NFL picks, predictions against the spread Week 16: Packers upset Dolphins; Chiefs survive Seahawks; Bucs escape Cardinals

Christian McCaffrey

Week 15 was another wild and unpredictable list of unpredictable NFL games, with no leads safe and no teams immune to late drama. The 2022 regular season has three weeks, so there are still many more gifts to give away.

We hope our Week 16 picks against the spread are merry and bright, with an action-packed weekend of Christmas treats and no grinches in sight.

No matter what, the holidays will be happy after diving into the latest fearless predictions of professional pigskin forecasters:

(Betting Odds per Bet MGM)

NFL POWER RANKINGS: Lions, Giants, Chargers Boost Playoff Prospects; Cowboys, Patriots, Jets fade into Week 16

NFL votes against Week 16 spread

  • Midweek Game: Jaguars at Jets (-1, 38.5 o/u)

Thursday 8:15 p.m. ET, Amazon Prime Video

2021 No. 1 overall Trevor Lawrence continues to rise as a young franchise QB as the Jaguars continue to win on offense. Zach Wilson, ranked No. 2 overall in 2021, continues to struggle as a young QB without a franchise as the Jets look to return to victory despite their offense. Doug Pederson’s team can smell the AFC South title and their variety of weapons across the field will cause problems for Robert Saleh’s zone-based defense.

Choose: Jaguars win 23-20, covering the span.‌‌

  • Game of the week: Eagles at Cowboys (-4.5, 46 o/u)

Saturday 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox

The Eagles were caught looking a little forward on that game in Dallas but salvaged their win late in Chicago. The Cowboys also appeared to overlook their Week 14 road game in Jacksonville, losing to a pick six by Dak Prescott in overtime. The Eagles can now win the division straight by just winning this game and getting closer to the No. 1 spot.

However, you will be wary of Jalen Hurts and his injured right shoulder, making it likely that this duel is Gardner Minshew vs Prescott while the first was Cooper Rush vs Hurts.

With Hurts likely out, the Eagles will work to get Minshew through for him. The offensive line and great weapons, which again should include tight end Dallas Goedert, are better than what Prescott has right now, and he doesn’t play football clean enough either. Philadelphia wins on defense while also being motivated to put Micah Parsons in his place by winning a big for Hurts.

Choose: Eagles win 27-24

  • Excitement of the week: Packers (+4.5, 46.5 o/u) at Dolphins

Sunday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

Santa may be from the North Pole, but Packers fans love to head into the winter to warm up from the deep chill around Lambeau Field. You can bet they will be in full force celebrating Christmas in South Beach. The Packers’ defense is poor against the run, but the Dolphins are running inconsistently. Aaron Rodgers is up to the task of besting Tua Tagovailoa with his own cheap weapons.

Choose: Packers win 27-24.

  • Lock of the Week: 49ers (-7.5, 39.5 o/u) via Commanders

Saturday 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

The Commanders were closed by the Giants for a wild pass rush and a decent run defense. The 49ers front is meaner and will make another game difficult for Taylor Heinicke. Commanders can’t handle the dual threats of Christian McCaffrey and the other sane guns surrounding Brock Purdy.

Choose: 49ers win 27-10 and cover the spread.

  • Bills (-8.5, 41 o/u) at Bears

Saturday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Bears struggled only with strong running and downfield passing with Jalen Hurts. They stayed in the game against the Eagles with a lot of Justin Fields and the running game where they have to work on Buffalo. The Bills, like the Eagles, can look forward to a bigger matchup the following week when they travel to Cincinnati. Josh Allen does his thing, but his team grinds late with field goals, leaving the back door open.

Choose: Bills win 27-20 but fail to cover the spread.

  • Saints at Browns (-1, 32.5 o/u)

Saturday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Browns’ defense shored up a few things against a limited passing offense last week. The Saints are still not running well with Alvin Kamara, while his counterpart Nick Chubb got a little more on course against a tough Ravens run defense. Deshaun Watson is improving every week in the Cleveland system, trumping Andy Dalton in a field goal game.

Choose: Browns win 20-17 and cover the spread.

Derrick Henry

  • Texans at Titans (-7. 38.5 o/u)

Saturday.1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Titans offensively work their way through some kinks with little pop in the passing game around a battered Ryan Tannehill (ankle). But the production’s one constant source, Derrick Henry, didn’t let them down with his performance and underrated reception. The Texans scrap and fight but are worn down in a physical division game.

Tip: Titans win 24-10 and cover the spread.

  • Seahawks at Chiefs (-9.5, 48.5 o/u)

Saturday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Seahawks had a nice surprise season with .500 after Week 15, Geno Smith and offense has a lot to offer as run defense falls apart. Seattle will stay in the game, with Kenneth Walker running and DK Metcalf working on young corners, without Tyler Lockett. The Chiefs will find they focus more on the run in the second half while Pete Carroll makes it interesting against Andy Reid for a while.

Choose: The Chiefs win 34-26 but fail to cover the span.

  • Giants at Vikings (-3.5, 47.5 o/u)

Saturday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Vikings, who have recovered well from their furious epic and record-breaking comeback against the Colts, will make things a little easier, often facing New York with red-hot Dalvin Cook and delivering cheap passes from backfield to Justin Jefferson that others have. Minnesota will work to contain Saquon Barkley as it gets a hiatus as the Giants don’t have enough dangerous weapons.

Choose: Vikings win 24-17 and cover the spread.

Justin-Jefferson-091222-GETTY-FTR

  • Bengals (-3.5, 39.5 o/u) at Patriots

Saturday 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Joe Burrow was stone cold coming back to defeat Tom Brady and the Buccaneers on the road. He’ll give Bill Belichick and a suddenly faltering Patriots pass defense the same feel. The Bengals are still solid against the run defensively, and their various weapons being received around Burrow will make it difficult for Belichick to find enough body to take away key elements.

Choose: Bengals win 31-23 covering the spread.

  • Lions (-2.5, 44.5 o/u) in Panthers

Saturday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

Jared Goff did just enough against a tough defense on the road for the Lions to win last week. They always improve a little defensively by containing the run and not letting the team pass them at will. The Panthers have become too dependent on the run and have been exposed in that capacity by the Steelers at home. Detroit has real playoff momentum while Carolina is limping to the end.

Choose: Lions win 20-17 and cover the spread.

  • Hawks at Ravens (-7, 37.5 o/u)

Saturday 1 p.m. ET, Fox

The Falcons were competitive because of a dominant run play in Week 15 with rookie QB Desmond Ridder. That won’t happen again against the Ravens front, putting Ridder in awkward passing situations while either Tyler Huntley or Lamar Jackson get better rushing support.

Choose: Ravens win 23-10 and cover the spread.

Najee Harris

  • Raiders at Steelers (-3, 39.5 o/u)

Saturday 8:15 p.m. ET, NFL Network

The Raiders face a tougher Steelers defense with TJ Watt at their back and lots of help front and back. They’re playing hard trying to salvage another winning season for Mike Tomlin. The Raiders are up-and-down and hard to predict, but they are less reliable on the road and the Steelers should stamp that out late as Najee Harris passes former Alabama teammate Josh Jacobs.

Choose: Steelers win 24-20 and cover the spread.

  • Broncos (-1, 35.5 o/u) at Rams

Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS

The Rams defense is fighting and playing hard despite the QB chaos. Such is the Broncos’ offense. Russell Wilson was due to return for this game in a throwback match from AFC West. Sean McVay likes to grind his offense on low-scoring matters and Baker Mayfield should play better for him at home. It’s messy, but LA’s coaching advantage plays bah humbug against Nathaniel Hackett.

Choose: Rams win 20-17.

  • Privateers (-4.5, 41.5 o/u) on Cardinals

Sunday 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

The Buccaneers can still stuff their stockings with another trip to the playoffs led by Tom Brady. Once drafted behind Brady in New England, Kliff Kingsbury has his future on the rocks with Kyler knocking out Murray and Colt McCoy suffering a concussion. The Cardinals’ defense is crumbling and Brady revved up the Bucs’ offense a bit last week despite the loss to the Buccaneers. Their staggering defense also gets a break here.

Choose: Buccaneers win 27-20 and cover the spread.

  • Chargers (-4, 47 o/u) at Colts

Monday 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Chargers learn to win in different ways instead of finding new ways to lose. They’re feeling confident in their playoff push with Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler and an improving defense with reinforcements along the way. The Colts lost their key weapon for this matchup, Jonathan Taylor. This is a brutal place for Matt Ryan under one-dimensional pressures at home.

Choose: Chargers win 24-17 and cover the spread.

Recording from week 15 straight up: 12-3
Week 15 record against the spread: 7-7
Season balance directly: 151-80
Season balance against the spread: 109-108

Dave Gallo

Dave Gallo is a pioneering sports analytics expert, renowned for his revolutionary work in AI-driven sports simulations, projections, and advanced statistical analysis. With a profound passion for sports and technology, he crafts cutting-edge computer models that accurately predict outcomes. Dave's game-changing insights have reshaped strategy, player evaluation, and decision-making across various sports. His dynamic presentations make complex analytics accessible and inspiring, ensuring his legacy as a visionary in sports analytics. Check out Dave's Pick Record.

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