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Week Fifteen Saturday Picks

December 16th, 2017

I guess I’m down to doing this week in chunks.

Hopefully today’s chunk works out better for me than Thursday night’s did.

Here’s what not to expect.

Chicago (+5) at Detroit
The 7-6 Lions don’t have an easy path to the postseason. In fact, they probably don’t have any realistic path. But they have at least some hope. And that, combined with the fact that the Lions are the better team in this match (though not by nearly so much as one might imagine), and the home team, points to a Detroit victory here. Let’s say by a touchdown.

LA Chargers (-1) at Kansas City
It’s not that this may be the AFC West championship. It’s that it is the AFC West championship. And more than that. Not only is the winner likely to end up hosting a first round game as the conference four seed; the loser stands an excellent chance of missing the postseason entirely. Both teams come in at 7-6. The Chiefs have the head-to-head advantage, having taken the first round of the season series in Los Angeles back in week three. But the Chargers have been surging while the Chiefs have been fading. Neither team has a particularly tough schedule over the last two weeks of the season, so it’s unlikely the loser here catches up. And it appears highly unlikely that the AFC West is going to send two teams to the playoffs. So here it is. Win or walk out the final two weeks and then go home. If the Chiefs can keep it close, focus on the run game, and come out ahead in the turnover battle, they should be able to pull off a narrow victory. But if the Chargers go up by more than a touchdown at any point in the game, it’s over. I think the latter scenario is more likely than the former. Chargers by nine.

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