NFL Office Pool Picks Week 16 with Expert Analysis and ATS Predictions
The Week 16 NFL slate has an odd schedule because of Christmas. Most of the games are set to kick off on Saturday, although there will be a few Christmas Day games also. In Week 15, favorites went 11-5 straight up but just 5-10-1 against the spread. Here is a look at the Week 16 schedule and what to expect from each matchup.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
Thursday Night: Jacksonville Jaguars (-1) over New York Jets
NFL fans have been robbed of Mike White mania as the Jets quarterback is set to miss another week due to his rib injury. Perhaps non-coincidentally, the Jets have lost three of their last four and sit at 7-7 on the season. While their postseason outlook is bleak, they will square off with a Jaguars team that is riding the momentum of their walk-off pick six win over the Cowboys on Sunday. Jacksonville sits at 6-8 on the season but is just one game back of the AFC South lead. Their Week 18 matchup with the Titans has a chance to have a lot at stake, as they currently hold the divisional lead. It will be difficult for the Jaguars offense against a New York defense that is allowing the 4th fewest points and 3rd fewest yards, but they have looked better of late and scored 36 or more points in each of the past three weeks. Expect them to come in prepared and keep their path to the postseason open. Jaguars 27, Jets 17.
Buffalo Bills (-9) over Chicago Bears
The Bills sit at 11-3 on the season and continue to look like one of the best teams in the league. While there have been some positive signs of life from the Bears this season, and they are better than their 3-11 record might indicate, they are far from a team that should give Buffalo trouble. The Chicago defense ranks 30th in points allowed on the season and this will be trouble for a Bills offense that is 2nd in the NFL in scoring. Don’t overthink this one and take the Bills and the points. Buffalo 41, Chicago 20.
Cleveland Browns (-3) over New Orleans Saints
Don’t expect this matchup to light up the scoreboard. Over the past three games, the Saints have averaged just 12.3 points per game and are 22nd in total points scored on the season. The Browns have averaged just 16.7 points per game since Deshaun Watson took over at quarterback. New Orleans is 0-5 straight up in their last five road games and have been held to 16 or fewer points in all but one of these matchups. They have been an inconsistent and frustrating team this season overall. While the Browns are far from perfect, they will continue to make a conscious effort to get Watson back to looking like the quarterback he once was and will not be taking the game lightly. Take the Browns to get victory and cover in what will be a sloppy game of football, but you likely don’t need to be glued to your TV for this one. Browns 20, Saints 13.
Tennessee Titans (-5) over Houston Texans
The Titans looked to be building momentum at the midpoint of the season but have stumbled of late. They have lost their last four games by a combined score of 108-62. They now sit at 7-7 and narrowly hold a lead in the AFC South. Luckily, they have a perfect chance to get back in the win column against the 1-12-1 Texans, who have the 27th ranked scoring defense in the league. Houston also has allowed the most rushing yards and touchdowns in the NFL and are 30th in scoring on the offensive side of the ball. Count on the Titans to feed Derrick Henry and pave their way to a comfortable win in this one. Tennessee 24, Houston 10.
Seattle Seahawks (+9) to cover vs Kansas City Chiefs
The Seahawks have cooled off from their hot start and are 1-4 in their last five games. Their most recent loss was at the hands of the 49ers by a score of 21-13 to move to 7-7 on the season. Kansas City holds a record of 11-3 on the season but is coming off a scare last week as they were pushed to overtime by the Texans. Even still, this is their seventh win in the past eight games, and they lead the NFL in scoring and yards on the season. Seattle is allowing the fourth-most points (25.4 ppg) and fourth-most yards per game (378.5 yards). Expect this to be a high-scoring matchup but for the Chiefs to get back on track and get the win, while Seattle does just enough to keep it competitive. Chiefs 35, Seahawks 27.
Minnesota Vikings (-3.5) over New York Giants
There may not be a team with more momentum than the Minnesota Vikings. After a historic comeback win to overcome their 33-0 deficit over the Colts, they will turn their attention to the Giants. While Indianapolis aided in the comeback, it did show how dangerous the Vikings offense can be. Over the past three home games, Minnesota is averaging 33.0 points per game. The Giants broke their four-game losing skid by taking down the Commanders 20-12 last week to move to 8-5-1 on the season. New York’s defense has been inconsistent this season and is allowing 22.3 points per game on the year, but 26 or more in three of their last four games. They remain firmly in the playoff hunt and could use a win in this matchup. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to come by and, expect the Minnesota offense to be slightly too much for them to be able to put up with. Viking 31, Giants 24.
Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) over New England Patriots
The Bengals are on fire right now and have won six straight games coming into the matchup. Their offense can do damage in a variety of ways, and they rank 5th in scoring on the season. While the Patriots looked to be finding their identity early in the season, but their offense has been an absolute mess of late. They will be coming off one of the most frustrating losses in NFL history following their failed lateral attempt which allowed the Raiders to secure a walk-off fumble recovery touchdown. New England’s 10th best scoring defense will allow it to stay relatively close, but Cincinnati is the better team and have the momentum. Bengals 23, Patriots 17.
Detroit Lions (-2.5) over Carolina Panthers
Both of these teams have exceeded expectations of late and improved their overall outlook from their poor starts to the season. The Lions have especially flipped the switch and come into the matchup winning six of their last seven games. They have scored 28.0 points per game over this period while allowing just 19.8 points defensively, which is a huge step forward from the 32.1 points per game they allowed during the first seven games of the season. Carolina comes in with a record of 5-9 and suffered a loss at the hands of the Steelers on Sunday after winning the two previous games. Even with the five wins they have secured, the Panthers rank in the bottom 15 for scoring on both sides of the ball and have yet to beat a team that currently has a record of .500 or better. Count on the Lions to stay hot and move above .500 on the season. Detroit 31, Carolina 20.
Atlanta Falcons (+7.5) to cover vs Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson is still working to come back from the knee injury he sustained in Week 13, and his status looks uncertain for this matchup. Tyler Huntley filled in during his absence last week but struggled a great deal, and Baltimore fell 13-3 to the Browns. Atlanta sits at 5-9 on the season, with Rookie QB Desmond Ridder coming off his first official game as the starter in their 21-18 loss to the Saints. He also did not look overly inspiring and tallied just 97 passing yards in the loss. If Jackson can play, it changes the outlook of the game greatly, and expect the Ravens to come out on top regardless. Assuming Huntley is under center, expect this to be a messy game and for the Falcons to cover the 7.5-point spread. Baltimore 20, Atlanta 17.
San Francisco 49ers (-7) over Washington Commanders
The postseason is still within play for the 7-6-1 Commanders, but they let a valuable chance slip away by losing to the Giants 20-12 last week. While Taylor Heinicke is an exciting player who is easy to believe in, Washington ranks 20th in yards (335.5 yards), 25th in points (18.9 ppg), and 26th in third down conversions per game on the season. They have a difficult task against the 49ers, who continue to win regardless of who is playing quarterback. San Francisco has allowed an average of just 12.3 points per game over the past three games and leads the NFL in fewest points and yards allowed on the season. They are 10-1 straight up in their last 11 home games and 6-2-1 against the spread in their last nine games overall. Expect the San Francisco defense to be the difference and for Brock Purdy to make enough magic to get the win and cover. 49ers 27, Commanders 13.
Philadelphia Eagles (+5.5) over Dallas Cowboys
Jalen Hurts’ status looks to be in doubt after suffering a shoulder sprain in the previous victory over the Bears. The Eagles will likely not be in a rush to get him back on the field considering they have clinched their playoff spot already and have a two-game lead for the top seed in the NFC. Dallas helped ensure they have some wiggle room by losing last week in disastrous fashion by a game-losing pick six at the hands of former Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson and the Jaguars. Even if Hurts does not play, expect the Eagles to show a fire the rivalry game commands. Micah Parsons controversial comments of Philadelphia’s success having more to do with “the system” than Hurts’ play may ultimately age well as the Eagles should still be counted on to get the win. Gardner Minshew is a solid backup option, and Philadelphia is the more talented team on both sides of the ball. Eagles 24, Cowboys 17.
Saturday Night: Las Vegas Raiders (+3) over Pittsburgh Steelers
This pair of 6-8 teams is set to square off with their postseason hopes in the balance. Both teams are coming off wins, with Las Vegas’ walk-off victory over the Patriots the most notable. They look to have the advantage in this one, as Derek Carr has shown some signs of life of late and All-Pro Davante Adams will have a chance to eat against a Pittsburgh secondary that has allows the fifth-most yards to opposing wide receivers. The Raiders are 4-1 against the spread in their last five overall and 5-0 against the spread in their last five matchups with the Steelers. Pittsburgh turned back to Mitch Trubisky last week with Kenny Pickett out due to a concussion, but they have not gotten strong play from either quarterback. Count on the Raiders to get the victory in this one and keep their playoff hopes alive. Raiders 30, Steelers 20.
Miami Dolphins (-4.5) over Green Bay Packers
The Dolphins are returning home for the first time in four games, and at home they have allowed the second-fewest points (15.3) and eighth-fewest yards (308.3) across the NFL. They have won 11 of their last 12 home games dating back to last season and sit at 8-6 on the year. The Packers have played better football of late and are coming off a comfortable 24-12 victory over the Rams on Monday Night, but still sit at 6-8 on the season. Green Bay is just 1-5 against the spread in their last six games against an AFC opponent and 3-4 against the spread in the last seven home games. As great as Miami has been this season, a loss in this one would jeopardize their playoff hopes. Expect Mike McDaniel to have the team fired up and ready to play. Dolphins 38, Packers 27.
Denver Broncos (-1.5) over Los Angeles Rams
This is not the heavyweight matchup it was expected to be when looking ahead at the schedule, as both teams sit at 4-10 and out of the postseason hunt. Denver is coming off a 24-15 win over the Cardinals, and a victory in this one would be their first back-to-back set of wins since September. These are the two most offensively challenged teams in the NFL, as the Rams rank 31st in scoring at 16.4 points per game, while the Broncos are 32nd with 15.6 points per game. Neither of these teams is worth getting super fired up about, and this game may come down to who makes the most mistakes. Give Denver the edge in this as Los Angeles is tied for the fourth-most turnovers in the NFL (21) on the season. Broncos 17, Rams 13.
Sunday Night: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6.5) over Arizona Cardinals
This pair of teams have also underperformed this season, as the Buccaneers come in with a 6-8 record, while the Cardinals sit at 4-10 on the year. Kyler Murray’s season-ending ACL tear all but shut down whatever hopes were left of Arizona’s season, and the team was forced to play third-string quarterback Trace McSorely last week after Colt McCoy also suffered an injury. Tampa Bay has been equally frustrating this season and ranks 28th in the league in scoring with 17.6 points per game. Their defense has been their strong point, as the Buccaneers are allowing the 10th fewest points and 7th fewest yards on the season. As bad as they have looked, Tom Brady and Buccaneers should still be counted on to pick up the win in this one and outduel the reserve quarterback. Tampa Bay 26, Arizona 14.
Monday Night: Los Angeles Chargers (-4) over Indianapolis Colts
The Colts look to have reached a new season-low and will be in the record books forever after allowing the Viking to overcome the 33-0 deficit and secure the win. They sit at 4-9-1 on the season and will have a difficult task against the 8-6 Chargers. Indianapolis also received bad news regarding their star running back Jonathan Taylor, who will miss the remainder of the season with an ankle injury. The brief spark that Jeff Saturday provided upon taking over as head coach has worn off, and the holes of the team are being put on full display. The Chargers are not perfect but are the much more complete team, and their scoring ability will prove to be too much for the Colts. Los Angeles 27, Indianapolis 17.