Week 16 NFL Predictions
Created on Dec 18, 2013 9:16 AM EST
If our experts are to be believed, if they are to be the reliable source of football forecasts that they claim to be, then it would appear that the two best games this week will be Rams-Bucs and Ravens-Patriots. Football.com's eight experts are split down the middle on those tilts, four and four against the opening spread of both games. The Buccaneers getting 5.5 points and the Patriots, a rare underdog, getting 1.5 at Baltimore are giving the crew fits. While St. Louis and Tampa are essentially playing for pride and job security, New England and Baltimore has the makings of a real street fight. Baltimore's playing for their playoff lives and New England is the best December NFL team in the last decade.
Despite what our picks say, Saints-Panthers should probably be a pretty decent tilt, too. Five of eight experts are picking the Saints, getting three points at Carolina.
On the opposite end of the football spectrum, we all have a man crush on the Chiefs, Broncos, Chargers (yep, the AFC West is a pretty nice division), and the 49ers. The Chiefs are giving the Colts 6.5, the Broncos are offering 9.5 to the Texans, the Chargers are stuffing the Raiders' stocking with 7.5 points, and the 49ers are giving the biggest spread—10.5 points—to the lifeless Falcons.
You could make an argument that this is the second time this season the Broncos are facing arguably the worst team in football. Earlier this year, they were afforded almost 30 points against the Jaguars and didn't cover. This week they have the dumpster-fire Texans and are only giving up 9.5. We still like the Broncos. Then again, everyone but Allen Kim liked the Broncos giving 27.5 to the Jaguars and we all lost that one.
Speaking of the Jaguars, they remain one of the experts' favorite picks again. It's been about a month of Jacksonville love and this week seven of eight experts are backing them to either win or lose a close one to the Titans.
With two weeks left to play in the regular season, Brett Spielberg leads the experts with 76 wins, but he's got company at the head of the pack with Evan Grossman (75), Stan Chrapowicki (74), and Josh Grossman (73) all in hot pursuit of the crown.
Click ahead for in-depth analysis and all of football.com's expert picks.