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Pudge’s Picks – Week 16

Another good week to finish the season, where I went 10-6 against the spread last week. That brings my season total to 111-113, just two games below .500. Now of course what will happen is now that I’ve gotten so close, I’ll probably go 6-10 this week and kill any chance I have of reaching .500.

I also went 10-6 with my straight up picks, bringing my season total to 142-82.

Atlanta Falcons (4-10) at San Francisco 49ers (10-4)
Monday, December 23 at 8:30 pm ET on ESPN

Line: 49ers (-11.5)

I think the 49ers are going to dominate the Falcons in this game, although they may only manage to win by 10 points instead of the 12 necessary to cover. But I’m not picking the Falcons regardless. The 49ers rushing attack should just roll through the Falcons defense, as they did in the NFC Championship game. With no pass rush, Colin Kaepernick should have all day to pick apart the Falcons defense when they pass.

The 49ers defense will likely shut down a Falcons offense that has struggled to score points and move the ball against the Redskins terrible defense.

Spread Pick: 49ers
Straight Pick: 49ers

Miami Dolphins (8-6) at Buffalo Bills (5-9)
Sunday, December 22 at 1 pm ET on CBS

Line: Bills (+2.5)

I’m not sure the loss of E.J. Manuel is going to be felt by the Bills offense with Thad Lewis getting the start. But the loss of Stevie Johnson will be felt.

Spread Pick: Dolphins
Straight Pick: Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings (4-9-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (9-5)
Sunday, December 22 at 1 pm ET on FOX

Line: Bengals (-7.5)

After crapping the bed like I expected them to last week against the Steelers, the Bengals should rebound and get the win against the Vikings.

Spread Pick: Bengals
Straight Pick: Bengals

Cleveland Browns (4-10) at New York Jets (6-8)
Sunday, December 22 at 1 pm ET on CBS

Line: Jets (-2.5)

Losing Jordan Cameron is a blow for the Browns offense, but I think Josh Gordon might be able to carry the load given that the only weakness of the Jets defense is their secondary. But ultimately I still like the Jets at home.

Spread Pick: Jets
Straight Pick: Jets

Dallas Cowboys (7-7) at Washington Redskins (3-11)
Sunday, December 22 at 1 pm ET on FOX

Line: Redskins (+3.5)

The Cowboys should rebound after that disheartening loss last week to the Packers, but the Redskins offense didn’t look bad with Kirk Cousins at the helm. It makes me believe that they should roll through the Cowboys defense just like every other team has this season. But then I remember that the Redskins defense is pretty bad itself.

Spread Pick: Redskins
Straight Pick: Cowboys

Denver Broncos (11-3) at Houston Texans (2-12)
Sunday, December 22 at 1 pm ET on CBS

Line: Texans (+11.5)

Normally, a team can be expected to play inspired when they fire their head coach. That wasn’t the case last week for the Texans against the Colts as they looked terrible. Maybe this is the week that they do get that better performance since they’ll have to play better to face the Broncos. And while the Broncos haven’t been the juggernaut over the past several weeks as they were at the beginning of the year, I’m simply not going to pick the Texans.

Spread Pick: Broncos
Straight Pick: Broncos

Tennessee Titans (5-9) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10)
Sunday, December 22 at 1 pm ET on CBS

Line: Jaguars (+5.5)

Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t very good, but I think he’s good enough to get a win against the Jaguars.

Spread Pick: Jaguars
Straight Pick: Titans

Indianapolis Colts (9-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (11-3)
Sunday, December 22 at 1 pm ET on CBS

Line: Chiefs (-6.5)

The Colts defense has taken a step back, but playing a low-octane Chiefs offense should help, especially with Branden Albert nursing a bum knee. That should give Robert Mathis the chance to wreak havoc against Alex Smith. The real question is can the Colts defense handle Jamaal Charles. I think they can.

Spread Pick: Colts
Straight Pick: Chiefs

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-10) at St. Louis Rams (6-8)
Sunday, December 22 at 1 pm ET on FOX

Line: Rams (-5.5)

This is an interesting matchup, as it is two teams with good defenses that will be squaring off. The Bucs have the better offense, but will likely struggle against the Rams pass rush on the road.

Spread Pick: Buccaneers
Straight Pick: Rams

New Orleans Saints (10-4) at Carolina Panthers (10-4)
Sunday, December 22 at 1 pm ET on FOX

Line: Panthers (-3.5)

This is the Super Bowl for the Panthers, with a win today really changing their fate for the season. But I don’t see a Ron Rivera-coached team being able to pull it off. The Saints struggle on the road, and this game should be close. But in the end, this is a must-win for the Saints.

Spread Pick: Saints
Straight Pick: Saints

New York Giants (5-9) at Detroit Lions (7-7)
Sunday, December 22 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX

Line: Lions (-9.5)

Normally, I would like the Giants and Eli Manning if they were forced to get into a shoot-out, as they will likely be asked to do agains the Lions. But the Lions at home will have the advantage especially with Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre-Paul not playing today.

Spread Pick: Lions
Straight Pick: Lions

Arizona Cardinals (9-5) at Seattle Seahawks (12-2)
Sunday, December 22 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX

Line: Seahawks (-10.5)

Just like the Panthers, the Cardinals need this win to keep their playoff hopes alive. But I predicted Seattle to go undefeated at home this year, and I don’t see that streak breaking this week.

Spread Pick: Seahawks
Straight Pick: Seahawks

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-8) at Green Bay Packers (7-6-1)
Sunday, December 22 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS

Line: Packers (-2.5)

The Packers looked decent last week in their comeback win. And by Packers I mean Matt Flynn. But I think he returns to earth this week and the Steelers get the win.

Spread Pick: Steelers
Straight Pick: Steelers

Oakland Raiders (4-10) at San Diego Chargers (7-7)
Sunday, December 22 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS

Line: Chargers (-10.5)

Are the Chargers rolling? Maybe. But that’s a big spread for a team as inconsistent as the Chargers.

Spread Pick: Raiders
Straight Pick: Chargers

New England Patriots (10-4) at Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
Sunday, December 22 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS

Line: Ravens (-2.5)

The Ravens always seem to have the Patriots number.

Spread Pick: Ravens
Straight Pick: Ravens

Chicago Bears (8-6) at Philadelphia Eagles (8-6)
Sunday, December 22 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC

Line: Eagles (-2.5)

That loss to the Vikings really left a bad taste in my mouth in regards to the Eagles. I think I have to go with the Bears.

Spread Pick: Bears
Straight Pick: Bears

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Author: Aaron Freeman

Aaron is the founder of FalcFans.com.

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