Saturday, December 23, 2017

Week 16 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are Dan Yanotchko's Week 16 NFL picks against the spread:

Seattle Seahawks +5 over Dallas Cowboys (4 units)

I am always a fan of the gotta-have-it games in Weeks 15, 16 and 17, and this game is pretty much an elimination game for a NFC Wild Card spot although both teams will still need help. The Cowboys are getting a major boost by getting Ezekiel Elliott back after his six-game suspension, and I don't think they will be thrusting him into full action with 25-plus touches here. I look for Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin to have monster games this week, as Dallas allows 230 passing yards per game and 26 touchdowns through the air. The Seahawks will be more than able to stay with Dallas, as the Cowboys secondary has been really bad this year, and I expect more of the same here. When in doubt, take the points.

Atlanta Falcons +5.5 over New Orleans Saints (3 units)

It really has been the year of the underdog, and again with the division title still up for grabs and a shot to make the playoffs, this game is everything for Atlanta. The Falcons have actually done quite well against the Saints in recent history, as they have gone 3-1 straight up in their last four matchups. The Falcons also have the ability to blunt the Saints vaunted rushing attack, as they allow 106 yards rushing per game, ninth-best in the league. Again, this is a gotta-have-it game, and even if New Orleans pulls away, the Falcons have quite the offensive firepower for the junk back-door cover. In a tight division game with Atlanta needing this win in the worst way, give me the 5.5.

Jacksonville Jaguars -4.5 over San Francisco 49ers (3 units)

Everyone has been impressed with the recent resurgence of the 49ers, after they have decided to start golden boy QB Jimmy Garoppolo, and he certainly hasn't disappointed as of yet. The one problem that Jimmy G. will have this week is the best passing defense in the league coming to town. The Jaguars have been downright stingy to opposing quarterbacks this year, as they only allow 169 yards passing per game, and only 14 touchdowns as well. They also have acquired the nickname Sacksonville, as they have also compiled a league-leading 51 sacks on the year. The Jags also need this game, as they actually have a shot for a bye or the No. 2 seed. I will take them on the road, as running the football and defense always travels well.
- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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