NFL Week 15 Picks & Analysis – FootballSunday, December 15, 2013 7:25
Picks and analysis for the 2013 NFL season Week 15 games.
NFL WEEK 15
NFL WEEK 14 PICKS
Last week I suggested the Mendoza line for handicappers has to be at or above .500. If NFL pundits are below that minimal ATS line, they have no more right to claim handicapping expertise than I do to claim literary expertise because I read the National Enquirer.
Actually, to break even with the Vegas gangsters, handicappers have to reach at least .560—anything above that mark and there is a lot of money to be made.
I’m learning quickly, though, it isn’t how much you bet, but how you bet on the games of which you are relatively sure.
WEEK 14 TALLY = 8 – 8
CUMULATIVE TALLY = 104 – 95 – 9 .522
WEEK 14 SPECIALS = 5 – 4
CUMULATIVE SEASON SPECIALS = 29 – 34 – 4
GW = 9 – 4 – 1
LW = 6 – 9
US = 5 – 8 – 1
OU = 9 – 13 – 2
PARLAY SPECIAL = 4 – 4
Reminder—as long as I submit myself to the task of picking games Against The Spread, I will include an Over/Under Pick with the Game of the Week, Lock of the Week and Upset Specials.
Therefore, instead of only Four Specials per Week, we will have seven.
- Game of the Week + Total
- Lock of the Week + Total
- Upset Special + Total
My analysis of the evening’s action was frighteningly accurate, which never bodes well for the next week’s picks.
We trek into the arenas…
Bovada Account: –114.74
GAIRZO AGAINST CBS
Will Brinson is one—one game—over .500. No one else at CBS is close to .500.
Let’s make some money…
WEEK 15 PICKS
UPSET SPECIAL 5 – 8 – 1
Buffalo Bills @ Jacksonville Jaguars + 2 (43) [U]
You gotta love the Gus Bradleys of the world. First, how many guys named “Gus” are not immediately likeable? The name itself conjures up great leaders like Augustus Caesar, or hard working guys from Eastern Europe who forged steel in America’s Rust Belt.
Just keep believing. That’s been Bradley’s message—and his players got it sometime after their Week 9 bye.
In Buffalo, 2013 began as promising, then injuries hit a team too young and thin to handle adversity and now the Bills are reeling all over upstate New York.
This isn’t the year for the Bills, Jags, or their fans—but a core of promising talent bodes well for the future of both franchises.
We think the offenses will struggle in this one. The Jags have significantly improved what was a soft run defense, just as Buffalo has taken a half step back in their running game.
JAGUARS 23, BILLS 17
GAME OF THE WEEK 9 – 4 – 1
Baltimore Ravens @ Detroit Lions –6 (48.5) [O]
I think John Harbaugh knows the window is closing for his first run with the Ravens. Can’t ask for much more; playoffs in his first seven years as a head coach, one Super Bowl ring, part of the best rivalry in pro football.
His Birds head into Ford Field to face what simply has to be seen as the most disappointing first place team in recent NFL history.
The Lions are loaded with offensive talent. Raven’s safety Matt Elam stoked the Lion’s pride when he refereed to Megatron as “old.” A statement taken out of context, but Elam pissed off the greatest receiver in the game.
It was enough to sway my pick here; I didn’t need swaying on the over.
LIONS 38, RAVENS 31
LOCK OF THE WEEK 6 – 9
Philadelphia Eagles @ Minnesota Vikings +5.5 (51) [U]
Chip Kelly has quietly shown the world why he might be a keeper as the Eagles head coach—he adapts.
His offense has become the offense best suited to the players he has. In today’s NFL arena, adaptability is a must for any successful coach.
Contrasting Kelly’s short tenure in Phillly with Leslie Frazier’s time as Vikings coach reveals another essential for success as a contemporary NFL coach—what do you get out of players who really aren’t supposed to give you much of anything?
Here’s the skinny on Nick Foles—an Andy Reid draft pick BTW:
Compare Foles’ record setting numbers to Leslie Frazier’s quarterback carousel… Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, Josh Freeman—not one can play the game at the necessary level to win consistently.
The Eagles and Foles might not be able to sustain their level of excellence through the playoffs, but this week, in the Metrodome, against the Vikings and a gimpy Adrian Peterson, they will win handily—under the Total is my play here.
EAGLES 27, VIKINGS 17
OVER/UNDERS OF THE WEEK 9 – 13 – 2
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals –3 (41.5) [O]
Given the decimation of the Steelers offensive line, Andy Dalton’s inconsistency, the explosive potential of the Bengals offense, and Pittsburgh’s nauseating penchant for giving up huge plays at precisely the wrong time, we think over the number is a virtual lock in this Sunday Nighter.
The Steelers still deny they are rebuilding—but on defense, that simply isn’t supported by the stats. If the Black & Gold want near future Januarys with meaningful football, they damn well better get a studley Nose Tackle before the start of training camp. Steve McClendon and Ziggy Hood just don’t have enough lead in their respective rumps to occupy two offensive linemen and open tackling lanes up for the linebackers.
Pittsburgh’s 2013 modus operandi has been to keep the game close enough to get their fans to expect victory—only to find a unique way to lose. Last week, a series of last play laterals ended up with Antonio Brown streaking down the left sideline for what would have been the most miraculous finish since 1972’s Immaculate Reception.
Why Brown stepped out of bounds will remain one of many unanswerable questions in what has become a two-year run of untimely mistakes, declining defense, indifferent special teams, and below the line coaching blunders.
I wonder how this one will be lost…A late game safety, perhaps?…A blocked extra point?
Don’t worry, the Steelers will find a way—but they’ll cover at home.
BENGALS 31, STEELERS 30
Reminder, I pick these games at various times during the week. The point spreads and totals may shift before game time…
As usual, my picks are in italic below
NFL Lines For Week 15…12/15 – 12/16, 2013
|Date & Time||Favorite||Line||Underdog||Total|
|√12/16 8:40 ET||At Denver||-10||San Diego||48.5|
|5 1:00 ET||At Atlanta||-6.5||Washington||50.5|
|5 1:00 ET||San Francisco||-5.5||At Tampa Bay||41|
|5 4:25 ET||Arizona||-2.5||At Tennessee||42|
|5 4:25 ET||New Orleans||-6||At St. Louis||47.5|
|5 1:00 ET||Seattle||-7||At NY Giants||41.5|
|5 1:00 ET||Chicago||-1||At Cleveland||44.5|
|5 1:00 ET||At Indianapolis||-5.5||Houston||45.5|
|5 1:00 ET||Buffalo U||-2 US||At Jacksonville||42.5|
|5 1:00 ET||New England||-1||At Miami||45.5|
|5 1:00 ET||Philadelphia LW||-5.5 U||At Minnesota||51|
|5 4:05 ET||At Carolina||-11||NY Jets||40.5|
|5 4:05 ET||Kansas City||-5||At Oakland||41.5|
|5 4:25 ET||At Dallas||-6.5||Green Bay||48.5|
|5 8:30 ET||Cincinnati O/U||-3||At Pittsburgh||41.5|
Monday Night Football Line
|6 8:40 ET||At Detroit||-5.5 GW O||Baltimore||48.5|
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