Record: 35-26 | Bonus Record: 3-6
Week Sixteen will be especially critical in determining playoff seeding and which teams will likely secure the last few wildcard spots. This was already highlighted Thursday in the Jags win over the Jets, as the Jags now appear to be the favorites to take the AFC South and the Jets have a non-realistic chance to make the playoffs. Another couple of games are featured in this week’s bets that are also very critical to the playoff picture:
Eagles +4.5 @ Cowboys
With the leading MVP candidate out for the game, it’s understandable why the Cowboys are favored to win this game. But while Hurts has certainly improved the ceiling of this offense by displaying tremendous mobility and accuracy, the Philadelphia coaching staff has also put the entire offense in a great position to succeed this year. The game preparedness, innovative play calling and dominant offensive line will not change just because Hurts is out, and I think these factors will prove to be of even more importance than Hurts when the Eagles keep this game very close or even win it outright to secure the division. As long as the Cowboys’ run game fails to step on the Eagles’ throats too early, Gardner Minshew will demonstrate the ability of his team even without its star quarterback.
Lions -2.5 @ Panthers
Everyone loves to focus on Jared Goff’s struggles on the road and playing outdoors, but even if his deficiencies in this regard decrease the output of the generally consistent Lions’ offense, it’s hard to see this game being very close. The quality of the Panthers’ offense is similar to the Zach Wilson led one the Lions’ faced last week but the Panthers don’t nearly possess the defense of the Jets. The scalding hot Lions continue their push for the playoffs by winning with conviction over the Panthers this week.
Seahawks @ Chiefs O49.5 Total Points
Barring some of the sloppy mistakes the Chiefs have made occasionally this season, Mahomes and company should have little trouble pouncing all over the Seahawks below-average defense. This is a must win game for the Chiefs to stay in the hunt for the one seed bye, so the offense should look as powerful as ever with important positioning still on the line. Speaking of must win games, the Seahawks find themselves trying to fend of the surging Lions for a playoff spot, which will be extremely difficult with another loss. Expect another inspired performance from Geno Smith, who despite how he starts the game will fight vigorously to score with the help of the Chiefs lenient defense.
Christian McCaffery O122.5 Total Yards
Chase Young makes his 2022 debut this week, joining an already strong Commanders’ pass rush. Brock Purdy slows down facing this pass rush and solid defense in coverage, so the 49ers will have to rely on the skills of McCaffery to generate much of their offense. Luckily, the Commanders are not nearly as strong against the run and should allow many receiving opportunities to McCaffery, who will be Purdy’s outlet man when Purdy is under duress. Furthermore, expect McCaffery to play with an extra chip on his shoulder this week after being incomprehensibly snubbed from the pro bowl this year.
Justin Jefferson O89.5 Receiving Yards
The Giants don’t have anyone that can guard Jefferson and can’t allocate the resources to heavy zone coverages or double teams to slow him down. With other strong receiving threats and run game, anyone on the balanced Vikings’ offense could enjoy a productive day, but as usual, the safest bet to would be Jefferson, who has exceeded ninety yards ten out of fourteen games this year.