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Beating the Book: Chris Liss Handicaps Week 16

Chris Liss

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

Even though I went 8-8 last week, I felt like I had a good read on the games, as my four best bets (all dogs) won outright (Colts, Seahawks, Chargers and Chiefs). This week, not so much.

My strongest reads are the Texans, Dolphins, Bucs, Seahawks and Saints. I had the most trouble with the Bills-Broncos, Steelers-Rams, Vikings-Redskins, and Giants-Jets, though the latter was due to rooting conflicts.

Happy Holidays.

THURSDAY NIGHT

Texans -5.5 at Colts

The Texans have been one of the best teams in the league for most of the year, while the Colts have arguably been its worst. Moreover, the Colts broke their winless streak last week, and the desperation factor has likely abated. And the Texans are a good buy-low after a bad home loss to the Panthers. I expect them to bounce back. Back Houston.

Texans 30 - 17

EARLY GAMES

Dolphins +10 at Patriots

The Dolphins typically play the Patriots tough, and this Dolphins team is at least league average since mid-season. Ten points is too much. Back Miami.

Patriots 31 - 23

Browns +13.5 at Ravens

The Ravens just got blown out in San Diego, but they're much tougher at home and should bounce back. The question is whether that entails a 13.5-point margin. Against the Browns reasonably stout defense, probably not. Back Cleveland.

Ravens 17 - 6

Cardinals +4 at Bengals

This seems like a contest between roughly equal teams and as such, I'll take the four points. Back the Cardinals.

Bengals 20 - 19

Vikings +6.5 at Redskins

The Vikings had been playing well before running into the Saints last week, while Washington has been on a nice run, either losing close games or winning outright. In any event, I expect Minnesota to show up and make this a game. Back the Vikings.

Redskins 24 - 23

Broncos -1.5 at Bills

I, for one, was sad to see the Tebow bandwagon lose its wheels last week, but facing the Pats was a pretty high degree of difficulty for this team. The Bills, on the other hand, have been one of the worst teams in the league over the last six games and should be more manageable. Back the Broncos.

Broncos 23 - 20

Rams +16 at Steelers

These double-digit lines are a crap shoot, but with Ben Roethlisberger hobbled and coming off a short week (with Saturday games), I'll take the points. Back the Rams.

Steelers 24 - 10

Giants +2.5 at Jets

I'll be honest - after watching last week's horror show against the Redskins, my first inclination was to back the Jets. Then my second inclination was to pick the Giants anyway because it's simply not worth winning ATS if the Giants are going to lose to the team I despise most. But I have to be professional here, and admit that if I had no rooting interest, I'd lay the points. Back the Jets.

Jets 24 - 20

Buccaneers +8.5 at Panthers

The Panthers' big win in Houston last week makes them a good sell-high candidate, and the Bucs could not be available any more cheaply. Back Tampa Bay.

Panthers 24 - 23

Jaguars +8 at Titans

As long as the Titans insist on starting Matt Hasselbeck over Jake Locker, I can't back them as eight-point favorites, even against the Jaguars. Back Jacksonville who keeps it close.

Titans 17 - 13

Raiders +.5 at Chiefs

For the second week in a row, the Raiders are half-point underdogs - for whatever that's worth. The Chiefs with Kyle Orton are an actual team again, and I think they'll handle the Raiders at home. Back KC.

Chiefs 20 - 19

LATE GAMES

Chargers +1.5 at Lions

I know it's probably the square play, but I think the Chargers are the better team and will win this one even in Detroit. Back San Diego.

Chargers 27 - 23

Eagles +1 at Cowboys

Like everyone else, I think the Eagles are a dangerous team, but this line's moved all the way down to one point, making Philly a bad value, and Dallas the sharp play. I despise the Cowboys and will be rooting for them to lose, but I think backing them here is the right call.

Cowboys 23 - 20

49ers -2 at Seahawks

The Seahawks are playing well of late, especially at home. While the Niners are still the better team, they're coming off a short week after a big Monday night win and going on the road. Back Seattle who wins outright.

Seahawks 17 - 16

SUNDAY NIGHT

Bears +13.5 at Packers

I'm torn here because I expect the Packers to want to put last week's debacle behind them, and the best way to do that is to blow out the Bears. But the Bears defense always plays Aaron Rodgers tough, and the public is all over Green Bay. Back the Bears.

Packers 24 - 12

MONDAY NIGHT

Falcons +7 at Saints

The Saints have been virtually unstoppable at home all year, and the Falcons would have to play their A game to keep up. It's possible, but I'd bet against it. Back New Orleans who pulls away.

Saints 38 - 27

We were 8-8 last week to put us at 110-109-5 on the season. From 1999-2010 we've gone 1565-1387 (53%, not including ties).

You can follow me on Twitter at @Chris_Liss