NFL Week 16 Predictions: Predicting Best Locks Against the Spread

R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IDecember 18, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 8:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates the game-winning touchdown with Julian Edelman #11 in the 4th quarter at Gillette Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

With only two weeks remaining in the NFL's 2013 regular season, there are several intriguing matchups for bettors to wager on in Week 16.

Some lines might look more enticing than others, but not all are guaranteed to come through for those looking to place their final bets of the year.

While some lines are pretty solid and seem to be correct for the way the respective game will turn out, here are the best locks against the spread for Week 16.

Complete Week 16 NFL Picks
Away TeamHome TeamSpreadPick ATS
Miami DolphinsBuffalo BillsMIA -3Dolphins
New Orleans SaintsCarolina PanthersCAR -2.5Panthers
Dallas CowboysWashington RedskinsDAL -3.5Cowboys
Tampa Bay BuccaneersSt. Louis RamsSTL -4.5Rams
Chicago BearsPhiladelphia EaglesPHI -4Eagles
Cleveland BrownsN.Y. JetsNYJ -1Browns
Indianapolis ColtsKansas City ChiefsKC -6.5Colts
Minnesota VikingsCincinnati BengalsCIN -8Vikings
Denver BroncosHouston TexansDEN -9.5Broncos
Tennessee TitansJacksonville JaguarsTEN -4Jaguars
Arizona CardinalsSeattle SeahawksSEA -9.5Seahawks
N.Y. GiantsDetroit LionsDET -9.5Lions
Oakland RaidersSan Diego ChargersSD -9.5Raiders
Pittsburgh SteelersGreen Bay PackersPKPackers
New England PatriotsBaltimore RavensBAL -1.5Patriots
Atlanta FalconsSan Francisco 49ersSF -10Falcons
Spreads provided by Vegas Insider

All odds courtesy of Vegas Insider.

 

Oakland Raiders (+9.5 at San Diego Chargers)

Dec 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Rashad Jennings (27) celebrates with fans after scoring a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs at O.co Coliseum. The Chiefs won 56-31. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders have looked like one of the worst teams in the league over the last few weeks, losing six of their last seven games. But in their last meeting in Week 5, the Raiders defeated the San Diego Chargers by 10 points in a 27-17 win.

That was also a Raiders team that had Terrelle Pryor under center and an effective offense. But despite their shortcomings on offense in the last few weeks, the Raiders have found an offensive weapon in Rashad Jennings.

And as Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com reported, Darren McFadden returned to practice on Wednesday and could play against the Chargers:

While the Chargers are playing good football and should still be expected to win this game, it will be a lot closer than the 9.5-point spread it was given as long as Oakland's defense decides to show up. San Diego is 29th in passing yards allowed, so if the Raiders can use the pass to set up Jennings and the run game, they can find some success on offense.

Prediction: Chargers 28, Raiders 23

 

New England Patriots (+1.5 at Baltimore Ravens)

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 8: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots celebrates his touchdown in the 3rd quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The New England Patriots are without Rob Gronkowski for the rest of the season, and Tom Brady struggled against the Miami Dolphins without him. But it appears help is on the way—maybe not the help Brady wants, but help nonetheless.

Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins, two rookie receivers, returned to practice on Wednesday and could play Sunday, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com:

If they have a wealth of wide receivers going into Baltimore, the Patriots will have much more success in the passing game during the (second) sans-Gronkowski part of the season.

The Pats will be looking to get back on track after an upset loss to the division rival Miami Dolphins in Week 15. After the game, Brady was brief with the media and didn't mince words, per the New York Daily News' Justin Tasch: "We made some good plays, we made a lot of s--- plays," he said.

Given the fact that the Ravens' defense has slowly improved throughout the season, it would be a surprise if the Patriots' rushing game gets stopped up. But in order for this spread to be covered, New England will need a good performance from its young receivers and sure-handed players like Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola to help move the ball down the field.

Prediction: Patriots 20, Ravens 17

 

Atlanta Falcons (+10 at San Francisco 49ers)

Dec 15, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) passes the ball against the Washington Redskins during the second quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons are a depleted group due to injuries, but there is a pride factor that has to kick in at some point for this team. After losing five straight games, Atlanta has now won two of its last three games. Granted, those wins came against the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins, but they are wins nonetheless.

Each of Atlanta's last four contests has been decided by four points or less—including a 17-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints and a 22-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers. With weapons like Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez coming to life for the Falcons late in the season, this could be a much closer game than expected.

In Week 15 against the Redskins, Gonzalez became just the fifth player in NFL history to amass 15,000 yards, as the Falcons' official Instagram account pointed out:

If Gonzalez truly is at the end of an illustrious career, he will be looking to finish the season strong and continue the recent streak of good performances he's had.

The 49ers will win this game and continue their run to the playoffs, but don't expect Atlanta to lay down and not put up a fight.

Prediction: 49ers 38, Falcons 34