NFL Week 16 Picks Against the Spread and Predictions

Brandon Galvin@bgny3Featured ColumnistDecember 22, 2010

NFL Week 16 Picks Against the Spread and Predictions

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles against the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 19, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    As the playoffs approach, a few teams still have a lot to prove. The ones that are already eliminated will look to play spoiler and stop their opposing team’s momentum.

    There are some good spreads this week, but even better, some exciting matchups.

    The Chicago Bears host the New York Jets in a potential Super Bowl matchup.

    The Atlanta Falcons host the New Orleans Saints in a potential NFC Championship matchup on Monday Night Football.

    San Francisco travels to St. Louis as the 49ers look to dethrone the Rams in the NFC West division.

    Philadelphia, New England and Baltimore hope to continue their winning streaks as the Pittsburgh Steelers try to get back on the right track Thursday Night against the Carolina Panthers.

    Note: These spreads are based on Yahoo! spreads as of December 21.

Carolina Panthers @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-14.5)

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    PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 19: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back to pass against the New York Jets during the game on December 19, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Although Troy Polamalu isn’t expected to play, the Steelers are going to motivated to dominate arguably the worst team in the league after suffering defeat to the New York Jets.

    Ben Roethlisberger and the offense will have its easiest task in weeks and will finally gain momentum.

    The defense will key in on rookie Jimmy Clausen, who is going to be hit a lot in this contest.

    Pick: Pittsburgh (-14.5)

Dallas Cowboys @ Arizona Cardinals (+6.5)

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    ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 19:  Miles Austin #19 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Jason Garrett’s Cowboys have been in shootout after shootout, but it’s not likely to happen against the lowly Cardinals. The Cardinals defense has been poor all season and the offense lacks life. Rookie John Skelton is not the answer and the running game is too inconsistent. Larry Fitzgerald will rack up catches and yards, but the Cardinals will struggle to keep up with the high powered Cowboys offense.

    Pick: Dallas (-6.5)

New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills (+8)

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    MIAMI - DECEMBER 19:  Receiver Steve Johnson #13 of the Buffalo Bills catches a pass  against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Miami, Florida.The Bills defeated the Dolphins 17-14.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Bills played the Patriots very tough in Foxboro early in the season. The Patriots have picked up the pace since then, especially Tom Brady. However, the defense is still inconsistent as they look to gain experience. Stevie Johnson should do enough for the Bills to keep this one closer. Either that or it’s a complete blowout.

    Pick: Buffalo (+8)

New York Jets @ Chicago Bears (-1)

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 19:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets runs for a touchdown during the game against Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 19, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
    Karl Walter/Getty Images

    As it stands now, there is no spread on Yahoo! for this game as the Bears just played Monday night.

    The Bears may already be looking ahead to the playoffs after clinching a playoff berth.

    The Jets got back on the right track against the Steelers, but still have a lot to prove after being embarrassed by New England and Miami in the two games prior.

    The offense needs to prove they can stand against the tougher defenses in the league.

    The Jets are hungrier right now as they look to clinch a playoff berth.

    Pick: New York (+1)

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns (+3.5)

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    BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 19:  Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates the Ravens victory after the game against the New Orleans Saints  at M&T Bank Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Saints 30-24. (Photo
    Larry French/Getty Images

    This time around, the Ravens will be prepared for the bruising Peyton Hillis. Hillis caught the Ravens by surprise in the first meeting. Most of the Ravens didn’t even know who Hillis was. Now they do and they’ll look to dish out the punishment as they aim to clinch a playoff berth. The Ravens have won two straight and look to carry their momentum into the playoffs.

    Ravens win big.

    Pick: Baltimore (-3.5)

Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5)

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    NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 19:  Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans runs against the Houston Texans at LP Field on December 19, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Texans, 31-17. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    The Chiefs are undefeated at home and control their own playoff destiny in the AFC West. While they should win the game, it could be a close one. Three great running backs appear in this matchup. Chris Johnson and Jamaal Charles are two of the top playmakers in the game, so this will definitely be a fun one to watch. Kenny Britt is back and playing well.

    These are two similar teams, leading to believe it could be a close game.

    Pick: Tennessee (+5.5)

San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams (-2.5)

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    GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 05:  Runningback Steven Jackson #39 of the St. Louis Rams during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Rams defeated the Cardinals 19-6.  (Phot
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The 49ers actually beat the Rams following their bye, 23-20 at home. If they are able to go on the road and beat the Rams, they’ll actually be right in the NFC West title hunt as they would be tied with the Rams.

    Sam Bradford has hit a rookie slump, but the Rams pick up the pace this week against the inconsistent 49ers. The Rams get their revenge and all but take the division.

    Pick: St. Louis (-2.5)

Detroit Lions @ Miami Dolphins (-3.5)

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    TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 19:  Receiver Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions runs through the tackle of defensive back E.J. Biggers #31 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game at Raymond James Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    The Dolphins surprised the Jets and then fell apart at home to the Bills. The Lions ended their historic 26 road game losing streak. They actually now have a two-game winning streak going. They’ll go on the road and make it a two-game road winning streak and extend their winning streak to three for the season. Calvin Johnson dominates as these Lions finally feel what it’s like to have some success in the NFL.

    Pick: Detroit (+3.5)

Washington Redskins @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-7)

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    ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 19:  Quarterback Rex Grossman #8 of the Washington Redskins during play against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Mike Shanahan benched veteran Donovan McNabb for Rex Grossman. To everyone’s surprise, Grossman threw four touchdowns against the Cowboys and fell just short of winning the game.

    The Jaguars stumbled in Indianapolis and have lost their lead in the AFC South. While they are not out of the division, they need a lot of help. After they put so much into last week’s game to all but clinch the division, the continue their collapse.

    Saying the Redskins win isn’t wise, but they cover.

    Pick: Washington (+7)

San Diego Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals (+7.5)

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    CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 19:  Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals carries the ball against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Never good when a west coast team has to travel to the east. Now that the Bengals aren’t forced to air it out with Terrell Owens lost for the season, the running game can be the focal point like it was last year when Cincinnati made the playoffs. Cedric Benson helps the Bengals keep this one close at home after feeling great following last week’s performance against the Browns.

    Pick: Cincinnati (+7.5)

Houston Texans @ Denver Broncos (+3)

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    HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 13:  Wide receiver Andre Johnson #80 of the Houston Texans comes scores as he get's his foot down in the endzone in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Reliant Stadium on December 13, 2010 in Houston, Texas. Baltimore
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    This will be a fun, high scoring contest. Tim Tebow will continue to look impress, but he fails to secure the victory. The Houston Texans simply have too much firepower on offense. Although their defense is abysmal, the Broncos continue their slide at home.

    Pick: Houston (-3)

Indianapolis Colts @ Oakland Raiders (+3)

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 19: Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts passes against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    The Colts beat Jacksonville last week to climb back to the top of the AFC South.

    The Raiders looked great in the second half against division rival Denver.

    The Raiders have played solid most of the season due to Darren McFadden’s fantastic running. While he should be able to run through the Colts defense for a big day, Peyton Manning knows he needs to keep his team’s momentum going forward and gets the job done in Oakland.

    Pick: Indianapolis (-3)

New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers (-3)

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 05:  Justin Tuck #91 of the New York Giants celebrates  after sacking Donovan McNabb #5 of the Washington Redskins who fumbled and loset the ball during their game on December 5, 2010 at The New Meadowlands Stadium in East R
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Flynn had a great game against the Patriots on the road and fell just short of winning the game. Aaron Rodgers (concussion) has been cleared to play, which is a huge boost for the Packers who are still fighting for a playoff spot.

    The Giants had an all-time epic collapse to Philadelphia that cost them the division. They need this game to clinch a playoff berth. Justin Tuck and his defense won’t let the team crumble again.

    Pick: New York (+3)

Seattle Seahawks @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6)

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    LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 12:  Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scrambles during the game against the Washington Redskins  at FedExField on December 12, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. The Buccaneers defeated the Redskins 17-16. (Photo by Larry Frenc
    Larry French/Getty Images

    The Seahawks catch a break as they travel from the West to East Coast as they play at 4:15. Still, it won’t matter much. The Seahawks are too inconsistent to keep up with the solid Buccaneers. The Bucs will look to rebound following the overtime loss to the Lions. Josh Freeman handles the Seahawks.

    Pick: Tampa Bay (-6.5)

Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles (No Spread)

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles against the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium on December 19, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    There is no spread for this one since we don’t know if Brett Favre or Joe Webb will start for Minnesota. Regardless of who starts, the Vikings are lifeless. Adrian Peterson is supposed to play in this one after sitting out against Chicago Week 15.

    The Eagles carry the momentum of their incredible comeback victory over the Giants into this week. Michael Vick looks to continue his dominance over the NFL as he eyes an MVP award.

    Pick: Philadelphia

New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons (-2.5)

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 12:  Teammates Matt Ryan #2 and Roddy White #84 of the Atlanta Falcons talk during a timeout against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 12, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Arguably the best game of the week is saved for Monday Night Football. This hot division matchup has division title implications. If the Saints win, they could potentially take the division in Week 17 if the Falcons lose again.

    Matt Ryan, Roddy White and the entire Falcons team has been on fire though. At home, Ryan has been almost unstoppable. The Falcons have won eight straight and continue their torrid pace in the NFC.

    Pick: Atlanta (-2.5)

Picks

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    NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 09:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass during the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans  at LP Field on December 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Colts won 30-28.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Carolina Panthers @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-14.5)

    Dallas Cowboys (-6.5) @ Arizona Cardinals

    New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills (+8)

    New York Jets (+1) @ Chicago Bears

    Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) @ Cleveland Browns

    Tennessee Titans (+5.5) @ Kansas City Chiefs

    San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams (-2.5)

    Detroit Lions (+3.5) @ Miami Dolphins

    Washington Redskins (+7) @ Jacksonville Jaguars

    San Diego Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals (+7.5)

    Houston Texans (-3) @ Denver Broncos

    Indianapolis Colts (-3) @ Oakland Raiders

    New York Giants (Pick ‘Em) @ Green Bay Packers

    Seattle Seahawks @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6.5)

    Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles (No Spread)

    New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons (-2.5)