NFL Week 15 Betting Preview and Picks

NFL Week 14 Betting PicksThe playoff picture is continuing to slowly evolve, although it’s getting bunched up in spots. After week 14, the AFC is almost surely going to place the Denver Broncos (probably first) and the New England Patriots (probably second) as the top two seeds. Those who bet on the NFL saw that Cincinnati clobbered Indianapolis to get a strong hold on the third seed – at worst. The Colts are almost surely going to finish with the fourth seed and host the Kansas City Chiefs in one of the AFC’s two wild card games.  In the group of teams fighting for the AFC’s sixth and final playoff spot, the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins scored yet another pair of very important wins to move to 7-5. Baltimore owns a head-to-head tiebreaker, so the Ravens hold the sixth position with four weeks left in the season.

 

In the NFC, Seattle still holds the top spot and after New Orleans whipped Carolina this past Sunday night, the Saints are now the favorite to win the NFC South and get the second seed in the NFC playoffs. Carolina, in order to overtake New Orleans, will have to beat the Saints in Week 16 and gain one more game in either week 15 or 17. The NFC North and NFC East will compete for the third and fourth seeds. Detroit lost at Philadelphia this past Sunday, increasing the chances that the NFC North champion will get the fourth seed and that the NFC East winner will get the third seed. The fifth seed will very likely go to Carolina, which has beaten San Francisco head-to-head. The 49ers are in position to get the sixth seed, since they’re one game up on the Arizona Cardinals right now.

Here’s the inside scoop on week 15 of the NFL season.

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins

Game Line: Patriots -3, 45.5 O/U

The Patriots will be playing without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was knocked out for the season with a knee injury suffered this past Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. NFL online betting cappers know that Gronkowski was such a central key to everything the Patriots have been doing on offense. However, it’s worth mentioning in the same breath that he was out for the first several weeks of the season and the Patriots were still able to win without him. New England is a team that continues to find solutions to problems week after week. This is a team that simply does not fail when a game hangs in the balance and is waiting to be won. This is a really big game for a Miami team that is tied with the Ravens at 7-6 for the final playoff spot in the AFC but the Dolphins are not experienced at handling the pressure of an occasion this large. The Patriots, on the other hand, are veterans who have been through just about any kind of situation imaginable. New England has been there before and that’s the kind of advantage that’s too substantial to overlook by those who are betting on the NFL.

Free Pick: Take the Patriots and the over. Patriots 33-24.Free Pick: Take the Patriots and the over. Patriots 33-24.

Seattle Seahawks @ New York Giants

Game Line: Seahawks -7, 41 O/U

This game might be interesting because the Seahawks are flying across the country to play an early game. Those looking for NFL betting tips should note that a lot of West Coast teams that go to the East tend to struggle when they have to play an early game since the body clock says that it’s 10 in the morning. Yet, the Seahawks should have enough to get past the Giants. This is not so much because Seattle is so good (though the Seahawks are one of the better teams in the league) but because the Giants are so bad. New York simply cannot run the ball and it makes way too many mistakes on a regular basis. The Seahawks’ defense – especially its pass rush – should be able to outplay the Giants’ offensive line and generate enough pressure on Eli Manning. The Seahawks know they need to win in order to stay comfortably in front of the rest of the pack for the top seed in the NFC. They do not figure to stumble this weekend after losing to the San Francisco 49ers.

Free Pick: Take the Seahawks and the under. Seahawks 23-14.Free Pick: Take the Seahawks and the under. Seahawks 23-14.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Game Line: Bengals -2.5, 40.5 O/U

The Bengals have climbed past the Colts for the third seed in the AFC and are now trying to catch New England – a team they beat head to head earlier in the season – for the second seed in the conference. If they can do that, they’ll get a shot at hosting a divisional playoff game after receiving a wild card bye. The Bengals have a lot on the line but they’ve been handling pressure well in recent weeks. Their collection of talented backs and receivers should be too much for the Steelers, who are essentially – though not technically – out of the playoffs at this point. People making their NFL betting picks know that this is a must-win for the Steelers if they want to stay alive but must-win doesn’t translate to will-win.

Free Pick: Take the Bengals and the over. Bengals 31-24.Free Pick: Take the Bengals and the over. Bengals 31-24.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Minnesota Vikings

Game Line: Eagles -4, 51.5 O/U

In the NFC, one of the big surprises has emerged in the East. The Eagles have found a reliable quarterback in the form of Nick Foles to carry on after Michael Vick was injured earlier in the season. The Eagles have a trigger man they’re confident in and that should go a long way toward helping them in this game. Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson was injured this past weekend against the Ravens and even if he plays – which is highly unlikely – he probably won’t be fully ready to go. The Eagles will be thrilled to be playing indoors after last week’s snowstorm.

Free Pick: Take the Eagles and the over. Eagles 35-27.Free Pick: Take the Eagles and the over. Eagles 35-27.

Home Dog with the Best Chance to Win is… The Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars continue to be overlooked by the oddsmakers as they are a home underdog on the NFL football betting lines to the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have already lost on the road in New York (Jets), in Cleveland, in New Orleans, in Pittsburgh and in Tampa Bay. They have the same record as the Jaguars at 4-9 but have lost five of their last six. Meanwhile, the Jags have won four of five. Take Jacksonville in this spot.

Home Dog of the Week: Jacksonville Jaguars

Most Important Injury of the Week is…

Wes Welker. He suffered another concussion last week and the Broncos could be without their important slot man for several weeks. Keep in mind that San Diego has won two of their last three trips to Denver and have won two of three overall. They only lost to Denver by eight in Week 10, so they’re going to feel like they can play with the Broncos. In the cold, we don’t always know what we’ll get from Peyton Manning and playing without Welker won’t help.

7-Point Teaser of the Week: Chiefs +3 and Ravens +13

We’re going to shift the NFL betting odds on a couple of AFC teams, starting with the Kansas City Chiefs. We’ll move them from a 4-point favorite to a 3-point dog as they visit Oakland. The Raiders have lost five of six and their hapless offense will be no match.

For our second pick, we’ll tease the Ravens up to 13 points. The Super Bowl champs have won four of five while the Lions have lost three of four. This should be a close game.

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