A few weeks back, we said we were like the Jeff Fisher of the SuperContest: painfully mediocre.
Fisher has since been fired for being even worse than painfully mediocre, but the analogy doesn’t work for other reasons, too. Mainly, Team NESN is red-hot in the premier football handicapping contest after a stellar 4-0-1 showing last week, only missing a perfect week because Oakland somehow couldn’t cover vs. San Diego.
Instead of Fisher, we’re now the Green Bay Packers of the SuperContest: we’re saving our best for last. The rest of Team OddsShark has been put on notice, too, as we shot up the OddsShark standings and with two more big weeks to end the season, things can get interesting. Or, we’ll just fall flat on our faces. Either way.
Here are our Week 16 picks.
Green Bay Packers (-6.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings, Saturday, 1 p.m. ET
Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisc.
After the packers lost to the Washington Redskins on Nov. 20, hitting rock bottom for the season, head coach Mike McCarthy stressed the importance of winning the turnover battle. The Packers needed to protect the ball better. Since then, Green Bay has turned it over just once and has forced 12 turnovers. Unsurprisingly, the Pack is 4-0 in that stretch. Over that same stretch, the Vikings are 1-3 with a minus-four turnover ratio. Not expecting that all to change too much this week.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+5) at Tennessee Titans, Saturday, 1 p.m.
Nissan Stadium, Nashville
We’re really buying into the coaching change here, as maybe a fresh look will move the Jaguars going in the right direction. Now, we’re not going as far to say it’s going to be a “Blue Christmas” for the Titans, but five points is a lot for a team that has won its last three games by a combined 11 points. And the Jaguars’ 2-12 record obviously is it what it is. They’re not good. That being said, they’ve been in every game since the start of November, losing their last seven games by an average of six points. They should be able to hang with the Titans and keep it just close enough to cover.
Oakland Raiders (-3.5) vs. Indianapolis Colts, Saturday, 4:05 p.m.
Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, Oakland
Don’t pay too much attention to Derek Carr’s recent struggles. That finger injury appears to be giving him issues, but it shouldn’t matter this week against the Colts. Oakland’s running game is improving, averaging 4.6 yards per carry over its last three games. And if that’s not enough, the Raiders’ defense has eight sacks over the last three games, and we’ve talked all year about how the Colts struggle with keeping Andrew Luck upright.
Baltimore Ravens (+5.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, 4:30 p.m.
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh
The Ravens actually have won the last four matchups between these two teams, and the three of the last four times these clubs have met, the margin of victory has been an average of 4.3 points. Admittedly, a lot of this pick is also narrative-driven. These teams always seem to play each other tough, and you factor in that it’s a Christmas Day game and the Ravens are still very much alive in this thing, we think they at least give Pittsburgh a close game.
Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5) vs. Denver Broncos, Sunday, 8:30 p.m.
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City
The Chiefs have the formula for beating the Broncos, and it’s pretty simple: Don’t turn over the football. KC has won its last two games against the Broncos, despite averaging just 288 yards of offense per game. But they haven’t turned it over in those games, and Denver is just 6-8 over the last two seasons when they don’t force multiple turnovers … they’re 17-2 when they do. Also, if the Chiefs have a glaring weakness right now, it’s that run defense, and the Broncos don’t have the sort of rushing attack that will exploit that hole.
Thumbnail photo via Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports Images