NFL Predictions Week 16: Will the Saints clinch number one seed in the NFC?

Two weeks remain in the NFL regular season and much of the playoff picture is yet to be determined. Will the Saints take down the Steelers to clinch the NFC?  Will the Chargers or Chiefs take control of the AFC? Five key match ups are examined for the week. Merry Christmas to all and thanks for a great year!

Baltimore Ravens versus Los Angeles Chargers

The Ravens enter the contest at 8-6, just a half game behind the Steelers in the AFC North. Los Angeles is 11-3 and tied with the Chiefs for top spot in the AFC. The Chargers enter as 4.5 point favorites and a 68 percent chance to win, according to our VIP Picks section. Baltimore is “average down” on the Team Strength Oscillator versus “burning hot” for the Chargers, who also hold a +24 to +18 edge on the Power Ranking Indicator. Baltimore is only 3-4 away from home and the Chargers are tough at home. Putting it all together, the Chargers should have enough to win and cover the spread.

Houston Texans versus Philadelphia Eagles

The Texans have the number three seed in the AFC but look to possibly move up should they win the last two. The Eagles are coming off an impressive win against the Rams and look to remain in contention for the final wild card spot in the NFC. Houston has a +25 to +15 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “average” on the Team Strength Oscillator. The Eagles are a one point home favorite, while the game is virtually a toss up with the Texans having a 52 percent chance of winning.  The Eagles seem to rally behind Nick Foles in pressure situations, so going with a hunch and picking the Eagles to win in a tight contest.

Pittsburgh Steelers versus New Orleans Saints

The Steelers are coming off an emotional win over the Patriots, while the Saints took down the Panthers and are on the verge of securing home field advantage in the NFC. The Saints enter as seven point favorites and have a 69 percent chance of winning. They hold a +31 to +19 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator and “burning hot” versus “average” on the Team Strength Oscillator. Pittsburgh is -2 on the Team Volatility Oscillator, so their favorite/underdog status should be considered lightly when examining this game. Have to go with the trends in this one and pick the Saints, although it would not be a surprise for the Steelers to cover.

Atlanta Falcons versus Carolina Panthers

The Falcons are out of the playoff picture at 5-9, while the Panthers need to win out and get help, sitting at 6-8. Carolina has a +11 to +6 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator, while both teams are trending poorly, at “dead” versus “dead up”, respectively. Atlanta won the first meeting this season between the teams as the home favorite and are four point underdogs in this one. The Panthers are given a 61 percent chance of winning and 5-2 at home. Carolina will win this one and hope for help from others to keep their slim playoff chances alive.

Kansas City Chiefs versus Seattle Seahawks

Kansas City heads to Seattle in hopes of a win to inch closer to the number one seed in the AFC. The Seahawks remain solid in the playoff picture in the NFC, although are 2.5 point home underdogs. The Chiefs have a 53 percent chance of winning in what is likely to be a tight contest. Kansas City has a narrow +29 to +27 advantage on the Power Ranking Indicator, while both teams are “average” on the Team Strength Oscillator.  Seattle is 4-2 at home and the Chiefs are 5-2 on the road. There is little differentiating the teams. This game is pretty much a coin toss, but I give the narrowest edge to the Chiefs.

 

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