Road to 272 Bets - NFL Week 16 Picks for Every Game

BetSided's Iain MacMillan breaks down his best bet for all 16 games set to take place in Week 16 of the NFL season.

Nov 26, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) calls a
Nov 26, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) calls a / Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

We got back to our winning ways in Week 15 and now we're sitting in a great spot heading into the final three weeks of the season. Knock on wood, but unless we completely collapse down the stretch, we're looking like we're going to finish the season with a profit.

We went 10-5-1 (+4.13 units) in Week 15 which brings our season long record to 119-102-3 (+10.14 units).

Let's try to root for a nice little holiday present in the form of boosting our profits even more with another winning week over Christmas weekend. Remember, there are games spread across the weekend. One on Thursday night, two on Saturday, 10 on Sunday, then three on Christmas Monday.

If this is your first time checking out the Road to 272 Bets, I bet on all 272 NFL regular season games. You can take a look at my in-depth record so far this season over at Betstamp.

FanDuel Sportsbook is currently running a promotion where if you sign up using the link below, you'll receive $150 in bonus bets if your first $5 wager hits. So, go ahead and sign up for an account below, and then choose the pick of mine you agree with the most. Put $5 on it and if we win together, you'll be awarded $150 in bonus bets!

Sign up at FanDuel and tail your favorite bet of mine now for a chance to earn $150 in bonus bets!

NFL Week 16 Best Bets for Every Game

Thursday Night Football Best Bet

Saints vs. Rams prediction

There's no denying just how good the Rams have been in recent weeks, but I still think the Saints are an underrated team and may have the defense to slow the Rams' offense down. The Saints have one of the best secondaries in the game, allowing the fifth-fewest yards per pass attempt (5.7) while also ranking fourth in opponent dropback success rate and third in overall opponent EPA.

You may be surprised to find out the Saints are also eighth in average scoring margin at +3.0 so even in the games they're losing, they're keeping things close. That's why I'm not brave enough to win this game outright and bet on them to upset the Rams, but with the point spread set over the key number of 3.0 at +4, the Saints are the bet to make.

Give me New Orleans and the points on Thursday Night Football.

Pick: Saints +4 (-110)

Saturday NFL Best Bets

Bengals vs. Steelers prediction

I think we need to start accepting that Jake Browning might actually be a very good quarterback. Amongst all quarterbacks who have played at least 170 snaps this season, Browning is second in EPA+CPOE (completion percentage over expected), behind only Brock Purdy. He's also third in adjusted EPA/Play and fifth in success rate.

With that being said, the Bengals' defense continues to be an issue and it's keeping me from laying points on them on the road against a divisional rival in the Steelers. They're 29th in opponent EPA per play, 31st in opponent success rate, and 31st in opponent yards per play.

So, we have a good offense and bad defense with Cincinnati. When it comes to the Steelers, I still don't really know what to think of this team, especially with Mason Rudolph at quarterback. So, with the total at 38, I'll take the OVER.

Pick: OVER 38 (-110)

Bills vs. Chargers prediction

Last week showed just how bad this Chargers team is without Justin Herbert at quarterback. It's a complete disaster. They have one of the worst defenses in the league, ranking 27th in opponent EPA, 29th in opponent success rate, and 27th in opponent yards per play. If they're going to give up 63 points to the Raiders, then who knows what will happen against a top-five offense in the Bills?

The Bills have been red hot lately and are riding some major momentum heading into the final stretch of the season with the AFC East still up for grabs. They have seemingly fixed their turnover issue and their run of bad luck has come to an end, which makes them one of the most dangerous teams in the league.

I think we're going to see the Chargers on the wrong end of yet another blowout. Give me the Bills to win and cover this double-digit spread.

Pick: Bills -10.5 (-115)

NFL Christmas Eve Best Bets

Seahawks vs. Titans prediction

The Seahawks' receivers should be able to completely decimate this Titans secondary. Tennessee ranks 30th in both opponent dropback success rate and opponent dropback EPA while also allowing 6.9 yards per pass attempt, which ranks 25th.

The Titans don't have enough to offer to keep pace with what will be a fantastic offensive matchup for Seattle. As long as this line stays below a field goal, I'll lay the points with the Seahawks in this inter-conference matchup.

Pick: Seahawks -2.5 (-110)

Colts vs. Falcons prediction

At this point, I'm willing to go down with the ship and just continue to bet on the Falcons like a complete idiot. With that being said, this might be the ultimate buy-low spot on a team after losing to the worst team in the NFL.

Let's try to take the emotion and biases out of it and talk facts. The Falcons have the far superior defense ranking 10th in opponent EPA/Play, fourth in opponent success rate, and seventh in opponent yards per play. The Colts rank 13th, 17th, and 14th in those three respective defensive metrics.

The Falcons have also been far superior at home this season, ranking ninth in the NFL in Net Yards per Play on their home field at +0.8.

Their offense has plenty of issues and Desmond Ridder is addicted to turning the ball over in the red zone, but there's enough there with their home splits along with the play of their defense for me to take the two points on them at home.

Pick: Falcons +2 (-110)

Browns vs. Texans prediction

Despite continuing to find ways to win games, I still can't trust this Browns offense. Amongst all quarterbacks who have played at least 130 snaps this season, Joe Flacco is 43rd in EPA+CPOE, so maybe we should all dial back the praise we're giving him.

Meanwhile, their defense continues to be the best in the NFL, leading the league in opponent EPA/Play and opponent success rate. They're the picture-perfect version of a team that should play in plenty of games that go UNDER, so with the total set at 42.5, that's the way I'm leaning in this game.

Finally, it's worth noting how much better the Texans' defense has played lately, limiting opponents to just 4.4 yards per play over their last three games, the sixth-best mark in the league over that stretch.

Pick: UNDER 42.5 (-105)

Packers vs. Panthers prediction

Don't let last week's win against the Falcons fool you into think they're starting to figure things out. The Panthers won a 9-7 game that took place in a torrential downpour. Meanwhile, the Packers are in a buy low spot after two tough losses.

I have no interest in backing this Panthers team in any way. Their offense continues to be atrocious, ranking dead last in yards per play, averaging just 4.1 yards per snap. The Packers, meanwhile, are 14th in the league in Net Yards per Play. They might not be as good as people thought after they beat the Chiefs in Week 13, but they're certainly leagues above the Panthers.

Look for the running backs of the Packers to have a big game. Carolina ranks dead last in opponent EPA per rush.

Pick: Packers -4.5 (-110)

Commanders vs. Jets prediction

This is a fascinatingly terrible game to watch. We're going to find out what happens when an extremely stoppable force (Jets offense) takes on a significantly easy-to-move object (Commanders defense). Based on EPA per play, we have the worst offense in the NFL taking on the worst defense. So, which side wins?

I don't know which of the two will come out victorious, but I know that in this toilet bowl matchup, I'd much rather be on the side that's getting a field goal worth of points than the side laying a field goal worth of points.

Let's hope the Commanders' offense can do at least something against this Jets defense in order to keep this game close.

Pick: Commanders +3 (-110)

Lions vs. Vikings prediction

I love this Vikings defense. The Bengals ended up figuring them out by the end of the game last week, but I'm going to once again back them getting a field goal in this divisional showdown. Dating back to Week 6 of the NFL, the Vikings are third in the NFL in opponent EPA per Play.

You also have to like what you saw from Nick Mullens in last week's loss. Sure, he threw two interceptions, but he completed 26-of-33 passes for 303 yards and also added two touchdown throws.

Let's also consider how much worse the Lions have been on the road this year. Their Net Yards per Play goes from +1.3 at home down to -0.1 on the road, a difference of 1.4.

I'll take the field goal with Minnesota.

Pick: Vikings +3 (-102)

Jaguars vs. Buccaneers prediction

I've been vocal that the Jaguars are one of the most fraudulent teams in the NFL this season, but I think the market has caught on and even over-corrected. They still outrank the Buccaneers in Net Yards per Play and Tampa Bay, outside of last week's win against the Packers, have won a lot of games I don't feel like they deserved to. Their Net Yards per Play of -0.5 is worse than teams like the Chargers, Jets, Raiders, Patriots, Bears, and Titans.

If there's a matchup Trevor Lawrence can thrive in, it's this one. The Buccaneers are allowing 7.2 yards per pass attempt, this season, which ranks 29th in the NFL.

We should also keep in mind the Jaguars are one of the best road teams in the league this season. Their Net Yards per Play improves from -1.2 at home to +0.3 on the road, so don't let the fact this game is in Tampa Bay sway away from betting on the Jaguars.

Give me Jacksonville as a pick'em.

Pick: Jaguars -108

Cardinals vs. Bears prediction

I think this total is a touchdown too low for these two offenses, so I'm going to take the OVER. The Cardinals defense has been one of the worst in the NFL, ranking in the bottom five in most key metrics including dead last in opponent success rate.

The Cardinals' offense has been much better with Kyler Murray back in the mix. Since his Week 10 return, they're 15th in the NFL in EPA per Play.

Based on the current makeup of this Cardinals team, I think we're going to see a bit of an offensive shootout in this NFC showdown.

Pick: OVER 44 (-108)

Cowboys vs. Dolphins prediction

The Cowboys and the Dolphins are playing against each other in what many would say is the game of the week. They're both in extremely similar spots in their respective conferences. Nobody is doubting they are good teams, but many people want to know exactly how good they each are. Are they legitimate Super Bowl contenders who should we label them as frauds before the playoffs?

The reason I'm backing the Dolphins is their defense. They were a below average unit in the first half of the season, but once they got healthy they have caught fire. Fating back to Week 10, they lead the NFL in opponent EPA per Play and opponent success rate.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys' defense has gone in the complete opposite direction, from being an elite defense to being 13th and 20th in the above-mentioned stats. Furthermore, the Cowboys are dead last this season in opponent rush success rate and now they face a Dolphins team that leads the league in yards per carry, averaging 5.1 per rush.

Finally, the Cowboys road splits are concerning. Their Net Yards per Play goes from +1.1 at home down to 0.0 on the road. The Dolphins Net Yards per Play at home are +2.4, the best in the NFL.

I'll lay the short spread on the 'Fins.

Pick: Dolphins -1.5 (-110)

Patriots vs. Broncos prediction

I'm taking the Patriots as my upset pick of the week on Sunday Night Football. In my opinion, the Broncos are the worst team in playoff contention right now, ranking 30th in the league in Net yards per Play at -0.9 with only the Commanders and Giants ranking worse. They've also struggled to stop the run, ranking 28th in opponent rush EPA and 30th in opponent rush success rate, which makes for a bad matchup against this Patriots offense.

Speaking of running the football, 45.45% of the Broncos' plays this season have been run plays, the sixth most in the NFL. Now, they take a Patriots-run defense that's allowing 3.1 yards per rush, the best mark in the NFL by a mile. They're also first in opponent rush EPA and opponent rush success rate.

If they can't run the ball on offense, the Broncos are going to be in trouble. I'll back the Patriots to squeak out an upset win on Christmas Eve Night.

Pick: Patriots +240

NFL Christmas Day Best Bets

Raiders vs. Chiefs prediction

The Raiders have been an actual solid football team since firing Josh McDaniels and are coming off a mini-BYE week after one of the biggest blowouts of the season. Since Week 10, their defense has been fourth in the NFL in opponent EPA per play.

Don't let their Week 12 31-17 loss to the Chiefs sway you from betting on them in this spot, let's note that the two teams both averaged 6.2 yards per play in the original meeting, but two failed fourth down conversions and going just 1-3 in the red zone ended up costing the Raiders.

But, I've seen enough to think this Raiders team can hang with an underperforming Chiefs squad that is not nearly as explosive as they once were.

Pick: Raiders +10.5 (-110)

Giants vs. Eagles prediction

Tommy DeVito led the Giants to a couple of feel-good wins and all of a sudden people started thinking that they weren't so bad after all. The Saints then showed people that yes, the Giants are still one of the worst teams in the league so I'll go ahead and bet against them again in Week 15.

The Giants are dead last in the NFL in Net Yards per Play at -1.4, with the next worst team being the Commanders at -0.9. They're also 31st in both EPA per Play and success rate with their defense ranking in the bottom 10 in most metrics.

Few people have bet against the Eagles as many times as I have the best 10 weeks, but it's time to get back to betting on them. Philadelphia may not be as elite as a lot of people think, but the Eagles are certainly better than the Giants by a significant margin.

Pick: Eagles -10.5 (-110)

49ers vs. Ravens prediction

This game is a potential Super Bowl preview. It's the No. 1 seed in each conference facing off and in my opinion, the two best teams in the league. The fact the 49ers are 5.5-point favorites in this one says a lot about just how good this team is.

With that being said, I'm going to take the points with the Ravens.

While everyone is rightfully praising the 49ers, they have begun to struggle in one key area; stopping the run. They quietly rank 29th in opponent rush EPA, 21st in opponent rush success rate, and 19th in opponent yards per carry, giving up 4.3 yards per rush and 5.1 yards per carry over their last three games.

If there's one team you don't want to face when you have issues stopping the run, it's the Ravens. 43.78% of their offensive yards gained comes from running the ball, the highest rate in the NFL, and they're also first in both rush EPA and rush success rate.

I will absolutely take the points with the Ravens as they just might be the kryptonite for the Super Bowl favorites.

Pick: Ravens +5.5 (-105)

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

You can check out all of Iain's bets here!