Lock’em Or Leave’em: Our Predictions For NFL Week 16

Above: Matt Prater broke Tom Dempsey's 43-year-old record with his 64-yard field goal on Sunday December 12, 2013 when the Denver Broncos played the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver
Above: Matt Prater broke Tom Dempsey's 43-year-old record with his 64-yard field goal on Sunday December 12, 2013 when the Denver Broncos played the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver

Some excellent upsets last week proves that despite powering down the season, each weekend is still anyone’s game. For Week 16, we’ve got a few teams that couldn’t lose if they tried, and a couple games that we’d rather not take the risk on. Our NFL analyst and sports bettor, Jeff Bjarnarson, has been giving up sleep to watch film with Belichik and kick FG’s with Prater in order to bring you this week’s Lock’em OR Leave’em!

Lock’em

The 12th man will rear his ugly head on Sunday afternoon when the Cardinals (9-5) challenge the Seahawks (12-2) at CenturyLink Field. Last time the Seahawks had the home field advantage, the fans not only reclaimed the Guinness World Record for loudest recorded crowd noise at an outdoor sporting event… ever (hitting 137.6 dB), they also went ahead and caused a small earthquake on a fumble return. Is it impossible for anyone to win in Seattle territory? Well, no… but when you’re playing against a team that is 8-1 in its last 9 games and 8-2 in its last 10 games when playing at home against you – keep your toothbrush packed because this one will be over shortly. Seahawks with the W.

Oakland (4-10) makes the quick trip to San Diego (7-7) for a divisional bout. Raiders are in a spiral, losing 4 in a row, while Rivers has led his team to a small upsurge, winning the last two. That may not be much, except that their last win was against the 11-3 Bronco’s. Damn, that’s gotta feel good! In their last 11 games on the road, Oakland has won one. Take the supercharged Rivers at home as a Lock!

My pals in New England may stop returning my phone calls… but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and ask “Will the Patriots win in Raven-ville? Nevermore!” In their last 9 games at home, Baltimore has only dropped one. Somehow, New England has dropped 4 of their last 5 games on the road! What’s up Belichik??! With Gronk driving senior scooters around, and Brady’s up and down year, take Fluke-o at home and give the Ravens a Lock.

Leave’em

Minnesota’s Overall Scoring (8th) vs Cincinnati’s Overall Defence   (6th). Minnesota’s Road Rushing (6th) vs Cincinnati’s Home Defence. (6th). Now, while Ponder has found a bit of a pass game, and the Vikes are 4-2 in their last 6 games against Cincinnati, it really is anyone’s guess. This Bengals team really knows how to shine at home, but please leave this one alone!

In a game that means nothin’ to nobody, the 4-10 Browns travel to the 6-8 Jets. In another Battle of the Brutals, New York’s Overall Scoring (31st) vs Cleveland’s Overall Defense (21st), this game is a pointless coin toss. My prediction, take the OVER, but check the total near the end of the 4th quarter and spend some time with loved ones.

In Week 13, I told you to Leave the Saints / Panthers game. Now, even though the boys in black and gold blew them out in Mercedes-Benz Superdome a few short weeks ago, I must advise to stay the course, and again, LEAVE this game alone! Brees is playing “show-up-at-the-last-minute” football lately, and it’s not panning out for him. Now, while my Saints are 5-2 in their last 7 games when playing Carolina, they’re also a heartbreaking 1-4 in their last 5 games on the road. Not only do they LOSE on the road, they get a spanking! Watch this game, but don’t bet on it. Brees could show up his Haters… or choose not to, depending on whether he took his Nyquil the night before.

Got a lock? Leave it in the comments below. Totally against our predictions? We’d love to hear from you! May you be among winners this weekend!

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Jeff Bjarnarson

As cliche as it sounds, Jeff Bjarnarson is a jack of all (fun) trades. Growing up in rural Manitoba, Jeff moved to Toronto 3 years ago to carve more footsteps on this planet and broaden his horizons. He finds enjoyment diving into digital strategy with clients at Stone Canoe, a digital shop on Queen West; pushing his physical limits as a participant in this year’s Agency Wars, and most recently, being elected to Business Insider‘s “50 Sexiest Advertising Executives Alive” list, which he humbly accepted. For fun, Jeff eats, breathes, and sleeps NFL football.

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