2021 NFL Xmas Games Picks and Predictions
The NFL gave us an early gift with a great game on Thursday night and the gifts keep coming on Christmas Day. The 2021 NFL Xmas Games are loaded with big names and playoff implications. The Green Bay Packers host the Cleveland Browns in the early game and the Indianapolis Colts head to Arizona to take on the Cardinals in the nightcap.
2021 NFL Xmas Games
Browns vs Packers Picks and Predictions
The Browns are still dealing with COVID protocols and injuries, but Baker Mayfield expectsto play. On defense, the Browns have a concern with Myles Garrett who is dealing with a groin injury. If the Browns want to have a chance to win this game, they need to start quickly.
Meanwhile, the Packers are one of the best teams in the league and nearly unstoppable at home. They have a perfect record at 6-0 against the spread (ATS) and they lead the league in time of possession per drive. However, they do have a few injuries of their own to include Aaron Jones who has a knee injury. Jones looks better and is expected to play alongside backfield mate AJ Dillon.
The Browns start off well on offense and they can control the clock with an efficient running game. The best way to beat the Packers is to keep Aaron Rodgers off the field. The Browns are playing much better on the road against teams with a winning record posting a 5-1 ATS record in the last six games. Coach Kevin Stefanski will be back on the sidelines and that will allow the Browns to keep this close.
Colts vs Cardinals Picks and Predictions
The Arizona Cardinals have spent most of the season as frontrunners to win the NFC. After a humiliating loss to the Detroit Lions, many are now questioning the Cardinal’s commitment. Meanwhile, the Colts started off slowly, but after a big win against the Patriots now everyone is considering the Colts as a true contender. If you are betting on a team due to recent performances, the Colts are the play. However, there is much more to consider.
The Cardinals will have to slow down running back Jonathan Taylor if they hope to beat the Colts. Arizona has a top-10 run defense according to DVOA and that may put some pressure on Colts QB Carson Wentz to carry this team.
The struggles in Arizona can be attributed to injuries. This offense has had to adjust without DeAndre Hopkins, but Kyler Murray looks healthy and will be able to run and throw without limitation. Nothing inspires an NFL team like an embarrassing loss. The Cardinals are 4-1 ATS after a loss in which they failed to cover. This is a very special home game on Christmas Day and the Cardinals will come to play.