Mike Ivcic’s Week 16 NFL Preview and Free Picks

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Mike Ivcic’s Week 16 NFL Preview and Free Picks ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>


By Mike Ivcic, UltimateCapper Contributing Writer


Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions
Sat, 8:30pm, ESPN
Line: Falcons by 4.5
Detroit is in complete disarray and Atlanta has the chance to lock up the NFC’s number one seed for the second time in three years. This one is a no-brainer.
Pick: Atlanta 31, Detroit 20

Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Dolphins by 4.5
Lost in this whole AFC playoff mess is that if the Dolphins win out (vs. Buffalo, at New England) and then see the Bengals lose out (at Pittsburgh, vs. Baltimore) and the Steelers lose at home to Cleveland in week 17, the sixth playoff seed goes to Miami. Small motivation, sure, but it should be enough to beat a team that just gave up 58 points to Seattle.
Pick: Miami 24, Buffalo 10

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Steelers by 4
Speaking of the Bengals and Steelers, here we go – a Bengals win and the AFC playoff teams are complete. Sure, this may not be the same Steelers team as the 2005 to 2011 versions, but I struggle to see Tomlin, Roethlisberger, Polamalu, and company letting Mike Brown and Marvin Lewis celebrate a playoff berth at Heinz Field.
Pick: Pittsburgh 28, Cincinnati 23

Indianapolis Colts @ Kansas City Chiefs
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Colts by 7
The Chiefs were just shut out by Oakland. If Indianapolis wants anyone to give them a shot at winning a playoff game in Baltimore, Foxboro, or Denver, they may want to win at Arrowhead first.
Pick: Indianapolis 27, Kansas City 6

Minnesota Vikings @ Houston Texans
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Texans by 9
If I wasn’t on my “take the team to win the game and ignore the spread” kick that’s gotten me a 25-7 record the past two weeks, I’d lean towards a Vikings cover here just because a) they’re fighting for a playoff spot and b) they have Adrian Peterson. My only consolation is they also have Christian Ponder, so I don’t feel nearly as bad taking the 9 points.
Pick: Houston 31, Minnesota 21


New England Patriots @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Patriots by 14
Back to going against the Jaguars in all cases. And I would typically insert a joke here about the Jags winning being a sign of the Mayan apocalypse, but unfortunately those will all be moot come Sunday. Either the world ends, in which case this entire column is pointless, or the world is still spinning, in which case the Mayans were wrong. Still, it’s sad that all the “maybe the Mayans were right” comments won’t be relevant anymore.
Pick: New England 41, Jacksonville 3

New Orleans Saints @ Dallas Cowboys
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Cowboys by 2.5
This entire season – starting with the win against the defending champion Giants in the Meadowlands – is all setting up perfectly for the biggest Cowboys let down in my lifetime in week 17. I wonder if Jerry Jones’ head will explode losing to Dan Snyder’s team in the final regular season game of the year and missing the playoffs while the hated Redskins win the division. For this game, though, I’m thinking a late Drew Brees interception to seal the deal.
Pick: Dallas 31, New Orleans 27

Oakland Raiders @ Carolina Panthers
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Panthers by 8.5
Carson Palmer on the road against a surging Panthers team? Not a chance.
Pick: Carolina 28, Oakland 6

San Diego Chargers @ New York Jets
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Jets by 4
And to think – NBC flexed out of this matchup on Sunday night before Mark Sanchez’s brilliant performance Monday night against Tennessee. At least the executives at 30 Rock are doing something right.
Pick: San Diego 17, New York 12

St. Louis Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Buccaneers by 3
I like this Rams team and think they’ll actually be a legitimate playoff contender next season if they can continue to build well through the draft as they have in the last few years. Meanwhile Tampa should also be good, but they’ve packed it in this season.
Pick: St. Louis 20, Tampa Bay 17


Tennessee Titans @ Green Bay Packers
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Packers by 13
Something tells me Aaron Rodgers won’t be throwing five passes to Titans defenders in this game, so Green Bay will score more than 10 points.
Pick: Green Bay 33, Tennessee 15

Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Redskins by 6.5
In what will likely be the final home game for Andy Reid as head coach of the Eagles, I’m sure the Philly fans will get a big thrill out of watching the former ugly stepchild of the NFC East officially pass on that title to the City of Brotherly Love. It sure is amazing what one dynamic player at the right position (QB) will do.
Pick: Washington 28, Philadelphia 17

Cleveland Browns @ Denver Broncos
Sun, 4:05pm, CBS
Line: Broncos by 13
Because of the Browns defense, this is another game where I would have considered taking a cover by the underdog, but again, we’re not doing that anymore. I only say this in case the final is something like 23-13, it will look like I picked a Broncos cover out of obligation to my new strategy instead of actually thinking Denver would win by two touchdowns.
Pick: Denver 31, Cleveland 13

Chicago Bears @ Arizona Cardinals
Sun, 4:25pm, FOX
Line: Bears by 6
It better be the Bears by more than 6, or a whole lot of people currently employed by the Bears will be looking for work in 2013 – you know, assuming we get there.
Pick: Chicago 31, Arizona 16

New York Giants @ Baltimore Ravens
Sun, 4:25pm, FOX
Line: Giants by 3
If the Giants still have that “switch,” they should probably turn it on now. Win the last two (vs. Philly in week 17) and they’re at least in the playoffs, but another loss may be too much to overcome this late in the year. That said, the Ravens are in the playoffs and really aren’t that good, so we’ll go Big Blue here.
Pick: New York 24, Baltimore 17

San Francisco 49’ers @ Seattle Seahawks
Sun, 8:20pm, NBC
Line: 49’ers by 1
Seattle doesn’t lose at home, and the 49’ers have wiggle room after beating the Pats last week. San Fran can lose this and still win the division (and still have a good chance at the 2-seed and a bye) by beating the pathetic Cardinals in week 17. Seattle has a lot more at stake and again – they don’t lose at home.
Pick: Seattle 27, San Francisco 24

Straight-Up: 149-74-1
Against Spread: 114-104-6


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