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NFL Picks Week 16: Favorites That Are Sure to Cover the Spread

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 15:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts on the bench during their game against the New York Jets at Bank of America Stadium on December 15, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Shehan PeirisCorrespondent IIIDecember 22, 2013

Week 15 saw five division winners lose games, so one cannot even predict the craziness that awaits us in Week 16 with playoff hopes on the line.

In an attempt to help you sort through the madness, here are against-the-spread picks for every game on the schedule, complete with a breakdown of three games where the favorite is a lock to cover the spread.

Week 16 Picks
Home TeamAway TeamATS Pick
Buffalo BillsMiami DolphinsMIA -2.5
Carolina PanthersNew Orleans SaintsCAR -3
Washington RedskinsDallas CowboysWAS +3
St. Louis RamsTampa Bay BuccaneersTB +4
New York JetsCleveland BrownsNYJ -1
Kansas City ChiefsIndianapolis ColtsKC -7
Cincinnati BengalsMinnesota VikingsCIN -8
Houston TexansDenver BroncosDEN -10
Jacksonville JaguarsTennessee TitansJAC +5
Seattle SeahawksArizona CardinalsSEA -10
Detroit LionsNew York GiantsNYG +10
San Diego ChargersOakland RaidersSD -10
Green Bay PackersPittsburgh SteelersPIT +1
Baltimore RavensNew England PatriotsBAL -2
Philadelphia EaglesChicago BearsPHI -3
San Francisco 49ersAtlanta FalconsATL +14
All spreads courtesy of VegasInsider.com

 

Carolina Panthers (-3) over New Orleans Saints

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 15:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after a play during their game against the New York Jets at Bank of America Stadium on December 15, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers were blown out 31-13 at the hands of the New Orleans Saints when they met in Week 14, but the Saints are a different team on the road.

Home-field advantage will play a massive role in a game that will decide the NFC South, and the Panthers have the huge advantage of playing in front of their own crowd.

Drew Brees has struggled on the road, including last week when he threw two interceptions.

A Tale of Two Drews
LocationCompletion PercentageYards per AttemptTDsINTsPasser Rating
Home73.2%8.76233122.5
Away63.4%6.9411786.4
ESPN

In addition, Saints head coach Sean Payton is making a bold roster move this week by starting rookie Terron Armstead at left tackle. Armstead shot up draft boards with an impressive performance at the NFL Draft Combine, but it will be a rude awakening for the rookie as he faces a Panthers defense that has registered the second-most sacks (45) in the league.

This matchup will be a reverse of what we saw in Week 13, with the Carolina pass rush getting to Brees early and often, so New Orleans’ road woes will continue.

Prediction: Carolina Panthers 24, New Orleans Saints 17

 

Kansas City Chiefs (-7) over Indianapolis Colts

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 15:  Jamaal Charles #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 15, 2013 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

We get a preview of a possible AFC Wild Card Round matchup, and you can be sure that both teams are going to play it close to the vest. Prior to last week, it seemed like this would be a game where both teams were pretty much locked into their seeds and so would have nothing to play for.

Instead, after last week’s interesting turn of events, the Kansas City Chiefs still have a slim chance of grabbing the No. 1 seed (they need the Denver Broncos to lose), and the Indianapolis Colts could move up in the standings.

Kansas City is starting to heat up again after a three-game losing streak, and the Chiefs are averaging 42 points per game over their last four outings.

Kansas City's Offensive Explosion
WeekOpponentPoints Scored
12San Diego Chargers38
13Denver Broncos28
14Washington Redskins45
15Oakland Raiders56
AVERAGE42
ESPN

On the contrary, the Colts have given up over 40 points in their last two road games, and the offense is struggling without Reggie Wayne in the mix.

Colts Offense Without Reggie Wayne
CategoryWith WayneWithout Wayne
Points per Game26.721.6
Completion Percentage60.757.0
Yards per Attempt7.06.3
ESPN

Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs 34, Indianapolis Colts 24

 

Baltimore Ravens (-2) over New England Patriots

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 16: Quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens warms up prior to the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 16, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Don’t look now, but the Baltimore Ravens have won four games in a row and are starting to emanate that “team of destiny” vibe that they had last year. Not that destiny is evidence for you picking the Ravens to cover spread.

No, you should pick Baltimore to cover the spread because it matches up quite well with a banged up New England Patriots team.

The Ravens have played Tom Brady tough in recent history, while games against the Patriots have actually brought out the best in Joe Flacco:

Furthermore, this looks like a matchup where Baltimore will be able to find some success on the ground against the Patriots' 31st-ranked run defense.

The absence of Rob Gronkowski will be the difference in this critical game, as the Patriots haven’t been able to compensate for his elite red-zone production. Baltimore will extend its winning streak to five against its familiar foe.

Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 23, New England Patriots 20

 

 

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