Week 16 NFL Picks
This season, I’ll be providing my picks every week for you, our readers. I’ve been Gridiron Experts’ Pick ‘Em columnist for the past few seasons, and I’m glad to be back at it again! We’re hoping to have even more success this year! Each week, I’ll give you my picks for the Sunday games, and a short write-up centered around the key reason why I’m making the pick that I am. You can also click over to see all our Free NFL picks for the week with more than a dozen Gridiron Experts picking each game.
Detroit @ Atlanta (-5.5)
After upsetting the Cardinals, it seems the Lions have found their groove, winning 2 of their last 3. The Jared Goff & Amon-Ra St. Brown connection is flourishing, and the Atlanta defense ranks 31st in the league in points allowed. Not to mention, we might see the returns of D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams. I like Detroit to outscore Atlanta and score this upset on the road. Lions 21-20
Tampa Bay (-10.5) @ Carolina
Tom Brady got shut out last week for the first time since 2006. I think he comes back angry and ready to put up points. While he’ll be without Leonard Fournette and Chris Godwin, Brady will get Antonio Brown back, and Ronald Jones will continue to be serviceable in the backfield. Despite Sam Darnold’s return from injury, Cam Newton will start, and he hasn’t won a game as Carolina’s starter ye this year. I’ll take Brady to spread the ball around and win this game convincingly. Buccaneers 34-20.
Baltimore @ Cincinnati (-3.5)
Both teams sit at 8-6 and this will be a huge game for the playoff picture. Lamar Jackson still hasn’t practiced, so it might be Tyler Huntley back under center for Baltimore. Huntley impressed last week, despite falling short in Green Bay. Baltimore has very quietly lost their last 3 games, and Cincinnati will look to keep that streak alive. Look for Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase to connect early and often, exploiting the depth in the Ravens’ secondary. I’ll take Cincy to close it out in a one-score game. Bengals 28-24.
Los Angeles Chargers (-9.5) @ Houston
Houston will trot out Davis Mills yet again but should face a much more formidable test in the Los Angeles defense. Despite Mills’ above-average play recently, Houston still ranks 31st in points per game. Los Angeles, on the other hand, has been racking up the points recently, averaging 32 ppg over their last 5 games. I like Justin Herbert in this game, and expect him to throw a ton, especially if RB Austin Ekeler doesn’t clear COVID protocols. In any event, this game is pivotal for LA’s playoff chances, and I don’t see them blowing it. Chargers 33-18.
Los Angeles Rams (-2.5) @ Minnesota
The Rams have seemingly shaken off their losing ways, having now won 3 in a row through December. Matthew Stafford is absolutely peppering Cooper Kupp with targets as he continues on his record-breaking pace. Minnesota’s defense has been spotty this year, and I worry about their ability to slow down the Stafford/Kupp connection, especially with WR Odell Beckham Jr. seemingly back in the fold, requiring additional attention from the Vikings. While Minnesota starts Cook & Jefferson should land some punches, I expect the Rams’ elite defense to put them over the edge and pull off the road win. Rams 26-22.
Buffalo @ New England (-2.5)
We’ve got a rematch of the Wind Bowl from a few weeks ago, and you can Bet Mac Jones will throw the ball more than he did last time they played. With 1 game separating these two teams in the standings, emotions will be high, and both teams will be throwing the kitchen sink at the other. New England might get Damien Harris back from injury, but has listed Rhamondre Stevenson as questionable. Whether it’s Harris or Stevenson, I expect New England to control the clock and play great defense as always. Josh Allen should keep this game close in this defensive battle, but he just hasn’t looked the same recently. I suspect his injury is hampering his play more than we know. At the end of the day, I believe the home crowd will pull New England through on Sunday. Patriots 24-21.
Jacksonville @ New York Jets (-1.5)
This game is going to be ugly. Jacksonville hasn’t won a game since November 7th, and despite the departure of Urban Meyer, hasn’t played any better recently. The Jets have been similarly bad, losing 6 of their last 7. However, the Jets did play the red-hot Dolphins close last weekend and benefitted from the return of RB Michael Carter. Zach Wilson will need to take care of the ball, which shouldn’t be too hard against the Jets’ abysmal defense. I’ll take the home Jets to pull this one out. Jets 18-15.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia (-9.5)
Jake Fromm will likely make his first NFL start on Sunday. If he doesn’t, you have to wonder if Joe Judge wants to get fired. Mike Glennon has been laughably bad and hasn’t inspired anyone with his play. Despite the presence of names like Saquon Barkley & Kenny Golladay, the Giants just can’t put things together. Even though they knocked off the Eagles a few weeks ago, New York has been terribly inconsistent, while Philly has 4 of their last 5 games. Whether it’s Fromm or Glennon under center, I expect Hurts and Sanders to lead a calculated rushing attack and control this game from end to end. Eagles 24-12.
Pittsburgh @ Kansas City (-7.5)
Kansas City might be missing a lot of their firepower on Sunday, as they have quite a few players on the COVID list. Among those names are WR Tyreek Hill, TE Travis Kelce, and defensive pieces Chris Jones and Nick Bolton. When you add in a few offensive linemen, and other pieces, it could get ugly. A few players may test out of the protocols before kickoff, which would help KC’s cause. I do think that will happen, so I’m taking that into account with my pick. Even if they aren’t at full strength, this Chiefs team is on a hot streak, and very complete. Pittsburgh’s run defense has been horrible, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire will likely be a huge piece of the game plan. In any event, I like Kansas City to win and cover, regardless of if Hill & Kelce suit up. Chiefs 28-20.
Denver @ Las Vegas (-0.5)
Teddy Bridgewater will miss some time after a horrific head injury sustained last weekend. Therefore, Drew Lock will get the start. I worry about Lock’s ability to take care of the ball for a full game. Denver will keep things close with their RB tandem of Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon, but when the game heads to the final minutes, I certainly trust Derek Carr to execute a 2-minute drill more than I do Lock. I’ll take Las Vegas to win this one late. Raiders 24-22.
Washington @ Dallas (-9.5)
Taylor Heinicke will be back from the COVID list for this showdown, as the Football Team heads to Dallas. Dak Prescott & the boys have won 3 in a row, and their defense has been flying high in the meantime. The Football Team played Dallas 2 weeks ago, falling 27-20. Heinicke’s return will undoubtedly give this WFT offense a boost, but they’ll have their hands full with this elite Cowboys defense. I expect this to be a typical, close NFC East showdown, but expect Dallas to ride the backs of Dak & Zeke to pull away late and get the win. With that said, I like Washington with the points. Cowboys 30-23.
Enjoy the games! Until next week…
A former D1 College Wrestler at Boston University, Brad hails from New Jersey. By day, Brad works in the corporate automotive world, but by night, he is an avid sports, football, and fantasy sports enthusiast with a passion for winning. Fun Fact: Brad ran and finished the 2019 Boston Marathon!
Over the past decade, Brad has won dozens of fantasy league championships and has been writing for Gridiron Experts for the past 4 seasons. While he’s surrounded by Giants and Jets supporters, Brad is a diehard Tennessee Titans fan, and, accordingly has dumped a ton of money into NFL Sunday Ticket in his years!