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NFL picks, predictions for Week 16: Cowboys edge Eagles; Bengals beat Patriots; Lions, Jaguars on cusp of playoffs

NFL picks, predictions
for Week 16: Cowboys edge Eagles; Bengals beat Patriots; Lions, Jaguars on cusp
of playoffs

The NFL playoff picture
remains complicated heading into Week 16, and five 7-7 teams are in the
spotlight looking for help on Christmas week. 


The Jets sit ninth in
the AFC standings ahead of Thursday’s prime-time matchup against the Jaguars.
Will Zach Wilson or Mike White get the start? That’s a development worth


Four 7-7 teams play in
the 1 p.m window on Saturday. 


Detroit has emerged as a
comeback story after winning five of their last six games under second-year
coach Dan Campbell. The Lions have a must-win game on the road against
Carolina. Tennessee is in the midst of a losing streak, and Ryan Tannehill is
battling through an ankle injury. There is no margin for error against the


New England is on to
Cincinnati after a loss to Las Vegas on Jakobi Meyers’ ill-fated lateral, and
they face a Bengals’ team looking to stay in the mix for home-field advantage
in the AFC. Seattle’s playoff path also has become tougher, and it will not get
easier at Kansas City. 


With that in mind, a
look at our track record heading into Week 16: 


Record: 138-84-2, .618


Here are our straight-up
picks for Week 16:


POWER RANKINGS: Lions, Giants, Chargers boost playoff outlooks;
Cowboys, Patriots, Jets fade


NFL picks, predictions
for Week 16

  • Jacksonville
    Jaguars at New York Jets (-1)


Thursday, 8:15 p.m., Prime Video 

This should be an
entertaining game considering the improvement on both sides. The Jets won a
26-21 thriller last season, but the Jaguars have won four of their last six
games. Trevor Lawrence has 14 TDs and one interception in that stretch. Stay
with the hot quarterback.  


Pick: Jaguars 27, Jets 24


Result: Jaguars 19, Jets 3

  • Atlanta Falcons at Baltimore
    Ravens (-7) 


Saturday, 1 p.m., FOX


The Ravens desperately
need Lamar Jackson back, and we’ll pick this game as though he returns in a
must-win situation if Baltimore wants to win the AFC North. The Ravens averaged
110 passing yards the last two weeks without Jackson. Baltimore bounces back,
and the defense harasses Desmond Ridder in his second start. 


Pick: Ravens 24, Falcons 20 

  • Detroit Lions (-3) at Carolina


Saturday, 1 p.m., FOX


The Lions have emerged
as this season’s Cinderella story after winning five of their last six games.
The victory against the Jets last week was one Detroit would have coughed up in
the past. Carolina is 4-3 at home and still in the NFC South race despite a 5-9
record. Detroit is 5-0 when it allows less than 100 yards rushing, and that’s
happened the last three weeks. 


Pick: Lions 27, Panthers 17

  • Buffalo
    Bills (-9) at Chicago Bears 


Saturday, 1 p.m., CBS


The Bills are heavy
favorites at home against the Bears. Chicago quarterback Justin Fields will
make a few plays, but the trouble spot in the defense – which hasn’t produced a
turnover in the Bears’ last four home losses. That will not work against Josh
Allen – who will keep Buffalo in the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Bills are 1-4
ATS in their last five games when favored by more than seven points. 


Pick: Bills 30, Bears 20

  • New Orleans Saints at Cleveland
    Browns (-3)


Saturday, 1 p.m., CBS


The Saints have not
fared well against AFC North teams this season – and former Bengals quarterback
Andy Dalton will get one more shot at Cleveland. The Browns are 2-1 since Deshaun
Watson returned from suspension, and the defense has allowed just 13.3 points
per game in that stretch. Cleveland inches one step closer to .500. 


Pick: Browns 26, Saints 20

  • Seattle
    Seahawks at Kansas City Chiefs (-10) 


Saturday, 1 p.m., FOX


The Seahawks have lost
three of four games since the bye week, and the defense has allowed 28.5 points
per game in that stretch. That’s not a recipe for success against Kansas City,
which escaped Houston with a victory. Kansas City is happy to be back at home
after a three-game road stint – and they keep pace in the race for home-field
advantage in the AFC. The Chiefs are just 4-10 ATS this year with just one
cover at home. 


Pick: Chiefs 34, Seahawks 26

  • New York Giants at Minnesota
    Vikings (-3.5) 


Saturday, 1 p.m., FOX


The Giants are still in
the NFC Wild card mix, and they need a win on the road here to keep pace in
that race. New York is 3-2 S/U on the road this season. Minnesota, however, is
7-1 S/U at home. Kirk Cousins has 15 TDs and just four interceptions in those
games. The Vikings keep winning close ones. 


Pick: Vikings 28, Giants 24

  • Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) at
    New England Patriots


Saturday, 1 p.m., CBS


The Bengals are in top
form with six straight victories, and the defense has allowed just 88.3 rushing
yards per game in that stretch. Can New England get that going to support Mac
Jones against a strong pass rush? How will the Patriots get to Joe Burrow – who
has 14 TDs and just four interceptions in that winning streak? The Bengals keep
rolling on the road. 


Pick: Bengals 28, Patriots 24

  • Houston Texans at Tennessee
    Titans (-7) 


Saturday, 1 p.m., CBS


The Titans need this one
at home, and they need to get the offense going. Tennessee has averaged just
15.5 points per game in its last four losses, and they have five turnovers the
last two weeks. Houston, which showed fight against Kansas City, has forced
seven turnovers the last three weeks. Can Tennessee play a clean game? 


Pick: Titans 24, Texans

  • Washington
    Commanders at San Francisco 49ers (-7) 


Saturday, 4:05 p.m., CBS


The 49ers had extra time
off to prepare for Washington, and the offense will continue to evolve with
Brock Purdy. The better story for San Francisco that has not allowed more than
275 yards in a game through a seven-game win streak. Washington better take
advantage of every opportunity to have a chance. 


Pick: 49ers 28,
Commanders 20 

  • Philadelphia
    Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-1.5)


Saturday, 4:25 p.m., FOX


The Cowboys have won the
last four home meetings against the Eagles, and the last three have been in
blowout fashion. How does Dallas bounce back after losing to Jacksonville – a
game in which the Jaguars had 503 total yards. Philadelphia will face Dak
Prescott instead of Cooper Rush this time – and he is 7-3 against the Eagles.
With Jalen Hurts (shoulder) questionable, the Cowboys are the easier pick.


Pick: Cowboys 31, Eagles 28

  • Las Vegas
    Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers (-2)


Saturday, 8:15 p.m., NFL


Pittsburgh will
celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception – the legendary 13-7
victory against the Raiders. This comes one week after Las Vegas won on one of
the most-incredible game-ending plays in NFL history. The Steelers have won three
of their last four games, and they have given up 17 points or less in that
stretch. The Steelers win another defensive battle. 


Pick: Steelers 24,
Raiders 21

  • Green Bay
    Packers at Miami Dolphins (-4.5) 


Sunday, 1 p.m., FOX


The Packers are clinging
to playoff hopes in the NFC, but it won’t be easy on the road at Miami. Sure,
the Dolphins are on a three-game losing streak, but all of those games were on
the road against potential Super Bowl contenders. Green Bay’s defense will give
up too many big plays. Aaron Rodgers will lead a fourth-quarter comeback that
falls just short. 


Pick: Dolphins 32, Packers 26

  • Denver
    Broncos (-1) at Los Angeles Rams


Sunday, 4:30 p.m.,


Brett Rypien vs. Baker
Mayfield is a dream Christmas matchup. It has been the best season for either
team, but the Broncos have been able to force three turnovers each of the last
two weeks. That will be a challenge for the Rams, which are coming off a short
week. That said, Denver is 1-6 S/U on the road. Mayfield leads another victory
in a wild finish. 


Pick: Rams 20, Broncos 18

  • Tampa Bay
    Buccaneers (-4) at Arizona Cardinals 


Sunday, 8:20 p.m., NBC


Tampa Bay has lost three
of the last four games, and they have lost their last four road games. This
isn’t a layup, even against a Cardinals team that averages 15.5 points in its
last four losses. Tom Brady needs to play better – and he does against Arizona
in a close one. 


Pick: Buccaneers 22, Cardinals 19

  • Los Angeles
    Chargers (-3.5) at Indianapolis Colts 

Monday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN


The Colts blew a
33-point lead last week, and they are back in the prime-time spotlight with
interim coach Jeff Saturday. Indianapolis is 3-2 ATS under Saturday, but the
two losses were at home. The Chargers are heating up with healthy receivers
Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, who have averaged 170.5 receiving yards the
last two weeks. 


Pick: Chargers 28, Colts 23


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