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NFL Predictions Week 16: Vegas Odds, Spreads and Picks for All Games

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 17: Brandon Carr #24 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates a touch back in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 17, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Week 16 of the 2017 NFL season will mean a mini-bye week for a few lucky teams, as there won't be any games on Thursday.

Given that Christmas falls on a Monday this year, and with the NFL's move to Saturday games in Weeks 15 and 16 this season, there will be two matchups on Saturday and two on Monday in Week 16. 

Multiple teams punched their tickets to the NFL postseason in Week 15, including the Jacksonville Jaguars, who haven't advanced to that level since 2007. 

This week, the Philadelphia Eagles can clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win over the Oakland Raiders, while the Los Angeles Rams have their sights set on the NFC West title, which they can earn with a win or a tie against the Tennessee Titans. 

Let's take a look at all the games on the slate in Week 16, including early point spreads, and make some predictions for the winners of each matchup. 

All times are ET, and projected winners are indicated in bold. 

        

NFL Week 16 Odds and Picks

Saturday, Dec. 23

Indianapolis at Baltimore (-13): 4:30 p.m. NFLN 

Minnesota at Green Bay: (N/A) 8:30 p.m. NBC 

       

Sunday, Dec. 24

Atlanta at New Orleans (-5): 1 p.m. Fox 

Buffalo at New England (-10): 1 p.m. CBS 

Cleveland at Chicago (-6.5): 1 p.m. CBS 

Denver at Washington (-4.5): 1 p.m. CBS 

Detroit (-3) at Cincinnati: 1 p.m. Fox 

L.A. Chargers (-7) at N.Y. Jets: 1 p.m. CBS 

L.A. Rams (-6) at Tennessee: 1 p.m. Fox 

Miami at Kansas City (-9.5): 1 p.m. CBS 

Tampa Bay at Carolina (-9.5): 1 p.m. Fox 

Jacksonville (-5) at San Francisco: 4:05 p.m. CBS 

N.Y. Giants at Arizona (-4.5): 4:25 p.m. Fox

Seattle at Dallas (-2.5): 4:25 p.m. Fox 

        

Monday, Dec. 25

Pittsburgh (-10.5) at Houston: 4:30 p.m. NFLN 

Oakland at Philadelphia (-7.5): 8:30 p.m. ESPN 

        

Biggest Week 16 Favorites

Baltimore Ravens

David Richard/Associated Press

It's not the AFC heavyweight New England Patriots or the NFC-leading Philadelphia Eagles that are the biggest favorites in the NFL in Week 16, but rather the 8-6 Baltimore Ravens, who are in second place in the AFC North.

The Ravens are favored by 13 points in a Saturday matchup over the Indianapolis Colts, and they're glad the schedule worked out this way.

The Ravens helped their case for an AFC wild-card berth in Week 15 by defeating the Cleveland Browns 27-10, but they are still hanging onto playoff hopes for dear life. 

Baltimore is competing with the 8-6 Buffalo Bills and 8-6 Tennessee Titans for one of two wild-card spots.

The Ravens are in the enviable position of completely controlling the own destiny. If Baltimore wins its final two games, not only is it guaranteed a playoff berth, but it is also guaranteed the No. 5 seed in the AFC. 

Of course, before that, the Ravens have to beat the Colts. 

Hapless Indianapolis, lost without quarterback Andrew Luck, has lost five games in a row. The Colts, a team that has gone 1-6 away from home this season, also drew the short straw of playing in Baltimore this week.

Needless to say, it's not surprising that Baltimore is the biggest favorite in the NFL this week.

               

Pittsburgh Steelers

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 17: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers walks off the field after throwing an interception in the fourth quarter during the game against the New England Patriots at Heinz Field on December 17, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pen
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

If you ask any casual fan, the 11-3 Pittsburgh Steelers got hosed in their matchup against the 11-3 New England Patriots Sunday, when a final-seconds Ben Roethlisberger touchdown pass to tight end Jesse James was called back due to the pass-catcher not "surviving the ground."

Fans who are more familiar with the NFL's ever-complex rule book understand that the play was called correctly according to the rule, but that rule is flawed.

In any case, the Steelers, who already clinched the AFC North in Week 14, saw their chances of earning the AFC's No. 1 seed, home-field advantage in the playoffs and a first-round bye heavily impacted by New England's controversial victory. 

Because New England holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Pittsburgh, the Steelers would have to finish the season with a better record than the Patriots, meaning they have to win out and hope the Patriots drop one of their two final games. 

The Steelers' chances of a win in Week 16 are good, as they face the Houston Texans. With the loss of quarterback Deshaun Watson, the Texans have dropped four in a row. 

And the good news for Pittsburgh is that, despite the loss to New England, there still exist scenarios in Week 16 in which they can clinch a first-round bye. They'll need to win and have the Jacksonville Jaguars lose or tie.

      

New England Patriots

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 17: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots drops back to pass in the second half during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 17, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Imag
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

In what has become the league's most dependable, if not boring, storyline, the Patriots have once again clinched the AFC East and have the best shot of any remaining team in the conference of earning the AFC's No. 1 seed heading into the postseason.

Heading into their Week 16 matchup against the division-rival Buffalo Bills, the Patriots have their sights set on securing home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

However, they'll need certain things to shake out just right.

New England needs, obviously, to beat Buffalo. Then, the Patriots need the Steelers to lose to the Texans and the Jaguars to either lose to or tie the San Francisco 49ers.

Those are long shots, to be sure, and it is perhaps Pittsburgh's lingering revenge for that shocking loss on Monday night that it can continue to thwart New England's playoffs strength. After all, both teams are still tied at 11-3. 

It's clear to everyone both inside and outside New England that the Patriots are kicking it into the next gear now. Tight end Rob Gronkowski set a career high in yards against Pittsburgh:

New England Patriots @Patriots

.@RobGronkowski's career-high 168 yards and clutch 2-point conversion helped clinch the AFC East! #GoPats #ShouldersofGreatness https://t.co/KNyOxofThn

And Tom Brady's final drive was the definition of the word "clutch."

Now it's up to the rest of the AFC to keep New England from securing its sixth Super Bowl ring. 

         

Odds according to OddsShark and current as of Dec. 19.

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