Week 16 NFL Picks of the Day

Darin Zank

Sunday, December 21, 2014 12:04 PM GMT

Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014 12:04 PM GMT

We're not exactly going out on a limb with some of our free NFL picks for Sunday, but we can't help it. We won't force ourselves to balance our list of picks, just because we see good value with chalk. Here's our take on how some of Sunday's action might play out.

Green Bay -12/48 vs. Tampa Bay
Coming off a tough loss at Buffalo last week the 10-4 Packers look to stay apace in the NFC playoff races when they visit the 2-12 Buccaneers. Green Bay had won five in a row, until falling to the Bills last week 21-13. The Packers outgained Buffalo 333-253 and outrushed the Bills 158-113, but allowed a punt return for a score and a safety. So they gave up nine cheap points, and lost by eight.

At the moment Green Bay owns the six seed in the NFC, but can win the NFC North with victories Sunday and next week against Detroit. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, has lost its last four games, after falling at Carolina last week 19-17. So the Bucs have averaged 15 points per game over their last four games.

The Packers have outrushed their last six opponents; Tampa has been outrushed in five of its last six games. Also, Green Bay will have the “bounce-back” factor on its side, after last week's defeat.

On top of everything this might turn into a Packers “home away from home” game, considering how much Green and Gold will be in the stands at Raymond James Sunday. The Packers should win this game with room to spare for the cover according to NFL odds.

Free NFL Pick: Green Bay -11.5 at BetDSI

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Seattle -7/36 vs. Arizona
In a game with big stakes as far as the NFC playoff races go the 11-3 Cardinals, still owners of the top seed in the NFC, host the 10-4 Seahawks. We've been waiting for the Cardinals to collapse for about three weeks now; somehow, they've proven us wrong. So far. But there's still time.

A few weeks ago Arizona lost back-to-back games to Seattle and Atlanta. The Cardinals also lost their starting quarterback. They then came from behind to beat Kansas City 17-14, and last week won ugly at St. Louis 12-6. But they also lost their back-up quarterback. Arizona is now down to a guy who owns a career TD/INT ratio of 0/7 stepping in behind center.

The Seahawks are rolling, with four win/covers in a row. At the moment Seattle owns the five seed in the NFC, but it's also still got a shot at the No. 1 seed.

Arizona is averaging 11 points per game over its last six games; Seattle has allowed a total of 27 points over its last four games. Also, for the season the Seahawks are outrushing opponents 81 yards per game, while the Cardinals are getting outrushed by six YPG. And so far this NFL season teams that have outrushed their opponents have covered the spread 69 percent of the time.

Finally, Seattle just beat Arizona four weeks ago 19-3, outrushing the Cards 124-64, covering at -7.5. The best line we could find on the Seahawks during the week was -7.5 points. A few books briefly dropped the hook, but quickly replaced it. In the end, it shouldn't matter.

Free NFL Pick: Seattle -7.5 at Bookmaker

Quick Hits
Carolina, for all its problems, can still win the NFC South, and ranks seventh in the league in average time-of-possession at nearly 32 minutes per game. Meanwhile Cleveland ranks 27th in TOP at 28:28. And so far this season teams that have won the possession battle have covered the spread 66 percent of the time. We like the Panthers for this game's NFL pick at -4 at Pinnacle.

Pittsburgh just won two road games in a row, and can clinch a playoff berth with a victory at home Sunday over Kansas City. The Chiefs, on the other hand, needed a win over lowly Oakland last week to snap a three-game losing streak. The Steelers lead the league in time-of-possession, and should be able to run the ball against a KC defense that's allowing 133 yards per game on the ground. Take Pittsburgh at -2.5 at Heritage.

Finally, yes, we know the Jets stink. Meanwhile, New England is trying to ice down the top seed in the AFC. But in the last three meetings in this AFC East rivalry New York is 3-0 ATS, having lost by two and three points, and winning once outright. So we like the home-dog Jets at +11.5 at SBR Sportsbook.

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