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NFL Monday Night Football predictions & betting tips: Best bets for the Christmas Day double-header

Leigh Copson 20 Dec 2017
  • Get free predictions & betting tips for Week 16 of the NFL season
  • Monday Night Football sees Pittsburgh visit Houston & Oakland host Philadelphia

Monday Night Football predictions for Week 16 of the 2017 NFL season. Christmas Day plays host to a double-header featuring two of the best teams in the league – but can the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles avoid upsets? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans (21:30 GMT)

Pittsburgh find themselves playing catch-up in the race to secure the number one seeding in the AFC following last Sunday’s heart-breaking defeat to New England that resulted in the Patriots moving into pole position for homefield advantage throughout the post-season.

The Steelers found themselves 24-19 down with just 56 seconds remaining when Dion Lewis ran in for an eight-yard score, but Ben Roethlisberger hit Juju Smith-Schuster for a huge 69-yard play and then found Jesse James for what appeared to be the game-winning score with just 34 seconds remaining. However, the NFL’s ridiculous catch rule came back to haunt Pittsburgh as the officials were forced to overturn to play, and Roethlisberger then threw a pick as the Steelers opted to go for the win instead of playing it safe with a game-tying field goal.

So what does all of that mean for Pittsburgh’s post-season? The Steelers already know they are heading to the playoffs and only a late collapse would see them slip out of the top two seedings, but if they are to have any chance of snatching the number one spot back from New England they simply have to win out and hope that the Patriots drop one of their remaining two games.

Therefore the Steelers could not have wished for a much better matchup on Christmas Day – in fact you could consider this the perfect present. The 4-10 Houston Texans have won just one of their last eight games and not only are they without their four best players on defense, they are also down to their third string quarterback. They were hammered 45-7 by Jacksonville a week ago, and a similar score on Monday could be on the cards.

Oakland Raiders at Philadelphia Eagles (Tuesday 01:30 GMT)

The Philadelphia Eagles have managed to hang onto the number one seeding despite losing Carson Wentz to a season-ending injury, and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs will be theirs by the time they walk out onto the field if the Minnesota Vikings lose to the Green Bay Packers on Saturday night. And if the Vikings do beat the Packers, the Eagles simply have to beat the Oakland Raiders to complete the job themselves. So can they do it?

Of course they can. Wentz’s backup, Nick Foles, put in a strong showing as he threw four touchdown passes in the Week 15 win, and he will benefit from another favourable matchup on Christmas Day in the form of the slumping Raiders. Oakland have failed to live up to pre-season expectations and back-to-back defeats against Kansas City and Dallas will ensure they watch the post-season unfold from the sofa.

They did at least make the Cowboys work for the win last weekend, but on Christmas Day they are facing a serious step up in opposition – even with Wentz on the sidelines. This Eagles offense is loaded with playmakers, while on the opposite side of the ball this defense has been stout against the run, giving up over 100 yards rushing in just four of their 14 games so far. That unit’s weakness does come in the passing game, but Oakland have been unable to get much going through the air and that means they will not be able to capitalise on it.

So with all of this in mind, I expect Philadelphia’s winning margin to be in double figures – that has been the case in five of their six home games this season.

Previous NFL Monday Night Football Tips

Previous NFL Monday Night Football Tips (winners in bold)

(10pt STAKE)
Week 1Vikings by 1-13 pts @ EVSDalvin Cook Anytime TD @  11/100
Week 1Broncos by 1-13 pts @ 6/5Under 45.5 Total Points @ 2/3+18.67
Week 2Lions win @ 7/5Golden Tate +53.5 Receiving Yards @ 5/6+4
Week 3Cowboys -6.5 win @ 11/8Jason Witten Anytime TD @ 2/1+3.75
Week 4Chiefs -6.5 win @ 4/5Kareem Hunt Anytime TD @ 8/11U2
Week 5Vikings by 1-13 pts @ 13/10Under 40 Total Points @ 10/11+22.09
Week 6Titans by 1-13 pts @ 11/10Delanie Walker Anytime TD @ 11/10U20
Week 7Eagles -5.5 win @ 21/20Zach Ertz Anytime TD @ 6/5+22.5
Week 8Chiefs -6.5 win & Over 43.5 Total Points @ 23/10Kareem Hunt Anytime TD @ 4/5+13
Week 9Lions win @ 5/6Golden Tate Anytime TD @ 11/8U1.67
Week 10Panthers by 1-13 pts @ 7/5Cam Newton Anytime TD @ 11/10U20
Week 11Falcons win @ 5/4Under 44.5 Total Points @ 10/11+2.50
Week 12Ravens -7.5 win & Under 39.5 Total Points @ 11/4Mike Wallace Anytime TD @ 7/4U20
Week 13Steelers by 1-13 pts @ 7/5Antonio Brown Anytime TD @ 5/4+26.50
Week 14Patriots -10.5 win @ 10/11Rex Burkhead Anytime TD @ 11/10+1
Week 15Falcons -5.5 win & Over 49.5 Total Points @ 27/10Devonta Freeman Anytime TD @ 8/11U2.73

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