NFL Survivor Pool Picks Week 16: Advice and Predictions
The NFL season is winding down, as teams make their final push for the playoffs. This week’s slate has an odd schedule as the Christmas holiday shifted things around. Most of the games are set to kick off on Saturday, although there will be a few Christmas Day games as well. In Week 15, favorites went 11-5 straight up but just 5-10-1 against the spread. If you are still alive in your survivor pool, you deserve a ton of credit and are undoubtedly running low on options. Here is a look at the Week 16 slate and the top survivor pool selections ranked from strongest to weakest.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL expert picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
Tennessee Titans (-5) over Houston Texans
The Titans are riding a four-game losing streak, which they have lost by a combined score of 108-62. They have slipped to 7-7 and are in need of a win. They have a great chance against the 1-12-1 Texans, who have the 27th ranked scoring defense. They also are allowing the most rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, while being 30th in scoring offensively. Count on the Titans to feed Derrick Henry and for this to be the difference in them getting the win.
Buffalo Bills (-9) over Chicago Bears
The 11-3 Bills continue to look like one of the best teams in the NFL. The Bears have shown more life than their 3-11 record might indicate, but they are far from a team that should give Buffalo trouble. Chicago ranks 30th in points allowed, while the Bills are 2nd in scoring on offense. Don’t be surprised if this approaches blowout territory as the Bills cruise to their 12th win.
Detroit Lions (-2.5) over Carolina Panthers
The Lions are in the midst of one of the more impressive season turnarounds after their frustrating start to the year. Detroit has now won six of their last seven games and scored 28.0 points per game during this stretch. Their defense also has made an impressive turnaround and is allowing just 19.8 points defensively over this stretch after giving up 32.1 points per game during the first seven games of the season. 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 to 8-7 on the year.
Miami Dolphins (-4.5) over Green Bay Packers
The Dolphins now have a three-game losing streak and have slipped to 8-6 on the season. This will be their first game at home in four games, and they have won 11 of their last 12 home games dating back to last season. While Green Bay has played some better football of late, they still sit at just 6-8 on the year. Miami has allowed the second-fewest points (15.3) and eighth-fewest yards (308.3) during their home games. A loss would jeopardize their playoff hopes, and this is a matchup that Miami will surely be focused for. Count on Mike McDaniel to have the team fired up and for the Dolphins to get back on top in this one.
Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) over New England Patriots
The Bengals are on fire right now, having won six straight games, and rank 5th in the NFL in scoring overall. They can score in a variety of ways and have completely flipped the switch from their early season struggles. While the Patriots looked to have found their identity early in the season, their offense has been a disaster of late. New England will be coming off one of the most frustrating losses in NFL history as their failed lateral attempt allowed the Raiders to secure a walk-off touchdown. Expect the Patriots defense to keep this within reach but for the Bengals to cruise to another victory.
Minnesota Vikings (-3.5) over New York Giants
The Vikings will be riding high into this matchup after setting the record for greatest comeback in NFL history by overcoming their 33-0 deficit to the Colts. The Colts deserve some blame in the collapse, but it shows how dangerous the Vikings offense can be when clicking. Over the past three games, Minnesota is averaging 33.0 points per game and is 8th in scoring on the season. The Giants broke their four-game losing skid by taking down the Commanders 20-12 to move to 8-5-1 on the season. New York’s defense has allowed 26 or more points in three of their last four games and have been inconsistent on the season. Expect the Vikings offense to be too much and for Minnesota to cruise to a win.
San Francisco 49ers (-7) over Washington Commanders
The Commanders will be hungry for a win as they hold a 7-6-1 record but have a tough task against the 49ers defense. 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. It will be a difficult task against a 49ers defense that is allowing the fewest points and yards on the season and just 12.3 points per game over the past three games. San Francisco is 10-1 straight up in their last 11 home games and 6-2-1 in their last nine games overall. Expect their defense to be the difference and for Brock Purdy to make enough magic happen to be able to secure the win.
Monday Night: Los Angeles Chargers (-4) over Indianapolis Colts
The Colts look to have hit a new season-low and will be in the record books forever after blowing their 33-0 lead last week. They sit at 4-9-1 on the season and are giving Nick Foles the start in the hopes it will provide a spark. Jonathan Taylor is also set to miss the remainder of the season with his ankle injury, which is also a hit to the offense. While the Chargers are not perfect, they are the more complete team, and their offensive ability will make the difference. Expect the Chargers to lean on this and move to 9-6 on the year as Indianapolis further spirals in where to go moving forward.,
Kansas City Chiefs (-9) over Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have cooled off from their hot start and are 1-4 in their last five games. They will have a difficult task against the 11-3 Chiefs, who lead the NFL in scoring and yards per game. They are coming off a scare, as they went to overtime with the Texans last week, but they have a chance to get back on track against a Seattle defense that allows the fourth-most points (25.4) and yards (378.5) per game. Expect this to be a high-scoring matchup but for the Chiefs to win their eighth game of the last nine matchups.
Saturday Night: Las Vegas Raiders (+3) over Pittsburgh Steelers
This pair of 6-8 teams is set to square off with their postseason hopes narrowly open. 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 allowed the fifth-most yards to opposing wide receivers. The Steelers have struggled to get consistent production from either Mitch Trubisky or Kenny Pickett. Count on the Raiders’ offense to be too much and for them to get the win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Sunday Night: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6.5) over Arizona Cardinals
Neither of these teams will be happy with where they stand at this point in the season. The Buccaneers hold a record of 6-8, while the Cardinals sit at 4-10 on the year. Kyler Murray’s season-ending ACL tear has eliminated whatever remaining hope there was. Tampa Bay has been equally frustrating this season and ranks 28th in the league in scoring with just 17.6 points per game. Their defense has been their strong point, as they are allowing the 10th fewest points and 7th fewest yards on the season. While they have been far from inspiring, count on Tom Brady and the Buccaneers being able to outduel either Colt McCoy or Trace McSorely.
Denver Broncos (-1.5) over Los Angeles Rams
Most had this game circled as a heavyweight matchup before the season, but neither team has lived up to expectations. Both teams sit at 4-10 and out of the postseason hunt. They also are the two worst scoring teams in the NFL, as the Rams rank 31st in the league with 16.4 points per game while the Broncos rank 32nd with 15.6 points per game. Denver is coming off a 24-15 win over the Cardinals, and this would be the first back-to-back wins since September. With such little scoring expected, the game may come down to which team makes the most mistakes. Give the Broncos the edge as the Rams are tied for the fourth-most turnovers in the NFL (21) on the season.
Philadelphia Eagles (+5.5) over Dallas Cowboys
The Eagles continue to look like a true championship contender and have officially clinched their playoff berth. There was a dramatic shift in the line following the news of Jalen Hurts injury, although Philadelphia has yet to rule him out. The Eagles will not be in a rush to get him back on the field considering they already clinched a playoff berth, although Gardner Minshew is one of the better options among backup quarterbacks. Even if Hurts does not suit up, the Eagles are the more talented team on both sides of the football, and their defense will cause some issues for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense. Micah Parsons controversial comments of the Eagles system having more to do with the success than Hurts may prove to be true as Philadelphia should be counted on to win with or without the MVP candidate.
Thursday Night: Jacksonville Jaguars (-1) over New York Jets
The Jets will once again be without Mike White, as he remains out with his rub injury. New York has lost three of their last four to slip to 7-7 on the season. In contrast, Jacksonville holds a record of 6-8 but is coming off a walk-off pick six victory over the Cowboys last week. They sit just one game out of the AFC South, with still plenty to play for. The Jaguars have been a streaky team this season but have looked solid of late. While the Jets defense will be a difficult challenge, as they are allowing the 4th fewest point and 3rd fewest yards this season, the Jaguars offense has impressed of late. Look for them to carry the momentum of scoring 36 or more points in each of the past three weeks and get the victory in this one.
Cleveland Browns (-3) over New Orleans Saints
Don’t expect this matchup to light up the scoreboards. 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. The Browns are far from perfect but will continue to make a conscious effort to get Watson back to the quarterback he once was. New Orleans is 0-5 straight up in their last five road games and have been held to 16 points or fewer in all but one of these matchups. Don’t expect this to be one of the more exciting matchups, but count on the Browns to get the win.
Baltimore Ravens (-7.5) over Atlanta Falcons
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 struggled as the starter last week, as Baltimore fell 13-3 from the Browns. Atlanta also was not overly thrilled with Desmond Ridder’s performance in his first game as an NFL starter, as he tallied just 97 passing yards in the loss. If Jackson plays, the outlook of the game changes, and the Ravens should be counted on to come out on top regardless. Keep an eye on the injury report ahead of the matchup, and the Falcons are capable of pulling off an upset; but lean toward the Ravens in this one. The unpredictability of the quarterback play makes this worth avoiding.
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