Written by Steve Marcuz (@sidskeat) and Shaun Meyer @deadduck), respectively
Dammit. Another step back. This season sucks. Although we are still about .500 which is a winning season, things and streaks are just hard to come by but we are professionals dammit! We will finish these last 2 weeks strong and be sure to help fill your pockets back up after emptying them this holiday season. Let’s take a look at where we stand:
Steve: 2-3 Season Record: 38-34-3
Shaun: 2-3 Season Record: 41-32-2
Alright, time to take a look at week 16 and see what kind of damage we can do. The good kind of damage.
Detroit (+7) @ Dallas Confidence LVL 8
I know, Dallas is good. But guess what, Detroit is no slouch either, and I feel that they are continuously undervalued by the books. Although Dallas started out hot by going 9-0 ATS early to start the season, they are only 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games. Meanwhile, the Lions are only 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games which is very solid. To top that, they are 5-2 SU and ATS in their last 7 against teams with winning records. What’s more is that the Lions enjoy playing in Dallas, going 3-1 ATS in their last 4 games there. I know Dallas is good and will probably win this game, but by more than a TD? That’s a little much. Take all them points and enjoy the Christmas hangover on Monday night.
San Francisco (+4.5) @ Los Angeles Confidence LVL 7
There aren’t many positives to take away when watching these two teams play the last….well this entire season actually. San Francisco is heading to LA to face the only team they have beaten this season while the Rams are stilling learning to cope with life after Jeff Fisher, which I’ve heard they love. The Rams aren’t your typical home team going 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games. The 49ers really like playing the Rams, going 5-2 SU and ATS in their last 7 head to head matchups. In fact, SF is 0-16 and 1-14-1 ATS in their last 16 games against teams not based in St. Louis or LA. In that same span, they are 2-0 SU and ATS so the Rams are a get right team for SF and although this could go really wrong, I’m expecting SF to win this one again. Take the points since you’re getting them but don’t subject yourself to this one.
Washington (-3.5) @ Chicago Confidence LVL 7
I shouldn’t be talking about Washington at all after they burned me last week not only in fantasy football but in this very column as well when I took them for the over. Well shame on them and if they screw me here then shame on me. As Washington is now in a bad spot in the playoff picture, they must win out to even have chance. After putting up at dud on Monday night I think they come out firing. The Bears, although 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games, are only 1-5 SU in their last 6 meaning that they are always flirting with disaster. Washington doesn’t mind going on the road as they’re 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games. Washington also likes playing the Bears as their 10-2 ATS in the last 12 matchups and 6-0 SU in the last 6. Lay the points and hope Washington keeps their foot down on the pedal.
Minnesota (+7) @ Green Bay Confidence LVL 7
How can I take the Vikings here when we just saw them getting lambasted by the Colts while the Packers continued to roll stealing a late victory in Chicago. I don’t know if you’ve joined us before but if not, remember that lines are based on public perception and what we all saw last week I believe is what has led to this line. I can’t deny that the Vikings haven’t been the same team that started the season, and neither have the Packers, but I don’t think Minnesota is nearly as bad as that team that was just rolled over. The Packers this season are only 6-7-1 and I can’t remember the last time they really blew a team away by more than a touchdown, maybe the Eagles in November on Monday night. Either way, I see this division game staying close as both teams are still alive in the playoff hunt. Take the points.
San Francisco (+4.5) @ LA Rams Confidence LVL 7
Man I know Jeff Fisher was bad, but outside of the Browns I am not sure this LA team should be favored over anyone, new coach or not. The Rams are fresh off a beating handed down by division rival Seattle way back on Thursday night. The 49ers are reeling from their own blowout courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons. Two bad teams in a game no one will want to watch. The Niners though, are 5-2 SU and ATS in their last seven vs the Rams. The Rams, for what it’s worth are 2-7 ATS in Saturday games. I don't have any faith in either one of these offenses, but I am basically betting that it will not be more than a three point game. Final score 16-13. Flip a coin on the winner.
Washington @ Chicago (+3.5) Confidence LVL 8
I keep going back to the bet against Barkley well, and it’s not working out. So I am making a U-turn and hopping on the Bears cover wagon. Chicago gave the Packers all they could handle last week before remembering they need to keep losing. Washington is on a short week, following a Monday night loss to the Panthers. Jordan Howard is looking like a legitimate NFL RB and Barkley has actually been serviceable in relief of all the Chicago injured QBs. Look for the Bears to get a lead, then let Washington come back and take the win. Washington 24-23.
Tennessee @ Jacksonville (+5) Confidence LVL 6
Tennessee shocked the world by going into Arrowhead in December and coming away with the victory. Jacksonville took an early lead on Houston and then they Bortles-ed it away and found a way to lose. The Titans are 1-4 SU and 0-4-1 ATS in their last five at Jacksonville. They are also 2-7-1 ATS in their last ten as a favorite. Also Tennessee habitually plays down to lesser opponents, holding a 2-10 ATS record over the last 2 seasons vs teams with losing records. I like the Titans to come away with the win, but in a close one. Tennessee 27-24.
Cincinnati @ Houston (-2) Confidence LVL 6
Oooooooohhhhhh yyeeeeaaaaahhh!! Dig it!! Asswasher put the Texans in a hole vs the Jaguars before "Macho Man" Tommy Savage came in and saved the day. Cincinnati put up a respectable fight in a loss to their rival Pittsburgh. Old Marvin Lewis is just 11-13 ATS in night time games. Cincy has only covered one out of their last eight vs Houston, and are 0-10-1 SU in last eleven vs teams with winning records. Suprised Houston has a winning record? Yeah, me too. I look for Savage to make Nuk and Miller playable again in fantasy and for Houston to seize control of the terrible AFC South with a win over the Bengals. Texans 24-20.
Steve: Baltimore @ Pittsburgh (-5) Confidence LVL 6
The Steelers are one of my least favorite teams to bet but I think I have them figured out. Whenever I see a line and think “that’s way too low, the Steelers are going to kill this team” they end up either losing or winning a close one. Well I saw this line and thought this was too big, these division games are always close so I’m going against my initial thought and basically fading myself which is why you see this pick here in the Wildcard section. The Steelers are good in December, going 12-1-1 in their last 14 December games but the Ravens don’t care. They play the Steelers tough ALWAYS. Baltimore is 4-0 SU and 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 against Pittsburgh. This should be a good one but I think Flacco throws this one away before all is said and done.
Shaun: Detroit (+7) @ Dallas Confidence LVL 8
The Lions were basically shut down by the stifling D belonging to the New York Giants. The Cowboys hopped on Zeke's back and rode him to victory over the surging Bucs. The Lions fair pretty well at the Jerry Dome, going 3-1 ATS in their last four at Dallas. The also play up to their competition, going 5-2 ATS in their last seven against teams with winning records. I look for Stafford to be better than he was last week, scoring enough to keep this one close in the last game of the week therefore deciding the fates of many in the fantasy world. Dallas 30-24.