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Week 16 NFL picks: Will Ravens or 49ers prevail in epic Christmas clash? editors Ali Bhanpuri, Tom Blair, Brooke Cersosimo, Gennaro Filice and Dan Parr will predict every game of the 2023 NFL season, using the unbeatable combo of football analysis and excessive punctuation. Check out their records through Sunday's games and the rest of their Week 16 picks below.

Table inside Article
Analyst Record (straight) Record (ATS)
Ali 146-91 113-112-11
Brooke 150-87 119-107-11
Dan 152-85 126-100-11
Gennaro 146-91 131-95-11
Tom 148-89 110-116-11
Consensus Picks 95-39 31-18


  1. The lines provided by Caesars Sportsbook are current as of 12:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 21 unless otherwise noted below.
  2. * -- Pick flipped after publishing.
  3. ** -- Final score prediction changed after publishing.


  • WHERE: GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, Mo.)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | CBS, Nickelodeon, NFL+
  • MONEYLINE: Raiders +360 | Chiefs -480
  • SPREAD: Chiefs -10.0 | O/U: 41.5
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Chiefs 26-20
Chiefs 24-21
Chiefs 25-17
Chiefs 23-17
Chiefs 27-14

Why Gennaro is taking the Chiefs: Recent history tells us the Raiders are the perfect elixir to cure what ails the Chiefs' offense. Since Patrick Mahomes took the starting reins in 2018, Kansas City is 10-1 against this AFC West rival, averaging a whopping 35.5 points per game. In fact, the Chiefs have scored at least 28 points in all 11 of those divisional bouts -- an unequaled streak in league history for any team against one opponent -- including last month's 31-17 win in Las Vegas. But that latest result marks the only time the 2023 Chiefs have reached 28 points in a game since Week 7. After a 6-1 start to the season, the defending Super Bowl champions have gone 3-4 while averaging just 20.1 ppg (20th in the NFL during that span). Mahomes appears to be growing increasingly frustrated with his yakety sax receiving corps, and I just can't see this offense suddenly flipping the switch, even with the Silver-and-Black salve coming to town. K.C. wins, but Antonio Pierce's defense allows the Raiders to hang around.

  • WHERE: Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia)
  • WHEN: 4:30 p.m. ET | FOX, FOX Deportes, NFL+
  • MONEYLINE: Giants +500 | Eagles -700
  • SPREAD: Eagles -12.0 | O/U: 42.5
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Eagles 24-14
Eagles 26-16
Eagles 28-14
Eagles 27-16
Eagles 27-14

Why Tom is taking the Eagles: Tommy DeVito could rediscover his mojo against the NFL's 28th-ranked passing defense, and the Giants (tied for ninth in the league with 22 takeaways) could coax a few key turnovers out of the Eagles (whose 21 giveaways are tied for 10th-most). New York would pretty much still need everything to go perfectly to pull off a win here. Philly, meanwhile, has the talent advantage to ensure plenty of room for error, meaning the three-game losing streak should end, even if some of the sloppiness of recent weeks continues.

  • WHERE: Levi's Stadium (Santa Clara, Calif.)
  • WHEN: 8:15 p.m. ET | ABC, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes, NFL+
  • MONEYLINE: Ravens +192 | 49ers -235
  • SPREAD: 49ers -5.0 | O/U: 47.0
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Ravens 24-23
49ers 30-24
49ers 27-23
49ers 27-20
49ers 28-24

Why Brooke is taking the 49ers: Man, Santa delivered an absolute gem for Christmas this year! It's the crown jewel of Week 16 and my midseason Super Bowl matchup. This game features three MVP candidates (Lamar Jackson, Brock Purdy and Christian McCaffrey) and a pair of top-five offenses -- which have scored at will for much of the season. But it's the defenses that could most influence this outcome, as Baltimore leads the NFL in scoring D (allowing just 16.1 points per game) and sacks (50), and San Francisco is second in scoring D (16.7 ppg) and tops in takeaways (25). The major difference I see in these teams? The offensive weapons outside of the quarterback, especially with Baltimore losing Keaton Mitchell for the season. Advantage: Niners.


  • WHERE: Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | FOX
  • MONEYLINE: Colts +100 | Falcons -120
  • SPREAD: Falcons -1.0 | O/U: 44.5
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Colts 20-18
Colts 22-20
Colts 23-22
Colts 21-18
Colts 22-20

Why Tom is taking the Colts: Last Saturday, Gardner Minshew and the Colts swashbuckled their way out of a 13-0 hole with deep shots and long runs. Last Sunday, Desmond Ridder and the Falcons sealed their fate against the lowly Panthers by barely moving the ball on two final possessions that ended in turnovers. Taylor Heinicke stepping back in at QB for Atlanta doesn't move me much. I have written versions of this sentiment multiple times this season, but I am very comfortable rolling the dice on Indy's swagger, which is further exemplified by the Colts' 5-2 record away from their home stadium.

  • WHERE: Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | FOX
  • MONEYLINE: Packers -225 | Panthers +185
  • SPREAD: Packers -5.0 | O/U: 37.5
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Packers 22-16
Packers 20-12
Packers 20-13
Packers 24-15
Packers 23-14

Why Ali is taking the Packers: The Panthers' defense has played valiantly for much of the season, doing its best to compensate for the growing pains on the other side of the ball. But there's only so much pressure one unit can consistently withstand (SEE: Patriots, Jets) before the dam breaks. So while the Panthers might potentially be catching the Packers at the perfect time -- coming off two losses, including last week's historically poor defensive performance at Lambeau -- it's hard to see Carolina's offense, which has been held to 18 points or fewer in eight straight games, capitalizing on the opportunity. The Packers keep their playoff hopes alive for at least another week.

  • WHERE: NRG Stadium (Houston)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | CBS
  • MONEYLINE: Browns -140 | Texans +118
  • SPREAD: Browns -2.5 | O/U: 40.0
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Browns 23-17
Texans 20-18
Browns 21-17
Browns 19-12
Browns 23-17

Why Gennaro is taking the Browns: Last week, I picked against a Houston team reeling from injuries ... and the Texans proceeded to rally for an inspiring win over the Titans. This week, I'm picking against a Houston team still reeling from injuries. Will the Texans prove me wrong once again? Possibly. Houston's been a moxie factory in Year 1 under DeMeco Ryans, surpassing all expectations to earn a place right in the thick of the playoff race. But unlike last week's opponent, Cleveland is in the midst of its own postseason push. And this Browns defense is NOT a unit you want to face without your franchise quarterback. With C.J. Stroud still in the concussion protocol at publishing, I'll fade the home team.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: Texans QB C.J. Stroud (concussion) has been ruled out of Sunday's game.

  • WHERE: U.S. Bank Stadium (Minneapolis)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | FOX
  • MONEYLINE: Lions -170 | Vikings +143
  • SPREAD: Lions -3.0 | O/U: 47.0
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Lions 27-18
Vikings 26-23
Lions 28-23
Lions 30-20
Lions 24-22

Why Tom is taking the Lions: One wrinkle that gives me pause here: Jared Goff's performance in his two previous games against Brian Flores-led defenses (54.5% completion rate, 292 yards per game, one TD, three picks, two fumbles lost). Another: The Lions' disappearing act in their last divisional road date, a 15-point loss at Chicago in Week 14. While that's not quite enough in the pause department to get me to pick Minnesota in this one, I think Detroit will be tested more than it was in Week 15's laugher against Denver.

  • WHERE: MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | CBS
  • MONEYLINE: Commanders +140 | Jets -165
  • SPREAD: Jets -3.0 | O/U: 37.0
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Jets 14-12
Jets 15-13
Jets 16-12
Jets 20-13
Jets 20-14

Why Tom is taking the Jets: There is essentially one reliable unit in this game: the Jets' defense, which, while generally stout against everyone, absolutely suffocates lower-tier offenses, having allowed 16.2 points and 242.2 yards per game to opponents whose records are currently below .500 this season. I don't think a Commanders offense that has reached 20 points once in its past four games is going to really move the needle much in this one, regardless of who starts at QB.

  • WHERE: Nissan Stadium (Nashville, Tenn.)
  • WHEN: 1 p.m. ET | CBS
  • MONEYLINE: Seahawks -150 | Titans +126
  • SPREAD: Seahawks -2.5 | O/U: 41.5
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Seahawks 26-23
Seahawks 23-18
Seahawks 23-20
Seahawks 28-16
Seahawks 23-20

Why Brooke is taking the Seahawks: Drew Lock or Geno Smith? Ryan Tannehill or Will Levis? It looks like Smith could be back for the Seahawks, and as of this writing, Tannehill appears poised to play in place of the injured Titans rookie. No matter who is starting under center, I'm keeping a close eye on the rushing attacks. Tennessee is averaging its fewest ground yards per game (104) since 2015 -- the year before Derrick Henry was drafted -- while Seattle's 6-0 this season when it hits 100 yards rushing. Both defenses have struggled to stop the run, so "King Henry" and Kenneth Walker III have something playing in their favor. My forecast: Walker enjoys his best performance of the year to help keep Seattle's postseason aspirations alive.

EDITOR'S UPDATE: With no injury designation on the Seahawks' official injury report Friday, Geno Smith is in line to start Sunday's game.

  • WHERE: Raymond James Stadium (Tampa, Fla.)
  • WHEN: 4:05 p.m. ET | CBS
  • MONEYLINE: Jaguars -110 | Buccaneers -110
  • SPREAD: PICK | O/U: 42.5
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Buccaneers 23-20
Buccaneers 25-24
Buccaneers 22-19
Buccaneers 24-21
Buccaneers 24-20

Why Brooke is taking the Buccaneers: There's a lot riding on this game. Both teams sit atop their respective divisions, but foes are hot on their heels. A huge thing to monitor: the health of Trevor Lawrence, who is in concussion protocol at publishing. If the franchise QB can go, he'll need to be much better than he has been during the Jags' three-game skid. Since injuring his ankle in Week 13, he's logged more turnovers (five) than touchdown passes (four) over the last two weeks. If he can't go, it'll be C.J. Beathard, who last made a start late in 2020, taking on a confident Baker Mayfield and the streaking Buccaneers. Mayfield has seven total TDs to just one giveaway over the last two weeks, and though Tampa's averaging just over 16 points per game at home in 2023, the Bucs are currently playing their best football of the season -- a boat the Jags wish they were in right now.

  • WHERE: Soldier Field (Chicago)
  • WHEN: 4:25 p.m. ET | FOX
  • MONEYLINE: Cardinals +175 | Bears -210
  • SPREAD: Bears -4.0 | O/U: 43.0
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Bears 21-18
Bears 24-21
Bears 24-17
Bears 23-14
Bears 24-17

Why Gennaro is taking the Bears: The Justin Fields discourse sucks up all the energy around the Bears these days, and understandably so: Having entered this week with two of the top six picks in what figures to be a quarterback-rich draft, Chicago is rapidly approaching a fork in the road at the game's most important position. But instead of joining the chorus of voices discussing whether or not the Bears should stick with Fields, let's spotlight a rising star Chicago already committed to: Montez Sweat. The defensive end -- who came to the Windy City at the trade deadline and signed a $98 million extension shortly thereafter -- currently holds the rare distinction of simultaneously leading two teams in sacks, having piled up 6.5 in eight games with the Commanders and six more in his first six outings as a Bear. A beast against the run, too, Sweat's addition has completely transformed Matt Eberflus' defense. Prior to Sweat's arrival, Chicago was 23rd in total defense and 28th in scoring D. Since the trade, Chicago ranks fifth and seventh, respectively, in those categories. Good luck, Kyler.

  • WHERE: Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens, Fla.)
  • WHEN: 4:25 p.m. ET | FOX
  • MONEYLINE: Cowboys -115 | Dolphins -105
  • SPREAD: PICK | O/U: 50.0
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Cowboys 27-24
Dolphins 28-24
Dolphins 28-26
Dolphins 28-24
Dolphins 28-24

Why Gennaro is taking the Dolphins: The Dolphins can't beat anyone with a winning record! The Cowboys shrivel up outside of Jerry World! What happens when these two narratives collide at Hard Rock Stadium? Whose perceived fraudulence comes to pass?? I think it hinges on the biggest matchup advantage: Miami's run game vs. Dallas' run defense. The Cowboys just gave up 266 rushing yards to a Bills team that isn't exactly known for its ground attack. Dan Quinn's unit clearly missed its big man in the middle, Johnathan Hankins, the veteran run-stuffer who suffered a high ankle sprain in the second half of Dallas' Week 14 throttling of Philadelphia. On Wednesday, Mike McCarthy said the hulking nose tackle would be “hard pressed to go” again this week. That's a major problem against Mike McDaniel's creative -- and devastatingly effective -- ground scheme.

  • WHERE: Empower Field at Mile High (Denver)
  • WHEN: 8:15 p.m. ET | NFL Network, NFL+
  • MONEYLINE: Patriots +240 | Broncos -305
  • SPREAD: Broncos -6.5 | O/U: 34.5
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Broncos 20-15
Broncos 20-17
Broncos 18-13
Broncos 16-14
Broncos 24-10

Why Ali is taking the Broncos: The last time Sean Payton and Bill Belichick squared off, Payton's Saints forced three Mac Jones turnovers (including a pick-six), ran the ball 36 times at 4.0 yards per tote (excluding kneel-downs) and attempted just 21 passes for 128 yards. New Orleans won, eventually finishing the season at 9-8, second in its division and just outside the playoff picture.

Replace "Payton's Saints" with "Payton's Broncos," "Mac Jones" with "Bailey Zappe," and "New Orleans" with "Denver." Feel pretty good that this revised paragraph will hold up come Jan. 8


  • WHERE: SoFi Stadium (Inglewood, Calif.)
  • WHEN: 8 p.m. ET | Peacock
  • MONEYLINE: Bills -800 | Chargers +550
  • SPREAD: Bills -12.0 | O/U: 44.0
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Bills 31-14
Bills 30-16
Bills 31-14
Bills 33-13
Bills 30-17

Why Ali is picking the Bills: Imagine you've spent the last 30-some years in the coaching ranks -- including the last 14 in the NFL -- working toward an opportunity to be the top dog. And when you finally get a chance to sit in the big chair, your first test is against a desperate and dangerous Buffalo squad that just downed two of the league's best teams. Oh, and you'll be without your franchise QB and probably your No. 1 WR and second-best defensive player. Major yikes. I feel for Giff Smith, whose head-coaching debut is likely to end up being memorable for the wrong reasons. The Bills need this win to keep pace in both the wild-card and AFC East races. They leave no doubt in this one.

  • WHERE: Acrisure Stadium (Pittsburgh)
  • WHEN: 4:30 p.m. ET | NBC, Universo, NFL+
  • MONEYLINE: Bengals -130 | Steelers +110
  • SPREAD: Bengals -2.0 | O/U: 37.0
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Bengals 20-17
Bengals 23-17
Bengals 21-17
Steelers 19-17
Bengals 20-17

Why Ali is taking the Bengals: Cincinnati enters Saturday's high-stakes bout at Pittsburgh looking to punish its fourth consecutive playoff contender and tighten its grasp on an AFC wild-card spot. The Jake Browning-led offense has averaged 32 points per during its three-game run -- just nine points shy of what the Steelers have totaled during their current three-game slide (41). Letdowns against New England and Arizona in recent weeks have not only jeopardized Pittsburgh's playoff chances, but also Mike Tomlin's streak of consecutive seasons without a losing record -- which, at 16, is the longest in league history by any coach to start a career. Tomlin will have to coach the hell out of his squad Saturday to save the Steelers' season and get back on the path to 17 straight. And while I'd be foolish to count him out, I'm more confident right now in the Bengals' offense continuing to roll than I am Pittsburgh's ability to keep pace, even with Ja'Marr Chase ruled out. Browning might not care much for revenge narratives, but what a story it would be if he were to effectively end a rival's season -- the same one that handed him an L in his first career start -- amid thousands of Terrible Towels, while simultaneously bolstering the Bengals' playoff chances.


  • WHERE: SoFi Stadium (Inglewood, Calif.)
  • WHEN: 8:15 p.m. ET | Prime Video, NFL+
  • MONEYLINE: Saints +170 | Rams -205
  • SPREAD: Rams -4.0 | O/U: 46.0
Table inside Article
Ali Brooke Dan Gennaro Tom
Rams 24-17
Rams 28-17
Rams 24-19
Rams 31-21
Rams 27-20

Why Brooke is taking the Rams: With the postseason still within reach, it's crunch time for both of these squads. Los Angeles is one of the hottest teams over the last month-plus, winning four of its last five games, thanks to a balanced offense and a defense that's tightened up. One of many things playing in the Rams' favor: They'll have Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua and Kyren Williams on the field together for just the seventh time this season. In the six games those three have played together, L.A. has averaged 28.7 points and 6.1 yards per play. This is a scary team when it's at full strength, one that is night-and-day different from the pair of teams (Panthers and Giants) the Saints just defeated in the past two weeks. Even with Chris Olave back for Derek Carr, New Orleans has been too inconsistent to trust.

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