News That Matters

Remembering Steelers legend Franco Harris, plus Prisco’s NFL Week 16 picks, updated Super Bowl odds, QB news

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Christmas Weekend is fast approaching. As an early gift to you, I, Cody Benjamin, am filling in for John Breech to deliver all the latest from around the NFL.

This is the Pick Six Newsletter. Now let’s get to it. (And please, do yourself a favor and make sure you’re signed up to receive this newsletter every day! You don’t want to miss our daily offerings of everything you need to know around the NFL.)

We’ve got Week 16 predictions, lots of QB updates, Franco Harris news, and more:

  1. Today’s show: Week 16 betting trends, picks, predictions

Gardner Minshew

Tyler Sullivan joined Will Brinson on Wednesday’s “Pick Six NFL” podcast to preview Week 16’s top matchups from a betting perspective, including the anticipated Eagles-Cowboys rematch on Christmas Eve. Some highlights:

  • As our resident Patriots expert, Sully is honest about New England: “They’re not a well-coached football team” right now, and the Bengals are the NFL’s best team against the spread. That’s why he’s all over the Bengals (-3) against Bill Belichick.
  • Neither Brinson nor Sully are convinced Dallas should be favored even if Philly’s Jalen Hurts sits. “I think there’s a world where Gardner Minshew is perfectly fine,” Sully said. “He just needs to not shoot them in the foot, and this will be a field goal game.”
  • Brinson likes Thursday’s Jaguars-Jets game as a “potential coming-out party for Trevor Lawrence,” at least on a prime-time stage. New York has a tough defense, but the Jags are also 4-1-1 ATS in their last six, Sully noted.

Catch the full episode (and subscribe for daily NFL talk) right here.

2. Prisco’s picks: Vikings edge Giants, Chiefs rout Seahawks

Pete Prisco went 11-5 making straight-up picks in Week 15. Now he’s back with predictions for every single Week 16 contest. Here’s a sampling:

  • Chiefs 35, Seahawks 21: This is a must-win for Seattle, but this is a tough place to play. Its defense has major issues, which will show up here as Patrick Mahomes lights them up.
  • Vikings 27, Giants 26: The Giants are playing consecutive road games, while the Vikings got an extra day of rest. The Minnesota defense is a major issue, though, which is why the Giants will hang around in this one.
  • Cowboys 33, Eagles 25: The Eagles will likely be starting Gardner Minshew here for the injured Jalen Hurts. That changes the way they play offense. The Cowboys have looked bad the past two weeks on defense, but I think that changes here.

3. Steelers legend Franco Harris dies at 72

Franco Harris

The NFL community lost one of its biggest stars this week, with former Steelers great Franco Harris passing away at 72. A four-time Super Bowl champion and nine-time Pro Bowler, the Hall of Fame running back is best known for making the “Immaculate Reception,” one of football’s defining plays. Spending 12 of his 13 NFL seasons in Pittsburgh, Harris finished his career as the Steelers’ all-time leading rusher, and still ranks just outside the top 10 in terms of all-time career rushing touchdowns. His death, confirmed by the Harris family, comes just days before the 50th anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception,” his improbable catch in the 1972 playoffs against the Raiders, and the Steelers’ plan to retire his No. 32 jersey this weekend.

4. QB updates: Hurts could play, Wilson in for Jets, Stafford not retiring

The NFL is awash in QB news as we approach the playoffs. Be sure to check out our latest QB Power Rankings, where 49ers youngster Brock Purdy continues to rise, before catching up on these Week 16 headlines:

5. Super Bowl odds: Bills, Bengals on the rise; Cowboys slipping

Josh Allen

As the playoff picture rounds into form and teams lock in seeding across the AFC and NFC, which contenders are truly built to make a title run? The oddsmakers are tweaking their projections with each passing week. Here are the latest favorites, as Jordan Dajani compiled from Caesars Sportsbook, with Buffalo and Cincinnati among the top movers ahead of Week 16:

  1. Bills (+340)
  2. Eagles (+500)
  3. Chiefs (+500)
  4. 49ers (+575)
  5. Bengals (+750)

On the rise: Bills, Bengals, 49ers, Chargers, Lions
On the decline: Cowboys, Vikings, Ravens, Dolphins

6. Weather guide: Forecasts, facts to know, fantasy/betting impacts

The holiday season has brought winter weather in many areas of the country, and that means a slew of important NFL games could be affected by inclement conditions. Check out our updated weather guide for all the pertinent Week 16 matchups, complete with facts to know, playoff implications, and fantasy and betting tips. And note the significance of this weekend in particular:

Eight games on Saturday are currently scheduled for kickoff temperatures below 35 degrees. There’s seven games scheduled to be played in freezing temperatures, which would tie the most in a single day since 2000. Those seven games scheduled to be played in freezing temperatures are coupled with 10-plus mile per hour winds, which would be three more games than any other single day since at least 2000.

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