Can you smell that? Oh yeah that’s the smoke coming from our hot picks lately. Mike grabbed the reigns while I was away and all he did was go three for three. Hopefully we can bring you some holiday joy with what we have for you this week. A ton of teams dropped some huge stinkers last week so this season continues to be a major head scratcher outside of a select few teams. So let’s jump in to week 16 with the lines from our friends at SportsBetting.ag.
Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh (-3.5)
Lee’s Take – This game has major playoff implications for both teams as they battle for the final AFC position. The Steelers are banged up and we saw internal strife between Roethlisberger and Haley hit a boiling point this week with Ben’s public comments about the play calling. While both sides seem to have kissed and made up, I’m still a little wary. Dalton and AJ Green have the potential for a very big day against a weakened Steelers secondary but will need a balanced attack to keep the ball moving. In the end I think the Steelers at home have a slight edge in this one and cover.
Steelers – 28 Bengals 25
Mike’s Take – I love games like this late in the season. A divisional game with enormous meaning for both teams. Pittsburgh really could have beaten Dallas last week and I expect them to be hungry at home. They know how to win when it matters and historically Cincinnati just hasn’t proven that they are capable of the same. The Bengals are playing well, but I don’t think they have enough to take the Steelers in their house.
Steelers – 35 Bengals 21
San Francisco (-1) @ Seattle
Lee’s Take – This has game of the week written all over it. We get two exciting, highly mobile quarterbacks against stout defenses, what more could you ask for? The Seahawks have been thrashing teams the past two weeks and the niners are coming off a huge win over the Patriots in their house. My key to this game is whether San Fran can slow down Marshawn Lynch who has gone nuts the past few weeks. The Seattle offensive line have been moving mountains to give him all of the space he’s needed to put up big numbers. These two are going to pound it out but thanks to Seattle’s 12th Man, I’m giving them the edge.
Seahawks – 24 – 49’ers – 21
Mike’s Take – I am probably in the minority, but I am not sold on either of these teams yet. I know that sounds a little crazy, I just have a feeling. That said, if I had to pick something from either team that I could say makes a difference in a game like this, it’s San Francisco’s defense. This is pretty simple to me, if their defense plays like it can then this game is in the bag. I doubt Petey will be dropping 50 this week. I know Wilson is the sexy choice around the league right now among a solid class of rookies (best since ’83 maybe?) but the pressure will be on this week and I don’t see Seattle as complete of a team as the Niners.
Seahawks – 17 49’ers – 21
New Orleans @ Dallas (-3)
Lee’s Take – The Cowboys got a huge win last week to keep their playoff hopes alive while all the Saints did was make Tampa look like a rec league team in their 41-0 shutout. We know both teams can throw it all over the field so I think the key will be in the running game. DeMarco Murray ran for almost 6 yards a carry against Pittsburgh so he should have little problem carving up the Saints. If that happens, it will allow Romo to have a very big day. While both teams will let the horses run, I think the Cowboys stable is just a little bit stronger right now.
Cowboys – 34 Saints – 27
Mike’s Take – I am not sure New Orleans is a team anyone wants to play right now. While they don’t look exactly like the Super Bowl team they recently were, they look better than they did at the start of this season by a long shot. Dallas, they escaped at home last week against the Steelers who really aren’t that great of a team this year and certainly not as explosive as the Saints. I know it’s unfair with the season he is having to say this, but until Romo shows he can do it when it’s absolutely crucial…I just don’t believe yet. I look for the Saints to score early and often to further help in clouding the NFC East playoff picture.
Cowboys – 24 Saints – 38