NFL Christmas Slate Betting Picks: The best bets for Friday and Saturday

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Josh Widman
Josh graduated from Syracuse University in May 2020 with a degree in Broadcast and Digital Journalism. He played basketball and baseball in High School. Despite growing up in New Jersey, he roots for the Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers and Indians. He has two favorite sports movies: Dodgeball and Major League. Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals is his favorite sporting event of all-time and his favorite sports memory is playing in a white-out basketball game under the lights against a rival summer camp when he was 15 years old.

Josh Widman previews the NFL’s unique Christmas slate and picks out the best bets from Christmas Day and Boxing Day’s four games.

2020 has been a unique year and it continues this weekend with an NFL game on Friday and three games on Saturday. All four of these matchups have playoff implications for at least one of the teams involved. Here’s a chance to gift yourself some extra cash this holiday weekend. Below are my best bets for this special slate of games.

Josh’s Season Record: 31-20

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints

Dalvin Cook and Alvin Kamara to score a TD (FOXBet Super Boost +200)

It’s a rematch of last season’s wild card round in which the Vikings won in OT. These two RBs are the faces of their respective offenses in terms of skill position players and with good reason. As faces of their offenses and two of the best at their position, they frequently find the end zone. RB Dalvin Cook has scored a TD in 10 of 13 games this season. He also has four games with multiple scores. In the wild card round last season, Cook ran 28 times for 94 yards and 2 TDs. I expect a similar run-oriented attack on Friday. The Saints surrender the fourth fewest rushing yards per game but have allowed over 170 yards on the ground in each of the past two games as well as three rushing TDs. RB Alvin Kamara is a threat on the ground and through the air. He has 15 total TDs (10-rush, 5-rec) and scored in seven of QB Drew Brees’ 10 starts this season. Minnesota is 25th in scoring defense and 24th in rush defense and pass defense so Kamara should be able to succeed either running or catching the ball while the Saints shouldn’t have a problem putting points on the board.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions

Leonard Fournette to score a TD (BetMGM -115)

Tampa Bay has one of the most prolific offenses in the league and is going against a Detroit defense that is dead last in scoring defense.  The Buccaneers should be able to pile up the points against the Lions. With RB Ronald Jones II out last week, RB Leonard Fournette scored two TDs. Both scores came when Tampa Bay was within a yard of the goal line. Jones II is out for Saturday’s game. The Buccaneers have frequently used their RBs when close to the goal line all season long. Fournette should have enough goal-to-go chances to punch one in. The Lions allow over 137 rushing yards per game so it’s conceivable for him to bust a TD run from further out as well.

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

Brandon Aiyuk Over 58.5 Receiving Yards (BetMGM -110)

Rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk has six straight games with over 70 receiving yards. He also has double digit targets in four of the last five games. This is all with star TE George Kittle out. Kittle will be coming off IR for this game. While that may take away some of Aiyuk’s targets, Kittle’s presence may not be a bad thing when it comes to the rookie’s productivity. The defensive game plan instantly shifts with Kittle on the field. With the Cardinals paying the TE extra attention, Aiyuk could reap the benefits of being the second option. Aside from Kittle and Aiyuk, QB C.J. Beathard doesn’t have much to throw to. Both could wind up with double digit targets. QB Jalen Hurts was able to throw for 338 yards and 3 TDs against the Arizona defense last week in just his second career start. Hurts’ performance indicates that a QB can have significant success in the air against the Cardinals.

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