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NFL Week 16 early betting look: The trap of the 'must-win' game

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Week 15 had some weird splits between favorites and underdogs. The Sunday early slate saw favorites go 8-1, but between prime-time games and the late games on Sunday, favorites went 2-5 after the Saints escaped with a 12-9 win in Carolina.

In fact, the only underdog that won in that first bunch of games was the Washington Redskins, who pulled off a come-from-behind victory in Jacksonville with Josh Johnson at quarterback (after he hadn't taken any snaps over the past seven years). Johnson converted a third-and-18 prayer that ultimately led to a game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter, before a Cody Kessler interception set up the Redskins for the game winner. If you were the bettor standing at the window Sunday morning grabbing all the favorites, you almost hit your nine-team parlay.

Before we let go of Week 15, I wanted to compare and contrast the "must win" chatter that we heard all week -- and will hear even more of in Week 16 -- with the actual results of the five games in which the underdog upset a favorite.

The Kansas City Chiefs needed