Max Against the Spread | Week 16: Santa’s Locks of the Week

Last week was by far my worst performance of the year going against the spread. Lots of upsets and lots of poor picks on my behalf. I’ll blame it on the fact that I had the flu. With two weeks to play, it’s going to be really difficult to finish the year over .500, but if we’re going to do it, we have to have a big week here in Week16. Santa is giving us three no-brainer spreads and we’re going to take advantage.

Lock 1:

Ravens @ Chargers (-4.5)

I’m really looking forward to this one. Two playoff teams going at it late in the year is most always a recipe for a good game. While Baltimore’s defense has been playing very well, Phillip Rivers is having a monster season, and I don’t see them getting the best of him.

With Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen expected to be back for Los Angeles, this should be an easy cover for the team that just went in to Arrowhead and stunned the Chiefs.

Keep an eye on that injury report, though. If Keenan Allen and Melvin Gordon both end up sitting this one out, you might want to swing your wager the other way. But for now, hammer the (formerly) San Diego Super Chargers.

The pick: Chargers (-4.5)

Lock 2:

Texans @ Eagles (-2.5)

Don’t let the Eagles’ recent upset over the Rams trick you into betting on them as favorites against clearly superior teams. That may have been more indicative of problems in Los Angeles than it was of prosperity in the City of Brotherly Love.

Don’t overthink this one. The Texans are going to win this game. The fact that they’re being spotted 2.5 points is laughable. Hammer away

The pick: Texans (+2.5)

Lock 3:

Falcons (-3.5) @ Panthers

Cam Newton has officially been shut down for the season making this one a no brainer for me. Yes - the Panthers still have Christian McCaffrey, and yes, Cam Newton has not been playing well at all. Despite all that, and despite how up and down Atlanta has looked, I’m not going to sit here and tell myself that Panthers’ QB Taylor Heinicke is going to keep this one close. This is the third of Santa’s three easy locks. If you’re anti-Santa, then think of it as a Christmas present from the Vegas books (or a thank you gift for giving them all of your money throughout the year.)

The pick: Falcons (-3.5)

49ers Game:

Bears (-4) @ 49ers

As a 49er fan, last week was extremely enjoyable. Despite likely bowing out of the Bosa Bowl, the 49ers found some kind of temporary sanity in this season of despair by beating their arch rivals from the Pacific Northwest for the first time since like 1983 or something like that. At least that’s what it felt like.

Despite all that, I don’t know where this line came from.

I expect Coach Shanahan to scheme up ways to keep his team in this game, but at the end of the day, that Chicago Ddefense is just too nasty. I’m predicting a 10 point loss in this one for the 49ers. However, if they can get to double zeros in the 4th quarter without Khalil Mack being arrested for negligent manslaughter on Nick Mullens, then I will consider it a victory in my eyes.

The pick: Bears (-4)

Remaining Games:

WAS @ TEN - (TEN -10)

NYG @ IND - (IND -9.5)

JAX @ MIA - (MIA -4)

GB @ NYJ - (GB -2.5)

CIN @ CLE - (CIN +9)

MIN @ DET - (MIN -5.5)

BUF @ NE - (BUF +13)

PIT @ NO - (NO -6)

KC @ SEA - (KC -2.5)

DEN @ OAK - (OAK +2.5)

LAR @ AZ - No Line Released

TB @ DAL - No Line Released

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