With Sunday coming fast, who are the experts picking in the NFL week 16 match-ups. In the early game, the St. Louis Rams battle the San Francisco 49ers in what, essentially, is an elimination game for the NFC West playoff spot. Later in the day, the Seattle Seahawks travel to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers in a game that could be meaningless for Seattle.
The game carrying the most weight -- St. Louis vs. San Francisco -- gets the spotlight. A Rams win renders the Seahawks game moot and sets up a week 17 showdown at Qwest Field for the NFC West title. A St. Louis win is the best thing Seattle fans can hope for on Sunday.
At ESPN, eight of the ten panelists, including accuscore and the majority of pick 'em readers, chose the St. Louis Rams. The two that didn't? Seth Wickersham and Chris Mortensen. I like our chances. At CBS, the odds are the same, with four of five experts choosing the Rams. Again, an 80 percent chance if we're solely relying on the pickers to determine our odds (we're not, of course).
How bout the Seahawks? Do they stand a chance on Sunday? According to the pickers, Seattle is dead in the water on Sunday as they travel to Tampa Bay. All 10 ESPN pickers chose the Bucs; a discouraging sign. At CBS, it's the same story. All five chose the Bucs and have little faith in the 'Hawks.
With any luck, the predictions will hold true and St. Louis will pull-out a win. At that point, the Seahawks are free to do anything later in the day, having no bearing on the week 17 match-up that would determine the playoffs. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but go Rams.