NFL picks, predictions for Week 16: 49ers clear Rams; Thieves punish Browns. Heads cruise

We only have a few weeks left of the NFL regular-season game options. However, the year-end schedule does not allow any mercy when it comes to the complex nature of these forecasts.

Only two games of Week 16 opened with a double-digit spread. The Ravens are 10 points favorite over the Browns and the Seahawks are 10 points favorite for the Cardinals. The rest of the timetable includes a mix of games and matches that may not affect the play-off image, but ruin our chances at a perfect week of options.

For example, the Texans, Steelers, Redskins, Dolphins and Cowboys were favored by a race or less by the Buccaneers, Jets, Giants, Bengals and Eagles, respectively. Of course, we are used to flying so far. Bring them for a few more weeks.

Here is week 16 of the NFL taking us straight, until Monday night’s game in Minnesota. All odds are courtesy of

MORE: Get the latest NFL odds and bet tips from Sports Insider

NFL picks, predictions for Week 16

  • Houston Giants (-2) at Tampa Buccaneers

Saturday, 1 pm ET, NFL Network

With a red hot Jameis Winston, the Buccaneers scored 35 or more points three times during their four-game winning streak. What a good defense their defense is at 28.4 points per game. The latest stat is good news for the Texans as they try to maintain their place in the AFC South and playoffs. Also working against Tampa Bay is the fact that injuries accumulate around Winston, which means he may be more willing to force more shots. Even against Houston’s defense, the Bucs are misbehaving when Winston tries to force too many shots.

Choose: Texans 27, Buccaneers 21

  • Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-6)

Saturday, 4:30 pm ET, NFL Network

That’s not exactly defensive end Tom Brady and the Patriots’ racing offense wants to see as they fight for the AFC playoffs. Likewise, Buffalo’s offense is in a fight against the NFL’s top defense as it attempts to steal the division title from New England. In what is expected to be a close game with low scoring, special teams and penalties will be factors. Patriots have the edge in both areas.

Choose: Patriots 20, Bills 14

  • Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers (-6 1/2)

Saturday, 8:15 pm ET, NFL Network

Few expect this to be a game between teams that lost last week, but the Falcons upset the 49ers and the Cowboys beat the Rams to put San Francisco and LA back in the playoff picture. Now the Thieves are a long shot to make the playoffs, and the 49ers are stuck in a wild card slot with a split second. San Francisco’s injuries are worrying, but Kyle Shanahan’s offensive creativity will be greater than Sean McVay’s, and the 49ers will eliminate the NFC West Champs defender.

Choose: 49ers 26, Rams 23

  • New Orleans Saints (-3) at Tennessee Titans

Sunday, 1 pm ET, Fox

Much will be done for the Reds in this game, but it could be decided by the attacks that hit New Orleans and Tennessee. While Derrick Henry was a force for the Titans, the Saints are fourth in the NFL defense. If they can contain Henry and minimize Ryan Tannehill’s big plays in the deep game, the Saints will have more than enough production from Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and Taysom Hill.

Choose: Saints 24, Titans 17

  • Baltimore Ravens (-10) at Cleveland Browns

Sunday, 1 pm ET, CBS

Cleveland’s win over Baltimore earlier this season is arguably the most confusing result of the game of the year, as we now know about both teams. The Ravens, of course, are well on their way to the first seed in the AFC playoffs, and the Browns are on the verge of elimination. There is no reason to believe Cleveland’s defense can do enough to slow Lamar Jackson into revenge now that Baltimore has found its groove in offense. And on the other side of the ball, matches with and around Baker Mayfield will continue.

Choose: Ravens 31, Browns 20

  • Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) on New York aircraft

Sunday, 1 pm ET, CBS

The Steelers are not yet in a position to win when it comes to their standings in the AFC playoffs, but they are close. If Pittsburgh wins, it will make the postseason as seed no. 6. There are also scenarios in which the Steelers will make the playoffs after splitting their last two games, but considering they play the Ravens in Week 17, they cannot afford to lose to the Jets. Although New York is 5-9 and apart from the playoff picture, it can give Pittsburgh a stalwart defense, putting pressure on anyone playing the QB for the Steelers. But as usual, Pittsburgh has just one advantage in training to make a difference.

Choose: Steelers 20, Jets 13

  • New York Giants in Washington Redskins (-2)

Sunday, 1 pm ET, Fox

This is one of two games on Sunday that will affect the top of the NFL’s 2020 series, with the Bengals in the Dolphins being the other. Thanks to the power of the program, Washington entering Week 16 is stuck at the No. 4 pick behind Miami and New York, all at 3-13. So, the loser of the Giants-Redskins game will be in great shape for the No. 2 overall pick (and possibly Chase Young), especially if the Dolphins beat the Bengals. As for the actual football game, it’s a toss, so we’ll get the team that has Saquon Barkley over the team with the 28th-place NFL rushing defense.

Choose: Giants 27, Redskins 21

  • Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts (-6 1/2)

Sunday, 1 pm ET, Fox

With the Colts now eliminated from the playoffs, this game is all about research and the 2020 NFL Draft. Specifically, the Panthers will eventually take a look at third-round QB Will Grier against a decent – and more importantly, real – NFL defense. Unless Grier gets on the scoreboard in his first start, Carolina’s losing streak will continue and Indianapolis will end. The Colts should be able to run all over the Panthers.

Choose: Colts 26, Panthers 20

  • Jacksonville Jaguars in Atlanta (-7)

Sunday, 1 pm ET, Fox

This game means nothing to the NFL playoffs, anything to the NFL 2020 draft and all to both coaches. Most assume that Doug Marrone’s season in Jacksonville will end after Week 17 if not sooner, but Dan Quinn’s future in Atlanta is not so clear. The Falcons started a fresh victory over their 49ers last week, and back at home against the Jags, have matchup advantages all over. They will make three straight wins in the apparent effort of the players to save Quinn’s job.

Choose: Hawks 28, Jaguars 25

  • Cincinnati Bengals in Miami Dolphin (-1)

Sunday, 1 pm ET, CBS

Here is the other NFL Draft game of the week. The Bengals just have to lose one of their last two games to seal the No. 1 overall pick. 1 in 2020. Although a loss would be beneficial to the Delphi as well, their efforts in the second half of the season made it clear they could not be less interested in the draft order. The Cincinnati who threw this game would make sense for many reasons, but why would the NFL make sense?

Choose: Bengals 30, Dolphins 27

  • Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos (-6 1/2)

Sunday, 4:05 pm ET, CBS

Outside of the Detroit and Denver markets, would anyone notice if the Lions and Bronco didn’t play this game? The draft layout is the only thing on the line. We’ll get the local team.

Choose: Broncos 23, Lions 20

  • Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (-5 1/2)

Sunday, 4:05 pm ET, CBS

Outside of the Oakland TV shows of Los Angeles, would anyone notice if the Raiders and Chargers just didn’t play this game? The draft layout is the only thing on the line. We’ll get the local team.

Choose: Chargers 23, Raiders 20

  • Dallas Cowboys (-2 1/2) at Philadelphia Eagles

Sunday, 4:25 pm ET, Fox

Okay, Eagles: Here’s your chance to start fixing all the mistakes of your 2019 season. While the Cowboys scenario is simple – defeat Philadelphia, eliminate the playoffs and win the NFC East title – the Eagles have a more complicated road to the playoffs. But, first of all, they have to beat Dallas at home. Given the injuries that still have an impact on the Eagles, we don’t like the chances of a Cowboys team not finishing well for itself.

Choose: Cowboys 28, Eagles 24

  • Arizona Cardinals in Seattle Seahawks (-10)

Sunday, 4:25 pm ET, Fox

The Seahawks should not lose to the Cardinals. Again, the 49ers didn’t have to lose to the Falcons last week either. For this reason, Seattle doesn’t have the luxury of letting this become a trap game in front of Week 17 rematch (and possibly NFC West title game) against San Francisco. Thanks to the big fights throughout the game against the Cardinals’ defensive backs, the Seahawks should be fine and stay as the first seed for at least another week.

Choose: Seahawks 28, Cardinals 20

  • The Kansas City Chiefs (-5) at the Chicago Bears

Sunday, 8.20 pm ET, NBC

This game was glued as the “Sunday Night Football” feature for Week 16, despite the Bears being removed from the playoffs, and we can thank ratings player Patrick Mahomes. Now, in combination with a defensive back, Kansas City’s offense is rolling again just in time for a push play. In order to be better sown for running, the Heads will be called to look after the Bears. Chicago’s unstable defense doesn’t have enough answers for Mahomes and Co.

Choose: Head 27, Bears 17

  • Green Bay Packers in Minnesota Vikings (-4)

Monday, 8:15 pm ET, ESPN

The Vikings are capable of hitting players at home without Dalvin Cook, but if the running back plays through the shoulder injury against Green Bay’s crazy defense, Minnesota will be in good shape. The Packers will find some yardage positions as always with Aaron Rodgers, but the Vikings, motivated to challenge the NFC North title and make a big playoff run, click at the right time.

Choose: Vikings 26, Packers 24

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