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NFL Week 16 Predictions: Data-Driven Picks for Lions vs Panthers, Giants vs Vikings, More

NFL Week 16 Predictions: Data-Driven Picks for Lions vs Panthers, Giants vs Vikings, More article feature image
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Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images. Pictured: Jared Goff.


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NFL Odds & Picks

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Lions vs. Panthers 1H Total
1 p.m. ET
Hunter Henry Receiving Yards
1 p.m. ET
Richie James Receptions
1 p.m. ET
Robbie Gould Field Goals Made
4:05 p.m. ET
Raiders vs. Steelers Either Team to Score 3 Unanswered Times
8:15 p.m ET

Pick
1H Under 21.5
Best Book
Time
1 p.m. ET

Billy Ward: There’s a few factors that contribute to this bet. First, the team’s combined pace splits. They both play faster in the second half of games, with the Panthers an extreme case. Carolina ranks last in first-half pace, but eighth in the second half.

While the difference between their first- and second-half splits can be explained by their record – mostly negative game scripts leads to playing faster in the second half – the fact that they play at the league’s slowest pace when the game is tied at 0 tells you how they want to play early.

Additionally, the Lions are slight favorites and the more explosive offense. However, they’re averaging less than 19 points in road games. Jared Goff has relatively small hands, and has historically struggled in cold conditions. The expected temperature at kickoff is 26 degrees, with a windchill of 16 degrees.

This is a game where I’m leaning on the under anyway, but the better value is on the first half line.


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Pick
Hunter Henry Under 27.5 Receiving Yards
Best Book
Time
1 p.m. ET

Nick Giffen: Let’s start with some basic stats. Henry has averaged 29.6 yards per game, but that’s skewed by five big games. His median yards per game is just 20. In fact, those five big games were the only times he’s cleared this prop out of 14 games.

Now let’s add in that Henry faces a difficult matchup both positionally and schematically.

The Bengals are fourth in the NFL in defensive pass DVOA to tight ends. So while they allow more volume to the position, they hover right around league average in overall yards allowed.

In addition, the Bengals play man coverage at a top-10 rate. Henry struggles against man coverage to the tune of just 1.08 yards per route run.

Of Henry’s five big games, four of them came against teams in the bottom 10 in man coverage rate. Against teams in the top half of the league in man coverage rate, Henry has an average of 18.6 receiving yards, with a median of 12.5.

I have his median closer to 22.5 and would bet this down to 25.5 comfortably.



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Pick
Richie James Over 3.5 Receptions
Best Book
Time
1 p.m. ET

Sean Koerner: James has cleared this number in three of four games since taking over in the slot for the injured Wan’Dale Robinson.

James has an easy matchup against Chandon Sullivan, who is allowing a 78% catch rate. Fellow wideouts Darius Slayton and Isaiah Hodgins will likely take turns matching up against Patrick Peterson (58% catch rate allowed).

It’ll likely funnel more targets James’ way and I’m projecting him closer to 4.1 receptions with a 58% chance of clearing this number.



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Pick
Robbie Gould Under 1.5 Field Goals Made (+110)
Best Book
Time
4:05 p.m. ET

Nick Giffen: Robbie Gould has just 24 FG attempts in 14 games, for an average of 1.71 per game.

Meanwhile, the Commanders have allowed just 1.75 FG attempts per contest in games Taylor Heinicke has started. By comparing those to the league average of 1.96 FG attempts per game, it’s going to be hard to see Gould averaging over 1.8 for this game, and that’s being generous.

Even at 1.8 attempts and an 82% FG rate, Gould would average just 1.48 FG made per game. That translates to a probability of staying under 56.6% of the time, and we’re getting +110 odds to stay under. I’d bet this to -110.


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Pick
Either Team to Score 3 Unanswered Times (No; +135)
Best Book
Time
8:15 p.m ET

Billy Ward: While analyzing this prop, I looked at all the games over the past five seasons with totals below 40 and a spread of three or fewer. With this game having a 2.5-point spread and a 38.5-point total, that felt like a fair range of similar contests.

In that data set, fewer than half (46.5%) of the games had either team score three consecutive times. The bulk of those were also in games with a closing spread of three – removing those games brings the total down to 40%.

That means the fair price on this prop should be somewhere between -115 and -150, depending on which sample size you use. The +135 line at both BetMGM and DraftKings is thus a significant value.

Texans-Titans and Bengals-Patriots also nearly fit this bill, and are values in their own right. Finally, Browns-Saints would be massive value at plus-money, but neither book has posted a line for this prop at the time of writing. Keep your eyes open in case they do.


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