NFL picks: Best bets for Week 16's Christmas Eve games
Mike Ortiz Jr. makes his Christmas Eve picks and predictions for Week 16 of the 2022 NFL season, with three NFL best bets for Saturday.
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NFL Christmas Eve Predictions, Odds, & Best Bets Week 16
Saints vs Browns Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under - NFL Betting Lines Week 16
Moneyline: New Orleans Saints (+120), Cleveland Browns (-140)
Spread: New Orleans Saints +2.5, Cleveland Browns -2.5
Total: Over/Under 32.5 points
Saints vs Browns Predictions and Pick
The Atlanta Falcons made the switch to rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder last week and, despite an awful first start, the Falcons still almost completed the comeback against the New Orleans Saints. After jumping out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter, the Saints' offense hit a wall, punting twice and fumbling inside the Falcons 15-yard line. They’ll now draw a Browns defense that is significantly better than Atlanta's. The Falcons, who rank 27th in the NFL in total yards to opposing offenses, are a much softer defense than the Browns, who will cause more problems for New Orleans.
While the Saints' defense was able to keep Ridder in check, they’ll have a much harder task against Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is making his fourth start since his suspension and has shown flashes of his old self. Establishing the run in this game will remain a priority for the Browns, as the Saints' 23rd-ranked run defense is their weak spot. With running back Nick Chubb out, the Browns will turn to Kareem Hunt, who is averaging just over four yards per carry.
Outside of a few weeks, this Saints offense has really struggled this season, and with wide receiver Chris Olave likely out with a hamstring injury, their offense will only struggle more. While the potential absence of Browns defensive end Myles Garrett would make their Saturday easier, this Saints' offense will still struggle. It’s the home finale for the Browns as their remaining two games will be on the road, so expect them to make a statement. Hunt will get the ground game going, which will open up the passing game for Watson and company. Give me the Browns in a big win on Saturday.
The Pick: Cleveland Browns ML (-140)
Bills vs Bears Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under - NFL Betting Lines Week 16
Moneyline: Buffalo Bills (-400), Chicago Bears (+310)
Spread: Buffalo Bills -8.5, Chicago Bears +8.5
Total: Over/Under 40.5 points
Bills vs Bears Predictions and PickDespite sitting at first in the AFC at 11-3 and with the AFC East pretty much clinched, the Buffalo Bills just haven’t sold me this year. With several close games against inferior opponents, they better bring it in the windy city on Saturday.
After completing a fire sale, the 3-11 Chicago Bears are still bad but seem to be trending in the right direction due to quarterback Justin Fields’ amazing play. Fields’ dual threat ability has caused nightmares for opposing defenses, and has kept them competitive in a majority of their games this year. With seven of their 11 losses being one possession games, their record truly doesn’t indicate the type of team that they are.
While the Bills do have a top-10 defense and allow 106.1 rushing yards per game, which ranks sixth in the NFL, they do struggle with mobile quarterbacks. In Week 4, if it wasn’t for two late game interceptions by quarterback Lamar Jackson, including one on the goaline, the Bills would’ve likely lost to the Baltimore Ravens. Jackson, who only threw for 144 yards in that game, had 73 yards on the ground, including three key scrambles on what would be the Ravens final drive.
The Bills will come out of Chicago with a win on Saturday, but it’ll be closer than a lot of people expect. Nine points on the spread is just too many against a quarterback that has turned dead plays into positive ones several times this season. I'll take the Bears and the points in this one, and if you want to, take a Jeremy Sprinkle on the moneyline too.
The Pick: Chicago Bears +8.5 (-105)
Bengals vs Patriots Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under - NFL Betting Lines Week 16Moneyline: Cincinnati Bengals (-166), New England Patriots (+137)
Spread: Cincinnati Bengals -3.5, New England Patriots +3.5
Total: Over/Under 41.5 points
Bengals vs Patriots Predictions and Pick
Nothing, and I mean nothing, has impressed me about the New England Patriots this year. Sitting at 7-7 and somehow just right outside of a Wild Card berth is crazy in itself. But don’t get caught up in that narrative. It doesn’t matter that Bill Bellichick is still their head coach, because this team is two fingers over the nose.
As for the Cincinnati Bengals, after starting 0-2 with their offensive line looking like a revolving door to opposing defenses, they've done a complete 180. They enter this game on a six-game winning streak, and Burrow hasn’t been sacked more than twice in any of those games. That's a completely different story from the first two weeks, when Burrow was sacked 13 times.
Getting to Burrow will be key, and the Patriots' defense is good at pressuring opposing quarterbacks as they average 3.4 sacks per game, which ranks third in the NFL. In games where Burrow has been sacked more than five times, the Bengals are 0-3 this season. And when the Patriots have sacked the opposing quarterback more than five times in a single game this season, they’re 3-0.
While those numbers make for a great story, this Patriots team is just bad. Cornerback Jalen Mills, who missed the last three games with a groin injury, will be no match for Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Burrow will pick on that matchup from start to finish and the Bengals will cruise to a victory.
The Pick: Cincinnati Bengals -3.5 (+100)