Every matchup I’m about to break down for my NFL Week 15 free picks means something. Soon, front offices around the league will start looking at players at key positions and coaching staffs that underperformed. If you’re one of those players or coaches, you’ve got a ton to play for in the final 3 weeks even if there’s no chance of a postseason berth.
There are also plenty of playoff implication games in Week 15. Minnesota must beat the Miami Dolphins to keep their playoff hopes alive, and Washington hasn’t yet been eliminated and can get back into the hunt with a victory over Jacksonville.
NFC East leader Dallas has a 2 game lead over Philadelphia with three to play. The Cowboys have imploded before. So, they face a must win their battle against the Colts on Sunday. Momentum is huge for them.
The Patriots still have hopes for homefield advantage. They face the reeling Steelers who could lose the AFC North Division all together with another loss. Check out analysis on the matchup between Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger along with analysis and picks for the rest of the great action in NFL Week 15!
Sunday, Dec. 16
Houston Texans -6 at New York Jets
Although the Texans’ 9-game winning streak ended in Week 14, most handicappers believe they bounce back with a big win and cover on Sunday. The trends give the Jets a shot because they’re 7-1 ATS in their last 8 at home versus a team with a winning road record while Houston is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 following an SU loss. Backing the Jets. My concerns about Houston came to the surface last week, and I just don’t trust them.
NFL Week 15 Free Picks: NYJ +6
Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos -3
Cleveland is drawing more interest even though the Browns are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 in Week 15, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 following an ATS win, and 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings. Denver has gone 6-2 ATS in their last 8 while also going 4-1 ATS in their last 5 versus the AFC. Vance Joseph saves his job…for now.
NFL Week 15 Free Picks: Broncos -3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Baltimore Ravens -8
Baltimore looks like the play here. Tampa’s 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11, 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 following an ATS loss and 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 on the road. But, the Ravens are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 in Week 15. More importantly, Tampa’s been fantastic at stopping the rush in their past 3 games and unless Joe Flacco starts, the Ravens might not complete a pass. The defense for the Bucs has tightened up after being embarrassed on a weekly basis and will create a fist-fight type of grind that will keep this one close.
NFL Week 15 Free Picks: Buccaneers +8
Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals -3
After upsetting the Pittsburgh Steelers, with the Bengals on tap, it’s not impossible for the ragged Raiders to put together a win streak! The trends say otherwise because the Bengals are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 versus the AFC while Oakland is 0-8 ATS in their last 8 following an SU win. The fact that the Bengals are favored tells me all I need to know.
NFL Week 15 Free Picks: Bengals -3
Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills -2.5
You might not believe it, but the Bills have the top ranked defense in terms of yards allowed thanks to a couple of shut down efforts. Opponents are only managing 290.6 total yards against them, while Buffalo ranks just 20th in points surrendered. The Bills are also 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in Week 15 and are grading out as a strong play. The Lions could have a tough time handling Josh Allen’s rushing ability. Bills moneyline looks solid.
NFL Week 15 Free Picks: Bills -145 ML
Dallas Cowboys at Indianapolis Colts -3
The Cowboys ride a 4-game winning streak into their battle with the Colts. Most feel Dallas is worth a look at +3. The Cowboys are 5-0 ATS in their last 5, but the Colts are 16-5-1 ATS in their last 22 versus a team with a winning road record. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will challenge the Cowboys on Dec. 16. I’m laying the points.
NFL Week 15 Free Picks: Colts -3
Tennessee Titans at New York Giants -2.5
I can’t believe I’m writing this: the New York Giants are hot. They’re 4-1 SU and 4-1-1 ATS in their last 5. Tennessee’s the better team on paper, but the Giants should beat the Titans by 7 to 10 points, easily covering the spread. Derrick Henry is a huge cause for concern here, but the Giants will counter punch often with Saquon Barkley, who has been much more consistent and doesn’t seem to be slowing down even with Odell Beckham Jr. likely sidelined on Sunday.
NFL Week 15 Free Picks: NYG -2.5
Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings -7
The Vikings paid Kirk Cousins $84 million and he has yet to beat a team with a winning record. As weird as it sounds, the Dolphins have a winning record at 7-6. Minnesota is 11-2 ATS in their last 13 versus a team with a winning road record, but the Dolphins are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 overall and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 in December. Miami might not win. They should keep it closer than the spread.
NFL Week 15 Free Picks: Dolphins +7
Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons -9
It’s difficult to understand why the Falcons are such massive favorites. No trends imply Atlanta covers the spread: 0-6 ATS versus a team with a losing record, 0-5 ATS in their last 5, and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 in December. Arizona’s the pick.
NFL Week 15 Free Picks: Cardinals +9
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears -5.5
The Bears are a terrific 6-1 ATS and SU at home. The Packers don’t have the defense that can stop Matt Nagy’s creative play-calling. Chicago shouldn’t bounce back just because they beat the Rams in Week 14. Beating the Packers means more than beating the Rams. Chicago will get close to a double-digit win as the doom clouds continue to hover over Green Bay.
NFL Week 15 Free Picks: Bears -5.5
Washington Redskins at Jacksonville Jaguars -7
The Redskins are reeling, but Jacksonville’s got a major flaw. They can’t stop the rush. Washington doesn’t have to do much to keep the Jags from scoring. If Jay Gruden hands the ball off to Adrian Peterson and forgets about the fancy pass plays, Washington could pull off the SU upset. Taking the points makes a lot of sense. I like what I saw out of Josh Johnson last week enough and both teams have stars on the defensive rosters who will play with a lot of pride against offenses that are stuck in the mud.
NFL Week 15 Free Picks: Redskins +7
Seattle Seahawks -6 at San Francisco 49ers
The Seahawks pummeled the 49ers 43-16 in the first game between these two. The win made sense because Seattle’s owned the 49ers: 11-2-1 ATS in the last 14 and 5-1 ATS in the last 6 in San Francisco. The 49ers played well in Week 14, but there’s too much against them in Week 15. Seattle is absolutely steamrolling right now.
NFL Week 15 Free Picks: Seahawks -6
New England Patriots -2.5 at Pittsburgh Steelers
The good news for Pittsburgh is that Ben Roethlisberger will play. The bad news is that New England is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 in Pittsburgh and 4-1 in the last 5 overall. The Steelers have lost 3 straight. The bad times continue while Tom Brady and New England get back on the winning track after the Miami Miracle.
NFL Week 15 Free Picks: Patriots -2.5