Week 16 and the Christmas holiday has the league making adjustments in their usual schedule. There’s no Thursday game. But there are two more games on Saturday. Sunday Christmas Eve will feature 12 matchups with no Sunday night game. Then Monday Christmas Day has a late afternoon game and an evening matchup, making more time for players and fans to enjoy the holiday.
Right now the Patriots, Steelers and the Jags have clinched playoff spots in the AFC, while the Eagles and Vikings have punched their ticket in the NFC. More teams can clinch a playoff spot this weekend.
Last Week’s Results
Head to Head: 13-3
Against the Spread: 10-3-3
Season to Date
Head to Head: 139-84
Against the Spread: 99-78-30
All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com
Saturday, December 23
Indianapolis at Baltimore
Line: Ravens by 13½
At this point, the Colts can only ride the next two games out. Their only recourse is to try and play spoiler to the Ravens, who need to win both games and get help in the wild card.
Smooth’s Pick – Baltimore (34-7)
Minnesota at Green Bay
Line: Vikings by 9
With the Pack eliminated from the playoffs, they shut down Aaron Rodgers for the season. They also can play spoiler by preventing their longtime rival from getting home field advantage with a win.
Smooth’s Pick – Minnesota (28-13)
Sunday, December 24
Atlanta at New Orleans
Line: Saints by 5½
This is one of the biggest matchups of the weekend, with the Saints clinching at least a wild card berth with a win. For Falcons, a win Sunday and a win next weekend will send them back to the playoffs.
Smooth’s Pick – New Orleans (28-21)
Buffalo at New England
Line: Patriots by 11½
A win by the Patriots will kill the Bills hopes for the playoffs. As for Buffalo, they need to play their best game of the year, and they didn’t look good the last time they played the Patriots.
Smooth’s Pick – New England (36-10)
Cleveland at Chicago
Line: Bears by 6½
This is the Browns only hope for a win, as their next game is in Pittsburgh. The Bears can only hope they’re not victims to Cleveland’s first win.
Smooth’s Pick – Chicago (27-13)
Denver at Washington
Line: Redskins by 3½
The Broncos haven’t won in DC since 1998 and they can get a three game win streak if they do it. The Redskins can get to .500 with a win Sunday and win next weekend.
Smooth’s Pick – Washington (24-16)
Detroit at Cincinnati
Line: Lions by 4½
Desperation time for the Lions as they need to win and get help along the way. As for the Bengals, they begin the transition to a new head coach as Marvin Lewis resigns at the end of the year. This will be a tough matchup.
This is my upset special!
Smooth’s Pick – Cincinnati (27-24)
LA Chargers at NY Jets
Line: Bolts by 6½
They pulled off a stinker verses the Chiefs and now the Chargers look to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. As for the Jets, they’ll go with Bryce Petty the rest of the way and hope to pull of an upset.
Smooth’s Pick – Chargers (26-17)
LA Rams at Tennessee
Line: Rams by 6½
This is a more important game for the Titans, as they need to win and keep winning. They hold the 1st wild card spot. The Rams need to win and hope for an Eagles and Vikings loss for the top spot in the NFC.
Smooth’s Pick – LA Rams (30-27)
Miami at Kansas City
Line: Chiefs by 10
The Chiefs hold their own destiny. They can win the division with a win on Sunday. The Dolphins continue to play poor defense, giving up 36 points on the road.
Smooth’s Pick – Kansas City (31-13)
Tampa Bay at Carolina
Line: Panthers by 10
The Panthers’ offense is operating like a well-oiled machine. They hold the 1st wild card. A win can clinch a playoff, but the Bucs could play spoiler.
Smooth’s Pick – Carolina (28-16)
Jacksonville at San Francisco
Line: Jags by 4½
Jacksonville has won seven of its last eight and clinched its first playoff berth in 10 years. But they’ll face a test with a resurgent Niners team with Jimmy Garofalo holding the reigns at QB.
Smooth’s Pick – Jacksonville (24-19)
NY Giants at Arizona
Line: Cardinals by 3½
At this point, the best the Giants can do is to hold on to the 2nd pick in the draft. To do that, they’ll have to lose their remaining games. The Cardinals look like a candidate for an upset, but it’s hard to tell with all the injuries on the G-men side.
Smooth’s Pick – Arizona (28-17)
Seattle at Dallas
Line: Cowboys by 4½
The Cowboys finally get Ezekiel Elliott back from his 6 game suspension. They’ll need him as they try to make a push for the playoffs. Both the Seahawks and Cowboys are 8-6, and the loser will most likely be kicked out of contention.
Smooth’s Pick – Dallas (27-15)
Monday, December 25
Pittsburgh at Houston
Line: Steelers by 8½
Pittsburgh is still reeling from that no TD call. They’ll have to lick their wounds and travel to Houston, where they will be without Antonio Brown for one game. The spread could have higher, otherwise.
Smooth’s Pick – Pittsburgh (28-18)
Oakland at Philadelphia
Line: Eagles by 9
The Eagles just barely escaped with a win verses the Giants. This weekend, they can put the Raiders out of their misery. Oakland need to win and get lots and lots of help.
This is my lock!
Smooth’s Pick – Philadelphia (33-12)
Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblersanonymous.org.