Week 15 was a fascinating one, and I was delighted to come out with a 3-2 record with my NFL totals article picks. Unfortunately, the joy of that was somewhat lost on Monday Night Football when the ineptitude of the Indianapolis Colts meant the over failed to hit in the game in New Orleans. That game was another lesson about betting on team totals and not game totals. Had I listened to my concerns and backed the Saints team total, we would be looking at a very successful week. The good news is that we have two weeks in which to make amends and go for the big victory. That starts here with five totals picks for Week 16 of the NFL season.
Week 15 lessons
I already discussed the experiences from Monday Night Football of Week 15, but what about the lessons from the other five? Let’s start with the defeats and the Chicago Bears. The lesson here is never to trust Mitchell Trubisky unless the opponent is simply a disgrace on defense. Putting up 17 points should have been simple enough, but Trubisky made it look like it was never going to happen. The loss on the Eagles hitting the over was somewhat tough to take. The Redskins defense looked good, but the Eagles just ran all over them. Maybe not trusting the Redskins anymore would be a sensible thing to do.
Now for the victories. The snow in Kansas City made me a little more concerned about the Chiefs over. Sometimes in those conditions, it can actually assist a good offense while slowing down a good defense. That is what happened here, and the Chiefs nearly went all the way. In the end, the Broncos defense did enough to give us the win.
The Packers offense did their usual trick of excelling for a period and then falling asleep. After getting to 21 points in the middle of the third quarter, the Packers did not add a single point after that. This offense is simply incapable of putting together a full four quarters of football, and their under is in play every week because of it.
The final win never felt in doubt. The Buccaneers offense is a joy to watch, and 26.5 was always too low. However, the loss of Chris Godwin on top of Mike Evans means they are not an automatic play this week in Houston.
Week 16 totals and picks
Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts
If you watched the Colts on Monday Night Football, this line is a true headscratcher. Yes, the Saints defense was looking to make a statement after the 49ers game the week before, but to only score seven points is a problem for the Colts. The offense looked disjointed, and Brissett does not look like he can drive the ball. Throw in that the run game is a complete mess, and I do not see how the Colts get beyond the 24 point mark here. The only way I foresee this over hitting is if the Panthers quarterbacks decide to be generous to the Colts and give them the ball on a short field.
1u – Indianapolis Colts Under 26.5 Total Points | +100
New York Giants at Washington Redskins
These games tend to be pretty ugly when the Giants and Redskins face off. We have seen over 42 points in just one of the last five matchups between these two. Additionally, the under is usually the safe way to bet in divisional matchups after Week 10. The offensive breakouts of both of these teams last week have pushed this line up to 42, and it is definitely a present we should look to take. The Giants average just 20.2 PPG, and the Redskins sit at just 15.4. Both teams also rank in the bottom half of the league when it comes to total yards, and this game could just be an ugly slug-fest that does not result in many points.
1u – Under 42.5 Total Points | -120
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
Yes, the Browns are a mess, but this total seems absurd. The Jets just scored 21 points on this Ravens team and arguably should have had more if they had made smarter decisions. The Browns can run the ball well, and that has at times been a method for getting at the Ravens defense. I do not think the Browns are winning, but I think they get to 20 points. Since their bye week, they have scored less than 19 points twice, and they were against the Patriots and Steelers defenses. This Browns team has a lot to prove, both collectively and as individuals. In a divisional game, I think they put on a strong performance offensively.
1u – Cleveland Browns Over 18.5 Total Points | -120
Detroit Lions at Denver Broncos
David Blough in Denver against that defense. Give me the Broncos to shut him down, and it is not even really that close. The Lions managed just 17 points against the woeful Buccaneers defense, having scored just seven the week before. 10 or 13 points feels about right here, with a shutout not being out of the question.
1u – Detroit Lions Under 14.5 Total Points | -125
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
The weather is the key here. If it is as mild as currently predicted, then I am making this play all day. If we see signs of colder weather, wind, and rain, then I will back off. For now, this weather is perfect for a Cowboys offense to exploit the Eagles defense, who just allowed 27 to the Washington Redskins. If the Cowboys can score 24 in Chicago, then they can certainly do it here. In fact, they have 24 or more points 10 times this season, including 37, when they hosted the Eagles back in Week 7.
1u – Dallas Cowboys Over 23.5 Total Points | -125
Ben Rolfe is an NFL picks writer and editor at PFN. You can follow him @benrolfe15 on Twitter. For more gambling information and all of our writers NFL Week 16 picks, make sure to get our All-Access Pass! Follow us on Twitter for more great content @PFN365.