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NFL Picks, Week 16: Winners, losers against the point spread

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Jesse's Week 16 thoughts on which NFL teams you should put your money on.

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

There are only two more football games left in the season for our beloved New York Giants. Two games that might seem meaning less to everyone else, but they are against two pretty good football teams and could be used as a barometer for how much this team has actually improved. There's also a pretty good chance the Week 17 game where the Giants could potentially knock the Eagles out of the playoffs and that's definitely something to root for.

Tennessee Titans (+3.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars Under 40.5

In a game no one cares about the Titans travel to Jacksonville in the worst of the football world. Two terrible football teams meet on Thursday Night Football. The Titans, who don't have any real quarterback, are now deep into the depth chart for their quarterbacks. Yuck. The Jaguars can provide a pass rush at least and should win this game, fortunately for the Jaguars fans draft position isn't as important for them as the Titans, Raiders etc. because they already have their quarterback of the future so any top 5 pick should net them a stud.

Pick: Jaguars

San Diego Chargers (+1) at San Francisco 49ers Under 41.5

My wife is a Bills fans and I live in upstate New York as such I watch plenty of Bills games. The Bills haven't been to the playoffs in forever, but they have maybe the best defense in the league this year and a couple of exciting young offensive weapons. It's a shame they likely won't make the playoffs. There is hope though. And one of those hopes is that the hapless and soon to be coachless 49ers have enough self pride to bring their best effort Saturday night vs the Chargers.  This is usually a position where teams like this quit though. They had Super Bowl hopes, but they are eliminated from the playoffs and there has been coaching turmoil all year. I think the Chargers win out-right, but hope the 49ers can pull it together.

Pick: Charges with the "upset"

Philadelphia Eagles -7.5 at Washington Redskins Over 50.5

The extra half a point here makes it interesting. Despite everything that has happened with the Redskins they are not untalented ... heading into the Giants game they ranked top 12 in both offense and defense in terms of yardage (and I'm too lazy to look it up to see if it changed after the game). RG3 might not be liked, but he showed last Sunday he is still talented. The Redskins could have quit, but this is a divisional game and everyone hates the Eagles, right? And I still don't care how fancy the Eagles offense laying this many points with Mark Sanchez feels wrong. I think the Redskins keep it close.

Pick: Redskins

Minnesota Vikings (+6.5) at Miami Dolphins Over 42

I don't think the Vikings are  bad at all,  they have plenty of talent, though they are a little banged up and a young team. There was a point this season where the Dolphins looked like a team ready to take the league by storm, but that didn't pan out. They have lost three of four and beat the Jets by only three points. They are still a good team against the pass defensively

Pick: Vikings lose by less than 6.5 and it wouldn't surprise me if they won outright

Green Bay Packers (-10.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Over 48.5

The Buccaneers have had a rough year this year, but they definitely seem like a candidate to be one of those "worst to first" type teams next year especially in a brutal NFC South. They have a lot of pieces in places, but they are getting uneven (poor) quarterback play. The Packers haven't been as dominant on the road this year and the Buccaneers have some players on offense. I could see this game being closer than 10.5

Pick: Buccaneers lose by less than 10.5

Detroit Lions (-8) at Chicago Bears Under 45

This is high for a divisional game,but this is maybe the best defense in the league going against Jimmy Clausen. The Lions should be able to beat Clausen into submission early and even score some points on the Bears atrocious defense. Again this is week 16 in the NFL and a lot of bad teams have one foot out the door, especially teams where the coach is likely going to be fired. Maybe Clausen being in could inspire players, but the big knock on Clausen in Carolina was that he would never be the type of leader teams needed to run a NFL team.

Pick: Lions

Atlanta Falcons (+6) at New Orleans Saints Under 55.5

The Saints are still a dangerous team, despite their record  and this week they get a home game against an opponent who can not rush the passer at all. Brees should have a field day (and of course he's my competition's quarterback in fantasy football). I don't think the Falcons keep up offensively, plus I'm going to go back to the theory of teams not putting together the most inspired performances for coaches who are definitely on the way out (like Mike Smith).

Pick: Saints

New England Patriots (-10) at New York Jets Under 47.5

This game is actually going to go against the grain of my bet against teams quitting theory for two reasons because I think the Jets players genuinely love playing for Rex Ryan (you don't give your coach a game ball this late in the season on a terrible team if you don't) and will play to the end. And Is  really don't like giving double digit points against divisional opponents. There are just too many things that can happen in divisional games too many different game plans as the like. That rule doesn't usually apply to Tom Brady, but this could be "this is our Superbowl" kind of game and while New England is always prepared and needs this game I just have a gut feeling it's closer than people expect.

Pick: Jets

Kansas City Chiefs (+3) at Pittsburgh Steelers Under 46.5

I think the Steelers are a slightly better team and a much better offense, but the Chiefs have the kind of pass rush that can give any team trouble. They also have a good head coach and are bound to throw a touchdown to a WR at some point. What the Chiefs really have going for them more than anything is that they have ZERO players listed on the injury report this week, which is uncanny at this time of year. They of course have guys on the IR and Eric Berry's cancer is a shame, but they are pretty healthy right now, they are still in a playoff race, and they have a running game and defense which can always travel. Upset of the week special.

Pick: Chiefs win outright

Cleveland Browns (+3.5) at Carolina Panthers Under 39

Johnny Footballs first game was a massive disappointment. But one game does not a career make. The Panthers defense is not as good as the Bengals defense, in fact it's not good at all. Meanwhile the Panthers Kelvin Benjamin gets Haden island, which could create a lot of problems for the Panthers. But with that being said, even though Manziel was terrible last week and is talented doesn't mean he will bounce right back. Eli had a lot of rough games early as have plenty of rookie quarterback and this is not a Panthers team with nothing to play off. They could still win the division. I'd love this game if Cam Newton were starting, but I'll still take the Panthers and expect a low scoring game.

Pick: Panthers

Baltimore Ravens (-5.5) at Houston Texans Over 41

The only reason to think the Texans can keep this close is because of how good Arian Foster and J.J. Watt are. But the Texans have no quarterback and that makes a huge difference. The Ravens are a good football team and 5.5 points is not an insurmountable number.

Pick: Ravens

New York Giants (+5.5) at St. Louis Rams over 43.5

Let's see what we have here, Giants fans. This Rams defense is ferocious especially in the front 7. The Giants offensive line is terrible. Eli Manning's 40-yard dash is slightly slower than the Statue of Liberty's time, so I hope they bring extra ice for after the game. The Giants pass rush has been the league's best the last three games despite playing the worst teams in the league (which coincidentally also coincided with playing the young guys more?), which could give the Rams not-very-special offensive line problems. Nothing that happened in the last three games should influence what the Giants do with their head coach, but I think the next two should. The Rams are one of the toughest teams in the league (physically), the Eagles will likely be in a win and in playoff game against the Giants in week These two will be a true barometer of whether or not the Giants are on the up and up. I really don't know where to go with this game, but I think my final thought is the Giants offensive line can't block anyone and Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Aaron Donald and crew will probably live in the backfield. Hopefully OBJ can keep his ROY (and my Fantasy championship hopes) alive, but this could be ugly.

Pick: Rams by more than 5.5

Buffalo Bills (-6) at Oakland Raiders Under 39

The Bills shut out Aaron Rodgers (at home) and Peyton Manning (on the road) in an impressive display of defensive tenacity. There is a lot of excitement in upstate New York as the Bills are still mathematically alive entering Week 16 of the NFL. The Bills offense is brutal, but they need this game and Derek Carr is going to have a welcome to the NFL type moment this game as he will face the league's best pass rush. A pass rush that is created almost entirely with their front four consistently (which is also why they were able to shut out Rodgers and Manning). They could potentially shut-out the Raiders unless the Raiders running game goes off. On the flip side I don't expect the Bills to score a ton of points, which is why I like the under.

Pick: Bills

Indianapolis Colts (+3) at Dallas Cowboys Over 55.5

This should be a good game. The Colts, to me are the better team. Roster to roster. I think with Vontae Davis and how physical and good he is I think the Colts can contain Bryant to a degree. I also think Murray being banged up is huge. The Cowboys defense can't stop the Colts offense. I think the Colts go into Dallas (the Cowboys are actually better on the road this year) and put up a lot of big points and make Week 17's game between the Giants and Eagles very interesting.

Pick: Colts win outright

Seattle Seahawks (-8) at Arizona Cardinals Under 36.5

This Cardinals defense is legit and can shut down anyone. The Seahawks defense is legit and Ryan Lindley is terrible. All that means to me is that this should be a low-scoring affair. And low-scoring games don't generally end up with a team winning by more than 8 points, especially a team going on the road against a divisional opponent who has an 11-3 record. An 11-3 8 point underdog home team. That is the most succinct explanation you'll ever need to explain how important QB play is in the NFL.

Pick: Cardinals

Denver Broncos -3.5 at Cincinnati Bengals Over 48

Bengals in prime-time in a major spot. Seen this movie before ... it has an ugly ending. Show me!

Pick: Broncos

Week 1 -- ATS: 8-7-1 Straight up: 12-4

Week 2 -- ATS: 7-8  Straight Up: 8-7

Week 3 -- ATS: 13-3  Straight up:14-2

Week 4 -- ATS: 6-7 Straight up: 7-6

Week 5 -- ATS: 9-5 Straight up: 10-4

Week 6 -- ATS: 10-4 Straight up: 8-5-1

Week 7 -- ATS: 8-6  Straight up: 8-6

Week 8 ATS: 9-6 Straight up: 10-5

Week 9 -- ATS: 8-5 Straight up: 8-5

Week 10 -- ATS; 6-7 Straight up: 8-5  Over/Under 6-7

Week 11 ATS: 7-6-1 Straight up: 8-6  Over/Under 7-7 Locks-2-1-1

Week 12 ATS:   8-7  Straight up: 12-3   Over/Under  9-6  Locks: 1-3

Week 13 ATS: 5-10  Straight up: 7-8  Over/Under 7-4

Week 14 ATS: 11-5  Straight up: 10-6 Over/Under 6-6

Week 15 ATS 6-8-1    Straight Up 11-5    Over/Under 10-6

Season -- ATS: 114-86-3  Straight up -- 131-66-1  Over/Under 45/36