It feels good to be a big winner again. We went 10-4-2 against the spread this past week, which certainly was one of our best weeks of the season. We had the Miami Dolphins blowing past the New England Patriots, the Cleveland Browns taking down the New York Giants without any trouble and also called a couple of underdogs coming out on top such as the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys. Let’s see if we can close out the 2020 regular season with two more big weeks.
Below I will give you my top five picks of Week 16, followed by the rest of the bunch. Let’s jump in.
All NFL odds are via William Hill Sportsbook.
Top five picks record: 32-40-3
Overall ATS record: 113-102-7
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET (Amazon/Twitch)
I think this line should be higher. The 49ers are facing some major issues at the quarterback position, as C.J. Beathard is going to start this week after Nick Mullens was knocked out with an elbow injury. San Francisco is in the midst of a three-game losing streak, and it’s hard to imagine things getting better at this point in the season. Since Week 8, the 49ers have the worst cover percentage in the NFL (1-6 against the spread), they have allowed 30.9 points per game (second-most in the NFL) and have recorded a league-high 20 turnovers — which is the worst mark by any team in any seven-game span this season. On the flip side, the Cardinals came out on top in an emotional game against the Philadelphia Eagles, 33-26. The Cardinals are in the postseason hunt and I don’t see them slipping up here in Week 16.
Projected score: Cardinals 28-17
The pick: Cardinals -5
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET (NFL Network)
To be quite honest, this pick is about riding the hot team. The Dolphins have an NFL-best 11-3 record against the spread this season. They have covered four straight games, have covered nine of their last 10 games and Tua Tagovailoa is 6-1 against the spread as the starting quarterback. While Tagovailoa has been exciting to watch, Miami’s defense has really been incredible. The Dolphins have the best scoring defense in the NFL (18.4 points per game) and lead the NFL in takeaways (26). The Raiders, however, have been struggling as of late, as they are 0-4 against the spread in their last four games. Additionally, as of Thursday morning, we don’t know if Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota will be starting under center this week. The Dolphins have a playoff spot to hold onto while the .500 Raiders are hanging on by a thread. I’ll ride with what’s working and take the Dolphins to cover again this week.
Projected score: Dolphins 27-21
The pick: Dolphins -3
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
If you weren’t hammering the panic button for the Steelers after their losses to the Washington Football Team and the Buffalo Bills, you certainly are now after their loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers’ three-game losing streak has been made up of ugly losses, and they have scored fewer than 20 points in four straight games. That’s their longest such streak since 2004 and it’s tied with the Giants for the longest active streak in the NFL. As for the Colts, they have covered in four straight road games and are on a three-game winning streak. This game is important, because Indy is looking to keep pace with the Tennessee Titans in the AFC South. The fate of the division could come down to this week, as the Colts take on the Steelers while the Titans get the Green Bay Packers. I can tell you which team I would rather play on Sunday.
Projected score: Colts 27-24
The pick: Colts -1.5
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Jaguars are in great position to hold onto the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, they just have to continue to lose. With their victory on Sunday, the 1-13 New York Jets are no longer the sole possessors of the worst record in the NFL. Not only that, but the Jaguars have an easier strength of schedule, which puts them in the driver’s seat for the No. 1 overall pick. The Bears, on the other hand, have won back-to-back games since their long six-game losing streak. They’ve scored 30-plus points in all three games since Mitchell Trubisky returned as the starter, and really have been rolling as of late. Don’t overthink this pick.
Projected score: Bears 30-17
The pick: Bears -7.5
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
The Patriots will officially not be playing postseason football for the first time since 2008, and they have looked atrocious over the past two weeks. If you need a stat to back that up, Cam Newton hasn’t led a touchdown drive in two full games. The defense cannot stop the run, the wide receiving corps hasn’t been consistent and then of course Newton hasn’t looked like himself. It’s also possible we won’t have to worry about Newton’s play anymore, as Jarrett Stidham could see a bump in playing time. As for the Bills, they look like a legitimate contender in the AFC. Josh Allen is on an absolute roll, and the Bills have covered six straight games — which is the longest cover streak in the NFL this season! In fact, their only loss in their past eight games came against the Cardinals on a Hail Mary. Even if the Bills don’t explode for 40 points this week, my pick of the Bills is more about the Patriots’ recent struggles. They have to be feeling low after being officially kicked out of the playoff race.
Projected score: Bills 31-20
The pick: Bills -7
Other Week 16 picks
Saints 27-23 over Vikings (+6.5)
Buccaneers (-9.5) 30-14 over Lions
Ravens (-11) 35-23 over Giants
Browns (-9.5) 24-10 over Jets
Chiefs 30-24 over Falcons (+10.5)
Texans 24-21 over Bengals (+8)
Panthers (+2.5) 21-20 over Washington
Chargers (-3) 31-23 over Broncos
Eagles (-2.5) 28-24 over Cowboys
Seahawks (-1) 30-27 over Rams
Titans (+3.5) 26-24 over Packers