My cold spell on the NFL total picks has reached Buffalo Bills home stadium level of frigidity. I can’t remember seeing a game paused for snow ball activity from the stands, but it happened last week during the Bills’ game with Miami. And some outdoor stadiums this week are going to get the cold weather treatment. So much for global warming. Hopefully I warm up with my picks in Week 16 after going just 5-10 over the previous five weeks. I’m still in the black for the season, but barely after things fell off the rails. That does give you an idea of how good things were during the middle of the campaign and I’ll do my best to get back to that place.
After a winless Week 14 I went 1-2 on my NFL total picks last week, so I guess that’s a step in the right direction. In both losses I backed the OVER, which shouldn’t have been that bad since the games were evenly split with eight going over and eight going under the closing total in Week 15. A majority of games are still cashing the UNDER, though the percentage has dropped the last few weeks. The UNDER percentage is now at 52.9.
The lone win came in the Chargers/Titans game with LA’s defense playing much better the last few games than the season stats indicate. They held Tennessee to 204 yards, though Derrick Henry ran for 104. Just like I anticipated the Titans ran the ball using up clock and keeping the Chargers off the field. Things didn’t go according to plan in the other games. I guess the Jets are stuck with Zach Wilson. A brief benching may have made him a better teammate, but he still struggles at his job. And New York’s offense has suffered because of it. The Lions struggled against New York’s elite defense leaving this one well below the total. And there was no Mayfield magic on Monday night with the Rams still struggling to score points.
The momentum has to swing some time and Week 16 of the NFL season is a good place to start. I’ll dive into the schedule and identify some winners on my total picks.
NFL Week 16 Betting Lines
Top Total Picks Of Week 16
New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns
Pick: OVER 32.5
With a major winter storm expected to hit the Cleveland area this weekend we’re getting into rare territory with the total. The number has plummeted six points to 32.5 since hitting the board. However, both teams have the makeup to combat Mother Nature. The Browns have the fifth-best ground game in the NFL led by Nick Chubb. Add Kareem Hunt and toss in Deshaun Watson, the Browns will run the football.
The Saints have their secret weapon, though he’s not much of a secret any longer after Sean Payton unleashed Taysom Hill to the league a few years ago. They also have a good one in Alvin Kamara. The Saints have struggled to score since Drew Brees and Payton quit, but keeping the game plan simple in a blizzard is the way to go. You can also expect turnovers and cashing those in will help get over the total.
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Rams
Pick: UNDER 36
I have a hard time betting the UNDER on totals this low, but have you seen the Rams and Broncos? Injuries have decimated both clubs with the Rams trying to resurrect the career of Baker Mayfield. He has a flare for the dramatic but Mayfield hasn’t been the same since suffering through an injury-filled season a few years ago. And the Rams just don’t have the weapons to score consistently.
The Broncos scored at least 24 points in their last two games, but it’s still hard to ignore what went on the first two months of the campaign. They got plenty of help from the Cardinals last week in an otherwise sloppy performance. Russell Wilson is expected to play making me that much more excited about backing the UNDER.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys
Pick: OVER 47
With Jalen Hurts injured the total took a tumble after opening at 50. At least the Eagles have a capable backup in Gardner Minshew, who has a chance to become the next Nick Foles. Minshew had an outstanding start to his career despite taking a beating behind a bad Jacksonville squad. And he’s mobile, too, leaving little drop off from Hurts.
The Eagles are better with Hurts on the field but there’s enough talent to make up for his absence. And the Cowboys are looking to not only bounce back from a terrible loss last week, they’re also trying to send a message. And Dak Prescott will play this week after missing the first meeting, which the Boys lost. That alone is worth some points.
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