NFL Football Picks
They like to say that because there are only 16 regular season games in the NFL, each one matters. I guess each is important in some regard but we are at the point in the season when some appear to be rather meaningless. The Green Bay Packers head east to take on the New York Jets in a battle of teams that are firmly looking ahead to next season. The Jets have been in this spot before and knew this year was going to be Sam Darnold’s on-the-job training session more than anything else but the Packers are not accustomed to being in this position. Pride is on the line here in week 16. Sportsbooks opened Packers -1.
The Chargers are already in the playoffs. That doesn’t mean they want to settle for a wild card spot after working so hard to even divisional matters with the Chiefs. Finishing the season on a winning note would lock up a top-seeding whereas a slip-up now could result in having to play on wild card weekend. It would just be a strange time for the Bolts to start slacking off mentally. They had the long week, are at home, and have a lot on the line. Does that make them a good bet at -4.5? LL has your NFL pick!
Washington started the season with a 6-3 record and was on top of the NFC East after week 10. Their season took a nasty turn in week 11 when Alex Smith’s leg broke, then an even nastier turn in week 13 when back-up Colt McCoy suffered the same fate. Mark Sanchez was left to man the QB position for Jay Gruden’s squad. That was didn’t go well. Josh Johnson was signed off the street to back up Sanchez, and took over as the starter last week in Jacksonville and led the Skins to a 16-13 victory. Most betting sites had them as 7 point dogs. Sportsbook have the Skins as 10 point dogs this week. Allen has your NFL prediction.
Online Sportsbooks have Philly as 8 point dogs. The Eagles come to the Coliseum to take on the LA Rams on Sunday Night Football. This game features last year’s champs against a team some are picking to be the champions this season; But the Rams need to get back on the right track after a season-worst performance. This is their second straight Sunday Night Football appearance, following a 15-6 road loss to the upstart Bears last week. In come the Eagles, licking their wounds after losing their biggest game of the season last week in overtime to the Cowboys, 29-23. LL spots the value in week 15 and offers his prediction.
The Seattle Seahawks come down south to the Bay Area for a week 15 NFC West showdown with the San Francisco 49ers. On MNF, the Seahawks won their fourth game in a row and are now 8-5 with big hopes for a wild card spot. The 49ers have no such hopes at 3-10, but showed last week with a win over the Broncos that they can make life hard on teams trying to make something happen. Will the Niners stand in the way of the playoffs in week 15? LL has that prediction and his Free football pick.
Tennessee comes in off a dominant 30-9 win last Thursday when they hosted divisional rival Jacksonville. The play of the night was running back Derrick Henry’s 99-yard touchdown scamper where he ran through everything that dared cross his path. The victory also showcased the Titans ability to flex their muscles on their own pitch in the Music City as they improved to 5-1 SU in Nashville. Can they carry their momentum to East Rutherford on Sunday?
Although both teams have played questionable football as of late, the Jacksonville Jaguars come into this game as a full touchdown favorite (-7). My guess is that they trust the quarterback play of Jacksonville regardless of whether it is Kessler or Bortles over the Redskins. As of late Monday night, Jacksonville was getting much of the early action. Are players on the right side giving up the TD? Bob Clark gives his NFL analysis.
Last week the Tampa Bay offense came into the game with the NFL’s top-ranked total offense and passing game but after starting strong and racing out to a 14-3 halftime lead they were shut out in the last two frames. They finished with season lows in total yards (274) and passing yards (174). Jameis Winston also struggled. Will this volatile offense keep the Bucs within 8 to cover against the spread?
Week 14 was a good week for the Bengals. Okay, yes, I know they lost but they went into the game against the LA Chargers as nearly 17 point underdogs. The final ended with the Chargers squeaking out a 26-21 win in a game that was actually much closer than the final score. With that said, was the Bengals close game against a much better team on paper a result of a team that is coming together and playing for each other, or was it the result of a Chargers team that took them too lightly? The Bengals are 3 point favorites hosing the Raiders.
The Patriots are coming off their disastrous final play loss to the Dolphins. The entire game was a myriad of mistakes even before the ending, including constant defensive lapses that resulted in big plays, a missed field goal and extra point by Stephen Gostowski (sound familiar?) and another blown chance at field goal to end the first half. But this is a new week and Sportsbooks have New England at -1.
The Dolphins have looked a bit better since getting Ryan Tannehill back at quarterback. He’s been playing well and some people forget with all the time he’s missed with injuries, but he was a force on the rise before missing an extended period. Running back Frank Gore is a wonder, still very productive at his age. With Danny Amendola, Kenny Stills, Kenyan Drake, and others, he has some weapons. But does Miami have enough weapons to win by more than a TD? LL has your NFL pick.
New Orleans started off the year on fire. They scored 40 or more points and gained more than 400 yards in 6 of their first 10 games. They eclipsed 500 yards in 3 of those games. But in their last 3 games, Sean Payton’s squad has come back down to earth. They have averaged only 23 points and 270 yards in those contests. Although one of those games was against the stiff defense of the Cowboys, the other 2 were against the much softer Bucs and Falcons. Drew Brees is averaging only 157 passing yards in those games, and they have turned the ball over 4 times. Points have been harder to come by in the last two games. Online sportsbooks have the line set at 6.5 despite the rough offensive stretch. Can they be expected to win by a TD?
The Packers were successful in their first game without former coach Mike McCarthy and while they didn’t look remarkably different, there were noticeable changes with Joe Philbin calling the shots. Green Bay is 10th in passing and they continued to utilize that strength early against Atlanta but the play-calling featured many more quick-hitting patterns that got the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands right away. That was no accident considering how long Rodgers prefers to hold on to the ball, a fact that has, in part, led to Green Bay allowing 41 sacks so far. Can Green Bay continue to make successful changes and stay within 6 points for a win against the spread?
Detroit’s week 14 run defense was stout. The Lions had been at or near the bottom third of the league in defending the run for much of the season but they held Arizona to 61 yards on 21 attempts, including keeping running back David Johnson to 49 yards on 15 carries. Detroit will need that defensive effort again to beat the bookie’s line of -2.5. RW has the NFL pick and analysis.
Houston brought the NFL’s third-ranked ground game into Indianapolis Sunday with an average of 140 yards per outing (146 per during their 9-game winning streak) but got stuffed to the tune of 89 total yards. Deshaun Watson led all rushers with 35 yards on 5 carries, which of course means the running backs were a nonfactor. Can the Texans get the wheels turning again on Saturday? Rick has your NFL prediction.
The Indianapolis Colts kept their playoff hopes alive last week with an impressive 24-21 road victory over the Houston Texans. The Colts offense overcame a stout Texans defense behind the arm of Andrew Luck, who threw for 399 yards with 2 touchdowns and a pick. WR T.Y Hilton shined in the performance with 9 grabs for 199 yards as the Colts snapped Houston’s 9 game winning streak. It will take a similar effort vs the Cowboys. Jay Horne has the NFL Prediction!