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If Minnesota wins out, they return to the post-season. Given how they have looked as of late combined with the hype that surrounded this team due to their performance last season, anything less than a playoff berth would be unacceptable for this Vikings bunch. Minnesota won't make the mistake of taking Miami lightly, and they have the benefit of having their faithful behind them in this contest. For New England, neither of the two applied. Minnesota will win this one by convincing margins.
Games do not get any bigger than this in the month of December. The Chiefs have set the pace in the AFC West all season long since that Week 1 win, but the Chargers have remained right on their heel’s week after week. One way or the other, this is going to be a great way to kick off Week 15.
Since I have a field goal winning this game for either team, I will take the Chargers and the 3.5 points on the current betting line to cover ATS.
When these two teams met last season in Los Angeles, there were significant playoff implications for both sides. Coming into this matchup, the Eagles are one more loss away from sealing an early trip to the offseason. The Rams know just how important that No. 1 seed in the NFC would be to their Super Bowl chances, so I am expecting a quick return to form.
While I am not all that thrilled to lay the nine points in this NFC clash, I just cannot see Philly keeping things closer than 10 points against the Rams playing at home.
The last time we saw these two teams play was back in Week 1 when the Bears blew a 20-point lead and Aaron Rodgers returned from injury in the second half and led them to a 24-23 victory. With how well the Bears defense performed against the Rams this past week at home, it's tough to pick against them this week.
Expect both teams to come out at the top of their game, both looking to prove something here in Week 15. Perhaps we’ll see the Steelers revert back to their ways of going for two-points rather than kicking the extra point given the uncertainty at the kicker position. We’ll take Brady and Belichick on the road this week. Bet on New England to take down Pittsburgh in Week 15.
This is a must-win game for both teams in the competitive race for a wild-card spot in the NFC. The Vikings have had their issues winning in Seattle in recent years, and there is nothing that tells me they can reverse that negative trend against a Seahawks' team building some solid momentum in an effort to get back to the playoffs.
Lay the three points and take Seattle at home both SU and ATS.
The Rams have established themselves as the team to beat in the NFC, but they have not always done it in a convincing fashion with a number of close calls along the way. Chicago was on the road to elite status in the conference, but last Sunday’s stunning loss brought it back to earth.
The play in this one hinges on Trubisky's playing status. With his current "questionable status", I will lay the points and take the Rams to cover.
Dallas on the road will undoubtedly be a significant step-up for the Eagles in competitive quality compared to beating up on a snake-bitten Washington team on their own turf, last Sunday. The writing is on the wall with this one, as the Eagles went from a 5.5-point favorite last week (despite covering by 7.5 points over the number) to an initial four-point underdog this week before initial public action on Philadelphia pushed the champs to their present offering. This 9.5-point swing showcases the market's reluctance to buy into a repeat performance like we saw on Sunday Night by Philly and we will take such a position as well. Dallas wins and covers on its own field to keep its late-season surge flowing.
While the Redskin injuries have severely damaged the post-season outlook of Washington, they are still in contention for the NFC East or a wildcard berth in the playoffs as they are right in the thick of both races. A win here keeps those hopes alive. For New York, they remain at the bottom of the division and towards the basement of the conference with their season pretty much called a wrap. We posed the query of the wrong team being favored here, and that is only heightened by motivation levels here as well. Skins win outright.
Jacksonville lost to Tennessee 9-6 in Week 3 as a heavy 10-point home favorite so you can see why the total is set so low for Thursday’s rematch. You probably cannot go wrong with a play on the UNDER this time around despite the low number and the SU lean is towards a Tennessee sweep.
The Titans are still in the AFC playoff race, and they have shown a knack for winning games. I still think this will be a three-point game either way, so I am taking Jacksonville and the 4.5 points.
The Panthers have announced Ron Rivera will take over defensive play-calling duties. Carolina also fired DL coach Brady Hoke and DB's coach Jeff Imamura. DC Eric Washington will stick around, but he will oversee the defensive front seven with Rivera taking on a more significant role. In the midst of a four-game losing streak and fading out of playoff contention, the Panther's had to try something. While the Browns hold a 3-2-1 home record this season, Sunday against the Texans was the first time Baker Mayfield looked like a rookie QB. The Panthers have struggled on the road this season with a 1-5 record but should come out ahead of the Browns in Week 14.
The Ravens will be the 5th top-8 defense in Adjusted Fantasy Points Allowed to QB’s that Patrick Mahomes has faced his season. His passing lines in the first 4: 304-1-0, 303-4-1, 375-3-1 and 249-3-0. Despite how good the Baltimore defense is, it’s hard to see the Ravens offense keeping up with such a high-powered offense. Especially in Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs are 5-0 on the season, playing behind one of the NFL’s loudest crowds.
The overall impact of losing Smith at quarterback was rather evident in the recent loss to Dallas. The Redskins have gotten the best of things in this series in recent years, especially on the road, but the Eagles are still too good of a team to go down without a fight.
I like Philly SU, but it has a habit of making things as tough as possible on itself win or lose, so I will take the 6.5 points and take the Redskins ATS.
Overall, Oakland' season has been a colossal disappointment. However, the Raiders can salvage whatever is left if they somehow someway were able to pull an upset over their arch-nemesis. While the upset is unlikely, do not expect Oakland to lie down. The Black Hole will be rocking, and the Raiders will make a game of this match-up.
New England remains a perfect 5-0 when playing at home this season, while the Vikings are worse on the road than they are at home. If Rhodes is forced to sit, Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman have the ability to pick on any secondary with Tom Brady throwing to them. We expect this to be a close game, but we're siding with the home Patriots this week to do enough to get the win and the cover.
For a team like the Lions who allowed 10 sacks in Week 9 against the Vikings, who knows how many sacks Aaron Donald will rack up in this week’s matchup. Donald is an absolute freak, leading the league in sacks with 14.5 as an interior defensive lineman. There’s not much hope for the Lions in this matchup as we’re taking the Rams on the road this week.
The present number on the board is one that is very friendly to back the underdog Cleveland in this contest. The -6 hook with Houston would create an illusion of an easy cover if the Texans were to win by a touchdown. However, it likely won’t even come down to that. Cleveland is a dangerous team that still harbors the carefree and free-wheeling mentality of their formerly disenfranchised selves combined with the best talent they have had in years. The combination of these two ingredients makes the Browns a true value play here as they can potentially orchestrate an upset outright to end Houston’s winning streak.
This should be a great matchup with two of the top quarterbacks in the league trying to top one another through the air. Each team also has the ability to run the ball which puts even more pressure on the defense to slow the other side down.
With so much offensive star power on the field at Heinz Stadium this Sunday night, I would have a strong lean towards the total going OVER, but my “best bet” pick is Los Angeles covering with the 3.5 points.