Week 16 and we’re only two weekends away from the post season. Teams are still jockeying for position in either the wild card or the division. In the AFC, only Kansas City and the Chargers have clinched playoff spots. Both teams are tied with 11-3 records, with the Chiefs holding the tie-breaker for the better division record. In the NFC, the picture is clearer, with Chicago, New Orleans and the Rams clinching their divisions. The Saints currently hold the #1 overall seed at 12-2. More teams are scheduled to clinch this weekend, most likely Seattle, Houston and New England.
Last Week’s Results
Head to Head: 9-7
Against the Spread: 6-7-3
Season to Date
Head to Head: 146-79-2
Against the Spread: 108-79-37
All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com
Saturday, December 22
Washington at Tennessee
Line: Titans by 10
The Redskins are still in the NFC East hunt, but they better win the next two games and hope for a miracle. This weekend’s game will be even tougher as they travel to Nashville to take on the Titans, who eliminated the Giants from playoff contention. They’re 8-6 and also need this game and help in the wildcard. Look for a closer than expected game.
Smooth’s Pick – Tennessee (23-21)
Baltimore at LA Chargers
Line: Bolts by 4½
The Ravens need a couple of wins and a Steelers loss to take the AFC North. They travel to Carson, California to take on a Bolts team that is giving KC a serious run for the AFC West title with their comeback win last Thursday. I like the Bolts in this one.
Smooth’s Pick – LA Chargers (21-17)
Sunday, December 23
Atlanta at Carolina
Line: Falcons by 3½
The “Dirty Birds” can end the Panthers hopes for the playoffs this weekend with a win. Carolina is in a full free fall, and there’s no telling what could happen in this game. Look for a closer than expected matchup.
Smooth’s Pick – Atlanta (26-20)
Buffalo at New England
Line: Patriots by 13
The Bills upset Detroit for their 5th win of the year, but have a tough game in Foxborough against the Pats, who came up short against the Steelers on Sunday. A victory will clinch the AFC East for a record 10th consecutive time.
This is my lock!
Smooth’s Pick – New England (31-12)
Cincinnati at Cleveland
Line: Browns by 9
This is the first time in a long while the Browns have been favored in any game in a long time. That’s because they’ve been playing very well of late including a win against Denver last Saturday. The Bengals will have a tough time of it.
Smooth’s Pick – Cleveland (24-18)
Green Bay at NY Jets
Line: Packers by 3
The season couldn’t be over sooner for these two teams. The Pack were eliminated by Chicago. Gang Green were eliminated a while ago. Still this should be an interesting matchup for draft position.
Smooth’s Pick – Green Bay (23-16)
Houston at Philadelphia
Line: Eagles by 2½
The Texans are still in the running for the top seed in the AFC, but they have a tough matchup with the Eagles. Big win for them on the road, and they still have a chance in the NFC East and the wild card.
This is my upset special!
Smooth’s Pick – Houston (17-14)
Jacksonville at Miami
Line: Dolphins by 4
Though the Jags are out of the playoff hunt, they still have a chance to play spoiler. The Fish took it on the chin against Minnesota last weekend and they need this game. Look for a defensive struggle.
Smooth’s Pick – Miami (13-10)
Minnesota at Detroit
Line: Vikings by 5½
The Vikings hold on to the second wild card and they need to win outright to make the playoffs. That includes the game with the Lions, who are trying to better their record at 5-9. Look for a tough divisional matchup.
Smooth’s Pick – Minnesota (20-17)
NY Giants at Indianapolis
Line: Colts by 9
The G-Men look to avoid their second straight shutout as they go up against the Colts. The Indy defense looks to keep their scoreless streak alive and stay in the playoff hunt. Could be a long day for Big Blue.
Smooth’s Pick – Indianapolis (31-17)
Tampa Bay at Dallas
Line: Cowboys by 7
The Bucs go on their second road game in two weeks and take on the Cowboys. Dallas cannot afford to play like they did last weekend. They need to score. They should be able to put up some numbers against this Bucs defense.
Smooth’s Pick – Dallas (28-19)
Chicago at San Francisco
Line: Bears by 4
After clinching the NFC North last weekend, the Bears look to avoid a trap against the Niners. They still have an outside chance for the #1 overall seed, but they need to end the season tied with the Rams to do that.
Smooth’s Pick – Chicago (23-17)
LA Rams at Arizona
Line: Rams by 14
After an ugly loss to Philadelphia, the Rams have an easier schedule than New Orleans and Chicago for that #1 spot. They go to the desert where they will take on a Cardinals team that currently has the #1 spot in the draft and they should continue to do so.
Smooth’s Pick – LA Rams (37-18)
Pittsburgh at New Orleans
Line: Saints by 5½
The Steelers needed and got a big win over New England. But they have a tough task in the “Big Easy”. They need to win verses a Saints team that is tough to beat in the dome. This will be closer than expected.
Smooth’s Pick – New Orleans (25-21)
Kansas City at Seattle
Line: Chiefs by 2½
The Chiefs were shocked by that home loss to the Chargers last Thursday. Now they have a tough task in Seattle, where the Seahawks can clinch a playoff spot this weekend. Defense will be the key in this game and can Seattle stop Patrick Mahomes.
Smooth’s Pick – Kansas City (27-23)
Monday, December 24
Denver at Oakland
Line: Broncos by 2½
It’s uncertain if this will be the Raiders last game in Oakland. But if it is, they could go out with a whimper as they take on the Broncos. Or they can play spoiler and knock out Denver’s playoff hopes. They need the game for any chance for the post season.
Smooth’s Pick – Denver (24-16)
Now with all our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to GamblersAnonymous.org.
And that’s week sixteen for Smooth’s NFL Football Picks. Join us on Boxing Day, December 26 at 830am Eastern Time as we make our predictions for the College Football Playoff Championship. Check our website for additional times. If you miss out, you can always read our picks on our blog at smoothjazzandmore.com.
Merry Christmas and we’ll see you later.