And down the stretch they come. There’s only three weeks left in the NFL season and the postseason is starting to take shape but many division and wildcard races are still to be decided. Let’s take a quick trip around the league with our key week 15 NFL predictions against the spread for Saturday and Sunday. Don’t forget to join our weekly league at Wannamakeabet.com. Invitations are waiting for you when you log in or join for the first time.
One of my themes for these final weeks is to stay away from ugly games with bad teams playing. It’s not worth trying to handicap games between teams that have no motivation to win other than pride. You simply don’t know which version of the team is going to show up with nothing to play for and many players are thinking about avoiding injury at all costs.
Browns +2.5 over Denver
Cleveland is hot. Denver is not. The Browns have waited all year for a prime time game and they’re getting it on Saturday night. Both teams are mathematically still alive in the playoff race. And the Browns make a statement game on Saturday night for the first time in years. Denver is just 3-5-1 at home this season, which is hardly impressive. Take the Browns and the small number.
Baltimore – 7.5 over Tampa
Speaking of statement games, time for a big one also by the Ravens and who better to lay wood against than the lowly Bucs. Tampa is starting to unravel on the sideline and the field and Baltimore came thisclose to beating the best team in the AFC last week on the road in Kansas City. Baltimore will also take over first place in the AFC North with a win and Steeler loss to the Pats. That’s likely to happen. If Baltimore is going to make a postseason run it all starts Sunday.
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Dallas + 3 at Indianapolis.
Dallas may just be the hottest team in the league right now. The Colts, on the other hand, are a bit of a question mark from week to week. The Colt ATS record at home is a not-so-good 2-3-1 and we think the wrong team is favored in this one. Dallas is 8-5 ATS on the season and that will move to 9-5 with another solid value play here. This may be the most value on the entire card this week.
Tennessee +2 at N.Y. Giants.
The Titans need this game to stay alive in the AFC Wildcard race. The Giants, on the other hand, have nothing but pride to play for. The Giants have been losing close games all year. We think that continues on Sunday. They are also just 1-4-1 ATS at home this season. With OBJ on the sideline, Titans get the win.
Patriots -2.5 over Pittsburgh
Similar to the game between San Diego and Kansas City. The Steelers just can’t seem to beat the Patriots. Despite struggling on the road this season (3-4 ATS) the Steelers are really struggling on both sides of the ball at home and away. They still have not recovered from the loss of Brian Shazier as they cannot seem to get a key stop when they need it. Last week’s humiliating loss to the Raiders was a perfect example. And big Ben has been turning the ball over at the most inopportune times. Pats win by at touchdown. 27-21.
Carolina +6.5 over New Orleans.
The Panthers are a fantastic home team 5-1 straight up and 4-2 ATS and they are playing for their playoff lives this week after losing four straight games. The Saints are the epitome of NFC elite including an impressive 6-1 ATS road record this season. But I see this one coming down to the wire or Carolina getting the outright win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Monday night home dog. Need I say more.