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Gridiron Guide Week 16: Take Eagles, Chargers in Saturday games; Jets cover, Giants don't

Jeremy Maclin #18 of the Philadelphia Eagles congratulates

Jeremy Maclin #18 of the Philadelphia Eagles congratulates Darren Sproles #43 after scoring a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on Dec. 14, 2014 in Philadelphia. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mitchell Leff

SATURDAY'S GAMES

EAGLES (9-5) at REDSKINS (3-11), 4:30 p.m.

Eagles by 7 1/2; O/U: 50

TV: NFL; Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9, joined in progress)

Jay Gruden said his comments about QB Robert Griffin III always get "twisted." Really? Gruden is the antithesis of Bill Belichick, and us media folks love that. He tells you more than you want to know. You've heard of TMZ? Well, he's Mr. TMI. Washington is 4-10 against the spread (ATS). Philadelphia bounces back after losses to Seattle and Dallas. The pick: Eagles

 

CHARGERS (8-6) at 49ERS (7-7), 8:25 p.m.

49ers by 1; O/U: 41 1/2

TV: Ch. 2; Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)

Embattled 49ers coach and Wolverines alum Jim Harbaugh reportedly is "considering" a six-year contract in the ballpark of $50 million to head back to Michigan? Um, what is he waiting for?! Chargers QB Philip Rivers is reportedly battling a back injury, which gives me pause. Another thing that gives me pause: San Francisco's ATS record is 4-8-2.

The pick: Chargers

 

SUNDAY'S GAMES

PATRIOTS (11-3)

at JETS (3-11), 1 p.m.

Patriots by 10; O/U: 47 1/2

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

Some of my best times writing this column have been when these two AFC East rivals meet. The war of words, the news conferences. I thank you, Rex Ryan and Bill Belichick. The Pats are No. 2 in the AFC with a plus-11 turnover margin, while the Jets are next-to-last in the AFC (minus--11). The Jets have covered three straight vs. the Pats and four of the last five series meetings. I think Gang Green gives it their all for their soon-to-be (R)ex-coach.

The pick: Jets

 

 

LIONS (10-4) at BEARS (5-9)

Lions by 9; O/U: 44

Bears are going with QB Jimmy Clausen over Jay Cutler. Yes, it's a big spread for a divisional game, but if you've watched the Bears, you know it's tough to back them. The Lions and their No. 1 rushing defense have a lot to play for here.

The pick: Lions

 

 

PACKERS (10-4)

at BUCS (2-12)

Packers by 10 1/2; O/U: 48 1/2

Packers have an NFL-best +15 in turnover margin, while the Bucs are an NFC-worst (-10). Green Bay is 6-2 ATS in last eight as favorites of more than eight points.

The pick: Packers

 

FALCONS (5-9)

at SAINTS (6-8)

Saints by 6; O/U: 56

Let all the pundits sling arrows at the NFC South, but someone has to win the division. And the victor hosts a wild-card game no matter how bad its record. The Saints clinch the NFC South with a win and a Carolina loss. The Saints are 2-5 ATS at home this season. The underdog in this series is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings, including in Week 1, when Atlanta beat the favored Saints in overtime.

The pick: Falcons

 

CHIEFS (8-6)

at STEELERS (9-5)

Steelers by 3; O/U: 46 1/2

The Chiefs are one of three teams with NFL-best 10-4 ATS records. They are also 11-5 ATS on the road the last two seasons (including playoffs), but just 2-3 ATS in their last five. Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell goes against the Chiefs' 28th-ranked rushing 'D'. A win = playoffs for Steelers.

The pick: Steelers

 

 

RAVENS (9-5)

at TEXANS (7-7)

Ravens by 5; O/U: 41

Houston was all but knocked out of the playoff hunt last week. Baltimore seems to have inside track at a playoff berth, and is 4-1 ATS in last five after a non-cover.

The pick: Ravens

 

BROWNS (7-7)

at PANTHERS (5-8-1)

Panthers by 3; O/U: 411/2

Wait, did a Bengals defender just use Johnny Manziel's "Money" sign again? Ouch. During Johnny Football's big debut last Sunday, #johnnyinterception was trending on Twitter. Double ouch. Carolina is 10-4-1 ATS in its last 15 at home.

The pick: Panthers

 

VIKINGS (6-8)

at DOLPHINS (7-7)

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

Miami has dropped three straight covers. Minnesota (9-5 ATS) has been one of the best plays in the NFC, and has covered seven of its last eight games overall. This is my strongest underdog play of Week 16.

The pick: Vikings

 

COLTS (10-4)

at COWBOYS (10-4)

Cowboys by 3; O/U: 55 1/2

TV: Ch. 2

Dallas moves closer to an NFC East title and playoff berth with a win. That task becomes a little more challenging if NFL leading rusher DeMarco Murray (hand surgery) can't go. Murray or no Murray, the big 'Boys on the O-line could still wreak havoc against the Colts' defense. Indy, however, has the NFL's No. 1 passing offense, which should give Dallas' secondary trouble. I'll favor Andrew Luck over Tony Romo in December.

The pick: Colts

 

GIANTS (5-9) at

RAMS (6-8), 4:05 p.m.

Rams by 51/2; O/U: 431/2

TV: Ch. 5

Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)

I'm not sure I ever remember a receiver getting triple-teamed. But that's where opponents could be heading when game-planning for Odell Beckham Jr. Washington tried bracketing him last week, and it didn't matter. The result? 12 catches for 143 yards and three touchdowns. St. Louis benefits from extra time off, having played last Thursday. The Rams 'D' is lights-out, and the Giants' O-line and Eli Manning could be in for a long afternoon. Big Blue is 1-4 ATS in its last five road games.

The pick: Rams

 

BILLS (8-6) at

RAIDERS (2-12), 4:25 p.m.

Bills by 5 1/2; O/U: 39

The red-hot Bills have lost seven straight games in Oakland, but these are the Raiders, who have an NFL-worst turnover margin at -16.

The pick: Bills

 

SEAHAWKS (10-4) at

CARDINALS (11-3), 8:30 p.m.

Seahawks by 8; O/U: 36 1/2

TV: Ch. 4; Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9).

The Cards (10-4 ATS) can clinch home field with a win. But Seattle has won its last four by an average of 13 points and has its eye on the No. 1 seed. Its top-ranked 'D' goes up against No. 3 QB Ryan Lindley.

The pick: Seahawks

 

MONDAY NIGHT

BRONCOS (11-3)

at BENGALS (9-4-1), 8:30 p.m.

Broncos by 3; O/U: 47 1/2

TV: ESPN

Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)

Peyton Manning (8-0 all-time vs. Bengals) left practice yesterday for treatment on his injured thigh. Cincinnati is 13-2-1 overall in its last 16 home games. The Bengals could win this outright.

The pick: Bengals

 

JOHN BOELL 118-102-3, 7-8 best bets

Last week: 9-6-1

Eagles Chargers Jets Rams

Lions Packers Falcons Steelers Ravens (best bet) Panthers Vikings Colts

Bills Seahawks Bengals

BOB GLAUBER 109-111-3, 7-8

Last week: 9-6-1

Redskins Chargers Patriots Giants

Lions (best bet) Packers Saints Steelers

Ravens Panthers Dolphins Cowboys Bills Seahawks Broncos

TOM ROCK 106-114-3, 6-9

Last week: 9-6-1

Eagles 49ers Patriots Rams

Lions (best bet) Packers Saints Steelers

Ravens Panthers Dolphins Cowboys

Bills Seahawks Broncos

KIMBERLEY A. MARTIN 108-112-3, 5-10

Last week: 8-7-1

Eagles 49ers Jets Giants

Lions Packers (best bet) Saints Steelers

Ravens Panthers Dolphins Cowboys

Bills Seahawks Broncos

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