I went 3-0 with my picks last week, meaning I'm 5-1 in the last two weeks. I like to think of myself as that team that struggles through the first couple months of the season, but gets hot at the end and makes a Super Bowl run.
Of course, I couldn't be here without the San Francisco 49ers. A team that has been much better than its record suggests as of late, especially at home, and with Nick Mullens at quarterback. Mullens and the Niners have covered for me two consecutive weeks, and I thought long and hard about riding with them for the third straight week, as they're once again home underdogs, but I'm just not as confident in them against the Chicago Bears.
Instead, I have three other picks I'm very confident about heading into Week 16.
Seattle (+2.5) vs. Kansas City
Both teams are coming off losses last week, though only one is being punished for it. As I just mentioned, San Francisco is a team that's been underappreciated for a few weeks now, and it's win over the Seahawks last week has caused this line to shift a bit too far in Kansas City's direction. The Seahawks are a much better team at home, where they're 4-1-1 ATS this season and 28-21-2 ATS since the 2013 season.
Pushing me further into Seattle's corner is the fact this Seahawks team leads the NFL in rushing at 154.9 yards per game. It will be facing a Kansas City defense that's allowing 126.9 rushing yards per game (26th in the NFL), and 161.3 rushing yards per game in the last three weeks. The best way to stop Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense is by keeping it off the field, and that's precisely what Seattle can do in a favorable environment this week. The Seahawks are about to make the race for home-field advantage in the AFC a lot more interesting this weekend. Seahawks 27, Chiefs 23
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Detroit (+5.5) vs. Minnesota
I've always liked to fade teams coming off big wins, and that's precisely the position the Vikings find themselves in this week. Minnesota jumped out to a 21-0 lead on Miami last week, let the Dolphins back into the game, and then pulled away again to win 41-17. It was the team's first week under a new play-caller on offense, and surely everything is solved now. All the same problems this offense has faced all year are gone! Or not.
The Vikings are 5-2-1 ATS as a favorite this season, but they're 4-1-1 ATS as a home favorite and only 1-1 ATS as a road favorite. They're 3-4 ATS on the road overall, and they're 1-4-1 ATS the week after a win. Of course, the problem here is you have to trust the Lions to cover this spread, and I get how scary that can be. After all, the Lions don't have anything to play for this season, but this Lions defense has played well of late, and I believe it'll keep them in the game. Vikings 24, Lions 20
Cincinnati at Cleveland (Under 44.5)
A lot has been made about how much better the Browns offense has become with Freddie Kitchens calling the plays rather than Hue Jackson and Todd Haley, but the truth is it hasn't been drastically better. Yes, Baker Mayfield has performed better, but overall the offense has been pretty average. The Browns are averaging only 22.1 points per game on the season, and that includes an average of 18.7 points in their last three games. Then there's the Bengals, a team that has averaged only 24.1 points per game on the year and 20.3 points per game the previous three weeks.
Of course, the difference here is that Cleveland's defense has played well while Cincinnati's is a bit of a mess, which leads me to believe the Browns have the edge here. I just don't know that the edge is broad enough to cover a 9.5-point spread. Call me old-fashioned, but I'm not ready to trust the Cleveland Browns to cover a spread that large yet. So instead I'll go with two offenses that haven't been scoring a whole lot lately playing in what the forecast says should be windy conditions, and wind always makes it a little more difficult to put points on the board. Browns 24, Bengals 17
SportsLine Bonus Pick
New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck and the Colts are 9-point favorites at home against the Giants, and the total is set at 47 points. I have a play available for this game, but you can only read it at SportsLine.