NFL Betting Predictions for Week 16
The Dallas Cowboys are one win away from clinching the NFC East. The Oakland Raiders clinched their first playoff spot since 2002. The New England Patriots won again — making many people wonder just what injuries and roster chaos it would take for a Bill Belichick-coached team to lose to anybody. The rumors are swirling about the Buffalo Bills sending Rex Ryan packing. And the quarterback controversy in Texas isn’t in Big D — it’s in Houston, where Tom Savage came off the bench and led the Texans to a comeback win over Jacksonville, costing Jaguars coach Gus Johnson his job — and maybe Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler. What madness will ensue in Week 16? Check out our predictions and the NFL betting lines for this week’s games.
NFL Predictions for Week 16
— Tori Petry (@sportstori) December 18, 2016
Dallas clinches the NFC East; the Packers catch Detroit in the NFC North
The Detroit Lions head to Dallas for Monday Night Football, just after falling to the New York Giants on a rainy Gotham afternoon. The Green Bay Packers host the Minnesota Vikings, who started the year on a big winning streak but just got torched by Indianapolis — despite the heralded return of Adrian Peterson at tailback. Dallas ended the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ five-game winning streak thanks, in large part, to the surprise appearance of a pass rush from the Cowboys, led by phenom David Irving, who used the fourth quarter to dismantle the Tampa Bay pass protection and keep Jameis Winston from having the time he needed to throw the ball down the field. On the Jeff Heath interception in the fourth quarter, Irving actually hits Winston’s arm on his passing motion, sending the ball sailing high. With defensive end Randy Gregory returning from his suspension for the Detroit game, the Cowboys should have a fearsome pass rush to keep Matthew Stafford from settling in comfortably.
Up in Green Bay, the Packers return home from a 30-27 win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Yes, those Bears were starting backup Matt Barkley at quarterback, but the Vikings haven’t shown any offensive life in weeks. So if the Packers’ tattered secondary can stop anyone, it should be the Vikings. So a Packer win and a Lion loss moves the two teams level in the NFC North, and that Cowboy win clinches an NFC East title for them.
Pittsburgh takes control of the AFC North
Yes, the Baltimore Ravens escaped the Philadelphia Eagles at home this week. However, the Pittsburgh Steelers climbed out of a huge hole in Cincinnati to take a 24-20 win, and some credit the Steelers’ comeback to Bengal tailback Jeremy Hill disrespecting a Terrible Towel after he scored a touchdown — and the Steel Curtain shut him and the Bengals down after that. Baltimore won the first meeting of the season between the Steelers and the Ravens down in Baltimore, but this Christmas night affair is in Pittsburgh, and I like the Steelers to take that game and move into control of the division.