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Beating the Book: Chris Liss Handicaps Week 16

Chris Liss

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

What a disastrous week. After going 10-6 and stirring hope I could wind up somewhere near .500 with a strong finish, I went 4-11-1 to ensure this will be a horrible year. Moreover, the games I won (Steelers-Broncos, Giants-Panthers, Texans-Colts and Patriots-Titans) could all easily have gone the other way. And the push (Jets-Cowboys) was one where my side (the Jets) was clearly the wrong one.

On the other hand, I went 2-1-1 on the four games I liked and 0-4 on coin flips. But that's about as much as I can spin a terrible week.

This week, I especially like the Falcons, Texans and Jaguars. Coin flips are Bengals-Broncos, Redskins-Eagles, Cowboys-Bills, Packers-Cardinals and Bears-Buccaneers.

For the podcast version of this article, click here.


Chargers +5.5 at Raiders

I've been way off on when to buy low or sell high this year, so take this with a grain of salt. I'm selling the Chargers off their Miami win, and taking the Raiders to roll here. Back Oakland.

Raiders 27 - 17


Redskins +3 at Eagles

The Redskins have been the better team of late, and they're getting only three, but Kirk Cousins has been better at home than on the road, and I can't wrap my mind around the Redskins winning the division. Back the Eagles.

Eagles 27 - 20


Bears +3 at Buccaneers

These are roughly equal teams, so this line is right. The Bears have fallen apart of late, but I'll fade their recent performance and take the points.

Bears 24 - 23

Panthers -7 at Falcons

The Falcons are a bad team, but this line reflects that - it would be 13 were it in Carolina. That makes it about right, but I'll take Atlanta because rematch games between division rivals are generally lower scoring, and getting close to 16-0 ratchets up the pressure on Carolina and the motivation for its opponent. Back the Falcons.

Panthers 23 - 20

Cowboys +6 at Bills

The Bills are 0-3 against the NFC East, including back to back losses against the Redskins and Eagles, but I like them at home against a bad Cowboys team with a third-string QB. Lay the points.

Bills 30 - 17

49ers +9 at Lions

The 49ers are a doormat, and the Lions are a league average team playing at home. This line is about right, but I'll lay the wood.

Lions 30 - 13

Browns +12.5 at Chiefs

I like Johnny Manziel, and I expect the Chiefs to play this one safe, making a double-digit line hard to cover. Back Cleveland.

Chiefs 20 - 10

Colts +1.5 at Dolphins

I suppose I should buy the Dolphins low after their no-show in San Diego, but this team looks lost, and as mediocre as the Colts are, they're still playing for the division title. Take the points.

Colts 20 - 19

Patriots -3 at Jets

The Patriots are playing to lock up the No. 1 seed, and their defense is probably the better of the two at this point. With Rob Gronkowski healthy again, I'll lay the points.

Patriots 24 - 20

Texans +4.5 at Titans

I know Brandon Weeden is bad, but he's facing Zach Mettenberger, a second-year backup without much of a track record. And if you take away the quarterbacks, the Texans are the better team and one playing to lock up the division. I have no idea why this line is so big. Take Houston.

Texans 23 - 20

Steelers -10 at Ravens

The Steelers are tremendous on offense, and they should shred the Ravens pass defense, but this is a huge line on the road, and John Harbaugh knows Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense as well as anyone. Take the points.

Steelers 35 - 27


Jaguars +3.5 at Saints

What would this line be if Drew Brees doesn't play? At best, maybe a pick 'em right? That Brees' status is up in the air, and the Jaguars are getting 3.5 is too good to pass up. Back Jacksonville.

Saints 33 - 30

Packers +4.5 at Cardinals

I can't decide if the Packers are any good, and I'm nervous about the Cardinals' bad showing at home against the Vikings two weeks ago. But if Arizona plays to its customary level, it should be a bigger favorite than this. Lay the wood.

Cardinals 27 - 20

Rams +13.5 at Seahawks

The Rams always seem to play the Seahawks tough, and this is their second meeting this year. Take the points.

Seahawks 20 - 13


Giants +6 at Vikings

While the Vikings are the better team, especially now that Odell Beckham is suspended, the Giants often play well as road dogs and should be able to hang around. Back New York.

Vikings 24 - 20


Bengals +3.5 at Broncos

I went back and forth on this, but in the end I think the points will be worth having in a low-scoring game. Back the Bengals.

Broncos 16 - 13

For the podcast version of this article, click here.

I went 4-11-1 in Week 14 to bring my record to 97-120-7 on the year. I'm 7-8-2 on best bets. I went 135-116-5 in 2014, and best bets were 18-12-1. From 1999-2014, I've gone 2,068-1,880 (52.4%), not including ties.