The calendar has turned from November to December, and the NFL enters its final six weeks of the extended 17-game season. While NFL lines always have a bit of variation, December (and January) are the months when certain teams definitely have an advantage over others.
There are various reasons why teams have proven success this time of the season year after year. The most obvious is the weather, but experience and the relevancy of games (playoff seedings) certainly plays a part. Here are some teams that have better odds of covering the number as the NFL slate moves through December.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs success at home in the month of December is no secret, and it continued last year even with only about 12,000 of the 76,000 capacity at Arrowhead Stadium in attendance due to COVID-19 protocols. Heading into their 2021 week 13 meeting with Denver, the Chiefs have won nine straight in the month of December.
The thing about Kansas City being so great in December (especially at home) is that sportsbooks know the public are well aware of this fact. The Chiefs went 1-3 ATS last December, their lone cover being a 32-29 win in New Orleans as -2.5 favorites. That includes a 22-16 win over the Broncos and 17-14 victory against Atlanta – both at Arrowhead and as -13 and -11 point favorites respectively.
Green Bay Packers
It makes sense that the “Frozen Tundra” of Lambeau Field would be hard for opponents to come in and get a win in December. Green Bay went 4-0 in December last season, and three of those victories were at home. The Packers were 5-0 in December of 2019 and haven’t lost in the month since a 24-17 defeat in Chicago in 2018.
The Packers were just 2-2 ATS in December last season, but because they had lines of eight points or more in three of those games. Things should be a bit closer in December 2021 with games against Chicago and Cleveland at home as well as a visit to Baltimore.
The momentum of the Bills march to the AFC Championship game last season was built on their 4-0 record in December. Strangely enough only one of those games was at home, a 26-15 win over the Steelers on December 13th when the temps were 35 degrees in Orchard Park.
Buffalo has a tough stretch in December 2021, playing two games against the Patriots that will likely decide the AFC East, but also a visit to the defending Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers. The Bills’ week 14 home game with Carolina will likely see a huge point spread as well.
The AFC North is a dog fight in 2021 and Baltimore plays three division foes in December – and all on the road. The one home game the Ravens play this month is against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers so schedule makers really drew this one up against John Harbaugh’s squad.
The scheduling could actually work out to some favorable lines for the Ravens. Baltimore went 5-0 last December and covered the spread in all five games, including -13 to Jacksonville and -10 to the Giants. The Ravens were 5-0 in December of 2019 as well (4-1 ATS) and a 3-point OT loss in Kansas City in 2018 is their only blemish in December over the last three seasons.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay had lost three of four heading into the month of December last season before absolutely catching fire to rattle off 8 straight wins including a Super Bowl victory over the Chiefs.
The Bucs are a veteran laden team that knows once December starts it’s time to start focusing on the big picture. They’ve got Atlanta, New Orleans, and Carolina this December so will likely be facing some pretty high spreads to cover (Buffalo visits in week 14 as well.