Friday, March 31, 2023

NFL picks, predictions for Week 16: Packers dominate Titans in thriller; The foals upset the Steelers; Dolphins Ruin Raiders

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Week 16 of the NFL season has arrived and the playoff races unfold over time.

Five AFC teams are 9-5 or better, but there are just four playoff spots left. Nine NFC teams are vying for the remaining four places in the playoffs. The AFC have some big clashes this week, including the Raiders-Dolphins and Colts-Steelers clashes. The NFC West game between the Seahawks and the Rams is also huge for ranking purposes. It’s another fun week, and SN is on the right track with our direct picks.

  • Last week: 11-4 (before Monday’s game)
  • Season: 105-66 (before Monday’s game)

With that in mind, here are our picks and predictions for the rest of week 16:

Bears, Cowboys Who Rise As Playoff Prospects; Rams, Eagles, Raiders tumble down

(Getty Images)

NFL picks, predictions for week 16

  • Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (-7)

Friday, 4:30 p.m. ET, Fox / NFLN

Be thankful for football at Christmas. The Vikings are in desperation mode after a loss to the Bears, but they face a Saints defense that ranks first against run and pass. Drew Brees brings New Orleans back to the winning column in an NFC wild card revenge game from last year.

To choose: Saints 26, Vikings 20

  • Tampa Buccaneers (-8) to Detroit Lions

Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, NFL Network

Since losing to the Chiefs, Tom Brady has averaged 293 passing yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in Tampa Bay’s last two wins. The Buccaneers find themselves in playoff form. Will Matthew Stafford play?

To choose: Buccaneers 31, Lions 21

(Getty Images)

  • San Francisco 49ers to Arizona Cardinals (-3.5)

Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET, Prime Video

The 49ers will have to resort to the spoiler, but the Cardinals have more to play at this point. San Francisco have lost six of their last seven games, and Kyler Murray will be making enough plays to continue that losing streak.

To choose: Cardinals 29, 49ers 21

  • Miami Dolphins (-2.5) at Las Vegas Raiders

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

The Raiders are in desperation mode and will likely look to Marcus Mariota against the Dolphins. Miami are 4-2 on the road this season and they have thrived on turnovers. Salvon Ahmed is an emerging running back, and he will make the difference against the Raiders defense that allows 125.8 rushing yards. Miami’s playoff hopes are alive.

To choose: Dolphins 28, Raiders 24

(Getty Images)

  • Atlanta Falcons vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-10.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

The Chiefs are 2-3 ATS as a double-digit favorites this season, and they’ll have to adjust if running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire runs out of time. Atlanta ranks 31st in the NFL in passing defense with 287.7 points per game. Patrick Mahomes II continues his MVP-caliber season.

To choose: Chefs 35, Falcons 23

  • Cleveland Browns (-9.5) at the New York Jets

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Browns continue their tour of New York against the Jets, who claimed their first victory of the season. Cleveland remains single with another double dose from Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and Baker Mayfield – who has thrown just one interception in his last seven games – remains hot.

To choose: Chestnuts 31, Jets 13

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  • Indianapolis Colts at the Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The Colts haven’t committed a turnover in their last three wins, and the Steelers are doing for a short week. Philip Rivers is 2-2 in the regular season at Heinz Field, and he’s pushing Indianapolis into the playoffs in a surprise.

To choose: Colts 28, Steelers 24

  • Carolina Panthers at Washington Soccer Team (-2.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Washington coach Ron Rivera faces his former team with a playoff berth in sight. The Panthers have lost three straight games to one score, but their defense came to life in the second half against Green Bay. Teddy Bridgewater leads a tiebreak that puts Washington in a precarious position.

To choose: Panthers 24, Washington 21

(Getty Images)

  • Chicago Bears (-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

The light begins to turn on for Mitchell Trubisky. He’s completed over 70% of his passes in his last three starts, and that comes with five touchdowns and just one interception. This push continues against the Jaguars.

To choose: Bear 30, Jaguars 19

  • New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens (-10)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

Lamar Jackson regained his mojo, and the Ravens kicked off their season with back-to-back wins. This continues against New York, which has averaged 10 points per game over the past three weeks. It’s not going to cut him off on the road.

To choose: Ravens 31, Giants 16

(Getty Images)

  • Cincinnati Bengals to Houston Texans (-9)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

The Bengals continue to have scoring issues, and that won’t change down the road. Deshaun Watson sets up his fifth 300-yard game in six weeks to give the Texans a home win.

To choose: Texans 27, Bengals 19

  • Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5) at Dallas Cowboys

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX

The Eagles and Cowboys might have lost records, but this game still has implications for the NFC playoffs. Dallas has come to life with back-to-back wins, and Andy Dalton has played well in the Cowboys’ last two wins. Jalen Hurts – from Houston – is back in his home state. It will be a much more exciting game than the first.

To choose: Cowboys 26, Eagles 23

(Getty Images)

  • Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-3)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

The Broncos won Game 1, 31-30, and Drew Lock and Justin Herbert will return in another game that could produce some unexpected fantasy heroes for Week 16. The Chargers will win another close.

To choose: Chargers 31, Broncos 27

  • Los Angeles Rams to Seattle Seahawks (-2.5)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX

The Seahawks can clinch the NFC West and continue to claim the field advantage with a win here. The Rams continue to be one of the league’s most confusing contenders. The Rams have won five of the last six meetings. It’s up to the Seahawks to answer. We still feel a slight upheaval.

To choose: Rams 28, Seahawks 24

(Getty Images)

  • Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers (-3.5)

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

The Packers are gradually closing in on home court advantage, but the Titans bring the league’s strongest offense to Lambeau Field. Derrick Henry will have a big game, but so will Aaron Rodgers. The Titans allow 276 passing yards per game. This adds up to a thriller in a draw game, but we will stay with the home team in a cinch.

To choose: Packers 35, Titans 32

  • Buffalo Bills (-7) to the New England Patriots

Monday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN / ABC

The Bills are the AFC East champions, and now the opportunity to sweep the rival Patriots is here. The Bills could be the hottest team in the NFL, and Josh Allen continues his winning streak.

To choose: Bills 28, Patriots 20


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