Sports | December 23, 2022 8:18 am

Expert NFL Picks for Week 16 Including Seahawks-Chiefs, Giants-Vikings and Eagles-Cowboys

A trio of handicappers offer their insights on five of this week's best games

Dallas Cowboy and Philadelphia Eagle fans.
Dallas Cowboy and Philadelphia Eagle fans hang peacefully in Philly.
Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty

This is NFL Best Bets, a recurring series in which professional sports handicappers lend us their insights and picks for the most intriguing matchups for each week of the professional football season. Here are our top betting picks for Week 16 in the NFL.

You’ve got places to go, people to see and possibly some wagers to make, so let’s get right to it with some help from Thomas Gable, the director of race and sportsbook at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, sports betting reporter Josh Appelbaum of VSiN and Odds Assist CEO Dave Rathmanner.

Seattle Seahawks (+10, O/U 49.5) at Kansas City Chiefs


Appelbaum’s Assessment: This line opened with the Chiefs listed as a 10-point home favorite. Throughout the week we’ve seen the line dip to 9.5, but never up to 10.5. Reading between the lines, it appears as though all liability is on the Seahawks plus the points. Double-digit dogs are 12-6 ATS (67%) this season. Pete Carroll is 46-30 ATS (61%) as a dog as head coach of the Seahawks. I’ll take the points and sweat Seahawks +10.

Gable’s Guess: The Seahawks’ playoff hopes have dimmed quite a bit in recent weeks, and they don’t get any brighter here against the Chiefs. Kenneth Walker III, who was once the front-runner to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, has been dealing with an ankle issue that has really limited his production. The Chiefs have already locked up the AFC West for the seventh consecutive year, but they still have plenty to play for as they try to grab the No.1 seed in the AFC. Temperatures in Kansas City for this game will be frigid with a high of around 10. For two weeks in a row,  the Chiefs have almost gone down to inferior opponents. Why does a seemingly great team like the Chiefs struggle against these lesser opponents? Turnover differential — they’re tied for third-worst in the league — and they are fourth in turnovers committed. In the last few games, they’ve also committed a lot of penalties with 172 in their last two games combined. So, I’m going to take Seattle with the points.

Rathmanner’s Reckoning: The Chiefs’ offense is the best in the league in yards (429.4) and points per game (29.6) and now they are at home facing one of the worst defensive teams in the league. Seattle is allowing 378.9 yards per game and 25.4 points per game, both fourth-worst in the league. Seattle has the seventh-best offense in the league and is scoring 25.4 points per game. KC’s defense struggles against the pass and is allowing 227.6 yards per game. They also have given up 30 receiving touchdowns on the year, most in the NFL. Seattle is 7-3 to the over in their last 10 road games. They don’t have the defense to stop Kansas City, but they have the offense to keep up for a while. While it will be cold, the wind will not be a major factor Saturday afternoon. Taking the over

NFL Week 16 Best Bet: Big spread either way. Siding with the over here.

New York Giants (+4, O/U 48) at Minnesota Vikings


Appelbaum’s Assessment: This line opened with Minnesota listed as a 3.5-point home favorite. Early in the week, the line dipped to 3 but has since grown to Vikings -4. When two teams who missed the playoffs the previous year face off, the dog is 45-26 ATS (63%) this season. Daniel Jones is 8-2 ATS as a dog this season and 25-15 ATS (62%) in his career. We’ve also seen some sharp money on the over appear, raising the total from 46 to 48. I’ll tease the Giants up from +4 to +10 and take the over 42 (teased down from 48).

Gable’s Guess: The Giants won a close and controversial game on Sunday night to take a big step toward the playoffs, but this one is just as big for them, and a win will go a long way for New York. The Giant defense is a big reason why they’re here. Since Azeez Ojulari returned from a quad injury three games ago, they have 12 sacks and he’s had 3.5 of them. He’s also put up other big numbers over those three games with six quarterback hits, 15 pressures, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. I believe the Giants will be able to get to Kirk Cousins here, and I think this is a good spot for New York overall with the Vikings coming off that historic win over the Colts. I’m going to take the points here with the Giants.

Rathmanner’s Reckoning: When these two teams get together Saturday, it will be a matchup between two of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Vikings are last in allowing 399.2 yards per game and the Giants are 26th by virtue of giving up 367.3 yards per game. The Viking offense has been especially good in Minneapolis, averaging nearly 31 points per game. As the Vikings showed last week, they can give up a ton of points but are capable of scoring enough to keep up. For the Giants, Saquon Barkley got back on track with 87 yards on the ground and 4.8 yards per carry last week. New York’s offense should be able to put up some points against a really bad Viking defense. The over is 8-2 in the last 10 Vikings home games. Look for that to continue Saturday.

NFL Week 16 Best Bet: Over.

Washington Commanders (+7, O/U 37.5) at San Francisco 49ers


Appelbaum’s Assessment: This line opened with the 49ers listed as a 7-point home favorite. The public is happy to lay the points with San Francisco. However, despite receiving 70% of bets the 49ers haven’t moved off -7. Some shops have even dipped down to 6.5. This signals some sharp line freeze/reverse line movement on Washington plus the points. Dogs who failed to cover the previous week, like Washington here, are 54-37 ATS (59%) this season. I’ll shop around and grab the Commanders with the points.

Gable’s Guess: The 49ers and Brock Purdy haven’t played since last Thursday night when they wrapped up the NFC West. This is going to be an extremely tough matchup for the Washington offense. Taylor Heinicke had two fumbles against the Giants and was facing constant pressure in that game. Now he’s going up against the best defense in the league. Washington’s offense already struggles to put points on the board and they have to scratch and claw for everything. They’re not going to be able to run the ball against San Francisco. It’s all going to be on Heinicke’s shoulders to make plays. I’m pretty confident San Francisco can cover this number if they generate two turnovers or more. Purdy hasn’t thrown an interception in either of his two starts. In the 49ers’ 10 wins this season, their average margin of victory is 17.3 points. I want to lay the points with San Francisco.

Rathmanner’s Reckoning: The 49ers continue to play good football and have won seven in a row. The Commanders are traveling across the country for a Christmas Eve game coming  off a tough divisional loss to the Giants that really hurt their playoff chances. This is not a good time to expect the Commanders to get their struggling offense back on track. They average 18.9 points per game, good for 25th in the league. They are facing the stingiest defense in the league as the 49ers only allow 15 points per game. Defensively, the Commanders have been solid this season and are allowing only 308.9 yards per game, fourth-best in the league. The 49ers have gone under in six of their last 10 games at home and the Commanders have gone under in eight of their last 10 overall. Look for those trends to continue Sunday and take the under.

NFL Week 16 Best Bet: Over.

Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5, O/U 46.5) at Dallas Cowboys


Appelbaum’s Assessment: This line opened with the Cowboys listed as a short 1-point home favorite. Following the news that Jalen Hurts will miss this game due to injury, we’ve seen Dallas get steamed up to -6. Some Eagles buyback has dropped the line back down to 4.5 at some shops. Divisional dogs are 43-28 ATS (61%) this season. I’ll back Gardner Minshew in a teaser, taking the Eagles up from +4.5 to +10.5 and pair it with the teased-down over.

Gable’s Guess: In the end, it really makes no sense to play Jalen Hurts here and possibly not even for the rest of the season before the playoffs. The game the Eagles should really care about winning is next week against the Saints. They can lock up the No. 1 seed with a victory and give New Orleans another loss, which helps Philly’s draft position because they have the Saints’ top draft pick this year. It almost makes more sense to try and lock it up the Saints instead of really going all out in this game. That being said, the Cowboys need to figure some things out. In particular, how they got beat so badly in the second half against the Jaguars. They were doing everything right and just unraveled in the second half. With Gardner Minshew at quarterback, the Eagles will be able to put up enough of a fight to keep this close. He’s a very good backup and the Eagles also just activated tight end Dallas Goedert as well. I’ll take the points here with Philly.

Rathmanner’s Reckoning: The Eagles travel to Dallas with backup quarterback Gardner Minshew leading the offense, as starter  Jalen Hurts is out with a shoulder injury. With Dallas losing last week to Jacksonville, this game has a lot less meaning within the NFC East and for home-field advantage as the Eagles just need one more win to clinch both and their last two games of the season will be at home. That being said, I expect a simple gameplan from the Eagles. They don’t want to show too much, especially with a backup QB, as these teams could very well end up meeting again in the playoffs. Dallas has a lot of offensive weapons and can control this game with Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliot. The line has moved some since the Hurts injury announcement, but I still expect the Cowboys to bounce back and win this one comfortably. Laying the points with Dallas.

NFL Week 16 Best Bet: Under.

Green Bay Packers (+4, O/U 50) at Miami Dolphins


Appelbaum’s Assessment: This line opened with the Dolphins listed as a 4-point home favorite. The public is laying the points with the Dolphins. However, despite receiving 64% of bets, Miami hasn’t budged off -4. In fact, some shops are down to 3.5. This signals sharp money grabbing the points with the Packers. Sweet spot dogs +3.5 or more are 83-50 ATS (62%) this season. I’ll bet on Rodgers to keep this within a field goal. Give me the Packers plus the points.

Gable’s Guess: Green Bay’s playoff hopes remain alive with their win on Monday night at Lambeau. They’ll have much warmer weather to face this reeling Miami team. The Packers are a much better team on offense when they establish the run with Aaron Jones. They were able to dominate the Rams in the second half with him. The Packers were able to get to Baker Mayfield a lot too. A Packers’ defense that has really struggled against the run this year will need to get pressure on Tua just like they did to Mayfield to give their team a fighting chance. During Miami’s three-game losing streak, Tua has really struggled as he’s completed less than 60% of his passes. I think both teams should be able to put up points, but I’m going to stay away from the total. I’ll lay the points with the Dolphins.

Rathmanner’s Reckoning: The Packers have won two in a row, and there is talk of a late-season playoff push from Green Bay. However, to keep things in perspective, the two teams they have beat have a combined record of 7-21. Now the Packers travel to Miami to face a Dolphins team returning home following a three-game road trip that saw them go winless. The Dolphins have been a much better team at home this season, where they have only lost once and are 7-3 ATS in their last 10. As good as the Dolphins have been at home, the Packers have been equally as bad on the road. They have only two road wins on the season and are 3-7 ATS in their 10.  This is not a big number for the Dolphins to cover. Playing them at -4 or better.

NFL Week 16 Best Bet: Under.

Last Week: 2-3; This Season: 32-39-2

Editor’s note: Betting lines fluctuate throughout the week based on injuries, the weather and other factors. Make sure to double-check the odds before making your own Week 16 NFL bets.