This week we bring you an early edition of our NFL Computer Picks, with three tasty matchups on Saturday. Our computer picks are chosen using an algorithm that analyzes historical sports data to give you the bets that offer the best value bets to beat the New Jersey sportsbooks.
In this article, we’ll provide you with our top Week 16 NFL Computer Picks for Saturday’s games. These matchups include the Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers.
Computer Picks Week 16
Houston Texans (-3) at Tampa Buccaneers – Total: 49.5
Saturday, December 21, 2019 – 1:00 p.m. EST
Week 16 Computer Pick: Texans to cover the spread
The Houston Texans will look to move one step closer to the AFC South crown with a victory over the resurgent Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Last week’s win over the Tennessee Titans was a crucial moment, but the Bucs would love to play spoiler here. Nonetheless, our betting pick is for the Texans to cover the three-point spread. Let’s dive into the numbers to see why we’re going with the road favorite.
Week 16 Betting Line: Texans at Buccaneers
Very early in the process, the Texans were only favored by -1 but the line has since moved to -3. There are a few reasons for this, including the heavy downpour of rain we’re expected to see on Saturday afternoon. It’s interesting to see 82 percent of public bets coming in on the Texans. Especially since they’re on the road and the Bucs have looked much better in recent weeks. There are some reasons to believe otherwise, though, and we’ll get into them.
Texans Betting Form
The Bucs defense has the NFL’s best rushing defense, allowing 73.3 yards allowed per game and only one running back to run for over 100 yards. However, Tampa Bay is allowing the third-worst pass defense with 276.8 yards allowed per game. Although there’s plenty of rain in the forecast, the Texans’ best way to move the ball will be through the air.
Luckily, the Texans have got one of the best quarterbacks in the business. Deshaun Watson should be able to maneuver around this defense by getting the ball to one of the best wide receivers in the league DeAndre Hopkins
With the threat of rain, we should expect the Texans to force some turnovers against the Bucs. And we’ve seen this plenty of times before from them. The Bucs QB has thrown 24 interceptions this season, which is six more than any other team combined. Not to mention, the entire Tampa team has lost nine fumbles this season. With a couple of injuries to the Bucs’ top-two receivers, it’ll be a tough afternoon to move the ball for them.
Buccaneers Betting Form
The Bucs are 3-0-1 ATS over the last four games, but this might not be the spot for them. Over the last six games as an underdog, they’re 1-5 ATS. Over the last four games, the Bucs have beaten up on teams like the Falcons, Jaguars, Colts, and Lions. This will not the same type of joyride they’ve been accustomed to lately.
Not only will the rain affect the Bucs offensive gameplan, but the personnel could too. Wide receiver Mike Evans was placed on season-ending injured reserve while fellow wideout Chris Godwin will likely miss this game too. Quarterback Jameis already has a problem turning the ball over and trying to force things in the rain isn’t a recipe for success.
Making matters worse is the fact that Tampa Bay’s running game, which will likely be needed, has been virtually non-existent all season. Moving the ball is going to be difficult and we’ll see that in the final score.
For all the fantasy football folks in their championship week, WR Breshad Perriman had some big plays for 3 TDs last week with Evans and Godwin out of the lineup.
Week 16 Computer Pick: Texans (-3)
Plain and simple, the Texans need this game more. The Bucs had their fun over the last few games, but now it’s time for the Texans to sink their teeth into the AFC South crown. Sure, the rain might slow Houston’s offense down some but it’ll also do the same for Tampa Bay. Look for the Texans to create plenty of turnovers and put themselves in favorable field position.
Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-6.5) – Total: 36.5
Saturday, December 21, 2019 – 4:30 p.m. EST
Week 16 Computer Pick: Patriots to cover the spread
Two AFC foes meet for the second time as the Buffalo Bills travel to face the New England Patriots. Back in Week 4, the Patriots won 16-10 on the strength of forcing four turnovers and blocked a punt for a touchdown. We like a repeat performance to happen and our betting pick is for the Patriots to cover the 6.5-point spread. Let’s dive into the numbers to see why we like the home favorite.
Week 16 Betting Line: Bills at Patriots
It’s interesting to note that the Patriots were favored by -7 in the first meeting. That was back when we thought they were destined for an undefeated season, and the Bills were just a twinkle in the eye of the AFC Playoff picture. Nonetheless, we feel like New England found something last week in the win against Cincy. Most people think Buffalo can figure it out, considering nearly two-thirds of the public are on that side. We feel like that’s a mistake, and we’re rolling with the defending champs.
Bills Betting Form
The Bills just had their moment in the primetime spotlight, so two weeks in a row could be too much. When looking at their season in the rearview mirror, they haven’t beaten a lot of battle-tested teams. While the Bills hung tough with teams like the Patriots and Ravens, they still didn’t beat those heavyweights. Buffalo is certainly due for a letdown game, especially coming off a monumental win that got them into the playoffs.
When these teams played back in Week 4, it was nearly impossible for quarterback Josh Allen to move the football. Since then, Allen has really stepped up and played better football, but he and the offense will need to put a lot more points on the board – the Bills are only averaging 20.6 points per game. The Patriots defense has been fantastic against these simplified offenses, so we should expect that to happen again. Especially, with the Patriots on their home field.
Patriots Betting Form
Last week, the Patriots finally figured out a few things – like how to win convincingly once again. While the offense wasn’t particularly great, they had no turnovers and were able to run the ball effectively. However, against the Bills, things will be a lot more difficult but the offense has plenty of experience against them over the years. Tom Brady won’t necessarily need to throw for over 300 yards, but keeping possession of the ball is important. As long as James White and Julian Edelman are getting their touches, everything will be alright.
The real caveat to betting New England is the defensive unit. Buffalo has all the trouble in the world moving the ball against the stout defenses and we’ve already seen this story a few months ago. While the Bills could potentially move up in the standings with a win, the odds are that it likely won’t happen.
If the Patriots take control early, the Bills might not want to reveal any of their deep secrets on offense. At the end of the day, it might not even come down to that. Look for CB Stephon Gilmore to get a couple of turnovers against his former team.
Week 16 Computer Pick: Patriots (-6.5)
Not to state the obvious, but the 36.5-point total implies a defensive battle. With that being said, we trust the Patriots to have slightly more success on offense. And that stingy defensive unit won’t let the Bills move the ball for long stretches of this game. Since the Bills head coach Sean McDermott has been with the team, they have not scored more than 16 points against Bill Belichick and the Patriots.
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers (-6.5) – Total: 45
Saturday, December 21, 2019 – 8:15 p.m. EST
Week 16 Computer Pick: 49ers to cover the spread
The San Francisco 49ers will look to rebound off an upset loss with a win against the division-rival Los Angeles Rams. It’s now or never for the 49ers if they’re looking to get home-field advantage in the playoffs, and that’s why they’re our top betting pick to cover the 6.5-point spread. Let’s dive into the numbers to see why we’re rolling with the home favorite.
Week 16 Betting Line: Rams at 49ers
On one hand, the 6.5-point spread seems a bit awkward. Both teams are coming off disappointing performances, in their own right, but there is a lot more to play for with the favored 49ers. Also, San Francisco did dominate the previous meeting between the teams and they’ll be at home this time around. Nonetheless, we like the 49ers to bounce back and take this one by a convincing margin.
Rams Betting Form
The Rams looked like they were on a mission prior to last week’s thumping in Dallas. However, this league can be a cruel beast and they certainly felt the wrath of a desperate team. While there’s nothing but pride left to play for, it’s always fun to spoil another team’s season. You just have to wonder if a team that went to the Super Bowl in the previous season has that type of mentality.
In order for LA to have a chance, they’ll need to have that usually-solid mix of play calling. When RB Todd Gurley is rolling, that sets up the passing game so much better for QB Jared Goff and his disposal of weapons. In the prior meeting, the Rams were not able to move the ball, and that was with an extra three days to prepare. With one less day to prepare than usual, you have to wonder if Sean McVay will be able to devise a scheme that works. WR Cooper Kupp could be big in this matchup.
49ers Betting Form
The 49ers are playing some impressive ball this season, and each of their three losses occurred at the final whistle. With the potential meeting for the No. 1 seed in the NFC in Week 17, you have to believe they’ll take care of business on Saturday against a Rams team that had their playoff aspirations crushed last week.
In order for San Francisco to dominate, the running game needs to stay strong. LA’s run defense is surprisingly one of the worst in the NFL, but it did hold the 49ers to only 2.6 yards per carry in the previous meeting. Even so, the 49ers have the NFL’s second-best rushing attack and they should be able to move the ball with their depth at the running back position. Also, Protecting QB Jimmy Garoppolo will be important, as he’s much better with time to throw.
The 49ers defense was outstanding in that 20-7 victory back in Week 6. In that matchup, the Rams only posted 157 total yards. CB Richard Sherman is expected to return after a brief absence and the 49ers will certainly need him against a deep wide-receiving trio. Look for San Fran to put plenty of pressure on Goff and make him uncomfortable in this one.
Week 16 Computer Pick: 49ers (-6.5)
These are two of the best ATS teams in the NFL, with two of the best coaches. Nonetheless, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has proven to be much better in motivating his team this season. With plenty at stake on Saturday, expect his 49ers team to be way more prepared to dominate this matchup.