Pickin’ With Pano: NFL Week 16

With two week left in the NFL’s regular season, Pano tries to keep his winning ways going. While he has flirted with falling below .500 for the week on a few occasions, David has always recovered to finish with a winning record. We hope you are cashing out by following his advice! There are no more Thursday Night Football contests remaining this year, so this week Pano offers you four Sunday games. There are several pivotal matchups, with huge playoff ramifications surrounding them. Most happen to be heated division rivalries, so we should be in for another great week of action. Consider it an early Christmas present already filling your stocking. Good luck this weekend, and hope these picks help you get through it with all smiles. See you Monday!

Week 15 Record: 3-2
Season To Date: 14-10

By David Panosian

Cowboys RedskinsDallas Cowboys (-2.5) at Washington Redskins, 1:00pm FOX:
The Dallas Cowboys head to our Nation’s Capital to face the Redskins in a pivotal, must win game for “America’s Team.” The Cowboys are coming off an absolutely brutal loss to Green Bay. At one point the Cowboys were ahead 26-3, and somehow found a way to lose 37-36. I think they find a way to put that past them and defeat the hapless Redskins, who (as I have alluded to in past columns) have given up on the season. That said, they fought valiantly in Atlanta versus the Falcons, though they ultimately lost. However, this is a game I see them losing to a team which is simply more talented and has much more to lose. If the Cowboys win out, they still have a chance to win the division. Unfortunately for Mike Shanahan and company, that ship has long sailed. Lay the points and take the Cowboys.
Saints PanthersNew Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (-3), 1:00pm FOX: 
The New Orleans Saints take on the Carolina Panthers in a huge showdown, which very well may end up deciding the #2 seed in the NFC. The Panthers were thrashed in New Orleans a few weeks back, and the Panthers will be looking to return the favor this time in their backyard. I like their chances to do so. The Saints have looked very shaky on the road of late, getting whacked in both Seattle and Saint Louis, and in a hostile environment versus a tough team and fierce defense, I forecast similar troubles. Steve Smith scored in the last matchup, and I think he has a decent chance to score again. Look for Cam Newton to have a much stronger showing than he did in these two teams’ last meeting on Sunday Night Football. The Panthers also have momentum coming into this one after beating the New York Jets last Sunday. With the spread only being 3, I feel good recommending the Panthers and laying the points.
Titans JaguarsTennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (+5), 1:00pm CBS:
The Tennessee Titans head to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars, who have played much better of late after an absolutely brutal start to the season. The Titans are coming off of a very, very tough loss to the Cardinals, while the Jaguars lost to the Bills on Sunday. I was surprised to see the spread in this game was 5. The Jaguars have played very hard for Gus Bradley, and this is a team which has absolutely not gone into the tank as many people suspected they would in late October. Jordan Todman had an excellent game last week, and I expect him to be a very viable fantasy start versus a Titans team which is not adept at stopping the run. I expect this game to be close, and decided by 3 points. This one could go either way. The Titans, after having been eliminated from playoff competition, may be completely deflated. There are simply too many components in play pointing to a Jaguar cover. Take the points.
Bears Eagles SNF

Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles (-3), 8:30pm NBC SNF:
The Chicago Bears head to the city of Brotherly Love to take on the Philadelphia Eagles. I’ve seen it (at least somewhat) jokingly alluded to, that Lesean McCoy may challenge Adrian Peterson’s single game rushing record. But the truth is, he really may have a shot. The Bears rushing defense is really that porous, and McCoy himself is that good. This combined with a highly functioning pass game means I expect the Eagles to put up some serious points on Sunday Night Football. I also expect the Bears to score often too, but I like the Eagles to come up on top at the end of the day. With an over/under of 56 points, all you fantasy players should start your Eagles and Bears! This has the feel of a game where the Eagles win by 7 to 10 points, capitalizing on at least one big Jay Cutler turnover. Lay the points and take the Eagles. NBC flexed this one into the Sunday Night slot for a reason, so sit back and enjoy it at the same time.

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