Saturday, December 23, 2017

Week 16 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Hanson)

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 my Week 16 NFL picks against the spread:

Los Angeles Chargers -6.5 over New York Jets (2 units)

Traveling across the country and playing early doesn't necessarily bode well for the Bolts, but they are clearly the better team especially with Josh McCown on IR. Philip Rivers may not have Hunter Henry, but there is no shortage of weapons for him with Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, etc.

If the playoffs were to start today, the Chargers would be out but they are only one game behind both the Titans (5th seed) and Bills (6th seed). As big underdogs on Sunday, it's possible that both the Titans and Bills lose and the Chargers all go into Week 17 with identical 8-7 records. In addition, they still have a chance at the division as the Chiefs are also 8-6. I'll give the points here in a game that matters much more to the Chargers.

Buffalo Bills +11.5 over New England Patriots (2 units)

Perhaps it's foolish to pick against Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots at home, but I think they win a game that's closer than the spread suggests. The Bills are currently in as the last seed in the AFC playoffs and a loss could allow other teams in as the Ravens are likely to win their Saturday matchup as two-TD favorites over the Colts and have an identical record. Even though the Bills will come up short in terms of an outright victory, I'll take the points here.

Saints vs. Falcons, Under 52.5 (2 units)

In a matchup between Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, there certainly could be plenty of offense. These two teams have played each other once already this month and the outcome was 20-17 in favor of Atlanta. While I expect more than 37 points, both teams rank top-10 in scoring defense as they each allow 20.1 points per game.

Washington Redskins -3.5 over Denver Broncos (1 unit)

Both teams have already been eliminated from the playoffs so I think it's easier to get home for a meaningless game on Christmas Eve when you're playing in front of your home fans compared to traveling across the country. The Broncos have played better recently with back-to-back wins over the Jets and Colts, but I don't have a ton of confidence in Denver's offense whether it's Brock Osweiler or Paxton Lynch as the starter.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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