We’re here to guide you with weekly picks against the spread every week, and we’re still well above .500 approaching home stretch. Here are 16 fresh takes for Week 16, with odds coming from Draft Kings and FanDuel sportsbooks, official betting partners of the NFL and the safest and best places for your football wagering.
2021 RECORD: 111-112-1
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-3.5) AT TENNESSEE TITANS: TITANS
A.J. Brown looks as though he’ll be set to return to a Titans team that really needs this one at home. That hook is a bridge too far for the 49ers on the road.
CLEVELAND BROWNS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS (-7): BROWNS
The Packers cut it way too close last week and the Browns have to pull out all the stops here. I think they’ll stick around just as Baltimore did in Week 15, and the backdoor cover could be on the table as well.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS (-1): CARDINALS
The Cards are still a better all-around team than Indy, and they really need this after that loss to the Detroit Lions. They should at least be laying a field goal at home.
NEW YORK GIANTS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-9.5): EAGLES
This is a lot of points, but the Giants seem pretty resigned about 2021 and the Eagles have a lot to play for. They’ve won back-to-back games and should be inspired to get revenge for a November loss to the G-Men.
LOS ANGELES RAMS (-3) AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS: RAMS
The Rams took care of the Seattle Seahawks under brutal circumstances Tuesday and should carry that momentum into Minnesota with the roster in better shape. I also don’t trust the inconsistent Vikes coming off back-to-back wins.
BUFFALO BILLS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-2.5): BILLS
The Bills rank two spots ahead of New England in DVOA, and the Pats are just 3-4 at home this season. This is still close to a toss-up so I’d prefer to find a way to get three points, but I’m leaning Buffalo.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-10.5) AT CAROLINA PANTHERS: BUCCANEERS
The Bucs will be out to make a statement after that humiliating shutout loss to the New Orleans Saints. They’ve crushed their last two bad opponents, while the Panthers have been crushed by their last two good opponents. Not overthinking this one.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT NEW YORK JETS (PK): JETS
In the last two calendar years, the Jaguars are 0-15 on the road. Why the hell would anyone get behind a team like that in a pick’em? The Jets are also bad, but they at least hung with the Miami Dolphins last week.
DETROIT LIONS AT ATLANTA FALCONS (-5.5): FALCONS
You’re getting value here with a Falcons team that needs this and is due for its first home win of the season, mainly because the feisty Lions are coming off a surprise win over the Arizona Cardinals. But the talent gap is still pretty pronounced here, and Detroit has four 18-plus-point losses this year.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-10) AT HOUSTON TEXANS: CHARGERS
The Chargers need this badly, while Houston is thinking about the offseason and draft positioning. L.A.’s last two wins have come by double-digit margins, and this should be no different.
BALTIMORE RAVENS AT CINCINNATI BENGALS (-2.5): RAVENS
The Ravens haven’t lost four in a row since 2016. They’re too talented, experienced and well-coached to let that happen with their season on the line here, and I still don’t trust a Bengals team that has been outscored 77-60 in the month of December.
CHICAGO BEARS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-6.5): BEARS
I think the tired, deflated Seahawks might phone this one in now that the playoffs are likely off the table. Chicago has nothing to lose and should stick around.
DENVER BRONCOS AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (-1): BRONCOS
The Broncos are the better team in terms of both points differential and DVOA, and I’m not sure the Raiders have the bite on defense to take advantage of Drew Lock at quarterback. Denver prevails in a close game.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-7.5): CHIEFS
The Chiefs have covered five consecutive spreads. They’re teasing us with that hook, but K.C. is playing too well right now and the Steelers aren’t as good as their record. If possible, buy back half a point to be safe, but take the Chiefs.
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM AT DALLAS COWBOYS (-10.5): WASHINGTON
I wouldn’t touch this game with a 10-foot pole. Too many questions about the WFT on short rest, but that’s a big number considering how mediocre Dak Prescott has been for the Cowboys. I’ll take the home team on more rest, but not with much confidence.
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-3): SAINTS
Then Dolphins haven’t beaten anyone good and are due for a loss. On the road, they should be getting more points from a well-coached Saints team that hasn’t given up a touchdown in the last nine quarters.
Good luck with your Week 16 wagers and merry holidays!
Archived Week 16 NFL picks article from Dec. 27, 2020
2020 RECORD: 112-100-8
MINNESOTA VIKINGS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-6.5): SAINTS
I think the Vikings might be deflated after a season-killing loss to the Chicago Bears and the Saints are too experienced not to bounce back strong from a tough defeat of their own. They came back from a December loss with a blowout over the Indianapolis Colts last December and I’m expecting something similar here.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-9.5) AT DETROIT LIONS: LIONS
Matthew Stafford seems to be on a mission right now. Dude would play with one leg and he seems to perform better when he’s hurting. It’s hard to trust the slow-starting Bucs against him, especially on the road.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT ARIZONA CARDINALS (-5): CARDINALS
The 49ers only know how to beat the Los Angeles Rams. They’ve lost every other game they’ve played since Week 8 by at least eight points and this should be no exception. The home team needs this.
MIAMI DOLPHINS (-3) AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: DOLPHINS
The Raiders are a mess and might not even have quarterback Derek Carr in front of an empty stadium as they come down from a season-ending loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Why the hell are they only getting three points from the top defensive team in the NFL?
ATLANTA FALCONS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-10.5): CHIEFS
The Falcons haven’t lost a game by more than a handful of points since Week 11 and the Chiefs haven’t won by more than a score since Week 8 but both are due for more extreme results here. Atlanta doesn’t have the personnel to take advantage of a vulnerable run defense and it might not even have center Alex Mack for this one.
CHICAGO BEARS (-7) AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: BEARS
The Jags aren’t going to risk losing the top pick and the Bears look revitalized. Jacksonville has been pounded the last two weeks and David Montgomery should make easy work of that horrendous defense.
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT HOUSTON TEXANS (-8.5): TEXANS
The Bengals won their Super Bowl last week and should come back to earth against a much more talented opponent. Cincinnati had scored just 12.5 points per game in its previous five outings before that aberration against the Steelers in Week 15.
CLEVELAND BROWNS (-9.5) AT NEW YORK JETS: BROWNS
The Jets should be in a similar spot here. They won’t mess around after accidentally winning in Week 15, and this matters a lot to a Browns team that is rolling.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-2) AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS: COLTS
The Steelers have seriously been one of the worst teams in the NFL the last three weeks, and they were only mediocre in the lead-up to this ugly three-game losing streak. They have a multitude of issues and could have a lot of trouble with a strong defense and the emerging Jonathan Taylor. Colts roll.
NEW YORK GIANTS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (-11): RAVENS
The Ravens have won a league-high seven games by 14-plus points this season and the Giants have come back to earth after a decent midseason stretch. The G-Men have been pounded the last two weeks and won’t have a healthy Daniel Jones again in Baltimore. This is a blowout waiting to happen.
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (-2.5): PANTHERS
I’m going against my gut a bit here just because this line has been pushed down by sharps and I’m wondering if Washington is also coming down from an unexpected spike. There’s also a chance Alex Smith doesn’t play or is less than 100 percent, which could be problematic. A Dwayne Haskins start moves this close to a pick’em.
DENVER BRONCOS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-3): CHARGERS
Don’t bother with a game between two eliminated teams that involves the friggin’ Chargers, but if you have no choice, roll with the more talented home team with just three points on the line.
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-1): SEAHAWKS
The Rams are so overrated and I don’t think they’ll recover from that joke of a performance against the Jets. Seattle’s defense has turned a corner and is especially strong against the run, which is L.A.’s bread and butter.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-2) AT DALLAS COWBOYS: EAGLES
Don’t be fooled by the fact the Cowboys have a better record than Philly, or the fact the Eagles are coming off a loss and the Cowboys are coming off back-to-back victories. Philly looks fired up with Jalen Hurts under center and has gone toe-to-toe with the Saints and Cardinals the last two weeks, and the only Dallas wins since mid-October have come against the Vikings, Bengals and 49ers. The Eagles should be favored here.
TENNESSEE TITANS AT GREEN BAY PACKERS (-3.5): TITANS
Derrick Henry with a field goal and a hook on his side against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL? Come on! The Packers have one win all season against a winning team. The experienced, resilient TItans will at least keep this very close.
BUFFALO BILLS (-7) AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: BILLS
I think the Patriots are going to phone this thing in and maximize their draft capital the rest of the way, and Buffalo will want to make a statement against a former bully. The Bills have won four consecutive games by double-digit margins and New England has scored just 15 points the last two weeks.