Alright, so I hope if anything you went against my advice on just about everything last week. After a commanding 11-5 week against the spread, I was quickly chopped down and slapped around by the Week 14 NFL results. Granted, the week itself was bonkers with upsets galore and wild finishes, but 3-13 on any level is unacceptable. Somehow, I almost banked on a 4-team parlay where I went with Miami, Indy, San Francisco and Philly. That Amari Cooper tipped pass game-winner it OT porked me at the end. I went 7-9 straight up. I know it was a crazy week, and Week 15 will be no different, but I’m guaranteeing a winning week, if not feel free to have at me on Twitter.
All lines courtesy of Bovada in Las Vegas
Thursday Night Football: Los Angeles Chargers (10-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (11-2): LAC +3.5, Confidence: 7
Talk about a Thursday Night Football game with some juice. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs playing at home on a short-week against Phillip Rivers and the Chargers with the division and home field advantage in the AFC up for grabs. A lot of money early is on the Chiefs, so of course I’m going with the Chargers. LA is a very good football team that can hang with the Chiefs in their place. Rivers and the offense can put up points on the road and there’s a lot on the line. KC beat Baltimore last week in OT, and I think this is a 3-point game either way. I’m going with the Chargers to win in an upset because I can just see Joey Bosa making a big play late against Mahomes to set up a game-winner.
Saturday afternoon: Houston Texans (9-4) at New York Jets (4-9): HOU -6.5, Confidence: 10
This line is too low here. The Texans will be angry and motivated after dropping a game to the Colts last week that ended their 9-game winning streak and that very good defense will stick it to Sam Darnold and the Jets in their own house on Saturday. The Jets may have beaten the Bills last week, but that’s a far cry from this loaded Texans team. Deshaun Watson will make the Jets look bad on Saturday. Easy pick here.
Saturday night: Cleveland Browns (5-7-1) at Denver Broncos (6-7): DEN -3, Confidence: 8
The Browns have looked like a different football team under Gregg Williams. More disciplined, more fired up and Baker Mayfield is legit, but even though they beat a reeling Panthers team last week, I don’t see how they go into Denver and steal one from the Broncos. That defense with Vonn Miller and Bradley Chubb will be hunting the rookie QB and Case Keenum controls the game and does the job keeping Denver alive int he AFC wildcard race.
Arizona Cardinals (3-10) at Atlanta Falcons (4-9): ARI +9, Confidence: 6
The Falcons should and better win this game. If they lose and fall to 4-10 with Matt Ryan and that offense to a bad Cardinals team at home, Dan Quinn and Steve Sarkisian deserve to be fired. I just don’t trust Atlanta to win a decisive football game this season. They’ve been too up and down and have inconsistent play on both sides of the ball outside of Julio Jones. He will matchup with Patrick Peterson who should slow him down a little, but I like Josh Rosen in a dome on the road to keep it at about a touchdown difference. Falcons win something like 27-20.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-8) at Baltimore Ravens (7-6): BAL -7.5, Confidence: 7
The Bucs are a scrappy team that can put up points on offense. They were controlling most of the game last week before the Saints decided to show up and put them down. Lamar Jackson is the starter in Baltimore and the team responds by manhandling a team from Florida at home. Run the ball and play defense. Baltimore wins and shuts down the Tampa offense. I’ll swallow the 7.5 points.
Detroit Lions (5-8) at Buffalo Bills (4-9): DET +3, Confidence: 7
Josh Allen has been a great dual-threat QB getting the job done on the ground and despite his effort last week against the Jets, the Bills still took an L. Buffalo this time of year is a hard place to play, but I will take the Lions who despite playing their games indoor, come from a very frigid state of Michigan and will be ready to win and stay alive in the hunt, although it’s a long-shot. Play defense and let Matthew Stafford win the game on a few big throws. I’ll take Detroit and the points to win.
Green Bay Packers (5-7-1) at Chicago Bears (9-4): GB +6, Confidence: 7
Did everyone see how Aaron Rodgers looked last week? Seemed like a guy ready to prove it wasn’t all his fault and wanted to stick it to his former head coach. The Bears meanwhile shut-down the Rams at home in a 15-6 win. So while I do like the Bears to win the football game, 6 points is too much to swallow against a motivated Rodgers with an interim coach. Had the Bears loss last week, maybe, but after that performance they may be due for a let-down. Two midwest teams battling it in the cold that have both been playing good defense. I’ll take the Pack getting 6 here.
Oakland Raiders (3-10) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-8): OAK +3, Confidence: 8
This will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back in Cincy. Jon Gruden‘s Raiders just beat the Steelers who love to play down to their competition. He immediately dismissed his General Manager Reggie McKenzie with the old “see, it’s working” move and will have the confidence going to play a bad Bengals team led by Jeff Driskel. I get the better coach, better Quarterback and the field goal on the road, like it or not I’ll go with the Raiders here. The Bengals can’t stop the run or the pass and while they may get points against the Oakland defense, this is Gruden’s game to win. Marvin Lewis one step closer to finally being fired by the Bengals.
Dallas Cowboys (8-5) at Indianapolis Colts (7-6): IND -3, Confidence: 6
Ladies and gentleman, Vegas is talking to us here and we just need to listen. Vegas believes in the Colts with Andrew Luck and Frank Reich at home against a red-hot Cowboys team. The Cowboys did shut down the Saints then survive in OT against the Eagles, but I feel a let-down coming for Dak Prescott this week. This is probably the toughest game to call all weekend, but I’m going with the home team who has the clear advantage at Quarterback. The Colts defense may not be the greatest, but they fight like hell and will force Dallas to settle for field goals in the red area. Colts win close, 31-26.
Washington Redskins (6-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9): JAX -7, Confidence: 7
Man, you have to feel for the Redskins and Jay Gruden. Every year just when you think they have a real shot at making the playoffs or contending, they are devastated with the injury bug. This year has to be one of the worst imaginable, first almost all of their starting offensive line went down which led to Alex Smith snapping his leg. Backup Colt McCoy finally got his shot and broke his fibula. With the NFC race and division so wide open, the Skins had a chance this year, but Mark Sanchez dumped all over that last week against the Giants. It’s so bad they had to sign No. 1 pick of the AAF for the San Diego Fleet Josh Johnson and he’s starting this week. The Jags have had their troubles this year, but at home with that defense, they will run through this devastated Redskins team and pound the running game with Fournette on offense.
Miami Dolphins (7-6) at Minnesota Vikings (6-6-1): MIA +7, Confidence: 7
Miami is coming off an impressive miracle win at home over the Patriots. Now they draw a team that has looked lifeless on offense, so bad they had to dismiss their offensive coordinator. I think Kirk Cousins puts up points and the Vikings get enough done to win the football game, but the Dolphins will hang around on offense for long enough to cover the touchdown spread.
Tennessee Titans (7-6) at New York Giants (5-8): TEN +2.5, Confidence: 8
We last saw the Titans on Thursday night when Derrick Henry ran all over a Jags team that quit. Tennessee remains very much alive in the AFC playoff hunt and first-year head coach Mike Vrabel will have them motivated for a road tilt with a suddenly red-hot Giants team. The Titans are too talented on both sides of the ball to lose this crucial Week 15 road game with everything on the line. Mariota gets in done and the Titans continue to stay in the hunt in the AFC. Giants are officially eliminated from the race on Sunday.
Seattle Seahawks (8-5) at San Francisco 49ers (3-10): SEA -5, Confidence: 7
I may have not had the best of weeks, but I did tell you the niners were going to upset the Broncos in the Kyle Shanahan revenge game. That’s not happening this week however as the Seahakws looked fantastic defensively on Monday Night and Russell Wilson made the plays he needed to make to win the football game. He’ll put up the numbers once more on the road Sunday as the Seahawks cover the spread with a road win by at least a touchdown.
New England Patriots (9-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5-1): NE -2, Confidence: 9
How confidence can you really be in the Patriots on the road this season? The answer is not very confident, unless they’re playing a fraud Steelers team. Pittsburgh is a joke, they constantly play down to their competition and love drama. The QB always throws his uber-talented weapons under the bus, they couldn’t figure out a way to keep their superstar running back in the building and their head coach has no control. Mike Tomlin probably should’ve been fired years ago for their under-performance, but if they miss out on the playoffs this year, it will happen. Meanwhile, the Pats did suffer a devastating loss to the Dolphins last week, but they always suck in Miami, I expected them to struggle and if they won it would be ugly. The Steelers can’t stop Tom Brady, ever, and Gronk showed he’s very much still got it. Bill Belichick will find a way to slow down the Steelers offense, even if it means one crucial red zone stop and I’ll take the Patriots to win and cover. Pittsburgh will put up points and hang around, but they will make a critical error late that costs them. Pats win 38-33.
Sunday Night: Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) at Los Angeles Rams (11-2): PHI +10.5, Confidence: 7
Carson Wentz is already ruled out for the Eagles with a back injury that could cost him the rest of the season. Fortunately for the Eagles they have a Super Bowl MVP as their backup in Nick Foles. Sean McVay gets Jared Goff and the Rams back in the win column this week at home, but 10.5 is too much to swallow here for a Rams team that just hasn’t been blowing anyone out. All of their games have been within a touchdown and that defense can be exposed by the weapons of the Eagles on Sunday Night. The Eagles season is on the line, they’ll fight until the end.
Monday Night: New Orleans Saints (11-2) at Carolina Panthers (6-7): CAR +6.5, Confidence: 7
The Panthers are sunk. Five in a row they’ve lost that has kicked them right out of the playoff picture. They need to win out if they want to really make it in, and unfortunately for them they have two games left with the Saints. I think at home they keep it respectable until Cam Newton gives the ball away late costing them a win. It’s a shame because the Panthers are wasting stellar performances from their second-year running back Christian McCaffrey. The Saints should win this one on Monday night, they have the much better team and coach, but Panthers cover on the back-end.