Welcome back, bettors! My condolences to anyone who isn't playing in fantasy playoffs this week. Hopefully next year you won't get fleeced at the trade deadline. In the meantime, maybe you can make back your buy-in by cashing in on some bets this week. Here are Tondo and I's favorite Week 15 picks against the spread.
Basel's ATS 2021: 48-32-2 (4-1 Week 14)
Tondo's ATS 2021: 40-40 (5-1 Week 14)
Basel's Week 15 Picks
1 PM Games
Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers
Bettors be warned, we've got some really close spreads this week, and Titans-Steelers might be the toughest one to call out of all of them. Several books had this one at a completely even spread as late as Friday, with a shift no greater than a point from then until now. Since I have to make a pick in this one, I'll go with the Steelers. As bad as Big Ben has been this season, I don't think Tennessee's offense has fully figured out how to play without Derrick Henry, and their offense won't be able to put up a decent performance against a fellow middle-of-the-table AFC team.
Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills
After blowing the game last week against the Bucs, the Bills will look for revenge against another NFC South opponent, and with the Pats loss to Indy last night, get one game back in the AFC East standings. A two touchdown spread is a lot to cover, especially considering the way the Bills offense has been a bit rickety. That being said, their defense will wreck the Panthers as they enter another period of relative QB turmoil. While Cam Newton will be getting the start, PJ Walker is expected to get a decent amount of time on the field. Nothing against PJ Walker, but I just don't think he's had enough time to handle himself against a defense as good as Buffalo's.
Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions
Kyler Murray and the Cardinals are leagues ahead of most team the Lions have played so far this year. If the Eagles can put up 44 points, and the Broncos 38, I wouldn't be surprised if the Cards get close to a 50-piece against Detroit.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins
As much as the AFC East is a two dog race, the Dolphins have built up a strong, turnover friendly defense. Going against Zach Wilson, who is just as inclined to throw a pick as any other rookie QB I've ever seen, I think Miami is poised for another win led by their defensive unit.
Sunday Night Football
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
All New Orleans has right now is their run game, a component that Tampa ranks 3rd in the league in stopping. The Bucs have done a pretty crap job at covering this season, but seeing that they could clinch a spot in the playoffs this week, I think they'll be firing at all cylinders.
Tondo's Week 15 Picks
1 PM Games
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
The Cowboys are 10-3 ATS this year, despite injuries and inconsistencies. They still are the top team in the NFC East, and I’m certain they’ll take home the W this week. Will they cover 10.5? Things aren’t looking well for the Giants. I’ve blogged about it week after week but this recent loss against the Chargers hurt. Mike Glennon was subpar, the offense looks lost, and the defense is struggling. The Giants signed a “secret weapon” in former Pro-Bowler and Cowboy pass rusher Jaylon Smith, but I don’t think it’ll be enough. No brainer here unfortunately.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
A battle for who gets a better draft pick. A rematch from week 1, where the Texans won by 16 points as underdogs. I won’t make that mistake again. The Texans are 5-2 ATS against the Jaguars in their last 7 games. I’m not buying an immediate swing of things with the firing of Urban Meyer. Five points is too generous. I’ll go Texans +5.
4 PM Games
San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons
5 wins in the last 7, the 49ers are cooking up something. Jimmy G dropped close to 300 yards and two touchdowns against the Bengals, and could be poised for a bigger game against a forgiving Atlanta defense. Now I think they’ll win this one, but covering is a different story. Atlanta has won two of its past three games, they are 5-2 on the road this year, and 5-1 ATS on the road in their last 6 games. The 49ers are 4-12 ATS at home in their last 16 games. Give me Falcons +8.5.
Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens
Since the week 1 blowout by the Saints, the Packers have won 10 of 12. Not bad? Rodgers is torching up defenses. Green Bay is 11-2 ATS as well. The wheels have fallen off the Ravens wagon this season, with injuries derailing their season. If Lamar Jackson is a no go this week because of his ankle, it’s not looking to good for Baltimore. With a chance of clinching the NFC North this week, my money is on the Packers -6.5.
Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos
The Broncos are shaping into form, winning four of their last six, and currently sitting at 7-6. While their rush game is tremendous, their defense has been stout. Denver’s allowed 12.3 points per game in its last four wins and has multiple takeaways in each of those games. Now the Bengals have trended downward, they also have faced some harder competition. Burrow has been a force this year, and I think he could pick apart the Broncos defense. The Bengals are 4-1 ATS on the road in their last 5 games.
Bonus Monday Game
Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns
As of Thursday, 20 players and Head Coach Kevin Stefanski are in COVID protocols, leaving the Browns absolutely decimated. Their starting QB at the moment is Nick Mullens, who is 5-11 in his previous 16 starts with a career completion percentage of 64.5, 25TDs and 22 interceptions
The Raiders were once one of the hottest teams in the AFC, starting at 5-2, but now losing five of the last six. Depending if you got them pre postponement (+3) or post (-1) the safe pick is the Raiders -3.
See you next week!