Week 16 NFL Predictions and Picks Against the Spread

New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders
New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders / Chris Unger/GettyImages

An 8-7 week moves us ever so close to the .500 mark, which is both entirely unimpressive and a super important benchmark to clear so we don't feel like complete failures. The overall mark is now 107-110 but let the record show we've accurately predicted all but one of the Detroit Lions' games this season. And that's all that matters. Three weeks remain and some teams will be trying harder than others. Let's try to manifest a strong finish to a workmanlike season.


Everyone is on the Trevor Lawrence train and is rooting for the Jaguars to come out of nowhere to make the playoffs. And that would be fun. But the Jets are simply a tough-as-nails football team capable of overcoming Zach Wilson's notable limitations on a short week at home. This will be a classic rock fight and will delight everyone who shares Robert Saleh's kink of winning like the Iowa Hawkeyes. Jets 16, Jaguars 14

BILLS (-9) over BEARS

Soldier Field's frigid accommodations won't faze an equally snow-loving Bills team one bit. The forecast could go in a lot of different directions but this could be a blizzard factory. Buffalo will enjoy defending a one-dimensional Justin Fields who is unable to get traction and keep things humming in pursuit of that No. 1 seed. Buffalo 27, Chicago 12


It's pretty wild just how quiet the Deshaun Watson season has been on the shores of Lake Erie. Cleveland may mess round and post an 9-8 record somehow. An engaged defense will help them in that pursuit against the Saints who should not be in the playoff conversation at 5-9. Browns 23, Saints 16


Those pesky Texans keep proving to be a real sweat to bet against and the Titans' balloon is leaking air. Alas, if you can't trust a good team at home to take care of business against a bad team, then what's this all been about? What are we working toward? Titans 22, Texans 10


Remember all those somewhat serious MVP conversations about Geno Smith? Remember the actual MVP who plays for the Chiefs? Remember the Titans? Remember the fifth of November? Where were we going with this? Chiefs 35, Seahawks 20


No respect for Kirk Cousins, huh? How many 33-point holes must he climb out of to earn your attention? Minnesota's offense is humming along quite nicely and the G-Men have been forced to leave their smoke, mirrors, and friendly officiating crew in the nation's capital. Vikings 31, Giants 21


If Bill Belichick can't rebound from the most humiliating moment of his career, he should simply retire. Patriots 23, Bengals 21

PANTHERS (+2.5) over LIONS

Do you think we like doing this? Do you think we like setting the one good thing in our lives on fire? We don't. Jared Goff cannot keep winning road games, can he? Eventually Dan Campbell's pixie dust will wear off, right? Why wouldn't it all happen in the most painful possible way at the hands of Sam Darnold? Panthers 28, Lions 20


A suspiciously high line in favor of the Ravens, a team that scored three points total last week. But they are at home and it feels likely Lamar Jackson will return as the team is moving into must-win territory each week if they want to play postseason football. The Falcons are utterly inept with Desmond Ridder under center, which is probably what they would prefer for the rest of the season. Ugly football lies ahead. Ravens 23, Falcons 10


Taylor Heinicke couldn't get it done against a good but not great Giants defense. What's going to happen when he drops back against the beastly defense in the Bay Area? Nothing good, reader. Nothing good. Niners 32, Commanders 20


Hm. Things have changed dramatically since Monday evening, when the news dropped that Jalen Hurts had a shoulder sprain and would probably not go on Saturday against Dallas. Disappointing news for fans of good, competitive football. Great news for folks like us, looking for an easy pick this week. An Eagles offense attempting to adjust to life without their MVP-caliber QB is no match for a desperate Cowboys side looking to make a point after a terrible all-around showing against Jacksonville. Cowboys 34, Eagles 22


The wild win the Raiders had last week is the sort of rejuvenating victory that can generate some momentum going into the end of the year for a bad team. The Steelers keep finding ways to win but trying to limit the Derek Carr-Davante Adams connection is much harder than shutting down Sam Darnold and DJ Moore. Homefield advantage won't mean much for this game. Raiders 24, Steelers 21


The Packers have moved the needle ever-so-slightly from bad team to mediocre team in the back half of the year. There is still something fundamentally wrong with Aaron Rodgers, though. It seems like a tall task to ask this Packers offense to hang with Miami's unit over a full 60 minutes and it seems an even tougher task to ask Packers cornerbacks to run with Miami receivers in the humid South Beach winter. No Christmas miracles for Green Bay here. Dolphins 30, Packers 24

BRONCOS (-1) over RAMS

No level of Scrooge could possibly prefer Rams-Broncos to Christmas cheer. Please spend time with your family instead. Broncos 19, Rams 17


Tom Brady's season has gone horrifically off the rails as Todd Bowles makes bad decisions every week and it seems like something goes catastrophically wrong every time the Bucs take a lead. All that said, their program still isn't as bad as Arizona's. Right? Bucs 30, Cardinals 10

CHARGERS (-3.5) over COLTS

Sprint to your bookie and slap money down on this line. The Colts are freaking terrible! How are they underdogs by this little! Home cooking doesn't do that much. The Chargers didn't exactly play lights-out against the Titans but Justin Herbert will cook this Indy secondary and not even Brandon Staley's questionable decision-making will stand in the way of a big win. Chargers 34, Colts 17