NFL Confidence Pool Picks Week 16: Expert Pick'em Predictions No Point Spread
Without this intro, this article is 1,562 words long. Each word and sentence has been put together with nothing but confidence this week, as it has been for the past 15 weeks of the NFL season. I've had a blast writing this Confidence Picks article, and I hope you've enjoyed reading them.
Confidence Pools are starting to become the norm as an alternative option to betting on NFL football. And while picking the favorite might seem like the easy thing to do, we know that on any given Sunday, any team can win or lose. But without further ado, let's get to the picks.
Week 16 Confidence List (my selection listed first)
Seattle Seahawks vs Arizona Cardinals: The Seahawks are inching closer to the top spot in the NFC and a much-needed first-round bye. This is a game the Seahawks will not lose as they've beaten the Cardinals three straight and in four of the last five meetings. The Cardinals did some good things this year, but the team is not on the level of the Seahawks. And playing at Century Link Field isn't easy for any team, let alone one with a rookie head coach and a rookie QB. Seahawks roll.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns: I've lost count at the time I've trusted the Browns this season to win a football game. It seems like every time I pick them, they lose, so I'm done picking them. The Ravens are the much better team in this matchup , and Lamar Jackson could account for another five touchdowns against a bad Cleveland defense. It helps that the Ravens are still playing for home-field throughout the playoffs, so they'll be ready to go and focused on winning this game.
Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: It's going to be extremely tough for the Bucs to keep up offensively with the Texans given the fact that they are without Mike Evans and potentially Chris Godwin at the receiver position. Jameis Winston is also a bit banged up, so you know he's good for two or three picks this game vs a Texans defense that was able to pick off Tannehill once last week and hold the Titans to just 21 points. The Texans also have a division to play for , while the Bucs are just playing out the final two games. Give me the Texans on the road.
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots: It's unlikely to happen given the schedule, but the Bills could tie the Pats for the AFC East lead by beating them this week , which will set up a very important Week 17 for both teams. The Bills had the Patriots on the ropes in the first meeting this season, holding the Patriots to just 16 points but managing only 10 themselves. The Bills' offense has gotten better, while the defense still remains elite, and I'm taking them this week to finally get the better of the Patriots, who simply don't look right.
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers: This game is my 'dog' of the week as I believe the Rams not only keep this game close and stay within the spread but win this game outright. It may not seem like it, but the Rams are much better defensively on the road than they are at home. And after laying an egg in Dallas, I believe they bounce-back in a big way and beat a Niners team who has lost two of their last three games and have a much bigger test on deck when they travel to Seattle next week. Call it a hunch play, but I like the way the Rams match up in this one.
Indianapolis Colts vs Carolina Panthers: Both of these franchises have fallen on hard times lately, especially this season. Andrew Luck retired during the preseason, and Cam Newton lasted all of two games. The Panthers are benching Kyle Allen in favor of Will Grier, and we don't normally like to bet on teams with a rookie QB making his first start with nothing to play for. The Colts were overmatched last week against the Saints, but back at home, Brissett, Mack, and Hilton should be able to put up some good numbers.
Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets: If you would have told me after Week 3 that the Steelers would make the playoffs despite starting 0-3 and losing Ben Roethlisberger for the season, I would have told you to take a hike. Well, fast forward 12 weeks and the Steelers hold down the last wild-card spot in the AFC and have a great shot at getting in thanks to their remaining schedule, starting with the Jets this week. The Jets are brutal, and the Steelers defense is among the best stop units in the league. Pittsburgh wins this game and exacts some revenge on Le'Veon Bell.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings: This is going to be a great Monday night game as two NFC North rivals hook up in a game that could decide the NFC North if the Packers win. I'm taking the Packers in this one despite them not looking up to par over the last two weeks, just barely sneaking by the Redskins and the Bears. The Vikings are likely to be without Dalvin Cook in this game, and that'll hurt them in a big way as Kirk Cousins will have to go out and win the game himself. I'll take Rodgers over Cousins any day of the week.
Los Angeles Chargers vs Oakland Raiders: The Raiders were booed off the field in their Oakland finale last week and now get to face a Chargers team who I've booed all year long. Both of these teams had high hopes for this season, but neither of them will finish above .500. The only thing that matters in this game is the health of Josh Jacobs and Melvin Gordon's usage for the fantasy championship week. Other than that, I wouldn't lay a touchdown with the Chargers, but I think they squeak out a win.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys: This game between the Eagles and Cowboys is essentially a win and you're in the playoffs type of game. The Eagles have been poor all season long but still have a chance to win the division. The Cowboys started hot but faltered midway through the season before getting a much-needed win last week vs the Rams. I know the Eagles are banged up offensively, but how effective can Prescott be if he plays through his injury? If he can't go, Cooper Rush gets the call at QB, and the Eagles figure to stack the box and make Rush - who has attempted just three passes in his career - beat them. I'll take the Eagles at home because the NFC East makes no sense.
Chicago Bears vs Kansas City Chiefs: Another mini upset will take place in Chicago as I like the Bears to hang tough with the Chiefs and possibly win outright. The Bears are not going to the playoffs, but they should be amped up to play a marquee team in the final home game of the season. The Chiefs are coming off a win against the Broncos, but they did not look that impressive. The Bears defense is good and could be the unit to contain Mahomes and Co.
Tennessee Titans vs New Orleans Saints: The Saints are coming off a very good win on Monday night against the Colts where Brees set the record for most touchdown passes in NFL history. Now they head on the road to take on a Titans team who still has an outside shot at making the playoffs. The team's been rejuvenated by Ryan Tannehill and a top-10 defense in points allowed. We know the narrative around the Saints not being the same team outdoors, so I'll take a shot with the Titans in this must-win for them.
Atlanta Falcons vs Jacksonville Jaguars: We'll call this game the Patriots Effect because after losing to New England in the Super Bowl and the AFC Title game, respectively, these franchises have gone spiraling out of control in a hurry. The Falcons have tons of talent but can't execute, while the Jaguars have made a series of poor personnel choices and it's cost them dearly. We'll take the Falcons in this one only because they are at home and Matt Ryan is a better dome QB than he is an outdoor one.
Washington Redskins vs New York Giants: Another game in which very few people care about takes place at FedEx Field between the Redskins and Giants. These two teams are a combined 6-22 this season, and your guess is as good as mine as to which team will suck less in this game. The Giants might have Saquon Barkley, but the Redskins defense is better. And at this late stage with nothing on the line, we'll go with the defense at home to wrap up the home portion of the schedule.
Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins: The only people who care about this game are the 10 fans that are fans of these two terrible franchises. If the Dolphins were smart, they'd let the Bengals win thus giving themselves a better shot at drafting in the top-3. It helps that the Dolphins will likely be without DeVante Parker in this game, so we believe the Bengals will do just enough to win and potentially ruin their top draft pick.
Denver Broncos vs Detroit Lions: And lastly, this game between the Broncos and Lions is so bad that Vegas believes the 5-9 Broncos should be laying close to a touchdown against a pro football team. The Lions might suck, but the Broncos have done nothing to warrant being a touchdown favorite over anyone. We'll side with the home team in this one and hope Drew Lock and Courtland Sutton can produce some more magic.
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