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Three NFL Week 16 Underdogs Fighting for the Playoffs

December 23, 2016

Week 16 of the NFL regular season features just two Sunday games and its usual Monday Night game, with the rest on Saturday due to Christmas. The week’s games have a number of huge playoff implications. The lineup includes a number of divisional battles between team battling for the playoffs.

The underdogs in the two Sunday games and Monday’s game will battle to remain in the hunt for a division title or relevant in the playoff picture.

Baltimore will meet Pittsburgh in an AFC South showdown. The Ravens are 5.5-point road dogs against the Steelers. Denver has a Christmas night showdown with AFC North rivals Kansas City and is currently a 4-point dog on the road. Detroit is a 7-point dog this week in its matchup on the road against Dallas on Monday.

Denver visits Kansas City in what should be a very close game. The Broncos offense has not performed well of late and it could be tough to generate points against a tough Chiefs defense. However, the Broncos’ backs are against the wall, as a loss would knock them from playoff contention.

Denver has had problems this season at quarterback with Trevor Siemian battling injuries and not living up to what the organization thought he could produce.

Baltimore visits Pittsburgh in an AFC North showdown. The Ravens can win the division with a victory over Pittsburgh this week followed by a win next week against Cincinnati. Pittsburgh clinches the AFC North with a win on Sunday.

Baltimore arrives having won five of its past seven, but Pittsburgh has won five straight.

Detroit must travel to AT&T Stadium to play the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys clinched the division without playing when the New York Giants lost Thursday night to the Philadelphia Eagles.

In Detroit’s favor, the Cowboys could be distracted from having clinched their division and could even rest a few players more often than usual to get them fresh for the postseason.

Detroit leads the NFC North by one game over Green Bay. If the Lions win and Green Bay loses this week, the Lions will clinch the NFC North. However, a loss by the Lions and a Green Bay victory would set up a showdown in the regular season’s final week between the two.

A loss by Detroit or a loss by both this week could also bring Minnesota into the mix. The Vikings are just a two games behind the Lions.

Picks

Pittsburgh -5.5

Kansas City -4.5

Detroit +7

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