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Handicappers Corner, Week 16

December 23, 2018

PFW staff picks in Week 16:

* — team will lose game but cover point spread

odds from vegasinsider.com

WASHINGTON at TENNESSEE (-10)

Bob LeGere: WAS*

Eric Edholm: TEN

Arthur Arkush: WAS*

Hub Arkush: WAS*

BALTIMORE at L.A. CHARGERS (-4)

BL: BAL*

EE: LAC

AA: LAC

HA: LAC

TAMPA BAY at DALLAS (-7)

BL: DAL

EE: DAL

AA: DAL

HA: DAL

BUFFALO at NEW ENGLAND (-13 ½)

BL: BUF*

EE: NE

AA: BUF*

HA: NE

ATLANTA (-3) at CAROLINA

BL: ATL

EE: ATL

AA: CAR

HA: CAR

JACKSONVILLE at MIAMI (-4)

BL: MIA

EE: JAX*

AA: MIA

HA: MIA

N.Y. GIANTS at INDIANAPOLIS (-9)

BL: IND

EE: IND

AA: NYG*

HA: NYG*

HOUSTON at PHILADELPHIA (-1 ½)

BL: HOU

EE: PHI

AA: PHI

HA: PHI

MINNESOTA (-6) at DETROIT

BL: MIN

EE: MIN

AA: DET*

HA: MIN

GREEN BAY (-3) at N.Y. JETS

BL: NYJ

EE: GB

AA: GB

HA: NYJ

CINCINNATI at CLEVELAND (-8 ½)

BL: CIN*

EE: CLE

AA: CLE

HA: CIN*

L.A. RAMS (-14 ½) at ARIZONA

BL: LAR

EE: LAR

AA: LAR

HA: LAR

CHICAGO (-4) at SAN FRANCISCO

BL: CHI

EE: SF*

AA: CHI

HA: CHI

PITTSBURGH at NEW ORLEANS (-2)

BL: NO

EE: NO

AA: NO

HA: NO

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-2 ½) at SEATTLE

BL: KC

EE: SEA

AA: SEA

HA: SEA

DENVER (-3) at OAKLAND

BL: DEN

EE: OAK

AA: OAK

HA: DEN

BEST BETS

BL: DAL (-7)

The Cowboys will clinch the NFC East title with a victory, and they’re due for a bounce-back effort after last week’s pathetic, embarrassing, 23-0 loss to the Colts. The Cowboys had won five straight before that anomaly. Win, lose or draw, the 5-9 Bucs’ fate was long ago sealed. Tampa is 1-11 all-time in Dallas, and the Cowboys are 6-1 at home, including a three-game win streak. The Bucs have lost six straight road games since their stunning Week One, 48-40 victory over the Saints in New Orleans. In their seven road games, the Bucs have allowed an average of 37 points, which should be just what the misfiring Cowboys offense needs to get back on track. The Cowboys’ offense has been especially bad in the red zone, but fortunately they’re facing the NFL’s worst red-zone defense this week.

EE: CLE (-8 ½)

The Browns are a confident bunch right now, playing with house money this season and gearing up for a huge year in 2019. You just know Baker Mayfield would love to stick it to Hue Jackson another time this season, and the Bengals might not have much to say about stopping them. There are a few tempting bets this week, but this one screams feel-good blowout for the Browns.

AA: MIA (-4)

There are signs that the Jaguars, whose 4-8-2 ATS mark is trumped only by Atlanta for the NFL’s worst, have quit on Doug Marrone. Conversely, although the Dolphins (8-6 ATS this season) were trounced last week in Minnesota, they’re still playing for Adam Gase, with an outside shot at a wild card and chance to get their head coach a winning record after three largely chaotic seasons in charge. Jaguars QB Cody Kessler has gotten progressively worse over his three starts and faces an opportunistic secondary set to welcome the team’s lone Pro Bowler, Xavien Howard, back. The Dolphins lost Frank Gore but have an exciting rookie in Kalen Ballage set to test an apathetic Jacksonville run ‘D’ battered in back-to-back losses by Derrick Henry and Josh Johnson.

HA: LAC (-4)

The Chargers know their best crack at an AFC West crown is if the Chiefs get knocked off in Seattle Sunday night, but it would all be for naught if they don’t take care of the Ravens. Baltimore has to make one of the most difficult road trips you can take in the NFL, and the Chargers ‘D’ may just be particularly well suited for the Lamar Jackson show. This could be close for three quarters, but the Chargers have more playmakers on both sides of the ball and should pull away late. It’s hard to shake the feeling this is Philip Rivers’ well-deserved, long-awaited year.

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS (overall/ATS/best bets)

BL: 8-7 / 5-10 / 1-0

EE: 8-7 / 7-8 / 0-1

AA: 8-7 / 7-8 / 0-1

HA: 9-6 / 9-6 / 0-1

SEASON RESULTS

BL: 121-83-2 / 87-112-7 / 6-9

EE: 129-75-2 / 94-103-9 / 9-5-1

AA: 135-69-2 / 113-85-8 / 10-5

HA: 129-75-2 / 108-90-8 / 8-7

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