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Week 16 of the NFL season is here, and the playoff races are coming down to the wire.  

Five AFC teams are 9-5 or better, but there are only four playoff spots remaining. Nine NFC teams are fighting for the four remaining playoff spots. The AFC has some big matchups this week, including the Raiders-Dolphins and Colts-Steelers matchups. The NFC West matchup between the Seahawks and Rams also is huge for seeding purposes. It is another fun week, and SN is on a hot streak with our straight-up picks.  

  • Last Week: 11-5
  • Season: 105-67 

With that in mind, below are our picks and predictions for Week 16:  

MORE: Week 16 NFL Power Rankings

 

  • Friday, 4:30 p.m. ET, Fox/NFLN

    Be thankful for football on Christmas. The Vikings are in desperation mode after a loss to the Bears, but they are up against a Saints defense that ranks in the top against the run and pass. Drew Brees gets New Orleans back in the win column in a revenge game from last year’s NFC wild card.

    Pick:Saints 26, Vikings 20

  • Saturday, 1 p.m. ET, NFL Network

    Since the loss to the Chiefs, Tom Brady averages 293 passing yards with four TDs and no interceptions in Tampa Bay’s last two victories. The Buccaneers are rounding into playoff form. Will Matthew Stafford play?

    Pick:Buccaneers 31, Lions 21

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

    The 49ers will have to resort to playing spoiler, but the Cardinals have more to play for at this point. San Francisco has lost six of their last seven games, and Kyler Murray will make enough plays to keep that losing streak going.

    Pick:Cardinals 29, 49ers 21

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

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

    Pick:Dolphins 28, Raiders 24

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

    The Chiefs are 2-3 ATS as double-digit favorites this season, and they will have to adjust if running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire misses time. Atlanta ranks 31stin the NFL in pass defense at 287.7 points per game.Patrick Mahomes II continues his MVP-caliber season.

    Pick:Chiefs 35, Falcons 23

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

    The Browns continue their New York tour against the Jets, who picked up their first victory of the season. Cleveland keeps it simple with another double-dose of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and Baker Mayfield – who has thrown just one interception in his last seven games – stayshot.

    Pick:Browns31, Jets 13

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

    The Colts have not committed a turnover in their last three wins, and the Steelers are coming off a short week.Philip Rivers is 2-2in the regular season at Heinz Field, and he pushes Indianapolis into the playoffs in an upset.

    Pick:Colts 28, Steelers 24

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

    Washington coach Ron Rivera faces his former team with a playoff berth in sight. The Panthershave lost three straight one-score games, but their defense came alive in the second half against Green Bay. Teddy Bridgewater leads a break-through game that puts Washington in a precarious position.

    Pick:Panthers 24, Washington 21

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

    The light is starting to come on for Mitchell Trubisky. He has completed more than 70 percent of his passes in his last three starts, and that comes with five TDs and just one interception. That surge continues against the Jaguars.

    Pick:Bears 30, Jaguars 19

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

    Lamar Jackson has his mojo back, and the Ravens reignited their season with two straight victories. That continues against New York, which averages 10 points per game the last three week. That’s not going to cut it on the road.

    Pick:Ravens 31, Giants 16

  • Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

    The Bengals continue to have problems scoring, and that will not change on the road. Deshaun Watson puts up his fifth 300-yard game in six weeks to give the Texans a home victory.

    Pick:Texans 27, Bengals 19

  • Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX

    The Eagles and Cowboys might have losing records, but this game still has NFC playoff implications. Dallas has come alive with back-to-back victories, and Andy Daltonhas played well in the Cowboys’last two victories. Jalen Hurts—a Houston native – is back in home state. This will be a much more exciting matchup than the first one.

    Pick:Cowboys 26, Eagles 23

  • Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS

    The Broncos won the first matchup, 31-30, and Drew Lock and Justin Herbert will go at it again in another game that could produce some unexpected fantasy heroes for Week 16. The Chargers win another close one.

    Pick:Chargers 31, Broncos 27

  • Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX

    The Seahawks can clinch the NFC West and still press for home-field advantage with a victory here. The Rams continue to be one of the league’s most confusing possible contenders. The Rams have won five of the last six meetings. It’s on the Seahawks to answer. We’re still feeling another slight upset.

    Pick:Rams 28, Seahawks 24

  • Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC

    The Packers are inching closer toward home-field advantage,but the Titansbring the league’s highest-scoring offense to Lambeau Field.Derrick Henry will have a big game, but so will Aaron Rodgers. The Titans allow 276 passing yards per game. It adds up to a thriller in a coin-flip game, but we’ll stick with the home team in a nail-biter.

    Pick:Packers 35, Titans 32

  • Monday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN/ABC

    The Bills are AFC East champions, and now the opportunityto sweep the rival Patriots is there. The Bills might be the hottest team in the NFL, andJosh Allen continues the winning streak.

    Pick:Bills 28, Patriots 20

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December 22, 2020
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