Spread picks and scores for every NFL Week 16 game

Mike Renner makes spread picks and score predictions for every Week 16 game.

| 2 years ago
(Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

(Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

Spread picks and scores for every NFL Week 16 game

As with every week, I’ll be giving a primer of all Week 16 games, as well as highlighting the key matchups. I’ll give you my picks and how confidence level for each, from a betting perspective. The confidence grade is on our patented -2 through +2 scale.

A positively graded prediction means that I feel good about the bet. If it’s zero, I’m on the fence. And if it’s negative, I really don’t like the line either way.

Here are against-the-spread picks and scores for every NFL game:

Chargers at Raiders (-6)

The Chargers defense has slowly developed into a respectable unit this season after some early season struggles. Much of that is due to the play of their young talented trio of Melvin Ingram, Denzel Perryman, and Jason Verrett. Since Perryman started seeing more playing time in Week 11, all three players have graded out among the top five at their respective positions. That being said I can’t ignore the inconsistency of the Chargers offense, and even though they dropped 30 points last week, their offensive line was still annihilated. I believe the inability to run the ball costs them in this one.

Prediction: Raiders 27, Chargers 20
Confidence grade: -0.5

Redskins at Eagles (-3)

The Redskins are playing much better football over the second half of the season and are 5-3 over their last eight games. Instrumental in that success has been the consistency of Kirk Cousins who earned a +5.6 grade over that time period and more importantly had only one game graded below -1.0. The Redskins run game has been laughable this year, but DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, and Jamison Crowder far outclass the weapons that the Eagles have and push me towards the Redskins in this one.

Prediction: Redskins 24, Eagles 23
Confidence grade: -1.5

Patriots (-3) at Jets

The Patriots receiving corps is back to full strength and that’s not good news for anybody outside of New England. What was thought to be a dominant secondary in New York really crashed and burned this season with free agent signings Buster Skrine (-9.2) and Antonio Cromartie (-9.0) being weak links on the back end. While that dominant defensive line should make the Pats run game non-existent, Tom Brady has proven he can win games without it as he has the second-most dropbacks of any quarterback this season.

Prediction: Patriots 31, Jets 24
Confidence grade: +1

Texans at Titans (OFF)

Last time these two teams met the Titans offensive line got ripped to shreds by J.J. Watt and ultimately led to the benching of rookie right tackle Jeremiah Poutasi. Watt’s +13.9 grade in that matchup was his highest of the season and he has to be chomping at the bit again. The Titans offensive line woes have plagued them all year and Taylor Lewan is the only lineman to have seen significant playing time and grade above -8.0 for the year. With the second year backup quarterback Zach Mettenberger set to start for Tennessee, I can’t how he would perform well under what figures to be constant pressure.

Prediction: Texans 24, Titans 13
Confidence grade: 0

Browns at Chiefs (-13)

Johnny Manziel faces another legit defense on the road this week in his end of year trial run. His performance last week in Seattle was ugly, completing only three passes targeted 10+ yards downfield. The odds of him having more success against the Chiefs secondary whose starters have combined for a +15.7 coverage grade seems slim. The Browns run defense is still a liability and have earned the lowest graded in the NFL. The Chiefs have more than enough talent to pound the ball all day on the ground.

Prediction: Chiefs 30, Browns 13
Confidence grade: -1

Colts at Dolphins (-2.5)

The Colts offense is a mess at the moment and far to variable to feel good betting on. The Dolphins aren’t much better, but at least they are somewhat known quantities. There is little doubt it will be a low scoring game, but the Dolphins pass rush is the difference for me. Olivier Vernon and Ndamukong Suh both have top 3 pass rushing grades at their respective positions. Whomever goes for the Colts at quarterback will be under a lot of heat and that’s never good for a backup.

Prediction: Dolphins 17, Colts 13
Confidence grade: -1

49ers at Lions (-10)

The Lions have gone 5-4 after starting off 0-5 and have become more or less the team people expected at the beginning of the year. Even though they’ve improved mightily, this offense still gets bogged down by a porous offensive line that is among the bottom 10 in run and pass blocking. The 49ers run defense has graded out in the top 10 this season, and I don’t like the Lions chances of a blowout if they have to play one-dimensional football.

Prediction: Lions 24, 49ers 17
Confidence grade: +0.5

Cowboys at Bills (-6)

Two of the most disappointing units in the NFL this year, the Cowboys offense and the Bills defense face off in early in the season looked like it could be a playoff primer. The Bills have the distinct advantage at the quarterback position though in this one. Kellen Moore looked out of his depth in his first action of the season last week throwing three picks and earning a -4.4 overall grade. That’s not going to cut it Sunday. I expect the Bills seventh-ranked run blocking line to get good push against the Cowboys 29th graded run defense and the Bills to run away with this one.

Prediction: Bills 27, Cowboys 16
Confidence grade: -1

Bears at Buccaneers (-3)

Lovie Smith gets a crack at his old team with nothing but draft standing on the line. Both quarterbacks have been having solid years so I’m looking to the running game for the difference in this one. Both run defenses are in the bottom 10 for the season while both offensive lines are in the top 12 for run blocking on the season. The big difference is Doug Martin, by far our highest-graded running back this year. With the advantage at running back and with the Bucs at home, I like them to cover.

Prediction: Buccaneers 24, Bears 20
Confidence grade: 0

Panthers (-7) at Falcons

The Panthers keep finding a way to win close games, but all signs point this one not being another one of those. Look for Greg Olsen to have a big game working the seams against the Falcons cover-3 scheme. The Falcons linebacking corps is among the lowest graded in coverage in the league and none of them have the ability to turn and run with the more athletic Olsen. This matchup was a 38-0 beat down only two weeks ago and the change in venue won’t do much to alter the huge matchup problems Atlanta faces.

Prediction: Panthers 31, Falcons 17
Confidence grade: +0.5

Steelers (-10) at Ravens

If the Broncos couldn’t stop the Steelers offense right now, then the Ravens don’t figure to fair much better. I broke down some of the Steelers strengths and weaknesses earlier this week and their biggest weakness, their pass coverage, isn’t likely to cost them this week. The starting quarterback for the Ravens isn’t set in stone, but there’s no right answer when choosing between Matt Schaub, Jimmy Clausen, and Ryan Mallett.

Prediction: Steelers 31, Ravens 17
Confidence grade: +0.5

Jaguars at Saints (-3.5)

This matchup screams shootout and I love it. The ball will be flying through the air as the quarterback and receiver play far outclasses the secondaries in this one. With Drew Brees plagued though by a plantar fascia tear, I’ll have to side with the Jags. Jacksonville quietly has three receivers among our 32 highest graded for the season in Allen Robinson (7th), Allen Hurns (18th), and Bryan Walters (32nd). And we’ve seen in the past that two good receivers is really all it takes to carve up the Saints secondary.

Prediction: Jaguars 35, Saints, 30
Confidence grade: +0.5

Rams at Seahawks (-14)

Their week 1 matchup was one of the bigger red herrings of the 2015 NFL season. The Rams offense hasn’t looked close to that potent in any game since and Nick Foles has long since been benched. They showed signs of life last week against the Bucs at home, but the Seahawks defense has been playing at completely different level Tampa Bay’s of late. Seattle has allowed 26 points over the last three weeks, and the Rams really don’t have a chance in this one.

Prediction: Seahawks 27, Rams 10
Confidence grade: +0.5

Packers at Cardinals (-4.5)

With Tyrann Mathieu healthy, this line is a slam dunk for the Cards. Without him though there is a serious conversation to be had. No other player in the league was able to impact so many facets of the game from the secondary quite like Mathieu did. That’s what made him by far our highest graded cornerback. Comments from Bruce Arians suggest that D.J. Swearinger may assume Mathieu’s role in the defense. Yikes. The chasm between Carson Palmer’s play (our No. 1-graded QB) and Aaron Rodgers’ (our No. 6-graded QB) play this season is enough for me to think the Cardinals will win, but without the elite secondary it could be close.

Prediction: Cardinals 27, Packers 24
Confidence grade: -1

Giants at Vikings (-6)

The Vikings can’t afford to fall two games back of the Packers if they hope to play a home game come playoff time. If Linval Joseph, Harrison Smith, and Anthony Barr, all top five graded players at their respective positions, return though it doesn’t appear their in much jeopardy of losing. That’s because the Giants sole dynamic offensive weapon, Odell Beckham Jr., will be on the sidelines this week after his shenanigans against the Panthers last Sunday. I can’t see how the Giants will move the ball regularly on offense without him.

Prediction: Vikings 24, Giants 17
Confidence grade: -0.5

Bengals at Broncos (-3)

It’s a battle of the backup quarterbacks in Denver. If A.J. McCarron continues to play like he did last week in San Francisco he might have teams clamoring for his services this offseason. He was an accurate and efficient en route to a +2.2 overall grade in the first start of his career. It’s only one game, but combine his play with a strong offensive line and I feel more confident about the Bengals offense than the highs and lows of Brock Osweiller in this one.

Prediction: Bengals 17, Broncos 16
Confidence grade: -1

Season Record: 130-94 (112-110-2 ATS)


| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

  • Mike J.

    Er, the Bucs are 7th in defensive yards rushing per game.

  • Tim Edell

    The Vikings can’t afford to fall 2 games back of the Packers if they want to play a home playoff game?!!? Considering there will only be 1 game left that is a pretty accurate statement

    • crosseyedlemon

      Since the Vikings know they will have to win on the road at some point in the playoffs to achieve their goals it probably isn’t that big of a deal to them. I was hoping our Bears could give Lovie the help he needed to make the playoffs but I guess the past 2 weeks ruined any chance the Bucs had.

    • Mnstorm99

      Vikings should beat the Giants, and get that primetime monkey off their back. But, even if they lose, I have a hard time picking the Packers to beat the Cards.
      Week 17 should be for the NFC north. Should be fun.

  • Scott

    The Rams always have a chance against Seattle.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Not when they have scored fewer points than everyone but the Niners.

  • crosseyedlemon

    It’s completely ridiculous for a 5-9 team to be favored by 10 so I must assume the Lions are playing the 49er cheerleaders. The Chiefs will be more concerned with avoiding injuries than running up the score so the Browns should at least cover the spread.

  • geo2209

    Bengals over the Broncos with TJ Ward back? No freaking way. Yes AJ McCarron can post a +2.2 grade vs the dumpster fire that is the 9ers, but it’s a completely different story when the Bengals have already clinched a playoff spot and the Broncos are still fighting to get in the playoffs. If Denver loses and 3 9-5 teams (KC, NYJ, Pitt) win, then Denver is out of the playoffs. Only a fool would pick a 2nd string QB to win against the best secondary+top 3 pass rush in the league on the road and against a team who absolutely needs this win to get into the playoffs.

    • crosseyedlemon

      Broncos currently hold the 3rd seed so they are not fighting for a playoff spot and it’s the 9-5 teams that absolutely have to win.

      • Sam Doohan

        The Broncos have not locked up a playoff birth at all. Yes, if the season ended today they would be no 3 as the winner of their division but they can fall completely out of the playoffs in the last two games. KC can nose past them for the division and they don’t have great tie breakers as a wild card. So the Broncos absolutely HAVE to win. I can’t remember if they need to win both games or just one but they need at least one and they are going to be playing damn hard tonight .

  • Upeo

    If that’s what you inferred from Arians’ comments then reading comprehension ins’t your strongest suit. Powers will take Mathieu’s role in the slot, Jefferson will take his safety role in base formation, Bethel will take Powers’ role on the outside and the combination of Swearinger/Clemons will take over for Jefferson in the dime.

    The magic of Tyrann Mathieu is that he’s able to do so many things so well, and there’s no one player who will be able to replace that and the coaching staff more than anyone knows that, so the load wll be spread through several different ones.

    The notion that the coaching staff would somehow be oblivious to that and try to replace Matthieu with DJ Swearinger alone is somewhat insulting really.