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NFL Odds Week 16: Picking Winners for Biggest Games on the Slate

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 08:  LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates his touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions on December 8, 2013 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Detroit Lions 34-20.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Jesse ReedCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2013

There are some unbelievable games with huge playoff implications on the NFL schedule in Week 14 as the postseason landscape is gradually pieced together. 

With just two games left in the season, there are eight playoffs spots up for grabs and double the amount of teams with a legitimate shot to earn one of them. 

Needless to say, competition is going to be ferocious as those teams battle it out over the next couple of weeks. Here's a look at the odds for every game in Week 16, followed by a closer examination and prediction for the biggest games on the slate. 

NFL Week 16 Picks Against the Spread
Away TeamHome TeamPick (Spread)
Miami DolphinsBuffalo BillsBills (+3)
New Orleans SaintsCarolina PanthersPanthers (-3)
Dallas CowboysWashington RedskinsRedskins (+2.5)
Tampa Bay BuccaneersSt. Louis RamsRams (-5.5)
Cleveland BrownsNew York JetsJets (-2)
Indianapolis ColtsKansas City ChiefsChiefs (-6.5)
Minnesota VikingsCincinnati BengalsBengals (-8)
Denver BroncosHouston TexansBroncos (-10)
Tennessee TitansJacksonville JaguarsTitans (-5.5)
Arizona CardinalsSeattle SeahawksSeahawks (-10)
New York GiantsDetroit LionsLions (-9.5)
Oakland RaidersSan Diego ChargersChargers (-10)
Pittsburgh SteelersGreen Bay PackersN/A
New England PatriotsBaltimore RavensRavens (-1.5)
Chicago BearsPhiladelphia EaglesBears (+3)
Atlanta FalconsSan Francisco 49ers49ers (-10)
Source: VegasInsider.com

 

New Orleans at Carolina (-3.5)

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 08:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers is tackled by  Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 8, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The winner of this game will have an outright one-game lead in the NFC South with one game left to play. 

The last time these NFC South rivals faced off, Carolina limped back home after being thrashed 31-13 in New Orleans. But the Saints aren't the same team on the road (3-4) as they are at home (7-0), and Carolina's defense will not willingly suffer a second straight humiliating performance. 

The Saints are coming into the game having just been abused by the St. Louis Rams, and it won't get any easier when they hit the field at Bank of America Stadium to take on the Panthers. 

Carolina's defense needs to bring pressure on Brees in order to keep him from shredding its so-so secondary. With Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy both healthy again, the Panthers will be able to do so, which will result in a key turnover or two. 

Cam Newton really struggled in New Orleans, but he bounced back with a solid performance against New York, displaying the same good judgement that's helped him become a viable franchise quarterback this year.

The game will be close, but Carolina will cover the narrow spread, thanks to an improved effort from the Panthers defense. 

 

Arizona at Seattle (-10.5)

The Arizona Cardinals must keep winning to have a chance to sneak into the playoffs as a No. 6 seed. The San Francisco 49ers and Panthers are currently one game ahead of the 9-5 Cardinals. 

Yes, Arizona has won six of its past seven games, but nobody should expect the Cardinals to come close to beating the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field in Week 16. 

The last time the Cardinals headed north, Seattle buried them 58-0, and the Seahawks haven't lost a home game since Dec. 2011. 

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Malcolm Smith #53 of the Seattle Seahawks sacks Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals late in the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images

But a 10.5-point spread isn't anything to approach flippantly. 

That said, Seattle has won its last two home games by a combined score of 75-27 over Minnesota and New Orleans, and the team is 4-2 against the spread at home this year. 

The Cardinals don't have a chance to cover the spread—let alone win. 

 

Chicago at Philadelphia (-3)

Dec 1, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA;  Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles (9) hands off to running back LeSean McCoy (25) during the third quarter of the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles won the
John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

This is a huge game in Week 16. 

Chicago needs to keep winning to stay tied with Detroit for the NFC North lead, and Philadelphia needs to keep winning to stay ahead of Dallas, which is one game behind with two left to play. 

Both teams feature Swiss-cheese defenses and hot offenses, meaning this game will likely result in an offensive shootout. 

Because the game is being held in Philadelphia, where there's a chance of rain on Sunday, Dec. 22, you'd have to give the edge to the team with the stronger running game. 

Philly is the top rushing team in the NFL, and Chicago possesses the league's worst running defense. It doesn't take a math genius to conclude the Eagles have an edge on the ground at home. 

This will be the ultimate deciding factor in the game, and the Eagles will continue soaring as the NFC East leader heading into the final weekend of the season. 

 

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78 

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