Sliced Spread: 2011 NFL Football Week 16 Picks and Predictions

Welcome to SLICED SPREAD, the place on Inside Pulse Sports for weekly NFL picks against the spread, head to head survivor picks, and score prognostications.

For those of you who are jetting out of the office early this week for the holidays, I’ve decided to post my Week 16 picks one day early today (Wednesday). I wish you all safe travels and a happy and healthy holiday week.

Also, in case you aren’t aware, please note that most games this week will actually be on Saturday, and I am definitely looking forward to a very busy slate of games on Christmas Eve.

And as they say in the trade…

Onto the breakdown!

SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 15 BREAKDOWN

WEEK 15 ATS: 9-7
WEEK 15 LOCKS ATS: 1-2

WEEK 15 H2H: 9-7
WEEK 15 H2H SURVIVOR PICK: WIN (Falcons over Jaguars)

THIS SEASON ATS: 120-104
THIS SEASON LOCKS ATS: 24-21

THIS SEASON H2H: 152-72

H2H SURVIVOR TEAMS USED:
Chargers (Week 1, Win)
Lions (Week 2, Win)
Steelers (Week 3, Win)
Packers (Week 4, Win)
Giants (Week 5, Loss)
Raiders (Week 6, Win)
Cowboys (Week 7, Win)
Niners (Week 8, Win)
Texans (Week 9, Win)
Eagles (Week 10, Loss)
Patriots (Week 11, Win)
Jets (Week 12, Win)
Saints (Week 13, Win)
Seahawks (Week 14, Win)
Falcons (Week 15, Win)

SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 16 PICKS

THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:

Houston (-5.5) over INDIANAPOLIS — This spread is very manageable for a Houston team who will have their defensive coordinator Wade Phillips back this week for game planning purposes. Also, the Colts REALLY wanted to win 1 game this season, which they achieved last week. But do you REALLY think they want to win again and potentially compromise their #1 draft position? I certainly don’t. Texans win 26-17

SATURDAY (CHRISTMAS EVE):

WASHINGTON (-6.5) over Minnesota — This could be a letdown game for the Redskins coming off a huge division win on the road that just may have spoiled the Giants’ playoff hopes. However, the Vikings just don’t seem to have much left in the tank in 2011, so… Redskins win 27-20

*H2H SURVIVOR PICK: CAROLINA (-7.5) over Tampa Bay — Anyone else want to pick Tampa knowing they’ve given up on their coach? The Panthers roll here as Cam Newton continues to show huge upside potential for Carolina next season. Panthers win 28-16

Denver (-2.5) over BUFFALO — It’s never easy for any team to regroup after getting taken to school by Tom Brady. To regroup while traveling up north to Buffalo in December makes this one even trickier for Tim Tebow and company. With that said, the Bills haven’t played well in what seems like an eternity, and as a result, the Broncos will bounce back and win a close game to stay alive in the AFC West playoff race. Broncos win 23-19

NEW ENGLAND (-9.5) over Miami — Division game or not, there is absolutely no chance Tom Brady lets up or gets trapped at home since the Patriots are very close to clinching home field advantage through to the AFC Championship game. Patriots win 31-20

*LOCK IT UP: NY Giants (+2.5) over NY JETS — I know that both New York teams are stumbling (if not free-falling) heading into this showdown, but there is absolutely no way the Jets should be favored in this game when they have the vastly inferior quarterback behind center. Last week, we saw what happens when the Jets go down by more than one touchdown, and their lack of comeback ability will really hurt them here. Therefore, the Giants over the Jets is my gut feeling pick of the week, and perhaps that will humble Rex Ryan once and for all. Giants win 31-24

Arizona (+4.5) over CINCINNATI — The Cardinals have played consistently well throughout the second half of this season, and that is reason enough for me to think this will be a hard-fought, tight-knit contest. I think Cincinnati takes it, but it won’t be easy to say the least. Bengals win 21-19 

PITTSBURGH (-16.5) over St. Louis  — I really want to think that the Rams will be able to put up enough points to cover this huge spread, but no matter who plays quarterback for the Steelers, St. Louis’ offense is going to muster up almost nothing up in Pittsburgh. Therefore… Steelers win 23-3

BALTIMORE (-13.5) over Cleveland — I just knew the Ravens were going to get tripped up by the surging Chargers in San Diego last week. This week, I am equally sure that the Ravens will rebound at home and dominate the Browns to reestablish themselves as true AFC contenders before the playoffs come around. Ravens win 28-13

TENNESSEE (-7.5) over Jacksonville — The Titans are coming off an absolutely crushing loss to the Colts that likely eliminated them from playoff contention. However, Tennessee isn’t mathematically eliminated just yet, and I think they will route the completely inept and injured Jaguars at home. Titans win 27-10

KANSAS CITY (-1.5) over Oakland — The Chiefs unseated the undefeated Green Bay Packers last week, and that momentum combined with their renewed motivation under new head coach Romeo Crennel will propel them to a big division win here at home over the reeling Raiders. Chiefs win 23-20

*LOCK IT UP: San Diego (+2.5) over DETROIT — The Lions flat out escaped Oakland with a undeniably huge win last week, but the Chargers and Philip Rivers are simply on one of those December hot streaks that swings my pick firmly in San Diego’s direction. Chargers win 34-28

*LOCK IT UP: Philadelphia (+2.5) over DALLAS — The Dream Team isn’t dead just yet! That’s right, the Eagles can pull off a holiday miracle and win the NFC East if they get some help over the next two weeks. Even without that glimmer of playoff hope, I still think that Philadelphia will play like they have absolutely nothing to lose when they face off against the Cowboys this week. Meanwhile, Dallas will have the weight of the world on their shoulders, something that historically hasn’t really worked out for Tony Romo all that much in the month of December. Ultimately, no matter how you slice it, all of this will add up to an Eagles win, in my humble opinion of course. Eagles win 30-24

San Francisco (-2.5) over SEATTLE — What I saw last week was a San Francisco defense that is of Super Bowl caliber. While the Seahawks are playing out of their minds lately, the Niners are the real deal and they will prove that again here up in the northwest at one of the toughest venues to play and win on the road.  Niners win 24-16

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:

GREEN BAY (-13.5) over Chicago — Unlike the Rams (at Pittsburgh) and the Browns (at Baltimore), I didn’t automatically think that the Bears deserve to be double-digit underdogs on the road this week. At the same time, I also sense that way too many people are parachuting off the Packers’ bandwagon simply because they lost one game. Green Bay is still a great team with an elite offense, and Chicago’s biggest problem since the Cutler and Forte injuries occurred is that they can’t score points. Throw in the fact that Seattle just scorched the Bears for 38 points at Soldier Field last week and we have a situation where we go with a complete turnaround from Chicago on both sides of the ball, or a bounceback game from the previously infallible Aaron Rodgers. I’ll go with the latter of these two scenarios and say… Packers win 31-13

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:

NEW ORLEANS  (-6.5) over Atlanta — Drew Brees and Matt Ryan should both be very comfortable in the dome setting, but at home Brees is the man who has been lighting up the scoreboard in historic fashion. This one will be an all-out shootout and the Saints will pull away late. Saints win 45-34

That’s it for this week’s edition of SLICED SPREAD.

See you next week and happy holidays – CB.

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