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N.F.L. Week 16 Predictions: Our Picks for Each Game


Giants (8-5-1) at Minnesota Vikings (11-3), 1 p.m., Fox
Line: Vikings -3 | Total: 47.5

This game must be entertaining if nothing else. The Vikings will be certain that of it. They’ve won 11 games and 10 of them have been by 8 points or fewer. Last week, they fell behind to the Colts 33-0 just to establish the best comeback in N.F.L. history and win, 39-36. The Giants are coming off their biggest win of the season against Washington, nearly guaranteeing an appearance within the playoffs. Identical to the Vikings, the Giants play close games. None of their eight wins have been by a couple of rating. Odds are this game can be close, too. The Giants bottom-feeding defense (twenty ninth in D.V.O.A.) may give the Vikings the slight edge. Pick: Vikings -3

Cincinnati Bengals (10-4) at Recent England Patriots (7-7), 1 p.m., CBS
Line: Bengals -3.5 | Total: 41.5

The Bengals are playing a few of one of the best football within the N.F.L. at once, and the Patriots are playing to not lose each week. The purpose spread looks puny relative to the apparent gap in each of those teams’ performances recently. But despite 86 percent of the bettors backing Cincinnati, 68 percent of the cash has been on the Patriots. Such is the worth of home-field advantage, which narrows the gap between these two teams barely. The Patriots have top-of-the-line defenses within the league, and their coach knows how you can manage a game and keep the team ready to pounce on opponents’ mistakes. They simply must avoid making any boneheaded mistakes of their very own. Pick: Patriots +3.5

Detroit Lions (7-7) at Carolina Panthers (5-9), 1 p.m., Fox
Line: Lions -3 | Total: 44.5

The Lions are doing the unthinkable: They’re making a legitimate playoff run. They’ve won six of their past seven games. A win against the Panthers would bring their playoff possibilities as much as around 56 percent. Last week, the Panthers lost to the Steelers after putting up a complete of 21 rushing yards, their fewest since 2012. D’Onta Foreman had rushed for greater than 70 yards in each of their two wins going into the Pittsburgh game. The Lions defense has been improving, but their average opponent’s yards per play continues to be the league’s worst. If the Panthers can get back to the run game that helped them beat Seattle and Denver, and Detroit’s defense regresses to the mean, the Panthers can cover the three points as home underdogs. Pick: Panthers +3

Atlanta Falcons (5-9) at Baltimore Ravens (9-5), 1 p.m., Fox
Line: Ravens -7.5 | Total: 37.5

Quarterback Desmond Ridder’s debut last week didn’t go well. He threw for 97 yards on 26 pass attempts and leaned heavily on Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson to maneuver the ball within the 21-18 loss to the Saints. Allgeier had a career-high 139 yards and a touchdown, and he averaged 8.2 yards per carry. The Ravens had hoped to see Lamar Jackson return to the team this week. Since Jackson left the sport in the primary quarter of their Week 13 game against Denver, the Ravens have scored two touchdowns in three games. Last week against the Browns, they didn’t reach the top zone once. Jackson was absent from practice Tuesday, nonetheless. If he doesn’t play, the Ravens will need their defense, which has held teams to three.8 yards per carry, to shut down Allgeier. Pick: Ravens -7.5

Washington Commanders (7-6-1) at San Francisco 49ers (10-4), 4:05 p.m., CBS
Line: 49ers -7.5 | Total: 38.5

San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy threw for 217 yards and two touchdowns against the Seahawks last week and clinched the N.F.C. West. Purdy has managed the team well, but has thrown only three passes greater than 20 yards. Perhaps the 49ers simply haven’t needed him to throw it deep. Their offense is a well-oiled machine, with a league best points per play margin over the past three weeks. They’ve built up big first half leads of their past five games. In the event that they can do the identical thing this week, and nurse the lead within the second half, the Commanders can sneak in a canopy. Pick: Commanders +7.5

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