Christmas is here and along with the holiday comes the stretch run of the 2020 NFL season. In fact, Week 16 begins on Christmas Day with a matinee matchup and the slate includes four consecutive days of professional football action. Though Week 15 was not particularly fantastic in this space with a 2-3 record, the excitement is building and perhaps there is value to be found as the hourglass runs out of sand.
A quintet of Week 16 picks awaits but, before we unveil the selections, let’s glance at the 15-week effort.
Week 15: 2-3
2020 Season: 35-38-2
Come get these winners.
Minnesota Vikings (+7) over New Orleans Saints
Let’s get a little bit weird on Christmas. The Saints are the better team, and it isn’t as if anyone is scared off them after a close loss to the Chiefs. With that said, New Orleans is without Michael Thomas and, aside from Alvin Kamara, the skill position options are not terribly impressive. That, in conjunction with Drew Brees and a Vikings team that should be able to move the ball even against a strong Saints defense, makes me think the full touchdown is valuable. I think this line should be 5.5 or 6.
Las Vegas Raiders (+3) over Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins just cover every week, so this is scary because of that. At the same time, the line is preposterous. The Raiders were favored on the look-ahead and now the Dolphins are…. favored by a full field goal on the road? Las Vegas still has some incentive to try and Miami isn’t scaring anyone on offense. The Raiders should be able to run the ball effectively, too, and this is an auto-play if you get the full three.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+1.5) over Indianapolis Colts
No one in the world is buying the Steelers right now, and they went from overrated to underrated in three weeks. It isn’t exactly “fun’ to back this team after the way they looked against the Bengals but, if you put on your analyst hat, it is pretty insane that Pittsburgh is now a home underdog in this game. Play the number and the situation.
Carolina Panthers (+1.5) over Washington Football Team
Washington has been reasonably impressive in recent weeks, and that opens the door for us in this spot. Carolina should be favored in my view, and Teddy Bridgewater is a ridiculous 24-6 against the spread as an underdog and 19-2 as a dog on the road. Throw in the uncertainty that is Washington’s week-to-week offense, and we’re going back to the well with the team from Charlotte.
Dallas Cowboys (+2.5) over Philadelphia Eagles
Before the Jalen Hurts renaissance, this number would’ve been a pick’em, or maybe even Dallas favored. Obviously, Philly has been a lot better with Hurts and that matters, but Dallas has also been feisty the last two weeks. Do you really want to lay points with this Eagles team in a road game against a division foe? I certainly do not.