Pickswise Pro Football Capper Contest - Week 16 picks

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Ricky Dimon

NFL· 4 weeks ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

Pickswise fan entrant Steve McQueen continued his hot streak last week and now has a commanding lead in the Pickswise $10,000 winner-take-all Capper Contest heading into the final weeks of the season. With 2 weeks left, however, the grand prize is still up for grabs. The full contest leaderboard and best bets are here.

At Pickswise we specialize in providing free expert picks and predictions, and you can find all of our best bets, props, and parlays here.

Let’s check out this week’s picks from the contestants, who are listed in order of the current standings.

Steve McQueen

Best Bet: Cowboys -10.5

I hate picking the Cowboys, but I am a fan of Boiler Anthony Brown and Dak is 21-8 in division. WFT is on a short week and they are dealing with Covid-19 issues. I am hoping this week the good teams take care of business against Covid-depleted rosters. WFT has nothing to play for; Dallas should roll.

Additional Pick #1: Steelers +7.5

Holding on to a slim 3.5-point lead, I am going back to what worked for me — its time for a rendition of Big Ben Boiler and Bust — I like Pitt to cover this week by the hook.  This should be a tired decimated KC team with limited resources. Will Pitt win? Probably not but this week I am doing 3 collab picks with @themodel70 to see if I can right the ship. I expect a lot of Najee Harris against a tired defesive line.

Additional Pick #2: Packers -7.5

I don’t love the hook here, but the Browns are overrated and they are on the road and Aaron Rodgers is 11-3 ATS this season. I expect Green Bay to take care of business.

David Baker

Best bet: Bills +2.5

The wrong team is favored here. The Bills are better, flat out better than the Pats. Couple that with an embarrassing nationally televised game a mere 3 weeks ago. The Bills will be focused and ready for this one dimensional offense. The Bills will be down a couple WRs but Diggs and Knox are still there. I’m all in on the more talented team.

Additional Bet #1 Bears +6.5

Seattle gave all they had on Tuesday and still managed to score a mere 10 points. Now they are officially eliminated and the Pete Carroll/Russ Wilson era is over. This team is not talented and has zero heart. The Bears on the other side are talentless as well but they seem to still care. This game has all the makings of a rock fight that ends 13-10 one way or another.

Additional Bet #2: Under 43 Bears/Seahawks

See my explanation for playing the Bears. I do not see either of these teams scoring. A total of 43 seems like a lot of points with these teams. Feel free to parlay the Bears with the under and cash this easy winner.

Ross Tucker

Best Bet: Football Team +10.5

Something is not quite right with the Cowboys. Yes, they have won 3 straight games and that is all that matters.  And, truthfully, it must be somewhat refreshing for their fans to see the team “win ugly” after so many years where they “lost pretty”, so to speak. The defense has been generally stellar in recent weeks and getting Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence back to pair with rookie sensation Micah Parsons has been fantastic. All three of them have made multiple game-changing plays in recent weeks and been a big part of those Dallas victories.

So why exactly am I taking the Washington Football Team getting 10.5 points as my best bet of the week? Two reasons. For one, Washington should be getting a lot of players back this week off of the COVID list including their starting quarterback in Taylor Heinecke. That’s obviously very significant. For another, the Cowboys offensively are not playing nearly as well as they were before Dak Prescott got hurt earlier in the year.  They were awesome early on in the season but ever since Prescott hurt his calf they have been pedestrian at best and the scores of their games in recent weeks tell that story.

27-17, 27-20, and 21-6 are solid victories but they’ve been primarily defense and turnover-driven.  Here’s betting Washington takes care of the ball better this week but still doesn’t allow the Cowboys offense to get into the 30s.

Additional Bet #1: Dolphins -1.5

Additional Bet #2: Bills +2.5

Prop Bet Guy

Best Bet: Dolphins -1.5

The Dolphins have the NFL’s second-longest current win streak of 6 games. After an incredibly poor start, Miami genuinely looks like the team many expected to be after a surprising 2020 campaign. Tua Tagovailoa has found his groove within this offense, and will have his full complement of weapons at his disposal. Jaylen Waddle returns from a one-game absence, and the rushing attack look revitalized last week with Duke Johnson in a lead role. On the flip side, the Saints will be starting their 4th quarterback of the season in rookie Ian Book. The Dolphins will stack the box in an effort to neutralize Alvin Kamara. Miami’s stout secondary should have no issue against the passing attack of the Saints. I trust Tua to put up enough points on the board to get by in this one. I have the Dolphins winning by more than a field goal.

Additional Bet #1: Cardinals -1

I’m fading the public here, who are heavy on one of the NFL’s hottest teams, the Colts. The fact is, I still remain a believer in this Cardinals team, even as they come off a highly embarrassing loss to the Lions. I like them to do just enough to slow down Jonathan Taylor, and Kyler Murray recaptures his early season magic.

Additional Bet #2: Ravens vs Bengals under 45

This game has the makings of a slugfest. The Bengals are one of the NFL’s slowest paced teams, and the passing game has struggled to find its footing in recent weeks. I like the Bengals’ defense to slow down the Ravens too.

Read PropBetGuy’s best prop picks here

Jared Smith

Best Bet: Cardinals -1

On the surface it appears as if these teams are heading in opposite directions, which may very well be true. But Indy is dealing with some COVID issues and will be missing three starters along the offensive line in this game including their center and All-Pro guard G Quenton Nelson. That might be just what Arizona needs to slow down Jonathan Taylor. You’re also getting a discount on the Cardinals, as the lookahead line in this game was -4.5 last week, and a few weeks ago before the Colts started their run of strong play, it was closer to a touchdown.

Additional Bet #1: Bills +2.5

This game will be played in much milder conditions than the previous matchup between these teams, which should allow Bills OC Brian Daboll to be much more aggressive with his play-calling. Buffalo will also get back WR Emmanuel Sanders, which should also add another vertical threat to the offense. The Pats will be without some key offensive weapons, including WRs Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor, and RB Rhamondre Stevenson. Also, Damien Harris and N’Keal Harry are questionable. This is a good spot for Buffalo to even the score with New England and grab the inside track to win the AFC East.

Additional Bet #2: Ravens vs Bengals over 45

The Bengals defense looked susceptible to the TE last week with Noah Fant having a big game for the Broncos, which is good news for Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle, the latter of whom is returning from injury and is one of the best run-blocking TEs in the league. The Ravens defense is still banged up in the secondary, which should allow for Joe Burrow and his plethora of weapons to also have success moving the ball.

Read Jared Smith’s Week 16 NFL picks here

Drew Knows

Best Bet: Football Team vs Cowboys under 47

I like the under a lot for Sunday Night Football. Nobody is talking about it, but the Cowboys’ offense has quietly really struggled lately. It’s been the defense carrying the team, and Dak Prescott doesn’t look like himself. When these teams met just a couple of weeks ago there were exactly 47 points scored, but it took two defensive touchdowns just to get there. Both teams struggled to move the ball all day, and Prescott averaged just 5.4 yards per attempt with two interceptions. Washington’s quarterbacks combined to average 5.1. It was an ugly game, and now they’re playing in primetime with very high stakes. Washington is already without Logan Thomas and JD McKissic, and Antonio Gibson could miss this one as well.

Additional Bet #1: Browns vs Packers over 46

Give me the over in the first Christmas game. Aaron Rodgers should have plenty of success against this overrated Cleveland defense. The only hope the Browns had of slowing him down was by bringing lots of pressure, but now their entire defensive front is banged up. On the flip side, the Browns should have some success on offense as well. Obviously head coach Kevin Stefanski’s system is run heavy, and Green Bay has struggled to stop the run. Nick Chubb should be in for a big day.

Additional Bet #2: Chargers -10

I don’t usually like laying double digits on the road, but Justin Herbert should absolutely shred the Texans. Houston is going to be missing half of their starting defense, and plenty of reserves too. They’ve got over 20 guys on the COVID list, including key pieces like Brandin Cooks. Cooks has been the only thing making the offense watchable recently. Houston can’t stop anybody, so good luck trying to slow down Herbert, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams with a defense full of backups.

Read Andrew Ortenberg’s Week 16 NFL trends article here

Jamaal Charles

Best Bet: Packers -7.5

Aaron Rodgers. Christmas Day. Lambeau Field. I’m not sure you need anything else to convince you to hammer the Packers.

Additional Bet #1: Bills +2.5

The Patriots did take round one against the Bills, but I don’t think it will happen twice unless there is another hailstorm on gameday. I know they are on the road, but I am honestly surprised the Bills are getting points.

Additional Bet #2: Steelers +7.5

This just feels like a game where the Steelers are going to surprise everyone and win. With their playoff hopes on the line, the Steelers will show up and keep this a close game, especially if Travis Kelce remains on the Covid list.

John Hyslop

Best Bet: Lions +6 

No chance the Lions lose this game so the six points is automatic here. I only have three weeks left to start winning best bets and I’m back in this thing. A lot of guys would point out that I have a better record than most of these guys but it’s my best bets that are killing me. I have too much class to do something like that so I won’t. That’s pretty big of me.

Additional Bet #1: Bengals -3

This may be the biggest gift on the board. There is a zero percent chance the Ravens can slow down Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ passing game. I’d take the Bengals -7 or even -10 in this one. The -3 feels like child’s play. Too easy.

Additional Bet #2: Rams -3

I honestly thought this was for the first quarter when I saw it. Hopefully no one at DraftKings gets fired for this one, but it’s about 10 points off. The Vikings haven’t played an NFL football team in December and they’ll be without Dalvin Cook. That’s bad for them and good for us. So easy.

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