NFL Picks Week 16: Projecting Underdogs That Are Locks to Cover the Spread

Alex Kay@AlexPKayCorrespondent IDecember 18, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 16:  Chad Henne #7 of the Jacksonville Jaguars hands off to Keith Toston #35 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during a game  against the Miami Dolphinsat Sun Life Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The NFL season is winding down, and it’s becoming extremely tough for gamblers to find valuable lines.

Vegas has a bead on nearly every team against practically any opponent, which is making it a challenge to identify sure-thing locks in Week 16.

However, we’ve uncovered three underdogs with a great chance of covering this coming Sunday, so read on to find out some smart plays that could make you some serious profits.

*Point Spreads courtesy of, home team in CAPS. 



Minnesota Vikings (+7.5) at HOUSTON TEXANS

The Vikings are going into H-Town as more than a touchdown ‘dog, and that’s just the way this scrappy team would like it.

With Adrian Peterson chasing Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record, you know All Day is going to have extra motivation to show up and shred a surprisingly vulnerable Texans run defense.

Add that to Houston beating the Colts in Week 15 (to clinch the AFC South) plus the Patriots faltering on Sunday Night Football, and it’s easy to see the relatively inexperienced Texans faltering on Sunday.

Minnesota direly needs a win, and should put up a huge fight in this one. Even if they falter, it won’t be by more than a single TD.


JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (+14) vs. New England Patriots


It’s hard to take the road favorite when getting more than 14 points with a home underdog, although the Jags have lost by that amount or more plenty of times early in the 2012 season.

However, since Chad Henne took the reigns at QB for this team, they have been much more competitive, especially at EverBank Field.

In the two home games since Blaine Gabbert was put on IR, they beat the Titans 24-19 and lost to the Jets 17-10.

Expect this to be another “close” one as the Pats wind up with a 10-to-13 point victory.


Cleveland Browns (+12.5) at DENVER BRONCOS


Don’t sleep on the Browns making this a tight matchup in Mile High on Sunday.

Cleveland has the personnel to hang with any team in the league against the spread, they are just young and inexperienced, with an aptitude for blowing close games down the stretch.

We don’t think they have what it takes to beat the Broncos straight up, as Denver is just too good to allow the Browns to hang around.

However, if Peyton Manning and the Broncos build a large lead, there is a strong chance that the Browns will sneak in for a backdoor cover.

We expect the Broncos to take a 14-point lead well into the fourth quarter, before putting in the reserves and allowing Cleveland to score a garbage-time TD, which results in a cover.