NFL Picks, Week 16: Falcons-Saints, Giants-Jets, Eagles-Cowboys And More

Give the gift of gambling this holiday season! The NFL has a full slate of Christmas Eve games, continuing to Monday's epic Falcons-Saints rematch. The picks are here!

The picks:

Cleveland @ Baltimore (-12). The Ravens have already wrapped up a playoff berth, but are still playing for a first-round bye. Of course, this was also true last week, when the team turned in its biggest stinker of the year, a 34-14 embarrassment to the Chargers. The Browns are pretty bad, but they do hang around with better teams - and will do so again this week. PICK: Cleveland

Denver (-2 1/2) @ Buffalo. The beauty of the AFC West is it's conceivable the division could end up in a four-way tie at 8-8, at which point I'm sure the Commissioner would rig a tiebreaker so Mr. Tebow goes into the postseason. The Anointed One can actually seal that up today, though, with a win and an Oakland loss - so be prepared for the media onslaught if that happens. If Drew Brees breaks the all-time single-season yardage record this week and Tebow gets into the playoffs, anybody care to guess what gets more hype? (Not that I'm complaining - any attention diverted from the Saints is fine by me.) PICK: Denver

Tampa Bay @ Carolina (-7 1/2). There are many unanswered questions floating around this Atlanta Falcons season, but the one I can't get past: How in the holy hell did they lose to the freakin' Bucs? PICK: Carolina

Arizona @ Cincinnati (-4 1/2). Shockingly, both teams are still playing for the postseason, and perhaps even more shockingly, the Cardinals are trying to win five straight for the first time in 34 years. One team is streaking, one team is limping - so fly with the little bird on this one. PICK: Arizona

Oakland @ Kansas City (-1). Ever so technically, there's a playoff storyline here - but it's not worth going into for either team. I just know I'm expecting the Chiefs to follow up the Packers victory by playing their most inept game of the year. Like, I won't be surprised if a few players forget to wear pants. PICK: Oakland

Miami @ New England (-9). This is always a weird one - I've probably lost more money betting Pats over Dolphins than any other combo in my life. If there was snow in the forecast, I'd be tempted to lean the same way, but it's all sunny (albeit cold) in Foxboro. A straight upset wouldn't be that surprising. PICK: Miami

NY Giants @ NY Jets (-3). I couldn't give two poops about either of these teams, but the game's ripple effect will prove fairly wide. A Giants win sets up a winner-takes-division match-up with the Cowboys next week, a Giants loss keeps Philadelphia's hopes alive. A Jets win keeps them at least even with the Bengals for a wildcard spot, a Jets loss possibly knocks them from contention and shuts up Rex Ryan's fat face. Ugh, go Giants. It's the only choice. PICK: NY Giants

St. Louis @ Pittsburgh (-12). No huge surprise, but Ben Roethlisberger will be on the sideline for this one - and his true worth was revealed in the process. Just before that news was announced, Vegas had this line at 17, and then it dropped fairly precipitously to what you see there. PICK: St. Louis

Jacksonville @ Tennessee (-7). Too many good games on today for you to waste your time with this one. And yes, that still counts even if your son plays for one of these teams. He'll understand. PICK: Tennessee

Minnesota @ Washington (-7). Again, I'm pretty sure Mrs. Grossman is wearing her Jets hoodie today. PICK: Minnesota

San Diego @ Detroit (-2 1/2). A Detroit victory means we can honestly say the words "playoff-bound Lions" for the first time this millennium. The Chargers have knocked off three in a row to climb back to .500, but the wheels of desperation are with the home team on this one. Because if the Lions can't pick up the W here, they might have to in Week 17 - at Green Bay. PICK: Detroit

Philadelphia @ Dallas (-1). Huge playoff implications for this one - maybe. As it stands right now, the Eagles still have a slim chance at the postseason, relying on the Cowboys and Giants to falter today, the the Cowboys to falter next week. But if the Giants beat the Jets in the early afternoon, Philly's dream is dead and the rest of the NFC can breathe easier (because, really, who would have wanted that match-up?). Since I'm calling that first game for the Giants, I'm thinking the then-deflated Eagles don't hang around this one. PICK: Dallas

San Francisco (-1) @ Seattle. Just to keep things interesting, there's only one way this game can turn out. PICK: Seattle

Chicago @ Green Bay (-12 1/2). Merry Christmas! And your present from the NFL is the 2011 starting debut of Luke McCown Cade McNown Josh McCown in the role of Chicago Bears QB! The Caleb Hanie experiment is mercifully over, but I'm afraid it's too late - the Bears drop out of playoff contention with a loss, and Mr. Aaron Rodgers does still have something to play for. A win today clinches home field through the playoffs. So we'll see you next year, Mr. Cutler, Mr. Forte, Mr. Han - oh, not so fast there, Mr. Hanie. PICK: Green Bay

Atlanta @ New Orleans (-7 1/2). Every other NFL team will have played twice between Atlanta's 14th and 15th game - and trust me, I'll take any sliver of advantage the NFL gods are willing to bestow. Other SB Nation Atlanta writers, who tend to study and not just pull things from their nether regions, are writing amazing stuff about this game right now. Check them out. PICK: Atlanta

For the rest of the season, the non-Sunday picks will be posted that day to Twitter: follow @joshmassey1

Thursday/Saturday games:
Last week: 6-10

Yearly total: 117-103-4

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