Sunday Locks (NFL Week 16)

Rams (-3) @ Vikings, O/U 48

The Rams suddenly control their own destiny in the NFC West when the Colts gave them a Christmas present by knocking off the Cardinals. I expect them to capitalize on this opportunity against an inconsistent Vikings team, who also has a ton to play for. The loss of Dalvin Cook will be felt in this one. I’ll lay the field goal with the Rams in a shootout.

Giants @ Eagles (-10), O/U 40.5

It’s official. My “always take the points in an NFC East game” rule is dead. The favorite covered both NFC East games last week and in fairly convincing fashion. I’m going to ride that streak here. The Eagles have a ton to play for. The Giants don’t. The Eagles are actually a pretty good football team with a ground and pound identity. The Giants are a total mess. I’ll take the Eagles here laying 10.

Bills @ Patriots (-2), O/U 43.5

The rematch of that crazy Monday Night game should be very telling of the level of contender that both of these teams are. You can’t take much from that first game and consider it all that meaningful, due to the insane weather that impacted it up in Buffalo. I expect the Bills to come out with a focus on stopping the Patriots on the ground and to try to make Mac Jones beat them. I expect this one to be highly competitive. I’m taking the Bills getting a couple points.

Lions @ Falcons (-7), O/U 42.5

Coming off of that incredibly impressive win last week, the Lions were dealt some rough news when Jared Goff was ruled out due to Covid and Amani Oruwariye was ruled out with a thumb injury. That dampens my confidence with this pick, but not the pick itself. The Lions are building a culture of playing competitive football and they’ve consistently found ways to play tough in games where they’re significantly outmatched in talent. This is a lot of points for the Falcons to cover, so I’ll take the Lions.

Chargers (-10) @ Texans, O/U 46

Despite Covid taking out a bunch of the Chargers main guys, I don’t see this game being particularly competitive. I’ll lay the double digits with the Chargers.

Buccaneers (-10.5) @ Panthers, O/U 42.5

The Panthers drew the short straw here, facing off against Tom Brady following a game where he and this Buccaneers offense were shut out by the Saints. Sure, they also get to play them the week following them being handed a ton of impactful injuries, but you have to think this week of practice was spent getting Brady’s new weapons up to speed. I’ll lay the points with the Bucs here.

Jaguars @ Jets (-1), O/U 41.5

Yuck. I guess give me the Jaguars.

Ravens @ Bengals (-7), O/U 42

Josh Johnson gets the start here as Lamar is still dealing with injury and Tyler Huntley tested positive for Covid. That’s enough for me to take the Bengals here, who are simply the better, healthier team.

Bears @ Seahawks (-7), O/U 42

Nick Foles is back! As soon as I heard that, I knew I was taking the Bears. He’ll keep this game close against a very flawed Seahawks team. Both of these teams will likely struggle to score, and 7 is a ton of points in game like that. I’ll take the Bears.

Broncos @ Raiders (-1), O/U 40.5

One of these teams will leave this week with their postseason hopes crushed. One will leave a game over .500 and with their hopes still alive for another week. I don’t have much analysis here. I simply am taking the home team. Give me the Raiders.

Steelers @ Chiefs (-9.5), O/U 45

Without Travis Kelce, my confidence level in this pick dropped a bunch. I don’t see a world where the Steelers get to 20 points against this Chiefs defense. But I also can see the Steelers defense keeping the Chiefs offense in check, particularly without Kelce. I hate laying a ton of points in a low-scoring game, but that’s exactly what I’m doing here. Give me the Chiefs.

Football Team @ Cowboys (-10), O/U 47

It’s tough to play a team twice in 3 weeks and the game to not be competitive. Familiarity alone should keep this game close, not to mention the fact that the Cowboys offense has not been clicking of late. I’ll take the points with Washington here.

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Zack Nicol and I have partnered to do a head to head challenge every week called LOCK OFF. We’ll pick 4 of our favorite spreads and battle it out.

This week’s LOCK OFF picks:

Zack Nicol: Falcons -7, Ravens +7, Rams -3, Jets -1.5

Craig Ebinger: Rams -3, Chargers -10, Chiefs -9.5, Bears +7

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I like sports. I’m very opinionated. I like sharing my opinions and arguing senselessly with anyone who wants to argue.

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Craig Ebinger

Craig Ebinger

I like sports. I’m very opinionated. I like sharing my opinions and arguing senselessly with anyone who wants to argue.

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