My underdogs bounced back in a big way in week 15 in NFL handicapping.

At this point of the season, just having the courage of picking upsets is a monumental task. We know pretty much all we need to know about the teams, so it’s difficult to believe in underdogs based on previous evidence.

But there’s still plenty of value to be had, especially this week. Here’s my favorite three underdogs to watch in the the week 16 NFL picks.

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (+2.5)

This just feels like a major letdown by a bad road team.

I didn’t buy into the Broncos as a road team after a major upset against the Los Angeles Chargers earlier this season. They showed their true colors with road loss in recent weeks to San Francisco. Without anything to play for, I’m expecting the Broncos to forget about packing up and heading out to Oakland.

The Raiders are used to playing meaningless games, and have actually looked better in recent weeks, while Denver has forgotten how to play defense. The Broncos are allowing 5.3 yards per play in the last three weeks, while averaging just 4.6. The Raiders have been near identical on the defensive side of the ball, but are much better offensively, averaging 5.7 yards per play in the last three weeks.

No one will watch this Monday night game, but you will, because you’ll be cashing a winner with Oakland. — Go Against The Chalk with Oakland

Matthew Stafford should get the sit in the week 11 start ’em, sit ’em guide for quarterbacks. Flickr

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (+5.5)

This game is all about Matthew Stafford’s health.

If Stafford plays, I love this pick. If he doesn’t, then I’m backing off in a big way.

The Vikings haven’t been a good road team this season and I don’t anticipate that will change in this contest. The offense has been disastrous away from home, and the defense has been leaky at times against the pass. Detroit doesn’t need to focus on the running game, which is a plus against a stout Minnesota rush defense.

That will open up the passing game, which has been a negative part of the defense at times this season for Minnesota.

If Stafford plays, this game will be close. — Go Against The Chalk with Detroit

Baltimore Ravens (+4.5) at Los Angeles Chargers

Both teams are getting healthier, so this should be a good barometer of how well each of these teams will do in the postseason.

And while I believe in the Chargers in the long run, I don’t like giving up this many points to a team with the best defense in the NFL. We saw what the Ravens could do against the Kansas City offense on the road.

And I trust that will continue in this contest.

Baltimore has re-established a solid running game, which should slow down the Chargers high-flying offense. Los Angeles is coming off an emotional victory in week 15, so I’m expecting a bit of a letdown in this one. I like the Ravens to keep this close, forcing this game to be more of a field-goal contest. — Go Against The Chalk with Baltimore


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