NFL Picks Week #15 (2018 regular season)
NFL PICKS (WEEK #15)
BY PROFESSOR MJ
Written Thursday December 6th, 2018 (spreads/odds may have changed)
PICK #1: Buffalo Bills -2.5 vs Detroit Lions (rated 4 stars)
The Bills have had to travel on the road only once over the past five weeks, so they should be well-rested. Both teams are basically out of the playoff race, but I believe Buffalo will be much hungrier. They will be at home trying to make amends for last week’s last-minute loss to the Jets, despite dominating total yardage (368 to 248). Josh Allen is the most exciting quarterback the Bills have had in a long time; he has great escapability and has a rocket for an arm. He still needs some polishing and fixing accuracy issues, but he gets the crowd excited when he steps on the field. A dome team like the Lions might not enjoy the cold weather forecasted this Sunday (the temperature is expected to feel like 2 degrees Celcius). I’m going with the Bills.
PICK #2: Los Angeles Rams -9 vs Philadelphia Eagles (rated 4 stars)
Generally speaking, you don’t want to be facing an elite team after they suffered a rare loss, especially on a primetime game where you can bet they will be focused. That’s why I expect the Rams to be on top of their game after dropping a 15-6 decision in Chicago last week. Also, the revenge factor favors them; keep in mind that Philadelphia beat them 43-35 last year on week #14. It’s also worth noting that the Eagles will be traveling through three time zones. Take Sean McVay’s squad in this one.
UPDATE (Wednesday 9:20 pm ET): After posting this document this morning, it was announced that Carson Wentz is not expected to play. Nick Foles is therefore likely to be the Eagles’ starting quarterback. The news moved the spread from 9 to 10.5 points.
System on Totals
1-1 last week. Overall record: 11-15 (42.3%). Despite the disappointing performance, let's keep tracking the results.
There are two plays meeting the criteria for betting this system this week: over 43.5 Titans-Giants and over 36 Redskins-Jaguars. Let's see how it plays out.
For the second straight week I've got more leans than usual. As a matter of fact, I've got four:
Denver Broncos -3 vs Cleveland Browns. This one was really close to being an official pick. I hesitated a long time before deciding to make it an unofficial one. After a disappointing loss in San Francisco, the Broncos desperately need this game in order to keep pace of the wildcard race. The home crowd will be wild, making it tough for the Browns who will be traveling a couple of time zones for this Saturday game. Injuries are a concern for Denver, which is one of the main reasons this is not an official pick. Proceed with caution.
Pittsburgh Steelers +1.5 vs New England Patriots. Both teams are coming off a very disappointing loss. The Steelers are on a three-game losing skid, and what better way to get back on the winning track than beating the Pats? Pittsburgh will be looking to avenge a 27-24 home loss to New England last season. The Pats will be on the road for the third time in four weeks.
San Francisco 49ers +4.5 vs Seattle Seahawks. Nick Mullens is opening more eyes every week. He did well once again in a 20-14 win over Denver. Sure, Seattle beat the Niners 43-16 just two weeks ago. However, it was the three turnovers that really killed San Francisco. If you look at the numbers, the Niners got 452 total yards versus 331 for Seattle. They did not have too much trouble moving the ball, despite playing in Seattle. This time they will be at home and I expect San Francisco to keep the game very close. Seattle lost a day of preparation following a Monday Night game.
Chicago Bears -6 vs Green Bay Packers. The Bears remember all too well their opening game of the season, where they squandered a 20-0 lead in Green Bay, only to lose 24-23. But will they feel overconfident after shutting down the Rams last week? Will the Packers have a second good game in a row after Mike McCarthy's firing? Those questions make me worry about this pick a little bit...
Good luck, fellows!