Which games stand out in Week 16 as having a realistic chance of finishing in upset fashion? We break down some situations that you may want to target this Sunday.
And, when it comes to shootouts, it's hard to have ever fade Andrew Luck and the Colts. After all, this is the team that ranks first in the entire NFL in passing yards per game and third in the league in scoring (30.3 points per game).
Dallas has a lot of weapons in their own right, but the offense has revolved around the production of DeMarco Murray, and the uncertainty about his hand has left cappers feeling uneasy. If Murray isn't able to be his normal self, the whole Dallas offense changes. Of course, the Colts also have a significant injury to deal with themselves in T.Y. Hilton, but Luck is the type of quarterback who can excel regardless of who's around him.
Indianapolis is on a roll right now, having won four straight games, so we think they're in a good spot as dogs in Week 16. The Colts should have a great chance of escaping Dallas with a straight up win.
Upset Probability: Strong
Houston Texans (+5) vs. Baltimore Ravens
It has been far from a wildly successful season for the Texans, but they've been a heck of a lot more competitive this season than they were after last year's embarrassing showing.
So, even with the big bad Ravens coming to town, we believe there's some pretty good value on Houston in this spot. The Texans, of course, are big underdogs because of their quarterback situation -- they'll be trotting out Case Keenum most likely, and he's underwhelmed in a major way when given the opportunity.
However, it's not like Baltimore has been totally dominant. They struggled quite a bit at home against Jacksonville last week despite getting the win, and they've been brutal against the pass all season long. Keenum isn't a scary QB to deal with, but Houston does have a nice receiving duo of DeAndre Hopkins and Andre Johnson that could cause the Ravens problems.
This is mostly about the value though. It's rare to get this many points on a home team, and we think the Texans have a great opportunity to not only cover, but grab the outright victory.
Upset Probability: Fair
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons (+6)
It's all up for grabs in the NFC South, in spite of the fact everyone in the division has been bad. New Orleans currently holds the edge with a 6-8 record on the year, and they'll be in a great situation if they can take care of Atlanta this weekend.
The Saints have been disappointing, there's no doubt about it, yet here they are, still within striking distance of a spot in the playoffs. They've lost four of their last six games, but come in on the heels of a blowout road win over the dysfunctional Bears.
As for the Falcons, they've lost three of their last four and have dropped two straight ahead of the weekend. Their defense continues to be shredded on a weekly basis, and now the injury to Julio Jones has been a dent into Atlanta's offensive production. Things aren't looking good, especially now that they have to head to the Superdome in a huge divisional matchup.
When we look at this from every angle, we can't see a way in which the Saints lose this game at home. When making your NFL picks note they should get up for this game in a big way, and we expect them to win handily & cover the NFL odds.
Upset Probability: Unlikely