Dan Favale | Thu 14/12/2017 - 06:07 EST

NFL Betting Lines Picks Week 15

Game lines for Week 15 come courtesy of TopBet. Please be sure to re-check these odds with your preferred sportsbook before placing a wager, as NFL lines are subject to change in the days leading up to kick-off.

Chicago Bears (+5.5) at Detroit Lions (-5.5)

lions

Lions All The Way

Can the Chicago Bears be a little frisky on the defensive end? Sure. They're 14th in points allowed per game, having proved surprisingly deft at stopping rival aerial assaults.

But that has little to no bearing in this matchup—not when the Detroit Lions are fighting for their fast-fading playoff lives. They need to hold serve at home, lest their dwindling Wild Card chances fall by the wayside.

Remove that context from the equation, and the Bears should still be markedly overmatched. They aren't giving gup a ton of passing yards or touchdowns, but that's because they play a lot of garbage time. Opposing squads elect to run the ball against the Bears when they build huge leads, which inherently drives down the final score and allows Chicago to bolster its statistics.

The Lions should be able to expose this little hiccup. Their offense has been largely up and down of late, but with quarterback Matthew Stafford no longer being forced to wear medical tape on his fingers and hands, they should be able to run roughshod over this Bears unit.

The Pick: Detroit Lions (-5.5) 

New York Jets (+16) at New Orleans Saints (-16)

2

New Orleans Wins, But New York Will Cover

Sixteen points feels like a lot for the New Orleans Saints to be giving at first glance. Indeed, they run a high-powered, but, well, sixteen points is just a lot.

Then you remember the New York Jets lost quarterback Josh McCown for the season last week, prompting them to designate 26-year-old Bryce Petty their starter behind center. Look hard enough, and you can see the Saints running away with this thing by three touchdowns.

Except, why would they want to?

The Saints are trying to ensure they walk away with the NFC South title, so they'll want to ensure they win. But running back Alvin Kamara is also up, and Mark Ingram's workload has been insane over recent weeks. So not only will the Saints look to run the ball and sap through the clock once they're up big, but they'll likely, at some point, start using people other than their best halfbacks to do it.

That doesn't mean the Saints are in danger of losing this game. They're not. Even if the offense stumbles, their defense is good enough to pick up the slack against a Jets offense that probably won't give Petty free reign over the passing attack. The clock-management portion of their inevitable victory, though, is just too big to ignore. They'll win this game single-handedly, but by less than sportsbooks project.

Case in point: Despite the change at quarterback and the Saints playing at home, FiveThirtyEight calculates New Orleans as a -11, rather than a -16.

The Pick: New York Jets (+16) 

Los Angeles Rams (+2.5) at Seattle Seahawks (-2.5)

seahawks

S-E-A-H-A-W-K-S

This one is basically for all the marbles in the NFC West.

Upset the Los Angeles Rams, and the Seattle Seahawks will be in the driver's seat, with a 9-5 record and 2-0 season-series victory over their division rival. Fall to the Rams, and they're a mere 8-6, a full two games behind Los Angeles for the sectional title.

Most advanced metrics rate Los Angeles as the better team overall. They check in at third in Pro-Football-Reference's Simple Rating System (SRS), which ranks squads according to point differential and strength of the schedules. The Seahawks, by comparison, come in at 12th on the same scale.

Still, the Rams are starting to show cracks on the defensive end. They let up 43 points in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last week and have forfeited 20 or more in three of the past four tilts after going five straight contests without allowing rival offenses to eclipse that benchmark.

Champagne problems? With their offense, maybe. But the last thing they should want to do is face a surging Seahawks offense in Seattle. And yet, here they are.

The Pick: Seattle Seahawks (-2.5)

Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5) at Kansas City Chiefs (+1.5)

chargers

Supercharge Your Chargers Bets

Have you boarded the Los Angeles Chargers' bandwagon yet? Don't worry if you haven't. There's still room left. But not much.

The Chargers have been the best team in the AFC West by far over recent weeks. They've won four straight, during which time their second-place defense has allowed under 13.3 points per game.

Equally, if not more impressive, their offense is starting to come together. Melvin Gordon remains a beast on the ground, while quarterback Philip Rivers and wideout Keenan Allen are regularly connecting on big plays. The Chargers are averaging more than 33 points a week over the past month and have climbed all the way up to 15th in offensive output overall. 

The Kansas City Chiefs no longer champion that kind of balance. Their offense is hanging tough, but their defense has imploded over this current 1-4 stretch. It would have seemed ludicrous to make this pick five weeks ago. Right here and now, however, the crazier move would be not rolling with the Chargers.

The Pick: Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5)

New England Patriots (-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (+3)

patriots

The Patriots Will Lay Down The Law

The Pittsburgh Steelers are not better than the New England Patriots. It doesn't matter what the records say. And we're about to find out why this Sunday.

At 10-3, the Patriots have an AFC-best 8.3 SRS score—and that's with their inexplicable loss to the Miami Dolphins from Week 14 baked into the fold. The Steelers, at 11-2, slide in at fourth. Their schedule hasn't been appreciably easier, but they are inferior when it comes to putting teams away. 

And after seeing the Patriots flutter away a gimme game in Week 14, we should bet on Tom Brady and crew doing what they've done best since starting 0-2: put their opponent away.

The Pick: New England Patriots (-3)

 

Results / FixturesNFL

*All stats come courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference and are accurate leading into games being played

Category : Sports Betting News

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