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The festive holidays bring us into NFL Week 16, which begins with a Thursday night showdown between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams. Then there’s a double-header on Saturday night that gives way to a jam-packed slate on Sunday before the week wraps with a triple-header on Monday Night Football that’s capped off by a blockbuster showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francsico 49ers.

Who will win and or cover? Find out as we preview all 16 games and serve up predictions on the moneyline and against the spread.

New Orleans Saints vs Los Angeles Rams

The Saints and Rams are battling for NFL playoff spots down the stretch. The Saints are 7-7 on the season and tied with the Buccaneers in the race for the NFC South title. However, all seven of their wins have come against lesser opponents.

The Rams are 7-7 as well, but they are much better than their record would suggest. Los Angeles’ only route into the playoffs is through a wildcard, meaning this is a must-win game for Matthew Stafford and Co. Add to that home advantage and the fact that they appear to be peaking at the right time, this is a game the hosts should take.

Saints vs Rams Picks:

·        Rams -200

·        Rams -4 (-109)

Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Backup quarterback Jake Browning comes full-circle and he is back where he started his fledgling NFL career, readying for a matchup against the Steelers. Browning’s first career start came against the Steelers in Week 13 after Joe Burrow was ruled out with a season-ending injury. Since his debut, Browning and the Bengals have reeled off three straight wins to improve to an 8-6 record and keep their postseason hopes alive.

Ironically, Pittsburgh’s season has gone haywire since beating the Bengals in Week 13. Since that game, the Steelers lost Kenny Pickett to injury and their next three games in a row behind backup Mitch Trubisky. Now, Mike Tomlin is in damage-limitation mode, benching Trubisky and turning to third-stringer Mason Rudolph. Can the Steelers figure it out with Rudolph at the helm?

Bengals vs Steelers Picks:

·        Bengals -135

·        Bengals  -2.5 (-110)

Buffalo Bills vs Los Angeles Chargers

The Bills clawed their way back into the playoff frame on the back of consecutive wins over the Chiefs and Cowboys. By contrast, Los Angeles’ campaign has fallen off a cliff. Justin Herbert is out for the remainder of this NFL season and the Chargers have lost six of their last seven games, including last week’s 63-21 evisceration by the Las Vegas Raiders that prompted the firing of head coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco.

To that point, these are two sides headed in totally opposite directions. Often, teams will experience a post-firing boost that provides the catalyst for improved performances or even unlikely victories. But, somehow, it’s hard to see that happening here.

Bills vs Chargers Picks:

·        Bills -800

·        Bills -12 (-110)

Indianapolis Colts vs Atlanta Falcons

Sunday, Dec. 24, 1 pm ET

atlanta falcons

The NFL line for this game is most confusing. Gardiner Minshew is living his best life and he has the Colts in the hunt for the AFC South title and a place in the playoffs. But the markets have the Colts catching  a point on the spread.

The only reason the Atlanta Falcons are still in the conversation is because the NFC South is wide open. That said, last week, the Falcons became only the second team to lose to the Panthers this season. Need more be said?

Colts vs Falcons Picks:

·        Colts -105

·        Colts +1 (-111)

Seattle Seahawks vs Tennessee Titans

These two teams enjoyed contrasting fortunes in NFL Week 15. The Titans were eliminated following a 19-16 loss to the Texans while the Seahawks served up a momentous upset over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night to keep their slim hopes alive.

It’s a short week, and a long, cross-country trek to Nashville, Tennessee for Pete Caroll’s side. The Seahawks have reason to keep the momentum going, but the Titans are typically a tough nut to crack regardless of their circumstance.

Seahawks vs Titans Picks:

·        Seahawks -140

·        Titans +3 (-117)

Detroit Lions vs Minnesota Vikings

The Lions are one win away from the NFC North title and a win on Sunday will rubber stamp them as the best team in the division. But somehow, the Vikings are still in the chase despite losing three of their last four games. Minnesota’s sole win during this stretch was a 3-0 decision against the Raiders that was orchestrated by third-string quarterback Nick Mullens.

The Vikings could put a spanner in the works here and two games against the Lions in the last three weeks will provide the necessary incentive. But that presupposes Mullens can deliver, of course.

Lions vs Vikings Picks:

·        Lions -175

·        Lions -3 (-110)

Washington Commanders vs New York Jets

The Commanders and Jets have little to play for save pride after getting the chop in NFL Week 15. Washington’s defense is porous. The Jets offense has failed to launch. Then, the quarterback situation is a mess in both camps. Whichever way you slice this game, it’s a total tossup.

 Commanders vs Jets Picks:

·        Jets -160

·        Commanders +3 (-110)

Green Bay Packers vs Carolina Panthers

green bay packers

Two weeks ago, the Packers created waves across NFL betting markets with an upset over the Chiefs. Fast forward to this week, the Packers are riding a two-game losing streak, thrusting their playoff bid into disarray. Fortunately, a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina is exactly the kind of get-right game they need.

Packers vs Panthers Picks:

·        Packers -250

·        Packers -5 (-111)

Cleveland Browns vs Houston Texans

Veteran quarterback Joe Flacco has a new lease on life in Cleveland as he’s earned his fourth straight start for the 9-5 Browns this week. Since taking a loss in his first game, Flacco has led the Browns to wins over the Jaguars and Bears –  albeit narrow victories that were decided by a handful of points.

The Texans (8-6) are mired in a three-way tie with the Jaguars and Colts at the top of the AFC South standings, but the Jaguars have the advantage on tiebreakers. Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has had the Texans punching above their weight class this season, but he was out last week and remains in concussion protocol going into NFL Week 16.

In fact, the way the market is priced right now, Stroud looks unlikely to start on Sunday. This means Case Keenum will get the nod again. Keenum is a polished veteran who showed his mettle in last week’s overtime upset over the Titans on the road. Thus, the Texans may well fancy their chances even if the oddsmakers don’t.

Browns vs Texans Picks:

·        Texans +115

·        Texans +2.5 (-111)

Jacksonville Jaguars vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers have found their stride in December, winning three straight games to improve to a 7-7 record. But the pressure is still on Tampa Bay, locked as it is in a two-way tie with the Saints at the top of the NFC South.

The Bucs are catching the Jaguars at an opportune moment, with Trevor Lawrence in concussion protocol. It remains to be seen whether the third-year quarterback will clear it in time for this pivotal game. The Jaguars (8-6) have the edge in the AFC South, but three losses in a row has seen the Colts (8-6) and Texans (8-6) close the gap on them.

Not surprisingly, given the uncertainty and the high stakes on the line, the markets have this game delicately nestled on a PK line. However, if Lawrence is cleared to play, back the Jaguars to win.

Jaguars vs Buccaneers Picks:

·        Jaguars -110

·        Jaguars PK (-110)

Arizona Cardinals vs Chicago Bears

Another battle of the eliminated is on the cards when the Cardinals descend on the Windy City to face the Bears. The Cardinals are coming off a lopsided 45-29 loss to the Niners while the Bears emerged on the wrong side of a 20-17 decision in Cleveland.

Is Justin Fields on borrowed time? The Bears traded the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to the Panthers and in return, they received several advantageous terms, including Carolina’s first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. As it is, the 2-12 Panthers are in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 pick.

Cardinals vs Bears Picks:

·        Cardinals +175

·        Cardinals +4.5 (-110)

Dallas Cowboys vs Miami Dolphins

The Cowboys and Dolphins have a tendency to flatter to deceive. When facing lightweight opposition, both outfits look like world beaters (take Miami’s shutout win over the Jets last week as an example). But put them against legitimate contenders and more often than not, they come up short (case and point: Dallas’ 31-10 loss in Buffalo last Sunday).

It’s going to be interesting to see how these overhyped outfits stack up against each other. Miami is dealing with a slew of injuries, most notably to Tyreek Hill. The offense is too one-dimensional without the star wideout. If Hill isn’t 100% fit, it could tip the balance towards the Cowboys, ever so slightly.

Cowboys vs Dolphins Picks:

·        Cowboys +100

·        Cowboys +1.5 (-110)

New England Patriots vs Denver Broncos

Sean Peyton and his Broncos were left reeling by the Lions in a 42-17 thumping in Detroit last Saturday. Next up are the eliminated Patriots (3-11), who can’t seem to buy a win no matter how hard they try.

Patriots vs Broncos Picks:

·        Broncos -290

·        Broncos -6.5 (-115)

Las Vegas Raiders vs Kansas City Chiefs

kansas city chiefs

Rookie quarterback Aiden O’Connell and the Raiders romped to a 63-21 victory over a disenchanted and watered down Chargers side on Thursday night. They won’t be so lucky against a Chiefs outfit that is fired up after a spate of poor results. Moreover, lest everyone’s forgotten, Patrick Mahomes practically owns the Raiders since taking over as the offensive pivot in Kansas City in 2018.

Raiders vs Chiefs Picks:

·        Chiefs -550

·        Chiefs -10 (-108)

New York Giants vs Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are in the midst of a three-game losing streak and cracks are starting to show. Jalen Hurts looks wholly off form and colour and the Eagles, as a whole, have lost their competitive edge. Something is not right.

A few weeks ago, the Eagles would have been a lock bet against the Giants. Now, the G-men are catching the Eagles at their most vulnerable and coming off a short week. Yes, Tommy DeVito and the Giants saw a three-game winning streak snapped in New Orleans on Sunday. But then again, they also saw backup quarterback Drew Lock and the Seahawks beat the Eagles on Monday night!

Giants vs Eagles Picks:

·        Eagles -750

·        Giants +11.5 (-110)

Baltimore Ravens vs San Francisco 49ers

This is a potential Super Bowl preview between two teams that are on pace to clinch the No.1 seed in their respective conferences. Brock Purdy leads the MVP race and the Niners (11-3) look virtually unstoppable. They are the team that nobody wants to face in the playoffs.

Similarly, Lamar Jackson is in the thick of the MVP race and the Ravens (11-3) are finding ways to stay ahead of their AFC rivals.

Undoubtedly, this is the marquee matchup of the week. The ultimate gridiron test. That said, as good as the Ravens are, it’s hard to see them taking the measure of the Niners at Levi’s Stadium. Believe it when it happens and not before then.

Raven vs 49ers Picks:

·        Niners -230

·        Niners -5.5 (-110)

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