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NFL picks, Week 16: Straight up, and considering Survivor pool strategy

We’re back with Week 16 NFL picks, including a look at the 49ers, straight up picks, a Survivor pool, and a look at Thursday Night Football against the spread.

The NFL regular season is almost finished! We have reached Week 16, the penultimate week of the 2016 NFL regular season. The San Francisco 49ers face off against the Los Angeles Rams on Christmas Eve at the LA Coliseum. Before then, the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles square off on Thursday Night Football, with the Giants looking to remain in the race behind the Dallas Cowboys.

The 49ers are a 3.5-point road underdog against the Rams. San Francisco is 2-11-1 against the spread, and if they fail to cover in these final two games, they will become the first team in at least 25 years (pending the 2-12 ATS Browns outcome as well) to fail to cover at least three games in a single regular season. The Rams fired Jeff Fisher prior to last week, and John Fassel heads into this week’s matchup with quarterback questions. Jared Goff suffered a concussion on Thursday Night Football last week, and his status for Saturday is up in the air. If he does not play, Sean Mannion is likely to start.

Given this particular matchup, I will not be using either team in my NFL Survivor pool. With the pool, you can only pick a team once. You get one grace loss, so if I pick a team and they lose this week, I’m still alive (I lost in Week 2 with the Oakland Raiders). If I pick a team next week after that loss, and that latter team loses, then I’m done. I remain alive in the pool after picking the Atlanta Falcons last week to beat our 49ers. This week, I still have the New England Patriots at my disposal, so I am likely going to use them at home against the New York Jets.

This week’s Thursday Night Football game features the New York Giants trying to stay alive for the NFC East title, and at the very least, secure a wild card berth. The Giants clinch a wild card berth with a win, and if the Dallas Cowboys lose at home to the Detroit Lions on Monday Night football, it leaves the division up for grabs in Week 17. The Giants are 2.5-point favorites this week, but I think the Eagles spring the home upset. Divisional TNF games frequently seem to open the door to some craziness. I am going with the Eagles for the out-right upset. My picks have been awful this season, so fade accordingly.

Here are my straight up picks for the week.

Giants @ Eagles: Eagles
Dolphins @ Bills: Bills
Jets @ Pariots: Patriots
Titans @ Jaguars: Titans
Vikings @ Packers: Packers
Chargers @ Browns: Browns
Washington @ Bears: Washington
Falcons @ Panthers: Panthers
Colts @ Raiders: Raiders
Buccaneers @ Saints: Saints
Cardinals @ Seahawks: Seahawks
49ers @ Rams: Rams
Bengals @ Texans: Texans
Ravens @ Steelers: Steelers
Broncos @ Chiefs: Chiefs
Lions @ Cowboys: Cowboys