NFL

Francis Forecast: Week 16 picks

THE FRANCIS FORECAST

NFL picks against the spread for Week 15.

The time off did the Forecast some good! How about a 7-2 week in our return to action?! The overall record is now 43-38-3 after 15 weeks of the season. Like the Seahawks, we are back from the dead and making a push for some late season success. So, without further crowing, here are the Week 16 picks:

Bengals -2.5 over Steelers: I rode with Jake Browning last week in a win over the Vikings, I’m certainly going to take him again in a game against the fading Steelers starting Mason Rudolph for the first time in a couple of years. Pittsburgh is in complete freefall, yes, they are at home making their last stand but I think the Bengals, even without JaMarr Chase will find a way to block TJ Watt and get a nice win.

Chargers +12.5 over Bills: This is only a play on one trend. Double-digit underdogs that are blown out (lose by 20 or more ) the week before are 19-4-1 against the spread the following week. That’s a trend that goes back 20 years. But I’d wait until the price gets close to 14, it undoubtedly will. Chargers are just the type of team to ruin these numbers – especially against a motivated Bills team - but I will hold my nose and take them.

Packers -4.5 over Panthers: The Panthers played spoiler last week against a bad Atlanta team, winning their 2nd game of the season but that’s where it will end for them. The Packers are Desperate, with a capital D. Having lost two straight, their playoff hopes hang by a thread, they absolutely can leave no doubt in this one. They’ll be dialed in even if it is too late.

Seahawks- 3 over Tennessee: Play with the same poise and defensive consistency as they did against the Eagles and there will be no doubt for the Seahawks. Geno returns to lead an offense that finally has everyone healthy. They’re motivated to win their final three games to get to 10-7. Lay the short number on the road against the Vrabels who are already eliminated.

Lions -3 over Vikings: The Lions have alternated wins and losses the last four weeks but still have an outside shot at the NFC’s top seed should the Niners stumble. They’ll take on a Vikings team led by Nick Mullens who should have had two to three more turnovers last week against Cincinnati. These two teams will meet in two of the next three weeks. The Lions will solidify their credentials by beating them twice.

Dolphins/Cowboys over 50.5: The top two offensive teams in the league in terms of points. Dolphins at 31.5, Cowboys at 30.8. In Miami, where the Dolphins are great, this will be a track meet and the only thing I can say about this total is it seems too good to be true. That’s not usually a good thing but I don’t care. I’m riding with my team to score, score, score.

LOCKS OF THE WEEK (9-12 overall ):

Eagles TT over 27.5: The Eagles are getting all kinds of flak after Monday’s loss to the Seahawks especially Jalen Hurts and the offense which only mustered 17 points. Five turnovers in the last two losses will draw that from a fan base like Philly. That will change this week when they take it out at home on the rival Giants who had their playoff hopes crushed last week in New Orleans. Eagles get their four touchdowns. We win!

Cardinals/Bears over 43: Two teams with mobile quarterbacks who may be on the move after the season, Justin Fields and Kyler Murray will be looking to make plays. Chicago is averaging 20 ppg and the Cardinals are averaging 18.. add in one more touchdown and we’ll have our over. Locks were 2-0 last week lets keep it going!

OK, enjoy week 16, and as always, good luck!