There is rarely a week that goes by in the National Football League when there isn’t at least one major upset. This is mainly due to the unmatched parity between the 32 teams in the NFL, and also serves as one of the main reasons why the NFL is far and away the most popular professional sports league in the country.
Last week, we saw the Detroit Lions go into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans and upset the Saints on Monday Night Football; we saw the Washington Redskins continue their hot streak and keep their playoff hopes alive by stunning the Buffalo Bills; and we saw the Atlanta Falcons get off their snide with a road upset win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. So, what will be the next team to find itself on upset alert? Here is a look at three potential upsets in Week 16 of the 2015 season.
Note: All upset picks are against the spread (ATS) picks.
1. Washington Redskins (7-7) over Philadelphia Eagles (6-8)
Point spread: Eagles favored by 3.5 points
Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
For all intents and purposes, this is a playoff game. If the Redskins win, they will clinch the NFC East division title. If the Eagles win and also beat the New York Giants in Week 17, they will claim the division crown. With that being said, we like the Redskins and the points in this matchup. Here’s why.
While the Redskins may rank 28th in the league against the run, we believe that it will be the Philadelphia defense that will get exposed in this game. There is a good chance the Eagles will be without cornerbacks Eric Rowe and Byron Maxwell, which is bad news for Chip Kelly’s squad seeing as how the Washington trio of quarterback Kirk Cousins (pictured above), wide receiver DeSean Jackson, and tight end Jordan Reed have been playing at a very high level as of late. We are expecting this game to be a high-scoring affair, with the Redskins either winning outright, or losing by a field goal or less.
2. New York Giants (6-8) over Minnesota Vikings (9-5)
Point spread: Vikings favored by 5.5 points
Location: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
We believe that this matchup is going to come down to one team — the Giants — playing to keep its playoff hopes alive, and the other team — the Vikings — having the luxury of not being in a must-win situation. In case you missed it, the Giants will be without superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., but in the end, we don’t believe his absence will set the Giants back too much for the simple fact that when Eli Manning (pictured above) is at the top of his game, which he has been for the last two weeks, he is an elite level quarterback. Given Manning’s play as of late, we are entering the weekend with a fair amount of confidence that the Giants will either win this game or keep it within a field goal.
3. Green Bay Packers (10-4) over Arizona Cardinals (12-2)
Point spread: Cardinals favored by 4.5 points
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
This matchup is our early pick for game of the week in the NFC. With a win, the Packers will put themselves in the driver’s seat for the No. 3 seed in the NFC Playoffs, while also keeping themselves alive for the No. 2 seed. If the Cardinals come away with the win, they will ensure themselves of nothing worse than the No. 2 seed and a first round bye when the postseason rolls around.
Fans will get to enjoy watching two of the game’s premier quarterbacks battle it out in this one, and while we believe the Cardinals may ultimately win, we simply do not see them covering this point spread against an Aaron Rodgers-led Packers team.