NFL picks, predictions, odds for Week 16: Cowboys down Eagles

Fri, Dec 23, 2022

The NFL Week 16 schedule brings pro football fans a special present underneath the tree. As Christmas Day falls on a Sunday in 2022, the league moved 11 games to Christmas Eve Saturday (with a very special Saturday RedZone!) to go along with the traditional Thursday and Monday night games and three on Christmas Sunday. So, as we prepare to deck the halls with football, let’s continue our NFL odds series with the Week 16 picks and predictions for every game on the schedule.

In Week 15, Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings overcame a 33-0 halftime deficit to win 39-36 and complete the biggest comeback in NFL history vs. the Indianapolis Colts, Dak Prescott threw a pick-6 in the Dallas Cowboys’ overtime affair vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars to help keep Trevor Lawrence and company’s playoff hopes alive, and the Las Vegas Raiders got an early holiday present from the New England Patriots when Jakobi Meyers made one of the most boneheaded plays in NFL history. On this week’s schedule, there are no more byes. Every team takes the field with just three games left before the 2022 NFL Playoffs. With four different game days, special broadcasts (Saturday RedZone and the kids’ Nickelodeon game at 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday), and storylines galore, this weekend is a true holiday feast of football.

Atlanta Falcons @ Baltimore Ravens (-6)

If Lamar Jackson were quarterbacking the Ravens, the team should cover. He's not, but the Ravens’ D alone should be enough to win against rookie QB Desmond Ridder and the Falcons. But winning by more than a touchdown? That seems suspect with Tyler Huntley. I’ll go with a Ravens win and a Falcons cover.

Prediction: Ravens 21-16

Detroit Lions (-2.5) @ Carolina Panthers

After starting 1-6, the Lions are 6-1 in their last seven games, putting them in contention for an NFC playoff spot. The next hurdle in their way is the 5-9 Panthers. Amazingly, the Panthers aren’t mathematically eliminated from the postseason yet but would be out as a Wild Card team (not out of the NFC South) with a loss on Saturday. The Lions are the better team right now, so they should stay hot.

Prediction: Lions 28-24

Buffalo Bills (-8.5) @ Chicago Bears

On paper, the Bills are the far superior team. However, like the Chiefs, they’ve had trouble putting lesser teams away in the second half of the season. That said, Justin Fields’ running has been the Bears’ saving grace this year, and with Matt Milano and Tremaine Edwards at linebacker, the Bills’ defense has been good against running quarterbacks. That will allow the Bills to pull ahead and stay ahead on Saturday.

Prediction: Bills 35-16

New Orleans Saints @ Cleveland Browns (-2.5)

This is yet another game in Week 16 where both teams technically have a shot to make the playoffs still, although their chances are small. And despite still looking rusty, Deshaun Watson is finding ways to beat lesser teams on the Browns’ schedule. This should be another game that the Browns win, even if they don’t look all that convincing doing it.

Prediction: Browns 18-14

Seattle Seahawks @ Kansas City Chiefs (-10)

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are the kings of letting teams hang around this season. Despite being massive favorites the last two weeks, they’ve won their last two games against the Texans and Broncos by just six points each time. The Seahawks are desperate for this win, and while they won’t get it, they will give themselves a shot late.

Prediction: Chiefs 27-21

New York Giants @ Minnesota Vikings (-3.5)

The Vikings needed the greatest comeback in NFL history last week to beat the lowly Colts. Now they have a Giants team coming in that is always frisky, no matter who the opponent is. That said, the public is still taking the Vikings at a 2-to-1 clip this week with the relatively small spread for a game between an 11-3 team at home vs. an 8-5-1 team on the road. I like the Giants to keep this one close and maybe even pull the upset in these NFL Week 16 picks and predictions.

Prediction: Giants 28-27

Cincinnati Bengals (-3) @ New England Patriots

After the worst regular-season loss in the history of the NFL, there can’t be good vibes in the Patriots’ locker room. And while moving “on to Cincinnati” has worked well for the Pats in the past, this isn’t your daddy’s “Bungles” anymore. Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase should pile on the Patriots this weekend and take this game by a touchdown or more.

Prediction: Bengals 23-13

Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans (-3.5)

The AFC South is slip-sliding away from the Titans, who’ve lost four in a row and five of their last seven. The Texans are on an even worse nine-game slide, but they’ve given the Chiefs and Cowboys all they could handle in recent weeks, losing those two games by a combined 10 points. The Titans should stop their skid against the Texans, but it won’t be a route by any means. I’ll take the Titans to win and the Texans to cover.

Prediction: Titans 16-13

Washington Commanders @ San Francisco 49ers (-7)

This is a desperation game for the Commanders as they hang on to the final NFC playoff spot by a thread. However, even with the last pick of the 2022 NFL Draft at QB, the 49ers look like one of (if not the) best team in the NFL right now. The Niners need this game, too, as moving into the No. 2 spot and guaranteeing themselves home-field advantage in the playoffs throughout if the Eagles falter is still on the table. That’s why I love the 49ers at home this week.

Prediction: 31-17

Philadelphia Eagles @ Dallas Cowboys (-5.5)

This has all the trappings of a trap game for the Eagles and for bettors. The better team is a significant underdog, fan-favorite backup Minshew is starting and the Cowboys (and Dak Prescott) looked terrible last week. In the NFL, nothing is ever as cut and dry as it seems, though. Over 70% of the bets here are coming in on the Eagles’ side — for obvious reasons — but that’s why I like taking a flyer on the Cowboys at home in these NFL Week 16 picks and predictions.

The Raiders don’t deserve to be in the playoff hunt, just like they didn’t deserve to win last week. They are the far superior team, talent-wise, but a no-show on the road, in the cold, in Pittsburgh seems like the exact move the 2022 Raiders will pull. Plus, Mike Tomlin has never finished under .500 and needs to win three of his last four to keep that streak going. Who knows if he can work that kind of magic with this year’s team, but he’ll at least keep the dream alive for one more week.

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