jets odds may inch past the key number back to -3.5, where they initially opened at some sportsbooks. Wilson, bad as he has played at times, has shown himself a cut above the other QBs the Jets have trotted out at times. The market moved in the Jets’ favor the last time he replaced Tim Boyle. We can assume it’ll likely do the same here.

Week 16 Spreads Near Key Number of 7

Patriots At Broncos

Look-ahead lines had this one closer to -5, but Broncos odds have seen a one-point shift upward. This team has had a clear penchant for winning games where the opposition plays poorly but being unable to create their own wins. There hasn’t been a lot of market confidence in either one of these teams, with both sides steamed against late in Week 15 market cycles.

Expect interest in Patriots odds at +7, should more Denver money keep flooding in.

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