Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 11/16/14

DETROIT - AUGUST 28: Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions warms up prior to the start of the preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field on August 28, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Week 16 got off to a record-breaking start with Calvin Johnson eclipsing Jerry Rice’s decades-old single-season record for receiving yards. His Lions lost, however, to the surging Falcons. The rest of the Week 16 slate features a few duds but mostly pivotal games that will have a big impact on the playoff picture. Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions Falcons-Lions Date: Saturday, December 22 Falcons-Lions Kickoff Time: 8:30 PM Falcons-Lions TV Network: ESPN Falcons-Lions Point Spread: Falcons -4.5 Falcons-Lions Over-Under Odds: 51 Falcons-Lions Pick: The Falcons are the top team in the NFC and will overpower the Lions, who have lost their last six games. It will give Atlanta the top seed in the playoffs, and home-field advantage throughout. Falcons -4.5 New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys Saints-Cowboys Date: Sunday, December 23 Saints-Cowboys Kickoff Time: 1 PM Saints-Cowboys TV Network: FOX Saints-Cowboys Point Spread: Cowboys -3 Saints-Cowboys Over-Under Odds: 52 Saints-Cowboys Pick: The Saints were able to snap their three-game losing streak with a 41-0 win over the Bucs last week, but will have to take on the surging Cowboys in Dallas. The Cowboys have won their last three games, and can win the NFC East by winning their final two games. They will continue their streak by taking care of this must-win against the Saints. Cowboys -3 Tennessee Titans at Green Bay Packers Titans-Packers Date: Sunday, December 23 Titans-Packers Kickoff Time: 1 PM Titans-Packers TV Network: CBS Titans-Packers Point Spread: Packers -13 Titans-Packers Over-Under Odds: 44.5 Titans-Packers Pick: Green Bay has already clinched the NFC North, so they are now trying to gain home-field advantage in the playoffs by jumping the 49ers in the standings. The Titans picked up an ugly win over the Jets last Monday, but still remain with a disappointing 5-9 record. The Packers will win this game, but it will be closer than the spread indicates. Titans +13 Indianapolis Colts at Kansas City Chiefs Colts-Chiefs Date: Sunday, December 23 Colts-Chiefs Kickoff Time: 1 PM Colts-Chiefs TV Network: CBS Colts-Chiefs Point Spread: Colts -7 Colts-Chiefs Over-Under Odds: 41.5 Colts-Chiefs Pick: The Colts are on their way to the playoffs behind the play of Andrew Luck. They lost to the Texans last week, but have a much easier game this week against the Chiefs. Kansas City lost to the Raiders last week by the score of 15-0 so do not expect anything better this week from them. Colts -7 Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins Bills-Dolphins Date: Sunday, December 23 Bills-Dolphins Kickoff Time: 1 PM Bills-Dolphins TV Network: CBS Bills-Dolphins Point Spread: Dolphins -4.5 Bills-Dolphins Over-Under Odds: 41.5 Bills-Dolphins Pick: Both teams come in at the bottom of the AFC East and are playing for nothing more than pride at this point. The first meeting this year resulted in a Buffalo victory, which is why they have the edge in this matchup. It should be close, so even if Miami wins it will not be by a large margin. Bills +4.5 San Diego Chargers at New York Jets Chargers-Jets Date: Sunday, December 23 Chargers-Jets Kickoff Time: 1 PM Chargers-Jets TV Network: CBS Chargers-Jets Point Spread: Jets -2 Chargers-Jets Over-Under Odds: 37.5 Chargers-Jets Pick: The Jets had a shot to reach the playoffs before their embarrassing performance last Monday night. It led to Mark Sanchez being benched in favor of Greg McElroy and an inevitable overhaul of the roster at season’s end. They take on the Chargers, who actually defeated the Steelers two weeks ago, which is far more impressive than anything the Jets have done as of late. Chargers +2 Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles Redskins-Eagles Date: Sunday, December 23 Redskins-Eagles Kickoff Time: 1 PM Redskins-Eagles TV Network: FOX Redskins-Eagles Point Spread: Redskins -6.5 Redskins-Eagles Over-Under Odds: 45 Redskins-Eagles Pick: The Redskins have won their last five games, and did so last week without RG III under center. He is probable for this game, and it is an important one as the Redskins can win their division by winning their final two games. The Eagles have one win in their last ten games and have already lost to the Redskins by a score of 31-6. It will be a similar result the second time around. Redskins -6.5 Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Bengals-Steelers Date: Sunday, December 23 Bengals-Steelers Kickoff Time: 1 PM Bengals-Steelers TV Network: CBS Bengals-Steelers Point Spread: Steelers -3.5 Bengals-Steelers Over-Under Odds: 41.5 Bengals-Steelers Pick: This game has playoff implications for both teams involved. Cincinnati can still win the division by winning their last two games, and having Baltimore lose this week and then next week against Cincy. Pittsburgh is fighting for a wild card spot that is currently held by the Bengals. They would need to win this game and could still lose next week, as they would win a tiebreaker over the Bengals if they finish with the same record. The Bengals do have the better record, but the Steelers have consistently stepped up in big games under the leadership of Ben Roethlisberger. Steelers -3.5 St. Louis Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rams-Buccaneers Date: Sunday, December 23 Rams-Buccaneers Kickoff Time: 1 PM Rams-Buccaneers TV Network: FOX Rams-Buccaneers Point Spread: Buccaneers -3 Rams-Buccaneers Over-Under Odds: 44 Rams-Buccaneers Pick: Tampa Bay is suffering another disappointing end to their season after losing their last four games and dropping out of playoff contention. They are coming off a 41-0 loss against New Orleans so their confidence is likely at the lowest of points possible. St. Louis had their three-game winning streak snapped last week against the Vikings, but they have the advantage in this game against Tampa. Rams +3 Oakland Raiders at Carolina Panthers Raiders-Panthers Date: Sunday, December 23 Raiders-Panthers Kickoff Time: 1 PM Raiders-Panthers TV Network: CBS Raiders-Panthers Point Spread: Panthers -9 Raiders-Panthers Over-Under Odds: 46 Raiders-Panthers Pick: Last week’s win over the Chiefs gave the Raiders their first win in seven games. Of those prior six losses, they lost by double-digits in all buy one game. Carolina defeated the Chargers by 24 last week, and should carry that play over into this game against the Raiders. Panthers -9 New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars Patriots-Jaguars Date: Sunday, December 23  Patriots-Jaguars Kickoff Time: 1 PM Patriots-Jaguars TV Network: CBS Patriots-Jaguars Point Spread: Patriots -14.5 Patriots-Jaguars Over-Under Odds: 50.5 Patriots-Jaguars Pick: The Patriots lost to the 49ers last week, but the Jaguars are nearly a polar opposite in terms on competition. The Patriots have consistently blown out opponents by large margins this season, and this will not change against the 2-12 Jaguars. Patriots -14.5 Minnesota Vikings at Houston Texans Vikings-Texans Date: Sunday, December 23 Vikings-Texans Kickoff Time: 1 PM Vikings-Texans TV Network: FOX Vikings-Texans Point Spread: Texans -9 Vikings-Texans Over-Under Odds: 45 Vikings-Texans Pick: The Vikings are currently fighting for a playoff spot at 8-6 and must take on the top team in the AFC in Houston. The Vikings have won their last two, while the Texans are coming off a twelve-point win over the Colts. The Texans should win this game, but it will be closer than a nine-point margin. Vikings +9 Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos Browns-Broncos Date: Sunday, December 23 Browns-Broncos Kickoff Time: 4:05 PM Browns-Broncos TV Network: CBS Browns-Broncos Point Spread: Broncos -13 Browns-Broncos Over-Under Odds: 44 Browns-Broncos Pick: The Browns had their three-game winning streak snapped last week against the Redskins. They head to Denver where the Broncos have won their last nine games. The Broncos will win this game, but they have not been able to put away lesser teams like the Browns this season, so look for the margin of victory to be in single digits. Browns +13 Chicago Bears at Arizona Cardinals Bears-Cardinals Date: Sunday, December 23 Bears-Cardinals Kickoff Time: 4:25 PM Bears-Cardinals TV Network: FOX Bears-Cardinals Point Spread: Bears -6 Bears-Cardinals Over-Under Odds: 37 Bears-Cardinals Pick: The Bears have lost their last three games, but are still in contention for a playoff spot. The Cardinals finally ended their nine-game losing streak last week against the Lions, and are certainly looking forward to the end of their miserable season. The Bears will win this game over the Cardinals, as last week’s win over the Lions will do nothing to change Arizona’s chances this week. Bears -6 New York Giants at Baltimore Ravens Giants-Ravens Date: Sunday, December 23 Giants-Ravens Kickoff Time: 4:25 PM Giants-Ravens TV Network: FOX Giants-Ravens Point Spread: Giants -3 Giants-Ravens Over-Under Odds: 47 Giants-Ravens Pick: The Giants are once against struggling to finish the season, but can still make the playoffs. They lost to the Falcons by the score of 34-0 last week, so things can only get better this week. The Ravens have lost their last three, and things will continue to be tough for them this week against the Giants. Giants -3 San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks 49ers-Seahawks Date: Sunday, December 23 49ers-Seahawks Kickoff Time: 8:20 PM 49ers-Seahawks TV Network: NBC 49ers-Seahawks Point Spread: 49ers -1 49ers-Seahawks Over-Under Odds: 39 49ers-Seahawks Pick: These two teams have met once already this season, which ended in a 13-6 win for the 49ers. Things are different now as the Seahawks have scored at least 50 points in their last two games, and welcome the 49ers to Seattle, where the Seahawks are 6-0 this season. It should be a close game, but the Seahawks will get the victory. Seahawks +1 Last Week : 10-6 Yearly Record: 105-110-9 The post NFL Week 16 Picks, Previews, and Point Spreads appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.
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