NFL Week 16 Picks
Christmas weekend will be merry for some teams and fan bases and not so much for others. But for gamblers and NFL fans in general. Santa Claus is giving the gift of a weekend of football that will keep on giving. Following the Prime Video Thursday night game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets, the weekend is comprised of a loaded card with three consecutive days of action. Every NFL team will be on the board for Christmas weekend, and playoff pressure will be maximized. Christmas weekend begins the stretch run of the final three regular season weeks of the 2022-23 season.
Christmas Eve is a tradition of parties for millions of families, and a loaded NFL Card will certainly feed into that Holiday spirit. Saturday’s Christmas Eve lineup includes 11 games from early afternoon to late evening.
Saturday night prime time action features an AFC battle of top contenders of the Las Vegas Raiders at the Pittsburgh Steelers. Playoff implications will be on the line at Heinz Field for this NFL Network Christmas Eve special.
Last year the Raiders made the playoffs, only to implode in the wild card weekend at the eventual AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals. Still, it was an important landmark accomplishment for the franchise in just its second season in Vegas.
Despite the playoff berth, the Raiders reached outside their organization to hire New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their new head coach. McDaniels bombed out a decade ago as head coach of the Denver Broncos but is said to have matured since then. Of great concern is that the Bill Belichick coaching tree has been a disaster, with only an exception or two.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, it would not surprise anyone if rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett is under center for this one. Mitch Trubisky may be number-1 on the preseason depth chart, but Pickett should have enough knowledge and experience to be in command by this time. Plus, nobody expects Trubisky to make the Steelers into a consistent winner.
On December 25, 1971, the Kansas City Chiefs hosted the Miami Dolphins in the first pro football Christmas Day game. The divisional playoff turned out to be the longest game ever played, with the Dolphins winning 27-24 in double overtime.
Fifty-one years later, the Dolphins will host the Green Bay Packers in the first of three Christmas Day games. No doubt there will be plenty of Packers fans on hand escaping the Wisconsin cold.
The middle game of the Christmas tripleheader is the Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Rams. Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson has plenty of familiarity with the Rams from his days as the Seattle Seahawks quarterback. Denver is pinning its franchise hopes on Wilson to get them back into the playoffs after a seven-year absence.
The Christmas nightcap is the NBC Sunday night game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals. Tom Brady and Kyler Murray make for an excellent quarterbacking showdown in the desert.
Kyler Murray and Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury both took a lot of incoming for the poor finish to the 2021 season and a bad playoff loss at the Rams. By this time, we will know whether or not the Murray and Kingsbury partnership is durable or if changes will be coming to the Cardinals.
Access live betting lines and NFL Betting Lines from your mobile device at BookMaker Sportsbook! You can wager on sporting events as they unfold on television with BookMaker’s live betting platform.