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NFL Week 16 Picks: Can The Bengals Get Past The Broncos?

Mario Mergola makes picks against the spread for every week 16 NFL matchup.

Jeremy Hill
Baltimore Ravens to Ravens (-5.5)* at Houston Texans

This has not been an easy season for the Baltimore Ravens. It seems as if each game is a battle — even beating the Jaguars, at home, became a much closer game than it should have been. Yet, at the end of the day, they enter Week 16 as the sixth seed in the AFC playoffs. In fact, they may actually have caught a break as a karmic reward for winning four of their last five games.

Houston, on the verge of elimination in the AFC playoff race, has lost yet another quarterback to injury. With Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallet, Fitzpatrick again, and Tom Savage all unavailable for Sunday’s game, the Texans – at the time of this writing – are left scrambling for someone to line up under center.

In one of the rare moments where the news of a quarterback change actually impacts one of our picks — you may notice that we don’t move away from the Bears beating the spread despite Jay Cutler getting benched — there is truly no reason to stick with the Texans anymore. Part of the initial analysis of the game was that Savage was being largely undervalued, thus impacting the spread. Now, with the loss of what could have been considered a ‘secret weapon’ utilized at game time, there should be no surprises.

With a Ravens team that has the perfect response to the two Texans’ strengths – Baltimore ranks third in the league in rushing defense and has allowed the second-fewest sacks this season – Houston won’t be able to keep up with Baltimore’s top-ten offense.

The Ravens win by two touchdowns and cover.

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