With the 2019-20 NFL season drawing towards a conclusion, oddsmakers are constantly adjusting lines to account for the performance of players and teams in Weeks 1-14.
Injury updates on star players such as Josh Jacobs (shoulder) and James Conner (shoulder) could soon change the point spreads listed by US sportsbooks like DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook for Week 15 of the NFL season.
At PlayPicks, we feel confident with the information that we have to start making our picks against the spread.
In this weekly column, we will list three of our best bets against the spread with data to support our picks. Then, we will list the following games on the NFL slate in order of our confidence in analyzing the matchup. Keep in mind that lines can often shift due to weather or other unforeseen issues. Of course, injury news plays a huge role throughout the NFL season, and the status of specific players often bears monitoring until a couple of hours before kickoff.
NFL Week 15 Best Bets
Denver Broncos (+10) at Kansas City Chiefs
Over the past few years, the perception of the Broncos has been a great team and great franchise that simply can’t find a quarterback or establish any offensive consistency. Well, that may no longer be the case with second-round pick Drew Lock looking dynamite over his first two starts. The 6-foot-4, 228-pound rookie out of Missouri has completed 40 of 55 passes for 443 yards and 4 TDs (1 INT) in two Broncos wins over the Chargers and Texans. He’s taken just one sack in those games and should continue his success in loud Arrowhead Stadium if he can avoid the Chiefs pass rush.
Kansas City actually has just 11 sacks and has coughed up 9 rushing TDs over six home games this year. The Chiefs are yielding the second-highest YPC average (5.1) and rank 30th in DVOA rush defense, while the Broncos have been stuffed on the third-fewest run plays per Football Outsiders. A good running game is a quarterback’s best friend, and that helped Denver lose by 3, 4, and 7 points over three previous meetings before Joe Flacco’s career basically ended with him laying down in front of the Chiefs pass rush on a Thursday night in October.
Patrick Mahomes has not quite been the same player since spraining his knee in that game and now he’s dealing with a hand injury that seemed to limit him during the second half of a win at the Patriots. The Chiefs have not had much success running the ball and the Broncos can try to negate at least one of their speedy receivers (likely Tyreek Hill) with shutdown CB Chris Harris Jr.
Philadelphia Eagles (-5.5) at Washington Redskins
This line became smaller after the Eagles after they were seriously challenged on Monday night by a 2-11 Giants team and has now been bet back towards 6 points. Sure, Washington has played better lately while winning two games and only losing, 20-15, in Green Bay, but this is still one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Redskins depend almost entirely on a run game that’s piled up 369 rushing yards over their last two games. But the Eagles are stuffing run plays at the fourth-highest frequency and allowing the third-fewest rushing YPG (89.6) this year. That fearsome front also has the second-most sacks (47) this season and Washington’s offensive line (still without LT Trent Williams) has yielded 33 sacks while ranking 28th in power run blocking.
The Eagles average 4.6 YPC on the road and found another aspect to their run game with Boston Scott hitting the hole hard during a comeback win on Monday night. Philly basically has no receivers with Alshon Jeffery joining DeSean Jackson on I.R. but they still have arguably the best TE tandem in the NFL in Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. The Eagles are 5-3 ATS with a rest disadvantage since the start of last season and Washington is 1-5 ATS with a rest advantage during that span. Philly has won five straight over Washington by an average of 13.4 PPG, so we expect the Eagles to cover for the first time in four games and come into a Week 16 matchup against Dallas with some momentum.
Los Angeles Rams (-1) at Dallas Cowboys
This game opened with the Rams (+4) getting a few points before heavy action created a huge swing on sportsbooks. Their puzzling struggles behind them, the Rams have looked like a top 10 NFL team once again over the past three weeks and are fresh off a dominant performance against the red-hot Seahawks. The Cowboys have dropped four of five and are STILL getting overvalued by sportsbooks despite their 1-4 record ATS during that span, with the one cover coming in very lucky fashion when the Patriots decided not to kick a FG late.
While Jared Goff is playing better and Todd Gurley looks healthier, the key to the Rams’ turnaround has been on defense. Adding Jalen Ramsey basically shuts down one half of the passing game and he should contain the hobbled Amari Cooper in this contest. Clay Matthews is back to bolster a pass rush that ranks eighth in adjusted sack rate (8.2%) and second in open-field tackling per Football Outsiders. The Rams are only allowing 3.5 YPC and a 7:4 TD:INT ratio with 21 sacks on the road this season. Jason Garrett is coaching Dallas into the ground and Rams DC Wade Phillips will likely have his number since he spent 3 years as the Cowboys HC with Garrett as his OC from 2007-2010.
NFL Week 15 Picks Against The Spread
Tennessee Titans (-3) vs Houston Texans
Derrick Henry is dominating on the ground and the Texans have struggled to stop the run. It’s hard to bet against red-hot Tennessee right now.
Oakland Raiders (-6.5) vs Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville has given basically no effort over its last four losses and is now allowing a league-high 5.3 YPC. The run-heavy Raiders should score early and often against a team that seems to have checked out.
New Orleans Saints (-9) vs Indianapolis Colts
With the Colts season basically over, it will be hard for Frank Reich to keep his team competitive at New Orleans, which is likely steaming after a brutally close loss to San Francisco
Pittsburgh Steelers (-1) vs Buffalo Bills
The Bills have been on fire lately, but the Steelers might have the best defense in the NFL when playing at home and the crowd will be roaring on Sunday night.
Atlanta Falcons (+11) at San Francisco 49ers
This huge line is partially due to recency bias after the 49ers won in New Orleans, but the Falcons are coming off an impressive performance of their own and are capable of hanging around on the road.
Seattle Seahawks (-6.5) at Carolina Panthers
The Panthers were a mess in their first game under interim HC Perry Fewell, who took flak from his own players for his defensive play calling against Atlanta. Russell Wilson and company should shred that unit.
Cleveland Browns (-3) at Arizona Cardinals
The Browns still have a good pass rush without Myles Garrett and Kyler Murray has taken a league-high 46 sacks.
Minnesota Vikings (-1.5) at Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers almost always plays close games, but have virtually no home field advantage, so we’ll take the Vikings surging defense to shut down the home team.
Cincinnati Bengals (+10.5) vs New England Patriots
The Bengals run defense is their biggest weakness and New England can’t run the ball right now. Cincy should be seriously galvanized by the latest spygate allegations and should bring enough energy to cover this big number at home.
Green Bay Packers (-4.5) vs Chicago Bears
Green Bay might’ve slow-played things against Washington last week in preparation for a huge stretch to finish the season against three division foes.
New York Giants (-3) vs Miami Dolphins
Eli Manning should get off to another hot start with dynamic rookie WR Darius Slayton shredding the weak Dolphins secondary. From there, Saquon Barkley should do the rest to snap the Giants 10-game losing streak.
Detroit Lions (+4.5) vs Tampa Bay Bucs
The Bucs defense is playing better, but Mike Evans is out for the season and Jameis Winston is apparently going to play through a thumb injury.