NFL Picks Week #15
NFL PICKS (WEEK #15)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
Hello faithful readers, how are you doing today? Last week I mentioned that I was looking to raise my success rate back above 60% before the NFL regular season ends. We took a good step towards this objective by going 2-0 with our picks as the Panthers upset the Vikings while the Ravens covered the spread in Pittsburgh. We also won both of our leans, as the Falcons and the Broncos both won as slight underdogs.
Let’s get it rolling with more picks this week, let’s dive into the details right now!
PICK #1: New York Giants +7.5 vs Philadelphia Eagles
It will be very interesting to see how Nick Foles does as the new Eagles’ starting quarterback after all-star Carson Wentz went down with a torn ACL, an injury that ended his season. The Eagles currently hold the best record in the NFL, as well as the best point differential in the league.
Nick Foles has been in the league since 2012, where he compiled 56 TD passes versus 27 interceptions. While those numbers sound great, they are greatly inflated by an astounding 2013 season where he racked up 27 touchdowns against only 2 picks. So if you look at his numbers since 2014, he has thrown 23 TD passes against 20 interceptions, which is not great at all. Also, he might need a little bit of time to adjust to game speed considering he has only attempted 14 passes this year and 55 last season. In other words, he hasn’t been playing much over the past two years.
Even though the Giants’ season has been over for a while, they will be motivated to play in this heated rivalry. Such games involving opponents that hate each other tend to be close more often than not.
Moreover, the Eagles have been traveling quite a bit of late. This weekend’s game will be their third straight on the road, after playing a couple of matches on the West Coast, more specifically in Seattle and Los Angeles. It will also represent a fourth road game in five matches. That’s a tough stretch.
After winning a high-profile game at the Rams, the Eagles might take the 2-11 Giants a bit lightly, while the Giants will certainly want to rebound after dropping a 30-10 decision against the Cowboys. The score sounds worse than it truly was since the game was tied at 10 apiece through three quarters.
The Giants will also be looking to avenge a 27-24 loss in Philly earlier this year.
PICK #2: Buffalo Bills -3.5 vs Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins pulled off a great upset by beating the Patriots 27-20 in the Monday Nighter. I expect a letdown after such an emotional game, especially with one fewer day to prepare for this key matchup with the Bills.
Buffalo will be more rested than Miami, not only because of the additional day of preparation, but also because this game will be their third consecutive at New Era Field. These two teams hate each other, with the revenge factor going to Buffalo since they lost both meetings by a 3-point margin in 2016.
The Bills are expected to get quarterback Tyrod Taylor back from an injury, which is a good timing since backup Nate Peterman suffered a concussion last week. Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin was limited at Wednesday’s practice, but he should be good to go. Playing in the blizzard last week probably didn’t help healing his injured knee, but it didn’t prevent him from making a key touchdown catch against the Colts.
Over their last five visits in Orchard Park, the Dolphins are 1-4 against the spread. As of now, the weather forecast does not involve any snowfall on Sunday, but the temperature should be around 0 degree Celsius (or 32 degrees Farenheit). Playing in the cold could help the Bills a little bit.
LEAN: Denver Broncos -2.5 at Indianapolis Colts
The Broncos finally snapped an 8-game losing streak by handling the New York Jets pretty easily last week. They looked great and seemed to have found their rhythm back. Their defense looked good early in the season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they finish the season strong. They do have some nice talent on this side of the ball.
Meanwhile, the Colts suffered a significant blow when they lost their top cornerback, Rashaan Melvin, to an injury a couple of weeks ago. Their secondary is now awful, and I do believe Trevor Siemian is capable of taking advantage of them with good weapons like Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders at his disposal.
VERY SLIGHT LEAN: Kansas City Chiefs +1 vs Los Angeles Chargers
I’m tempted to take the Chiefs as slight underdogs at home against the red-hot Chargers, even though L.A. will be looking for revenge after losing 24-10 at home against those same Chiefs on week #3. However, I do believe K.C. could be back on track following a critical 26-15 win over Oakland, after going through a difficult 4-game losing streak. The Chiefs will also be at home for a third time over the past four weeks, while the Chargers will need to travel through a couple of time zones on a shorter week since the game is scheduled for Saturday.
DISCUSSING THE PATRIOTS-STEELERS GAME
My initial thought was to bet New England in this one because they tend to strike back after a loss. As a matter of fact, Belichick’s team has beaten the spread the last six times coming off a straight up loss.
I also wonder if there is enough gas left in the tank for Pittsburgh after going through a couple of emotional games against the Bengals and the Ravens. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they won’t be motivated for this game; I’m just asking whether they will have enough energy left to put up a good fight.
Le’Veon Bell got his knee bent in last week’s game, and it seemed to affect him as he struggled to find running lanes. Those of are planning to bet the Steelers might have to worry about his health.
What prevents me from pulling the trigger on New England is how they will be playing a third straight road game, while the Steelers have been at home for four out of the past five weeks (where the only game on the road was in Cincinnati, so not that far). Getting an extra day of rest compared to the Pats also plays in favor of Mike Tomlin’s team.
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That’s the conclusion of this weekly NFL write-up, I hope you enjoyed it! Just a quick reminder that it’s important to have an account with many sportsbooks in order to be able to shop for the best line, which is critical to your success in the sports investing business. My website is providing a list of 20 online bookmakers, each getting a grade out of 100% along with a brutally honest review. I invite you to check them out here.
All right, so this is it for today, thank you so much for joining me, I appreciate a lot, and I hope you’ll be back next time. This is Professor MJ saying so long!