Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were stunned by the New Orleans Saints on Sunday Night Football, succumbing to their worst defeat this season and Brady’s worst loss in his two years with the Buccaneers.
Earlier in the day, Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers threw the kitchen sink at the Kansas City Chiefs, only to lose a heartbreaker in overtime when Travis Kelce scored the walk-off touchdown.
Both the Buccaneers and Chargers are tipped as double-digit favorites on the NFL odds board, suggesting they’re primed for bounce-back performances against beatable opponents in Week 16, respectively. Thus, these two games come across as pretty decent selections for a same-game parlay.
Below, we go over these selections separately for your consideration for NFL picks and parlays this weekend.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
Buccaneers -10 ½ and Over 44
The New Orleans Saints have long been Brady’s kryptonite, but few would have predicted the Saints would shut out the Bucs 9-0 at Raymond James Stadium.
It was a most extraordinary game and outcome. The Buccaneers’ defense played brilliantly. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles had his unit holding the Saints to just nine points, giving Brady and the offense ample opportunity to take the initiative.
Alas, the Saints’ defense deserves a lot of credit. They sacked and harassed Brady relentlessly, intercepted his passes and forced fumbles left and right. It was a veritable clinic by a defense that clearly has his number.
Tom Brady is not happy 😬😬
— PFF (@PFF) December 20, 2021
Brady will be keen to forget that he has now lost four straight regular-season games against the Saints. He has another division rival to look ahead to and exact some of his frustration upon.
The Panthers are theoretically still alive in the NFC race, but it’s semantics. They’re one week away from being eliminated mathematically from the proceedings after which it’s anybody’s guess what happens but the organization is in need of a big shakeup.
Cam Newton’s return to Carolina didn’t bring about the hoped for second coming as the Panthers have now lost four straight games since he made a partial debut against the Arizona Cardinals on November 14th.
Most recently, the Panthers are coming off a 31-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills, failing to cover as the 14½ -point underdogs at the sportsbook exchange. Overall, the Panthers are 5-9 overall and against the spread (ATS). The last five games have cracked the over and in four of the last five games the Panthers have conceded 27 points or higher.
Los Angeles Chargers at Houston Texans
Chargers -10 and Over 46
Herbert took on the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15 with first place in the AFC West on the line and all that it entailed. The Chargers played well, Herbert continued to set records, but head coach Brandon Staley coached his side out of what might have been the victory and first-ever series sweep over the Chiefs in years.
Instead of settling for field goals or kicking for the point, Staley, all too often, tried to press the issue by going for the big, bold points. When those backfired, points went begging. The upshot of which was that the Chiefs were never out of the game, and eventually went on to win it in overtime.
— Sunday Night Football on NBC (@SNFonNBC) December 17, 2021
It’s unlikely Staley will be as wasteful in this game. This is a must-win game for the Chargers if they hope to keep the pressure up on Kansas City. The Chiefs are currently dealing with a Covid-19 crisis and may well be shorthanded for Sunday’s game against the Steelers. That could open the door for the Chargers to swoop in.
It’s not surprising to see the betting online odds stacked against Houston. The Texans couldn’t be headed in a more opposite direction than the Chargers. The Texans are already eliminated from the season with a subpar 3-11 record and big changes are likely to get underway once the season is done. That said, the Texans showed a pulse in last week’s 30-16 victory over the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars. One has to commend coach David Culley’s side for their effort in an otherwise meaningless game.
Rookie Davis Mills recorded his first win. Mills replaced Tyrod Taylor a few weeks back and this is his chance to show what he’s made of and fight for his place in the NFL. He’s unlikely to measure up or go toe-to-toe with Herbert, but the Chargers defense has allowed a staggering 370 points. So, Mills and the Texans might be able to score some points to help this game go over the total. The Texans are 6-8-0 ATS with an 11.8 losing margin on average.