NFL Week 16 Picks: Upcoming Odds and Predictions for Full Schedule

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2015

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson passes against the Cleveland Browns in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

With the conclusion of play in Sunday's NFL matchups, half of the playoff field has been decided. 

In the NFC, the Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks are all guaranteed playoff berths. 

The AFC is slightly more up in the air, but both the New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals are headed to the postseason. 

Week 16 includes more opportunities for teams to stake their claim to playoff spots and to clarify the playoff picture even more. 

Let's predict each matchup, preview the Vegas odds and then break down the three biggest favorites of the week. 

NFL Week 16 Picks, Odds
San Diego ChargersOakland RaidersRaidersOAK -6
Washington RedskinsPhiladelphia EaglesEaglesPHI -4
San Francisco 49ersDetroit LionsLionsDET -8.5
Pittsburgh SteelersBaltimore RavensSteelersPIT -9.5
Dallas CowboysBuffalo BillsBillsBUF -5.5
Chicago BearsTampa Bay BuccaneersBearsTB -2.5
Carolina PanthersAtlanta FalconsPanthersCAR -6.5
Indianapolis ColtsMiami DolphinsDolphinsN/A
New England PatriotsNew York JetsPatriotsNE -3
Houston TexansTennessee TitansTexansN/A
Cleveland BrownsKansas City ChiefsChiefsKC -12.5
Jacksonville JaguarsNew Orleans SaintsSaintsNO -3.5
Green Bay PackersArizona CardinalsCardinalsARI -4
St. Louis RamsSeattle SeahawksSeahawksSEA -14
New York GiantsMinnesota VikingsVikingsMIN -4
Cincinnati BengalsDenver BroncosBengalsN/A
Michelle Bruton's picks; odds via Odds Shark

Breaking Down Biggest Favorites

Seattle Seahawks (-14)

The Seahawks continue to lack any sort of big name in their backfield, but that isn't stopping Russell Wilson from taking matters into his own hands. 

Wilson has now thrown eight touchdown passes in his last two games, totaling three on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. 

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Two of those touchdowns came on connections with Wilson's favorite receiving weapon, Doug Baldwin, who had just 45 yards in the win but made his presence felt on the scoreboard. 

It may be missing Marshawn Lynch, Thomas Rawls and Jimmy Graham, but this Seahawks offense is making it work and looking deadly while doing it. 

It's no surprise that the Seahawks are favorites against division-rival St. Louis, but the Rams defense has the potential to slow Wilson down with its front seven filled with playmakers.

The Rams have 36 sacks on the year, which is good for sixth in the league. 

There's also the question of whether this Seattle team levels off next week now that it has clinched a playoff berth. 

Seattle Seahawks @Seahawks

Seahawks clinch 4th-consecutive playoff berth. #CLEvsSEA https://t.co/FvvzFdLpwW

But the Seahawks have gotten hot at just the right point in the year, and heading into Week 16, they look extremely difficult to slow down.

Prediction: Seahawks 31, Rams 14

Kansas City Chiefs (-12.5)

Gail Burton/Associated Press

The Chiefs have pulled a 180 on their season, winning eight games in a row and strengthening their case for a playoff berth with a decisive 34-14 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. 

According to ESPN.comthe Chiefs "became the first team in NFL history to follow a five-game skid with eight successive wins in the same season." 

Kansas City's offense looked strong against Baltimore, with Charcandrick West rushing for 76 yards and a touchdown and receiver Jeremy Maclin gaining 50 yards and adding another score to the board. 

But it was Kansas City's special teams and defensive units that put most of the remaining points on the board. 

Tyvon Branch returned a fumble 73 yards for a score, while cornerback Marcus Peters had a 90-yard pick-six. 

These Chiefs, who are playing so well on both sides of the ball and getting hot at the right time, are an easy favorite over the Browns in Week 16; some might argue they should be the biggest favorites of the week. 

Cleveland is allowing opponents 27.5 points per game on average, which is 30th in the league. 

Factor in Kansas City's plus-15 turnover differential, and the Chiefs are set up to have a dominant day against Cleveland in Week 16.  

Prediction: Chiefs 30, Browns 10

Pittsburgh Steelers (-9.5) 

The Steelers got off to a rocky start against the Denver Broncos Sunday, falling behind 20-7 at one point in the second quarter and then again 27-13. 

But when Pittsburgh got rolling, it proved that even the league's best defense cannot stop it when it's clicking. 

Ben Roethlisberger's two interceptions hurt his team, no doubt, but he made up for them with three touchdowns, two of which went to favorite weapon Antonio Brown

In fact, Brown had a monster day with 189 receiving yards to go alongside his two scores. He was targeted a whopping 18 times by Roethlisberger. 

But the quarterback did a good job spreading the wealth among his many weapons; Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton had 87 and 62 yards, respectively, and Wheaton also had a score. 

The Steelers don't face a particularly difficult matchup against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 16, especially considering what the Chiefs were able to do to the Ravens on Sunday.

Baltimore has now lost three games in a row, while Pittsburgh is enjoying a three-game win streak. As Marc Bertrand of The Sports Hub noted, the Steelers would be guaranteed a playoff berth if the season ended today given that they hold the tiebreaker over the New York Jets. 

As it stands, the Steelers control their own destiny: win two more games and they're in.

Checking one of those two off in Week 16 against Baltimore should be an easy task. 

Prediction: Steelers 34, Ravens 17

NFL odds via Odds Shark and current as of Dec. 20. 

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