NFL Week 15 Picks: Predictions for Each Game’s Odds and Over-Under Lines
Week 15 of the regular season means that it is getting easier to pick out the contenders and the pretenders in the NFL hierarchy.
The playoff races are starting to take shape. Meanwhile, the bottom half of the league is starting to join the Cleveland Browns in preparing for next entertainment news kenya season.
That means that a lot of success in picking games the rest of the way comes down to figuring out just who is motivated to finish the season strong. Some teams are still jockeying for playoff position, while others are coached by guys who are fighting for their jobs. A few just seem to have completely tailed off.
Identifying which teams still feel like they have something to fight for can be key in picking these matchups. Here’s a look at the complete schedule along with the latest odds from OddsSharkand predictions for each game on the slate.
NFL Week 15 Schedule, Odds and Predictions Game Line Pick ATS Over/Under Pick Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks SEA (-15) SEA Over 38.5 Miami Dolphins at New York Jets MIA (-2.5) MIA Under 38 Detroit Lions at New York Giants NYG (-4.5) DET Under 41.5 Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans HOU (-6) HOU Over 39 Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills BUF (-10) BUF Over 42.5 Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs KC (-5.5) KC Over 43 Philadelphia Eagles at Baltimore Ravens BAL (-6) PHI Under 41.5 Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears GB (-6.5) GB Over 42 Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings MIN (-4) MIN Under 44.5 Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals PIT (-3) PIT Under 44 New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals ARI (-2.5) ARI Over 50 San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons ATL (-13.5) ATL Under 51 Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers OAK (-3) OAK Over 50 New England Patriots at Denver Broncos NE (-3) DEN Under 44 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys DAL (-7) DAL Over 46.5 Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins WAS (-4.5) WAS Under 51 Odds courtesy of OddsShark
Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills might be all but out of the playoff race, but they still have plenty to play for to close out the 2016 season.
According to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report, both Rex Ryan’s and Tyrod Taylor’s futures with the organization are in doubt, setting up a tryout of sorts as the Bills close out the season:
The schedule sets up nicely for Taylor and Ryan to make a convincing argument to keep their jobs. At 6-7, the Bills need to go 3-0 to have a winning season. With the Browns at home, a Ryan Tannehill-less Miami Dolphins and the woeful New York Jets on tap, winning out is not out of the realm of possibility.
Even though they lost, the Bills’ 27-20 defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week showed they are still fighting for a successful season. The Steelers led 24-7 in the fourth quarter before Taylor connected with Charles Clay on a 40-yard touchdown and LeSean McCoy added another on the ground.
That remaining fight should pay off against Cleveland in Week 15. While a double-digit spread for a team with a quarterback and head coach who are fighting for their lives seems to be a bit much, the Browns haven’t been within single digits of winning since Week 8.
Only four games in their entire 0-13 season to date have been decided by a single-digit margin.
If Taylor and Ryan are going to save their jobs, beating the Browns in convincing fashion is the first step. Without much fight left in Cleveland, that should be an easy task.
Prediction: Bills 31, Browns 13
Miami Dolphins at New York JetsJoel Auerbach/Getty Images
With no major college football on, the NFL has a rare Saturday game to kick off the weekend, with the Dolphins coming in as small road favorites against the New York Jets.
Considering where both teams are coming into this game, it just doesn’t seem like the Dolphins are getting the respect they deserve.
The most obvious explanation is that Tannehill’s injury has brought the line down to near toss-up levels. The Dolphins quarterback suffered a knee injury that head coach Adam Gase told reporterswon’t require surgery, but it will definitely force backup Matt Moore into the lineup.
The Dolphins have been the kind of team this year that can survive without great quarterback play, though. They sit just outside the playoff picture thanks to the success of Jay Ajayi on the ground and their ability to control games,with the Denver Broncos beating the Dolphins on tiebreakers right now.
Moore might not be the athlete that Tannehill is, but he does have a comfort with the playbook that indicates he can succeed in this role.
“The only problem with Matt is he’ll always say he likes [every play],” Gase said, per Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel.”I’ll be like, ‘You all right with this or this?’ [He’ll say,] ‘Yeah, call it.’ That makes it easy.”
Moore has been on the Dolphins sideline for six seasons now, so he isn’t a new face. Gase should have him prepared to do what he has to do to keep the Dolphins in the playoff race against a Jets team that is a pitiful 31st in Football Outsiders’DVOA metric.
Even without their starting quarterback, the Dolphins should win comfortably.
Prediction: Dolphins 24, Jets 10
Carolina Panthers at Washington RedskinsCorey Perrine/Getty Images
The Monday night matchup between the Carolina Panthers and the Washington Redskins is another game between two teams where motivation may play a factor.
The Redskins are on the periphery of the playoffs. Playing in the ultracompetitive NFC East this season, they are just a half game behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the final wild-card spot.
The Panthers, meanwhile, are suffering from the worst of Super Bowl hangovers. Super Bowl losers have traditionally struggled the following season, but everything has gone wrong for them en route to a 5-8 season thus far.
None of their five wins this season has come against a winning team, which is why Carolina’s 28-16 victory over the Chargers last week isn’t necessarily a sign of hope.
The fact of the matter is that the Panthers have been a terrible road team this season. Their only win was a three-point victory in Los Angeles over a four-win Rams team.
The biggest difference between the Panthers this season and last is their pass defense. In 2015, the Panthers were second in pass defense efficiency, according to Football Outsiders. This season, they are in the middle of the pack at No. 16.
The Redskins aren’t the team you want to face with mediocre secondary play. Kirk Cousins has had a monstrous season statistically and appears to be in for a good final stretch of the season, given the defenses he has lined up in front of him.
The NFC wild-card race figures to be a close one as we approach the playoffs. With the Redskins taking on a team that is out of contention, anything less than a touchdown isn’t a big enough spread.
Prediction: Redskins 24, Panthers 17