trubiskycbs-1.jpg
USATSI

We were riding down I-85 over Christmas week and my son, from the back seat, kept yelling "DADDY, LOOK! DADDY, LOOK!" as he held up his iPad. I couldn't exactly stare at the thing while driving, but glancing back I could see he had the settings app open. Not your typical six-year-old type of thing to play with on a car trip, right? 

"Buddy what are you doing in the settings?" 

Turns out he was trying to connect to one of our cell phone's hot spots. Except there was a plot twist. 

"It says a bad word!!"

"What???" 

"It says F--k's iPhone!!!" 

"WHAT????"

As it turns out, some clever little punk who was also riding down the highway -- instead of opting for something normal like "Will's iPhone X" or "iPhone (2)" had decided to rename their phone "F--k's iPhone" which means that anyone who happened to be in proximity to them would see the swear word pop up if they went into their settings. 

I'm not even mad about it and I don't even know the point. Just wanted to tip my cup of egg nog to the little punk who caused my son to drop 400 f-bombs over the last 48 hours. Well played, F---. Well played. 

I will not be tipping my cap to Dave Richard. In a perfect world, you don't need a wild fourth-quarter comeback to take down a title. But sometimes it's fun to pull off a comeback. And that's exactly what's happening with our NFL expert picks right now, as I'm trying to chase down Dave Richard for first place. A rough afternoon slate probably cost me a tie for first place, but things are snug enough where I can walk Dave down. 

Don't think he doesn't hear the footsteps. Dave is the Falcons and I'm Tom Brady. There are ghosts haunting him right now and he knows it. 

Of course, if you want to make up ground in a picks league, Week 16 is probably your last legitimate chance to make a huge move. Week 17 should feature tons of teams lacking motivation and it might be easy to figure out. Let's make this last mostly meaningful week count. 

What NFL picks can you make with confidence in Week 16? And which Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which NFL teams are covering in more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that is up nearly $7,900 on its top-rated picks.

NFL Week 16 Picks

Minnesota (6-8) at New Orleans (10-4)

Christmas, 4:30 p.m. ET (NFL Network)

Latest Odds: New Orleans Saints -6.5

The aforementioned motivation is already kicking in and we've got a prime spot to take a team more interested in winning than the other. The Vikings will still try here, don't get me wrong. But do you think Minnesota is going to give Dalvin Cook 30 carries in this spot? Or save him for next year with his hefty contract on the books by feeding Mike Boone and Ameer Abdullah (or maybe Alexander Mattison) in a Christmas Day game that ultimately doesn't matter for the standings? I'm thinking the latter is a lot more likely. Additionally, the Saints can clinch the NFC South on Christmas Day and take an extended holiday bye week. Come out sharp, get some good play out of Drew Brees and the Saints will feel very good about their Super Bowl chances heading into the final week of the regular season. Without Everson Griffen, the Vikings shouldn't be able to limit Alvin Kamara in the passing game. I think he gets them the lead and Latavius Murray salts it away. 

The Pick: Saints 31, Vikings 21

Best Bets: Alvin Kamara over receptions 4.5, Saints -7, Latavius Murray over carries/rush yards

Tampa Bay (9-5) at Detroit (5-9)

Saturday, 1 p.m. ET (NFL Network)

Latest Odds: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -12

The Lions yanked Matthew Stafford for Chase Daniel late against the Titans in a game that was a blowout. With Tampa capable of pummeling some bad teams, I wouldn't want to be backing the Lions in a spot where we could ultimately see backups play for a squad that is without the majority of its coaching staff due to COVID concerns. It's the Bucs or nothing here in this Saturday matinee. 

The Pick: Buccaneers 41, Lions 17

Best Bets: N/A

San Francisco (5-9) at Arizona (8-6)

Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET (Amazon)

Latest Odds: Arizona Cardinals -6

The possible return of George Kittle is interesting here, but I just don't know if C.J. Beathard and the 49ers have enough healthy bodies to take care of business against Arizona. San Francisco's the most perplexing team out there: one minute they're throttling someone, the next minute they're losing to the frigging Cowboys and Andy Dalton. This defense is short-handed and has struggled with mobile QBs the last few years. Kyler Murray is fully healthy and weaponized now based on the last two weeks. I would expect him to have a big game. 

The Pick: Cardinals 24, 49ers 17

Best Bets: Kyler Murray over rush yards

Miami (9-5) at Las Vegas (7-7)

Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET (NFL Network)

Latest Odds: Miami Dolphins -2

The Impromptu Hawaii Bowl -- Tua Tagovailoa and Marcus Mariota become the first pair of Samoan quarterbacks to square off -- should feature a ton of points. Las Vegas can score with or without Derek Carr and Mariota appeared willing to really make this offense vertical during his fill in for Carr last Thursday. The Dolphins offense is a little more sluggish, but the Raiders will make anyone look good, and the possible return of Myles Gaskin and Mike Gesicki would help a ton. I actually think Mariota will surprise a lot of people here and pull off an upset. 

The Pick: Raiders 31, Dolphins 28

Best Bets: Raiders +3

Chicago (7-7) at Jacksonville (1-13)

1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Latest Odds: Chicago Bears -9.5

Are the Bears BACK IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT??? If Chicago wins out, it could steal a bid to the postseason. Even if that doesn't happen, a 9-7 season would almost guarantee Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace keeping their jobs. You can't fire Nagy if he starts his career 12-4, 8-8, 9-7. You just can't. And if Nagy and Pace stick around, you know what's happening? A Mitchell Trubisky extension, that's what. Root for it, because it would be amazing. I'd expect another big game from Mitsubishi Mitch and I would be extremely interested in seeing where Vegas puts the David Montgomery rushing prop this week. He's coming on like gangbusters the last few weeks and the Jags defense is horrific. 

The Pick: Bears 31, Jaguars 24

Best Bets: David Montgomery over rush yards (up to 95)

Cleveland (10-4) at N.Y. Jets (1-13)

1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Latest Odds: Cleveland Browns -6.5

We really should not be gifting this win to the Browns. They have a chance to steal the division, but they can't do it without beating the Jets. So I'll be interested to see how Cleveland's offense comes out early. Are they looking ahead? Or will Baker Mayfield and Co. understand they need to throttle another bad team to set up a possible Week 17 matchup. I think they show up and annihilate the Jets. No Quinnen Wiliams is a big problem for New York's rush defense and this is a team that loves to run. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt should have a field day and I would anticipate lots of early play-action from Baker to get a lead. The Jets can't keep up in terms of scoring.

The Pick: Browns 31, Jets 10

Best Bets: Nick Chubb over rush yards

Cincinnati (3-10-1) at Houston (4-10)

1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: Houston Texans -7.5

Hard to believe it, but we've got a big-time letdown spot for the Bengals. They just won their Super Bowl with a Monday night victory over the Steelers and the consensus is Zac Taylor saved his job for 2021 with the W. They're going to stumble into this matchup against Houston a little hungover and right now the Texans offense and Deshaun Watson is a lot more explosive than the Steelers and Big Ben. Houston can't stop anyone, so the Bengals should get some points, but the Texans will win this one by double digits.

The Pick: Texans 34, Bengals 21

Best Bets: Texans -8

Atlanta (4-10) at Kansas City (13-1)

1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: Kansas City Chiefs -11

Boy the Falcons can't catch a break, can they? They blew a massive lead against Tom Brady (the jokes write themselves) and then roll right into a road matchup against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. I don't think Atlanta is going to put up much of a fight in this one, at least in terms of actually winning the game, but I do think the Chiefs have played too many close games to take them as a double digit favorite. They're in cruise control for the No. 1 overall seed and I think Andy Reid will win without being too aggressive here. 

The Pick: Chiefs 24, Falcons 21

Best Bets: N/A

Indianapolis (10-4) at Pittsburgh (11-3)

1 p.m. ET (CBS)

Latest Odds: Indianapolis Colts PK

This game feels a little too obvious -- the Colts are just a lot better than the Steelers right now. Pittsburgh needs to win this game or else things can go sideways and they could lose the division to the Browns in Week 17. But some times, as a great philosopher once told me, you just need to realize that a line is just a line. The Colts are the better team right now. I don't see a situation where the Steelers snap out of their funk and win this game. They can't run the ball and their short-passing game doesn't bode well against the Colts zone defense. Indy doesn't blow teams out, so that's concerning. But they should handle Pittsburgh here. 

The Pick: Colts 24, Steelers 17

Best Bets: Colts -1.5

N.Y. Giants (5-9) at Baltimore (9-5)

1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: Baltimore Ravens -10

No one has noticed but Lamar Jackson is kind of back. He's not operating at full MVP form quite yet but he's running like crazy and starting to put up big numbers again. We saw him do this during the early portion of 2019 and it resulted in mammoth numbers -- the Ravens can't slow down like they did last year with a playoff berth on the line. They could miss the playoffs at 11-5. 11 wins and no playoffs! In other words, you have to bank on Baltimore running up the score here and Lamar doing a ton. Take the over on his rushing yards and the Ravens laying a huge number. 

The Pick: Ravens 34, Giants 10

Best Bets: Ravens -11, Lamar Jackson over rushing yards (anything over 75)

Carolina (4-10) at Washington (6-8)

4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: Washington Commanders +1

This feels pretty obvious to me. One team has a quarterback who left their Week 14 LOSS and either went to a strip club or ended up hanging out with strippers despite the fact that 1) we're in the middle of a pandemic, 2) he's the only healthy quarterback on the roster, 3) the team is leading the division and 4) his coach just beat cancer. The other does, um, not have that happening. What is Dwayne Haskins thinking???? I've done some seriously irresponsible things in my life but this is literally the most irresponsible thing I've ever heard of anyone doing. The Washington Football Team can't relyy on this guy. Hammer the Panthers

The Pick: Panthers 24, Washington 21

Best Bets: Panthers +2.5 

Denver (5-9) at L.A. Chargers (5-9)

4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)

Latest Odds: Los Angeles Chargers -2.5

There's a pretty simple calculus here -- the Chargers are favored by more than a field goal. When that's the case, you can't take the Chargers. They don't beat anyone by more than one score or beat anyone in any kind of fashion that would be described as dominant. You have to take the dog with the points in this spot. I don't hate the over here either, though. The Chargers could be up 31-10 in the fourth quarter and Drew Lock could throw three late touchdowns that are meaningless. Kind of here for a Melvin Gordon revenge game too, although you shouldn't sleep on the Chris Harris revenge game either.

The Pick: Broncos 30, Chargers 28

Best Bets: N/A

Philadelphia (4-9-1) at Dallas (5-9)

4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: Philadelphia Eagles -3

Jalen Hurts is dealing right now. Don't fade him. And while you're at it, take the Eagles (7-1 odds) to win the division. If the WFT's lose their game and the Eagles win, you're sitting on a major arb situation with the odds at 7-1. I've got a little concern about the Cowboys kind of finding something, but if Ezekiel Elliott plays, the Eagles are in a smash spot. 

The Pick: Eagles 34, Cowboys 28

Best Bets: Over

L.A. Rams (9-5) at Seattle (10-4)

4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

Latest Odds: Los Angeles Rams +1.5

Jared Goff is a huge concern for this Rams team, but the Los Angeles defense is good enough to slow down D.K. Metcalf and force Russell Wilson to deal with Aaron Donald too often for his liking. Take the Rams, take the under and make sure to jump on an aggressively high Metcalf yardage total. 

The Pick: Rams 21, Seahawks 17

Best Bets: Rams +1.5, D.K. Metcalf under yards

Tennessee (10-4) at Green Bay (11-3)

8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Latest Odds: Green Bay Packers -3

Run fest going here. Aaron Jones will hit his over in terms of rush yards. So will Derrick Henry. We're getting to 60 points in the snow on Sunday night. It's gonna be a blast. I think the Packers win, but the Titans will keep it very, very close. A.J. Brown definitely scores a G.A.M.T. (Grown Ass Man Touchdown). 

The Pick: Packers 41, Titans 38

Best Bets: Over, AJ Brown anytime TD, Derrick Henry over rush yards, Aaron Jones rush yards

Buffalo (11-3) at New England (6-8)

8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Latest Odds: New England Patriots +7

What a freaking massive spot for the Bills here. They won the division already, but beating the Patriots here would send a message. I think they do it, but I'm not sure they do it by a full touchdown. Bill Belichick has done a good job defending Josh Allen over the last few years and I think he can do it here. Good buy low/sell high spot. 

The Pick: Bills 31, Patriots 28

Best Bets: N/A