NFL Week 16 predictions: our picks against the spread

Carolina arguably have the worst quarterback room in the league, and coach Matt Rhule said Cam Newton and Sam Darnold, who have just retu...


Carolina arguably have the worst quarterback room in the league, and coach Matt Rhule said Cam Newton and Sam Darnold, who have just returned from a shoulder injury, will both play on Sunday. Wide receiver Antonio Brown is set to play after serving a three-game suspension for using a fake vaccine card, and Brady should be able to score at will as the Panthers’ lousy offense continues to struggle. Take: Buccaneers -11

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Houston Texans, 1 p.m., CBS

Line: Chargers -8 | Total: 46

Coach Brandon Staley has previously ruled out edge rusher Joey Bosa, and the Chargers (8-6) could be without running back Austin Ekeler and center Corey Linsley against the Texans (3-11) due to problems with coronavirus. Even with these potential absences, Los Angeles is able to dominate Houston. The Chargers are allowing for the 10th fewest passing yards per game, and they should easily contain wide receiver Brandin Cooks, the Texans’ best offensive weapon. That’s if he even plays, as the team put him on the Covid-19 reserve list on Wednesday afternoon. Bet on the Chargers with confidence, even if they are shorthanded. Take: Chargers -9.5

Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders, 4:25 p.m., CBS

Row: Raiders -1.5 | Total: 42.5

The Raiders (7-7) kept their playoff hopes on Monday as they barely beat a Browns team that started a third-string quarterback. The Broncos (7-7) are also technically on the hunt, making them a staple for both teams. Denver is likely to start Drew Lock as a quarterback as Teddy Bridgewater recovers from a concussion. It’s not ideal for Denver, as Lock is known to do incorrect readings and reversals. Las Vegas beat the Broncos in their first game in October after Jon Gruden resigned, and the team are able to repeat whether they are relying on their defense to put pressure on and force Lock to make mistakes. Take: Raiders -1.5

Dallas Cowboys Washington football team, 8:20 p.m., NBC

Line: Cowboys -10 | Total: 47.5

The Cowboys (10-4) beat Washington (6-8) two weeks ago and likely will do it again. Due to the coronavirus, Washington threw its third quarterback, Garrett Gilbert, against Philadelphia last week, and it is not known whether Taylor Heinicke or Kyle Allen will be available to play in Dallas. The Cowboys have won three straight games, a wave that was surprisingly led by the team’s defense. Micah Parsons continues to excel as a versatile edge rusher, with 12 sacks, and Trevon Diggs leads the league with 10 interceptions. If quarterback Dak Prescott and offense deal with the ball, the defense should stifle Washington and keep the score in the gap. Take: Cowboy -10

Chicago Bears vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m., Fox

Line: Seahawks -7 | Total: 44

For the first time since Russell Wilson’s 2012 draft, the Seahawks (5-9) will end the season with a loss record. The reasons are many, and they include Wilson’s finger injury mid-season, the team’s overall offensive ineffectiveness, and an unusually porous defense. The Bears (4-10), whose offense is fourth in points scored per game (17.1), are one of the few teams to have been worse than Seattle.

Chicago is averaging nearly seven penalties per game, and that’s not a good fit for a team led by rookie quarterback Justin Fields. It’s not a game to watch, but if you bet on it, expect Seattle to be inspired to end the year well. Take: Seahawks -7

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Newsrust - US Top News: NFL Week 16 predictions: our picks against the spread
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