Publish date:

Betting Against the Spread: NFL Picks For Week 16

RussellWilson_bench_2014.jpg

It's the holiday season and this article just keeps giving out gifts in the form of NFL winners for you the reader. The last two weeks of the season may be the hardest though as we have three categories of teams left: 1) teams that care, 2) teams that don't and 3) teams that don't know if they care or not. There are spot plays out there and this article is going to help you find them. Consider it an early Christmas present from me to you.

Image placeholder title

Record: 36-21-1

Washington Redskins (7-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-8) (Sat.)

This could be a coronation of the Redskins as NFC East champions with a victory. Go figure the Eagles would get smoked by the Bucs and Lions, but follow that up with wins over New England and Buffalo only to turn in a poor effort Sunday night at home against the Cardinals. Chip Kelly’s team needs a win to stay in the division race. The problem for Philly is that home field hasn't been that kind, as the Eagles have covered just 11 games in their last 24 contests at Lincoln Financial Field. Washington is smoking hot right now, winning three of its last four as the offense has perked up and the defense is playing like the team we expected them to be before the season began. To me there's too much value with the road team in this one. SELECTION: Washington +3

Image placeholder title

Carolina Panthers (14-0) at Atlanta Falcons (7-7)

We all know Carolina's story by now and how good the Panthers have been this season. Atlanta's playing for pride right now and they need it after losing to these Panthers 38-0 on the road just two weeks ago. The Falcons are coming off a road win over the Jaguars so they are feeling a bit better about themselves. There's talk already of Carolina sitting Jonathan Stewart (foot) potentially to rest him up for the playoffs. The Panthers also are coming off a tough emotional game at New York last week where the defense (not helped by a costly Cam Newton fumble in the fourth quarter) nearly let things slip away. Atlanta has covered in 12 of its last 20 games at home against Carolina. I think the Falcons give a better effort and cover on Sunday. SELECTION: Falcons +7

Image placeholder title

Recommended Articles

Dallas Cowboys (4-10) at Buffalo Bills (6-8)

It's now Kellen Moore's team as the Cowboys head to Buffalo on Sunday. Dallas’ offense has come to a screeching halt, scoring just 56 points in the last four games as the QB merry-go-round continues. The Dallas defense continues to play well, which gives me hope that the Cowboys will slow down Buffalo, which will most likely be without LeSean McCoy (MCL tear). The Bills just finished up a stretch of five road games in six weeks. They look like they are ready to head into the offseason themselves. Dallas has gone under in six of its seven road games and nine of 14 overall. SELECTION: Under 43

New England Patriots (12-2) at New York Jets (9-5)

The Patriots keep losing players yet they keep winning. New England may be without Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman on offense for this one as the Pats gear up for the playoffs. They clinched a first-round bye last week and will be going for the top seed in AFC although they also will try to stay healthy. The Jets, meanwhile, are playing for a wild card berth and have been hot defensively. New York has held four straight opponents to 20 points or fewer. I was hoping for a few more points because I truly think the Jets win this one, but instead we'll attack the total. SELECTION: Under 46

St. Louis Rams (6-8) at Seattle Seahawks (9-5)

The Seahawks are absolutely rolling and figure to continue that this week as St. Louis comes to town. Sure, the Rams won two straight home games, but now the level of competition steps up a bit. Seattle doesn't figure to let Case Keenum get too much done. The Rams have scored just 38 points in their last three road games while allowing 68. Russell Wilson is making a late push for MVP as the Seattle offense tries to extend its streak of 29 or more points to seven games in a row, and push its winning streak to six. Don't overthink this one. SELECTION: Seattle -13

Image placeholder title

Notes:

— Who is going to want to get up and play more on Thursday night as the Raiders host the Chargers. San Diego had an emotional win last Sunday at home in what could be its final one in the city. The Chargers found some offense after scoring just 40 points over a four-game span. Oakland is coming off a home loss against Green Bay and the Raiders basically have nothing to play for other than pride in their final home game of the season. The Raiders have been a home favorite of 3.5 to 7 points just once the last three years in a game they won and covered. Lean to the home team, but it's nothing more than that.

— As of the posting of this article, the line of the Texans/Titans game was not listed. Houston is coming off a huge road win at Indianapolis and is now in the driver's seat in the AFC South. To me, it doesn't matter who the QB is as it seems Tennessee has already mailed things in. The Titans have lost five of their last six games and are turning to Zach Mettenberger in place of Marcus Mariota (MCL sprain). I'm hoping that the line is short so I can jump on the road team. Focus could be an issue for Houston after the road win last week, but the Texans’ D is playing well right now.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.