Week 15 was a good one for my NFL picks against the Vegas spread. I finished 11-5, bringing my season tally to 127-85-6. So now we look at Week 16, where there are huge games that matter in the battle for postseason berths. With no Thursday Night Football anymore, I bring you all my picks.
Dolphins (-3) at Bills: Miami is favored on the road by a field goal. This is the first time it has happened in 61 games. As important as this game is for Miami, and despite the fact that Buffalo will start Thad Lewis at quarterback, the Dolphins have a terrible history of playing in Buffalo in the cold weather. I have to take the points and the home team.
Vikings at Bengals (-7.5): Road teams do not do well in games with Cincy. They have covered only two of the last 16 games. Plus, despite the the terrible season for Minnesota, they have had a knack of playing super close games. Bottom line, I like the points.
Colts at Chiefs (-6.5): Both teams have playoff berths locked up, but KC loves Arrowhead. They do not fare there against the spread, though. However, with the offense running on all cylinders and the Indy defense not being particularly strong has me leaning to KC. I'll give up the 6.5. Chiefs by 10.
Buccaneers at Rams (-5.5): The Rams have been one very confusing team. However, the basic tenet goes like this -- they play at home, they look great; they play on the road, they are terrible. That pass rush will get to Mike Glennon. I like the Rams by a lot. I'll give up the points here.
Browns at Jets (-2.5): The Jets are generally a bad pick at home to cover -- they cover only 38 percent over 17 seasons. However, they have been a bad team for many of those years. Geno Smith has fallen apart and they play a Cleveland team that does play defense. However, I don't trust the Browns offense any more than I trust the Jets. I wouldn't bet this game at all, but if forced to make a pick, I lean towards the home team and their 2.5. But don't bet this game. Yuck.
Cowboys (-2.5) at Redskins: This matchup has trends that hugely favor the Skins. Dallas is a terrible pick in December -- 10-25-1 ATS since 2005. Washington is 13-4 ATS in the series. However, you can count of Dallas to stay around .500. And, as narratives go, the would be very Dallas by winning this game and put themselves in position to blow it in Week 17. Add in the dumpster fire that the Redskins are, and you have why I will take the Boys here. Would I bet this game? Absolutely not. The trends are too bad. But I still think Dallas covers. I'm just not confident in this pick.
Saints at Panthers (-3): Say what you will about their road woes, New Orleans is a fantastic pick after a road loss -- they have covered 19 of 21 games. Their division title is in jeopardy, so this is one of my Week 16 locks -- New Orleans covers and wins outright.
Titans (-5) at Jaguars: Tennessee frantically rallied to tie a game they had no business tying, but then they still screwed it up at the end. In fact, in terms of a pick, if the Titans couldn't beat the Jags at home, why would anyone be confident that they could beat them in Jacksonville? Pick: Jags.
Broncos (-10.5) at Texans: Trends go both ways in this game. Home teams as eight-point underdogs or greater have covered 24 of the last 28 chances. At the same time, Houston has only covered three of their last 18 games. Where do I lean? It is the end of a bad season for Houston. Think Arizona Cardinals in 2012. They are checked out. I like Denver here, even with the large spread.
Giants and Lions (-9): Logic says that you go with the home team with the postseason to play for. But can you trust the Lions? I don't. Nine points is just too much to give up. I'm all over the points here.
Cardinals at Seahawks (-10.5): Arizona has not lost against the spread in two months! Seattle is fantastic at home, though, and overall. They have covered 21 of their last 28 and 15 of their last 17 against teams with winning records. However, when Arizona was playing terribly offensively earlier this season, Seattle only won by 12. Their offense is much improved, so I am all over the points for this game. Arizona will cover.
Raiders at Chargers (-10): That's a big line, and Oakland is a big performer against the AFC West. IN the series with San Diego, the underdog has covered nine of 10. Oakland is 18-5 ATS as road dogs in the division. The Raiders are my second lock of the week.
Patriots at Ravens (-2.5): Baltimore is rolling and controls their destiny for the postseason. History says that New England will recover. They have covered 16 of 18 as a road dog after a loss and have covered 17 of 19 when they are the underdog for two straight weeks. The problem? Lack of weapons. I can't pick the Pats right now.