NFL Luck Rankings: Week 16 Picks According to Expert Projections Include Bears, Packers, More

NFL Luck Rankings: Week 16 Picks According to Expert Projections Include Bears, Packers, More article feature image

Our Luck Rankings are in for NFL Week 16.

The unlucky teams from the Action Network Luck Rankings are 104-84-4 (55.2%) against the spread (ATS) overall. That includes a 53-37-1 (58.8%) mark when teams differ by at least 10 places since we started tracking in Week 3. That improves to 33-20-0 (62.3%) ATS when teams differ by at least 16 places.

If a bettor placed a bet on the unlucky team from every game in which teams differ by at least 10 places in our Luck Rankings, that would produce a 12.3% ROI. The ROI jumps to an eye-popping 18.9% for games in which the teams differ by at least 16 places.

Here are the matchups we’re eyeing for Week 16.

NFL Luck Rankings – Week 16 Notable Games

Each team’s luck ranking is in parentheses.

Nick Giffen: The Packers rolled to a 24-12 win over the Rams last week, yet they were still a bit unlucky. Our expected score metric says the game played out more like a 29-9 game outside of a few bounces.

Now Green Bay heads to Miami to face Pro-Bowl snub Tua Tagovailoa. I think this sets up well for the Packers, as they are in a must-win situation while the Dolphins also have plenty to play for.

Green Bay should be able to steadily move the ball through the air via Christian Watson and Allen Lazard. According to Pro Football Focus, both receivers are at least one yard per route run better against man coverage than zone coverage, and Miami plays man at a top-five rate in the league. That includes seven touchdowns against man coverage between the two, compared to only three against zone defenses.

Additionally, our third-order Pythagorean win percentage makes Miami a nominal favorite based off the games Tagovailoa played a full complement of snaps. Adding in home-field advantage does make Miami a clear favorite, but it shouldn't be favored by more than a field goal.

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Sean Koerner: Chicago is 1-7 in one-score games this year and is coming off a game it lost to Philadelphia by five points.

So while the Bears are a below-average team, they are certainly better than their 3-11 record suggests. Even going back to Week 14, Chicago lost to division-rival Green Bay by nine points, but our expected score metric shows the Bears actually outplayed the Packers.

On the Bills side, this could be a bit of a trap game if they are looking ahead to the Bengals next week.

There's also the weather factor thanks to a "bomb cyclone" that could make this a run-heavy, low-scoring affair. That benefits the prospects the Bears cover.

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Nick Giffen: Desmond Ridder didn't have the best debut against the Saints, as he completed just 50% of his passes and took five sacks. In spite of that, the Falcons still covered.

In fact, our expected score metric shows this game was essentially a coin flip, and the Falcons came out on the unlucky side.

If Ridder performs just a bit better, that should boost Atlanta's offensive prospects.

On the defensive side, they likely get to face Tyler Huntley, who has only thrown for three touchdowns in eight games where he's played at least 60% of snaps. This year, in the three games Huntley has played the bulk of the snaps, the Ravens have scored a total of 29 points.

It's going to be hard not to cover at +6.5 against a team averaging less than 10 points per game under their current QB.

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