There are just three weeks left for bettors to line their pockets with wins before the NFL postseason starts, and Week 15 provides gamblers with some of the best games of the year.
The Patriots and Steelers will meet in Pittsburgh in a game that will likely determine which team gets home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs. The Chiefs and Chargers will face each other in Arrowhead with first place in the AFC West on the line. And the Seahawks will attempt to defend home turf against the surging Rams to keep their hold on the NFC West.
We’ve got quite a weekend of football ahead of us. And that means we also have quite a week of gambling headed our way.
Last week we got back on the winning side of things, going a solid 9-7 against the spread for a small, but tidy profit. This week, we’re back to the grind, looking for the best bets that the NFL slate has to offer.
Below you’ll find our gambling picks for Week 15 of the NFL season.
LAST WEEK: 9-7
Denver Broncos (-3) at Indianapolis Colts (Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET)
The pick: Colts +3
The logic: While we’ve had some rather good Thursday night games this season, this one looks to be a clunker, even with the Broncos looking like a real football team last week for the first time since October. NBC is employing its “SkyCam” as the primary view again to help keep viewers engaged, which will definitely help, but with neither team having much to play for, a few cool camera angles is the most fans will get out of tonight’s game.
Taking the home dog because Colts fans deserve a win.
Chicago Bears (+5.5) at Detroit Lions (Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET)
The pick: Lions -5.5
The logic: The Lions still have an outside shot at the playoffs if they can run the table, and they have a pretty winnable slate ahead of them. While the Bears scored 33 points last week in the best game of Mitch Trubisky’s young career, but that doesn’t feel like a pace the team can keep up with. Look for Detroit to take care of business at home.
Los Angeles Chargers (PK) at Kansas City Chiefs (Saturday, 8:25 p.m. ET)
The pick: Chiefs PK
The logic: The Chargers comeback from an 0-4 start has been one of the most compelling stories of mid-season NFL play. But while their undefeated over their past four games, those wins came over the Bills, Cowboys, Browns, and Redskins – not exactly a murderers row of competition.
The Chiefs had been in a free-fall that allowed the Chargers to catch them in the AFC West standing, but looked like they regained a bit of footing last week against the Raiders. Further, the Chargers haven’t beaten Kansas City since 2013, going 0-7 against them the past four years. Los Angeles won’t have an answer for Kareem Hunt, and the Chiefs will defend Arrowhead.
Miami Dolphins (NO LINE) at Buffalo Bills (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Bills
The logic: With just three games left in the season, the Bills are improbably in control of their own postseason destiny, currently holding on to the final Wild Card spot in the AFC. This game still doesn’t have a line listed as the Bills have yet to confirm a quarterback, but Tyrod Taylor practiced in full on Wednesday and is likely to be the starter.
The Dolphins are coming off the biggest win of their season with their improbable victory over the Patriots. Since 2013, the Dolphins have beaten the Pats in Miami in four of five meetings, and have gone on to lose their game outright the next week.
Baltimore Ravens (-7) at Cleveland Browns (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Browns +7
The logic: Last week I finally got over myself and bet against the Browns, only to be rewarded with yet another collapse that only Cleveland could pull off. But this week, I’m back to barking with the Dawg Pound. The Browns can win this game!
It’s our last chance of the season to bet on Cleveland as home dogs – if the Browns are going to get a win this season, they’re going to want to do it at home. Playing spoiler to a division rival still gunning for a playoff spot serves as an added bonus.
Cincinnati Bengals (+10.5) at Minnesota Vikings (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Bengals +10.5
The logic: The Bengals look extremely bad last week, but having this game at double-digits feels like a bit too much for my taste.
New York Jets (+15.5) at New Orleans Saints (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Jets +15.5
The logic: I’ve enjoyed the Jets this year, but with the loss of Josh McCown the team’s offence falls into the hands of Bryce Petty. I don’t like betting on Bryce Petty, but whenever I see a line that’s over two touchdowns, it takes a lot for me to take the other side.
I almost did in this case, but ultimately, when in doubt, take the two touchdowns, close your eyes and hope for the best.
Philadelphia Eagles (-7.5) at New York Giants (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Eagles -7.5
The logic: While the Eagles needed a 61-yard field goal as time expired to beat the Giants at home the first time these teams met this year, part of me thinks the Eagles come out firing in this one to prove that the loss of Carson Wentz hasn’t totally derailed their season.
The defence is the emotional core of this Philly team, and they could do a number on Eli Manning given the opportunity. Nick Foles is a solid 2-0 against the Giants in his career as a starter, so this should be a good opportunity for him to show that the Eagles are still alive in the race for the NFC.
Arizona Cardinals (+4) at Washington Redskins (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Cardinals +4
The logic: Larry Fitzgerald passed Randy Moss to move into third on the all-time receiving yards list last week and has said he wants to catch Terrell Owens and move up to second before the end of the season if possible. It would take 600 yards over the next three games for him to do it, but I am not one to doubt Larry Fitzgerald.
Best of luck on your quest, Fitz.
Green Bay Packers (+3) at Carolina Panthers (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Panthers -3
The logic: Aaron Rodgers is due to come back this Sunday for the Packers, putting them in perfect position to run the table and slide into a playoff spot at the very last second. But this storybook ending has become too overtly accepted as already having happened in my opinion.
As nice as it would be to see Rodgers return right into the flow of the game and carry the Packers on his back all the way to the Super Bowl, Green Bay has proven they are hardly a complete team and came about as close as possible to losing to the Browns last week.
The Panthers are a real contender in the NFC now that Carson Wentz is down, but still need to win every game they can thanks to a crowded NFC South. Rodgers may lead the Packer offence better than Brett Hundley has done in his time under center, but he can’t play linebacker too.
Houston Texans (+11) at Jacksonville Jaguars (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The pick: Jaguars -11
The logic: I do not want to lay double-digits with Blake Bortles as my quarterback, but after the Texans put Tom Savage back into the game while he was clearly shook up from a brutal hit, I’m betting with karma in this spot.
Also, T.J. Yates is going to get eaten alive by the Jaguars secondary.
Los Angeles Rams (+2.5) at Seattle Seahawks (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)
The pick: Seahawks -2.5
The logic: Since 2005, the Rams are just 1-11 playing the Seahawks in Seattle. While the Rams’ defensive front will surely get to the Seahawks’ offensive line, I think the Seahawks somehow find a way to pull this one out.
New England Patriots (-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
The pick: Patriots -3
The logic: The Patriots are 40-11 coming off of a loss in the Belichick era. Of those 40 wins, 37 of them have been by a touchdown or more. I’m not going to bet on the Patriots dropping two in a row.
Tennessee Titans (+1.5) at San Francisco 49ers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)
The pick: Titans +1.5
The logic: I love the way that Jimmy Garoppolo is playing for the Niners and had been excited to bet on him for the rest of the season. I had also railed against the Titans as the most overrated team in football this season, sporting one of the least impressive resumes of any team currently qualified for the postseason.
But come on. It took the Niners 10 weeks to get their first win. Even if they have won three of four games and are riding the streak of their hot new quarterback, they shouldn’t be favoured over a playoff team still fighting for its spot.
Dallas Cowboys (-3) at Oakland Raiders (Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
The pick: Raiders +3
The logic: This is blind faith in a team that I’ve probably grown too attached to, but the Raiders are still just barely alive in the playoff hunt. Every week I tell myself their defence can’t be that bad, only to be proven wrong time and time again. But maybe this is the week they put it together.
I see this game as something of a coin flip, and will be taking the home dog and the points, but for most I suggest staying away.
Atlanta Falcons (-6.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET)
The pick: Falcons -6.5
The logic: The Falcons beat the Buccaneers by two touchdowns just three weeks ago, and I see no reason why they can’t do it again.
LAST WEEK: 9-7
Now check out our Week 15 Power Rankings
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