NFL Gridiron Guide Week 16: Giants win and cover, but Jets can't overcome controversy

Ahmad Bradshaw celebrates his touchdown with Andre Brown Ahmad Bradshaw celebrates his touchdown with Andre Brown against the Green Bay Packers at MetLife Stadium. (Nov. 25, 2012) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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John Boell Newsday sports writer John Boell

Boell has worked in the Newsday sports department in various capacities since 1999. In 2010, he became Newsday's ...

GIANTS (8-6) at RAVENS (9-5), 4:25 p.m.

Giants by 2 1/2; O/U: 47 1/2

TV: Ch. 5; Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)

A road loss is one thing, a 34-point butt-whuppin' is another. The Giants suffered through all of that last week in Atlanta, their first regular-season shutout in 16 years. The Giants surrendered control of the NFC East to Washington and Dallas. Still, Big Blue is playoff-bound if they win their last two games. They find themselves going against the shaky Ravens, who have lost three straight but can still clinch the AFC North title with a win. (They're already in the playoffs no matter what happens.) The Giants need RB Ahmad Bradshaw. I think the more desperate team wins and covers.

THE PICK: Giants

 

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CHARGERS (5-9) at JETS (6-8), 1 p.m.

TV: Ch. 2; Radio: ESPN (98.7)

Jets by 2; O/U: 39 1/2

Wow! What else can you say? After the Monday Night Meltdown, the Jets are going with No. 3 QB Greg McElroy -- and not No. 2 Tim Tebow -- to replace Mark Sanchez. If Sanchez had started, it would be a battle of the turnover-prone QBs: Sanchez (50 turnovers the last two seasons) vs. Philip Rivers (47). San Diego is 10-4 against the spread (ATS) in last 14 games vs. AFC foes. I can't see the Jets overcoming all the controversy.

THE PICK: Chargers

 

SATURDAY NIGHT

FALCONS (12-2) at LIONS (4-10), 8:30 p.m.

Falcons by 3 1/2; O/U: 50 1/2

TV: ESPN

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Radio: WFAN (660,101.9)

The Falcons sent a message to the NFL last week with a 34-0 win over the Giants: We're no chumps. Detroit has lost six straight and has nothing to play for while Atlanta wraps up home field for the playoffs with a win.

THE PICK: Falcons

 

SUNDAY 1 P.M. GAMES

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VIKINGS (8-6)

at TEXANS (12-2)

Texans by 8; O/U: 44 1/2

Texans RB Arian Foster bought his offensive linemen Segways. I'm jealous! I wonder what Adrian Peterson would buy his O-line if he breaks the NFL's single-season rushing mark? Lamborghinis? He needs 294 yards to eclipse Eric Dickerson's mark of 2,105 set in 1984. If Texans win, they'll be AFC's No. 1 seed for playoffs. But the Vikings are in the playoff hunt and should keep it close.

THE PICK: Vikings

 

 

BENGALS (8-6)

at STEELERS (7-7)

Steelers by 3 1/2; O/U: 42 1/2

The Steelers are 13-4 overall in their last 17 meetings with Cincy. The Bengals are 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 with Pittsburgh. I'll take the points in what should be a tight divisional game.

THE PICK: Bengals

 

 

REDSKINS (8-6)

at EAGLES (4-10)

Redskins by 6 1/2; O/U: 45

Washington has a lot to play for, and QB Robert Griffin III is expected to be back. The Redskins are 4-1 ATS in their last five games in Philly. Oh, and their five-game win streak began in Week 11 with a 31-6 thumping of the Eagles.

THE PICK: Redskins

 

SAINTS (6-8)

at COWBOYS (8-6)

Cowboys by 2 1/2; O/U: 51 1/2

These two teams don't play too often (nine times since 1991), but Dallas hasn't beaten New Orleans at home since Dec. 8, 1991. This is another one of those games where one team is trying to get into the playoffs, while the other plays spoiler. Here's a "spoiler" alert: Saints will beat the Cowpokes in Jerry's House.

THE PICK: Saints

 

TITANS (5-9)

at PACKERS (10-4)

Packers by 12 1/2; O/U: 46

Green Bay has already captured the NFC North crown, and has won eight of its last nine games (7-2 ATS). The Titans, who were lucky to beat the Jets, will be overwhelmed by a Packers club that is starting to get key pieces back. One is LB Clay Matthews, who should wreak havoc on a Titans offensive line coached by his uncle and Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews. Say uncle!

THE PICK: Packers

 

 

COLTS (9-5) at CHIEFS (2-12)

Colts by 6 1/2; O/U: 42

The Colts, who are in the playoffs with one more win, have covered seven straight games after a loss. Make it eight.

THE PICK: Colts

 

RAMS (6-7-1) at BUCS (6-8)

Bucs by 3; O/U: 43 1/2

Did you see last week's video of Bucs LB Adam Hayward shoving defensive coach and former Jets LB Bryan Cox? My money would have been on Cox. The Rams are 5-1 ATS on the road this season.

THE PICK: Rams

 

 

RAIDERS (4-10)

at PANTHERS (5-9)

Panthers by 9; O/U: 46

Carolina QB Cam Newton has been on fire since Week 11: 10 TDs, no INTs and a 109.8 passer rating. Sunday is the 40th anniversary of the original Madden curse, when John's Raiders lost to the Steelers on Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception." History and time -- the Raiders always struggle on the East Coast -- aren't on their side.

THE PICK: Panthers

 

 

BILLS (5-9) at DOLPHINS (6-8)

Dolphins by 4 1/2; O/U: 41 1/2

Miami is 6-2 in its last eight games against the AFC East.

THE PICK: Dolphins

 

 

PATRIOTS (10-4)

at JAGUARS (2-12)

Patriots by 14 1/2; O/U: 50

Poor Jacksonville has to face the Pats after a tough loss. Can they keep them under 50 points?

THE PICK: Patriots

4 P.M. GAMES AND LATER

BROWNS (5-9)

at BRONCOS (11-3), 4:05 p.m.

Broncos by 13; O/U: 44 1/2

Denver is the NFL's hottest team with nine straight wins (6-3 ATS in that span). I think the Brownies (7-2-1 ATS last 10 road games) keep this close enough.

THE PICK: Browns

 

 

BEARS (8-6) at CARDINALS (5-9), 4:25 p.m.

Bears by 5 1/2; O/U: 36 1/2

Hard to believe the Bears were 7-1 at one point this season. Any loss by the Bears or Vikings' win the next two weeks eliminates Chicago from the playoffs. The Cards snapped their nine-game losing streak last week, but are 3-7-1 ATS in last 11 games.

THE PICK: Bears

 

49ERS (10-3-1)

at SEAHAWKS (9-5), 8:20 p.m.

Pick 'em; O/U: 39

TV: Ch. 4;

Radio: WFAN (660/101.9)

Seattle has scored a combined 108 points the last two weeks, but it was against Arizona and Buffalo. Still, Seattle has won and covered five of its last six games. San Fran, coming off a big win in New England, has won and covered four of its last five. Seattle is 6-0 ATS at home, but I think the 49ers will be up for the challenge. Plus, the 49ers are 5-0 in primetime games this season. If the Mayans are correct, this will be my last Gridiron Guide. Call it a hunch, but I think we'll be around for Week 17. Happy Holidays!

THE PICK: 49ers

STAFF PICKS

JOHN BOELL 102-115-6

(8-7 BEST BETS)

Falcons Giants Chargers Vikings

Bengals Redskins Saints Packers

Colts Rams Panthers Dolphins

Patriots Browns Bears 49ers

TOM ROCK 112-105-6 (10-5)

Falcons Giants Chargers Vikings

Bengals Redskins Saints Packers

Colts Rams Raiders Dolphins

Patriots Broncos Cardinals 49ers

BOB GLAUBER 96-121-6 (4-10-1)

Lions Giants Chargers Vikings

Bengals Redskins Saints Titans

Colts Bucs Panthers Dolphins

Patriots Broncos Bears Seahawks

KIMBERLEY A. MARTIN 120-97-6 (10-5)

Falcons Giants Jets Texans

Steelers Redskins Cowboys Packers

Colts Bucs Panthers Dolphins

Patriots Broncos Bears Seahawks

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