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NFL Week Fifteen Picks

December 19th, 2020

This week is off to a typically unspectacular start thanks to my foolish belief that Raiders season wasn’t quite in the tank yet. Works out it is.

So for a second consecutive week, I’m 0-1 straight up and against the spread heading into the weekend.

Last week’s bad start gave way to an 8-8 finish, both straight up and with the points. (And what’s weird is that there were no splits. I either got a game right or got it wrong both ways.) That put me at 133-73-1 (.645) and 92-110-5 (.457) respectively through week fourteen.

Let’s see how much worse things can get. Here’s what not to expect over the next three days.

Buffalo (-6) at Denver
Buffalo will wrap up their first AFC East title in 25 years with a win here. The Bills are going to take the division even if they figure out a way to lose this one. But there’s very little risk of that. Bills by a touchdown.

Carolina (+8.5) at Green Bay
I feel like the Panthers could have a shot at an upset here if they could just, you know, become a football team sometime before kickoff. That would be a surprise development. But you never know. Packers by 17.

Tampa Bay (-6) at Atlanta
The Buccaneers look like a team that’s likely to hit a brick wall pretty early in the postseason. Until then, it should be fairly clear sailing. Tampa by four.

San Francisco (-3) at Dallas
Does it matter? I guess the Niners might have a defense, at least comparatively speaking. I’m not convinced they have an offense, though, which can present problems. Still, let’s say San Fran. By a point.

Detroit (+10.5) at Tennessee
Something tells me the Lions’ complete lack of a run defense is likely to be a factor here. Titans by 20.

Houston (+7.5) at Indianapolis
The Texans are toast. Colts by 13.

New England (+2) at Miami
The Patriots have a tendency to struggle in Miami even in the best of seasons. This is not the best of seasons. Dolphins by a field goal.

Chicago (+3) at Minnesota
Both of these teams are done. The visitors are just a little bit doner. Vikings by four.

Seattle (-5.5) at Washington
The Seahawks are the better team. But they’re not nearly consistent enough to be giving more than a field goal on the road. Seattle by three.

Jacksonville (+13) at Baltimore
This is gonna be ugly. Ravens take their foot off the gas in the second half and still come out ahead by 14.

NY Jets (+17.5) at LA Rams
This is gonna be uglier. Rams don’t take their foot off the gas. They win by 28.

Philadelphia (+6.5) at Arizona
The Cardinals are a hard team to figure. The Eagles are just bad. Arizona by six.

Kansas City (-3) at New Orleans
I don’t know which of these teams wins on a neutral field (say the one in Tampa). On a not neutral field, I’m taking whichever team is at home. Saints by a point.

Cleveland (-5) at NY Giants
The Giants are getting better as the season wears on. But I don’t think they’ve quite caught up with the Browns. Cleveland by three.

Pittsburgh (-12.5) at Cincinnati
The fire vs. wood matchup in my solstice bonfire likely will prove more competitive than this game. Steelers by 14.

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