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week 16 football picks
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п»їNFL Week 16 Game Picks.
Picking the winners of this week’s NFL games.
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The Bleeding Green Nation writers picks are in for Week 16 of 2020 NFL season!
Every week we’ll predict the winners of every game on the schedule. We’ll tally the results along the way and see who comes out on top at the end of the season. Feel free to post your own predictions or discuss the writer predictions in the comments. You, the gentle reader, can also join in on the fun by voting for who you think will win the games (scroll down for polls). I’ll tally those results in a “BGN Community” column.
The BGN community is still in first place after Week 15. John Stolnis, last year’s champ, is still in second place.
When it comes to this week’s Philadelphia Eagles game, the Birds are unanimously favored against the Dallas Cowboys. The writers are split on the Washington Football Team versus Carolina Panthers matchup that can potentially keep Philly’s playoff hopes alive.

NFL picks, predictions for Week 16: Packers top Titans in thriller; Colts upset Steelers; Cowboys end Eagles.
Week 16 of the NFL season is here, and the playoff races are coming down to the wire.
Five AFC teams are 9-5 or better, but there are only four playoff spots remaining. Nine NFC teams are fighting for the four remaining playoff spots. The AFC has some big matchups this week, including the Raiders-Dolphins and Colts-Steelers matchups. The NFC West matchup between the Seahawks and Rams also is huge for seeding purposes. It is another fun week, and SN is on a hot streak with our straight-up picks.
Last Week: 11-5 Season: 105-67.
With that as the mind, below are our picks and predictions for the rest of Week 16:
NFL picks, predictions for Week 16.
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (-7)
Friday, 4:30 p.m. ET, Fox/NFLN.
Be thankful for football on Christmas. The Vikings are in desperation mode after a loss to the Bears, but they are up against a Saints defense that ranks in the top against the run and pass. Drew Brees gets New Orleans back in the win column in a revenge game from last year's NFC wild card.
Pick: Saints 26, Vikings 20.
Tampa Buccaneers (-8) at Detroit Lions.
Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, NFL Network.
Since the loss to the Chiefs, Tom Brady averages 293 passing yards with four TDs and no interceptions in Tampa Bay's last two victories. The Buccaneers are rounding into playoff form. Will Matthew Stafford play?
Pick: Buccaneers 31, Lions 21.
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (-3.5)
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET, Prime Video.
The 49ers will have to resort to playing spoiler, but the Cardinals have more to play for at this point. San Francisco has lost six of their last seven games, and Kyler Murray will make enough plays to keep that losing streak going.
Pick: Cardinals 29, 49ers 21.
Miami Dolphins (-2.5) at Las Vegas Raiders.
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET, NFL Network.
The Raiders are in desperation mode, and they likely will turn to Marcus Mariota against the Dolphins. Miami is 4-2 on the road this season, and they have thrived off turnovers. Salvon Ahmed is an emerging running back, and he'll be a difference maker against a Raiders' defense that allows 125.8 yards rushing. Miami's playoff hopes are alive.
Pick: Dolphins 28, Raiders 24.
Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs (-10.5)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX.
The Chiefs are 2-3 ATS as double-digit favorites this season, and they will have to adjust if running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire misses time. Atlanta ranks 31st in the NFL in pass defense at 287.7 points per game. Patrick Mahomes II continues his MVP-caliber season.
Pick: Chiefs 35, Falcons 23.
Cleveland Browns (-9.5) at New York Jets.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
The Browns continue their New York tour against the Jets, who picked up their first victory of the season. Cleveland keeps it simple with another double-dose of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and Baker Mayfield – who has thrown just one interception in his last seven games – stays hot.
Pick: Browns 31, Jets 13.
Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
The Colts have not committed a turnover in their last three wins, and the Steelers are coming off a short week. Philip Rivers is 2-2 in the regular season at Heinz Field, and he pushes Indianapolis into the playoffs in an upset.
Pick: Colts 28, Steelers 24.
Carolina Panthers at Washington Football Team (-2.5)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
Washington coach Ron Rivera faces his former team with a playoff berth in sight. The Panthers have lost three straight one-score games, but their defense came alive in the second half against Green Bay. Teddy Bridgewater leads a break-through game that puts Washington in a precarious position.
Pick: Panthers 24, Washington 21.
Chicago Bears (-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
The light is starting to come on for Mitchell Trubisky. He has completed more than 70 percent of his passes in his last three starts, and that comes with five TDs and just one interception. That surge continues against the Jaguars.
Pick: Bears 30, Jaguars 19.
New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens (-10)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX.
Lamar Jackson has his mojo back, and the Ravens reignited their season with two straight victories. That continues against New York, which averages 10 points per game the last three week. That's not going to cut it on the road.
Pick: Ravens 31, Giants 16.
Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (-9)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX.
The Bengals continue to have problems scoring, and that will not change on the road. Deshaun Watson puts up his fifth 300-yard game in six weeks to give the Texans a home victory.
Pick: Texans 27, Bengals 19.
Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5) at Dallas Cowboys.
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX.
The Eagles and Cowboys might have losing records, but this game still has NFC playoff implications. Dallas has come alive with back-to-back victories, and Andy Dalton has played well in the Cowboys' last two victories. Jalen Hurts — a Houston native – is back in home state. This will be a much more exciting matchup than the first one.
Pick: Cowboys 26, Eagles 23.
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-3)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS.
The Broncos won the first matchup, 31-30, and Drew Lock and Justin Herbert will go at it again in another game that could produce some unexpected fantasy heroes for Week 16. The Chargers win another close one.
Pick: Chargers 31, Broncos 27.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-2.5)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX.
The Seahawks can clinch the NFC West and still press for home-field advantage with a victory here. The Rams continue to be one of the league's most confusing possible contenders. The Rams have won five of the last six meetings. It's on the Seahawks to answer. We're still feeling another slight upset.
Pick: Rams 28, Seahawks 24.
Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers (-3.5)
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC.
The Packers are inching closer toward home-field advantage, but the Titans bring the league's highest-scoring offense to Lambeau Field. Derrick Henry will have a big game, but so will Aaron Rodgers. The Titans allow 276 passing yards per game. It adds up to a thriller in a coin-flip game, but we'll stick with the home team in a nail-biter.
Pick: Packers 35, Titans 32.
Buffalo Bills (-7) at New England Patriots.
Monday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN/ABC.
The Bills are AFC East champions, and now the opportunity to sweep the rival Patriots is there. The Bills might be the hottest team in the NFL, and Josh Allen continues the winning streak.

NFL Week 16 game picks: Packers top Titans; Steelers fall to Colts.
Around The NFL Editor.
Gregg Rosenthal went 11-5 on his predictions for Week 15 of the 2020 NFL season, bringing his total record to 141-81-1. How will he fare in Week 16? His picks are below.
Sunday, Dec. 27.
Related Links.
Ben Roethlisberger wants to 'go one more year,' doesn't care about his salary Tom Brady: I wouldn’t trade anything for 20 'magical' years with Patriots Thursday's injury and roster news: Packers promote Maurice Drayton to special teams coordinator.
Cleveland Browns 30, New York Jets 17.
Can a 1-13 team have a letdown game? With the Jets having little else to play for besides the antipathy of their fans, the Browns should have few problems moving the ball. Sam Darnold theoretically also has a plus matchup, but he remains a quarterback in Year 3 who doesn't do much well, even when he's well protected.
Baltimore Ravens 30, New York Giants 20.
I'm not ready to fully yell "THE RAVENS ARE BACK!" because their defense has burgeoning issues and they are still missing their best blockers, but New York doesn't look like the team to expose those flaws. For all the deserved love the Giants' defense has received this season, they have fallen victim to two creative, diverse running games in the last two weeks. The Ravens will make it three straight.
Houston Texans 28, Cincinnati Bengals 23.
It's hard to overstate how well Deshaun Watson has played this season and how poor virtually every other component of the Texans operation remains. That's why I can't quite trust Houston winning easily on Sunday.
Chicago Bears 24, Jacksonville Jaguars 17.
Jaguars coach Doug Marrone says that п»їGardner Minshewп»ї and п»їMike Glennonп»ї are suddenly competing for snaps in practice again, which is either obfuscation or deserves condemnation. Much of п»їMitchell Trubiskyп»ї and п»їDavid Montgomeryп»ї's recent surge can be tied to the incredibly soft stretch of defenses they've faced, a stretch that continues in Jacksonville.
Kansas City Chiefs 34, Atlanta Falcons 20.
The Chiefs haven't posted a two-score win since they stomped the Jets in Week 8. The Falcons have been competitive in every Raheem Morris-coached game this season. These streaks are long overdue to end.
Indianapolis Colts 26, Pittsburgh Steelers 21.
Two of the best defenses in football vs. short passes against these two veteran quarterbacks could result in a lot of short drives. The Colts have a superior running game, superior play-caller and better matchups when DeForest Buckner and friends face the struggling Steelers offensive line.
Carolina Panthers 23, Washington Football Team 21.
I may regret picking a Panthers team that finds ways to lose games over a Washington team that has punched above its weight all season, but early-week practice reports indicate Dwayne Haskins will remain the quarterback over still-limited Alex Smith, with Antonio Gibsonп»ї's status up in the air. It wouldn't feel right if this dreadful NFC East were decided before Week 17.
Los Angeles Chargers 34, Denver Broncos 31.
п»їDrew Lockп»ї does too much. п»їJustin Herbertп»ї is not allowed to do enough in the Chargers' run-run-pass offense. This is weirdly the toughest game to pick all week, but it doesn't seem right for these Broncos, -18 in turnover differential, to sweep any team this season.
Los Angeles Rams 20, Seattle Seahawks 17.
Sean McVay is 5-2 against Pete Carroll. The Rams' offense usually knows how to attack Carroll's defense, while Russell Wilson had one of his worst days all year against Brandon Staley's attack in Week 10. In a Rams season where they rarely look like the same team two weeks in a row, this matchup sets up well for a bounce-back game and control of the NFC West.
Philadelphia Eagles 28, Dallas Cowboys 24.
Green Bay Packers 33, Tennessee Titans 31.
The Packers are 1-2 against teams currently with winning records, which is a weirdly small sample size. The Titans are 3-3 in such games and often part of the biggest NFL game of the week. In a matchup that is likely to include a ton of points and MVP moments for п»їAaron Rodgersп»ї, I like the Packers' pass rushers and physical cornerbacks to make a few more plays than the inert Titans defense.
Monday, Dec. 28.
Buffalo Bills 33, New England Patriots 20.
The Bills still have plenty to play for with the No. 2 seed in the AFC available, not to mention another benchmark, prime-time game for Josh Allenп»ї. Bill Belichick has been Allen's kryptonite throughout his career, with the Patriots holding Allen to 154 yards with a pick and a fumble back in Week 8. (Allen has three TDs, six INTs and just over a 50% completion rate against the Patriots in his career.) The Bills are a much different team and Allen is a much different quarterback these days, with Monday night likely to provide the latest proof.
Miami Dolphins 27, Las Vegas Raiders 17.
Maybe it will be the Dolphins' special teams unit making a big play. Maybe it will be the Dolphins' expanding run game exposing a blown assignment by the Raiders. Maybe it will be п»їDerek Carrп»ї or п»їMarcus Mariotaп»ї making a killer mistake. Somehow, some way, these Dolphins always find a way to win against mediocre teams in ways that seem unrepeatable if they didn't repeat them every week.
Arizona Cardinals 26, San Francisco 49ers 19.
The Cardinals are arguably coming off their most impressive two-game stretch of the season. Meanwhile, Raheem Mostert is back out of the 49ers' lineup. Nick Mullens might need Tommy John surgery, with C.J. Beathard returning at quarterback. George Kittle oddly appears likely to return, but Richard Sherman is hurt again. This entire 49ers season has been an injury report, and this is a matchup they struggled with back in Week 1, when they were somewhat healthy. Scratch that: Their injury report was a mess back then, too.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 34, Detroit Lions 23.
The Lions' defense isn't just bad; it's been decimated by injuries. The Bucs' offense isn't just streaky; it's "score 31 points with п»їTom Bradyп»ї throwing for 320 yards in a half after being shut out for 30 minutes" streaky. An avalanche of Bucs points will arrive sometime Saturday afternoon, whether it's early or late.
New Orleans Saints 27, Minnesota Vikings 21.
We are likely hitting the last few games of п»їDrew Breesп»ї career, a reality that has everyone around this Saints team tense coming off a two-game losing streak. Last week's version of Brees wasn't better than п»їTaysom Hillп»ї, but the rust may come off against a pass rush-poor Vikings team. More importantly for this Christmas Day revenge game, п»їKirk Cousinsп»ї' roller-coaster season looks primed to crash against a strong Saints front.

NFL odds, lines, spreads, picks, predictions for Week 16, 2020: Proven model loving Texans, Chargers.
SportsLine's computer model simulated every Week 16 NFL game 10,000 times with surprising results.
After winning Super Bowl 54 and signing Patrick Mahomes to a massive contract extension during the offseason, the Kansas City Chiefs have met expectations in 2020 by winning 13 of their first 14 games. Now, they'll have a chance to clinch a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the AFC playoff bracket with a win or a Steelers loss or tie. The Chiefs are favored by 10.5 over the Falcons in the latest Week 16 NFL odds from William Hill Sportsbook.
Meanwhile, the Steelers are two-point favorites against the Colts in the Week 16 NFL spreads. Where can you find value as you make your NFL bets, and which teams will fall flat? All of the Week 16 NFL lines are listed below, and SportsLine's advanced computer model has all the NFL betting advice and predictions you need to make the best Week 16 NFL picks now.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NFL game 10,000 times and is up nearly $7,900 for $100 players on its top-rated NFL picks since its inception five-plus years ago.
It's a sizzling 22-11 on top-rated NFL picks this season, already returning over $800. The model enters Week 16 on an incredible 118-76 roll on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season. Additionally, the model also ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch in three of the past four years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 95 percent of CBS Sports office pool players three times during that span. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now, it has examined the latest Week 16 NFL odds and NFL betting lines from William Hill, simulated every snap, and its predictions are in. Head to SportsLine now to see them all.
Top NFL predictions for Week 16.
One of the top Week 16 NFL picks the model recommends: The Texans cover as seven-point favorites at home against the Bengals. Both teams have had difficult seasons, with Houston entering Week 16 at 4-10 overall and the Bengals at 3-10-1. However, this line would likely be close to double-digits if Cincinnati had not shocked Pittsburgh in Week 15.
Despite the thrilling win, Cincinnati is still in a precarious situation at quarterback and will have a difficult time keeping pace with a Houston offense that ranks third in passing yardage. Deshaun Watson has had a stellar year with 4,134 yards and 27 touchdowns against just six interceptions while rushing for another 394 yards and three more scores.
Watson has thrown for at least 300 yards in eight of his last 11 starts, while Cincinnati ranks 25th in net yards per pass attempt allowed (6.8). That's why the model predicts that Watson produces nearly 350 yards of total offense overall and scores multiple touchdowns. Meanwhile, Houston's defense records three sacks and forces a pair of turnovers in the model's simulations, helping the Texans cover well over 50 percent of the time.
Another one of the top Week 16 NFL predictions from the model: The Los Angeles Chargers (-3) cover at home against the Denver Broncos. The Chargers have won each of their last two games, while Denver limps into Sunday's AFC West rivalry having lost five of its last seven.
Los Angeles is averaging 384.4 yards per game this season, which ranks seventh in the NFL. Quarterback Justin Herbert has been sensational in his rookie season and enters Sunday's showdown with 27 touchdown passes, which is tied with Baker Mayfield for the most passing touchdowns by a rookie in NFL history. Herbert also had a ton of success against the Broncos earlier this season, throwing for 278 yards and three touchdowns.
The line opened at Los Angeles -2.5, but has moved up half-a-point. The model is calling for Herbert to throw for over 270 yards and two scores, while running back Austin Ekeler racks up over 90 yards from scrimmage. Los Angeles covers the spread in well over 50 percent of simulations, while the over (48) has all the value.
How to make Week 16 NFL picks.
The model has also made the call on every other game on the Week 16 NFL schedule and identified a Super Bowl contender that goes down hard. You can only get every pick for every game here.
What NFL picks can you make with confidence in Week 16? And which Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Check out the latest NFL odds from William Hill below and then visit SportsLine to see which NFL teams are covering in more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that is up nearly $7,900 on its top-rated NFL picks.

Week 16 NFL picks, odds: Back Panthers vs. Ron Rivera, don't trust the Bears and more best bets.
Three picks and a cloud of trust.
Last week was a frustrating week and another example of how thin the margins are between winning weeks and losing weeks when betting the NFL. I split my total plays without anything out of the ordinary happening in either game, but it was the Chiefs-Saints game that decided our fate.
To summarize, the Chiefs dominated the game, outgaining the Saints 411 yards to 285. They led by two scores for a lot of the game, including early in the fourth quarter when a Le'Veon Bell score gave them a 29-15 lead. Then, after a couple of scores made it a 32-22 lead for the Chiefs, the Saints scored a touchdown with two minutes left to make it 32-29. It proved futile for the Saints in their bid to win the game, but it killed our cover, and we were left with a push.
That was the difference between a 2-1 week and a 1-1-1 week. Let's hope the holiday weekend is a bit kinder.
Dolphins at Raiders.
Jon Gruden has said there's a chance Derek Carr will play and that he's been taking reps in practice. Maybe he's telling the truth, but my gut tells me he just wants to make the Dolphins prepare for both Carr and Marcus Mariota. I'm betting the Dolphins see through that and are prepping for Mariota.
Now, Mariota came in to replace Carr against the Chargers and balled out. This led to a lot of talk about Mariota being in line for a possible starting job somewhere else next year. I'm not so sure. We see this a lot: a backup QB who is a lot different than the starter comes in unexpectedly and has success because the opposing defense prepared for the starter. Derek Carr is not the running threat Mariota is. Mariota caught the Chargers defense -- which isn't very good to begin with -- off guard and had a great night. The Raiders still lost. Now the Dolphins will be ready for Mariota, and odds are he won't be nearly as successful. I like the Dolphins against the spread, but I'm more comfortable attacking the Under because I don't want to trust a rookie QB as a road favorite.
Projected score: Dolphins 24, Raiders 20 Best bet: Under 47.5 (-110)
Bears at Jaguars.
Yeah, I'm not falling for it. When the Jets won last week, the world reacted by crowning the Jaguars the lucky recipient of the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. This reaction ignored the fact the Jaguars were playing the Bears this week, and the Bears are suddenly back in the playoff hunt after winning two straight against mediocre teams. My lifetime as a Bears fan lets me know that the Bears are more than capable of losing this game.
That said, the Jags do stink, so I'm not going to pick them to win. Instead, I'll take the points as the Bears are not the kind of team anybody should be trusting as more than a touchdown favorite on the road. Not with Mitch Trubisky at the helm.
Panthers at Washington.
Honestly, I just love betting on Teddy Bridgewater as an underdog. He's rewarded me plenty of times before. As a starter, Bridgewater's teams are a ridiculous 24-6 ATS as an underdog. This season the Panthers have gone 7-3 ATS as dogs with Bridgewater, and that 7-3 record is his worst single-season performance. To take this a step further, when he's a road dog, Bridgewater's teams are 19-2.
Nineteen. And. Two.
That includes six straight covers this season against teams like the Saints, Chiefs, and Packers, just to name a few. Washington's been playing better in recent weeks, but they're nowhere near as good as those teams. If Teddy can cover against them, he can cover against Washington.

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