Week 15 NFL Betting Picks 2021 | Odds, Previews, And Predictions For Every Game

Written By Brian Sausa on December 19, 2021 - Last Updated on December 21, 2021

We are in mid-December as we arrive at Week 15, and most of the NFL is right in the middle of the playoff push. There are just four weeks left in the NFL season and nearly every game has consequences at this point.

With bye weeks finished, all 32 teams are in action and 16 games are on the schedule for the first time in months. This means there are even more betting options than usual at online sportsbooks such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM. Without any further delay, let’s get a look at the odds and make out Week 15 NFL betting picks!

Week 15 NFL Betting Lines

NFL Week 15 matchups and predictions

Thursday, Dec. 16 (8:20 p.m. ET)

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers ()

The first-place Chiefs have won six straight games and seven of eight following a pedestrian start to the season, which included a Week 3 loss to the Chargers at Arrowhead. But Kansas City looks like a completely different team than it did in September, especially on the defensive side, and travel to Los Angeles as a favorite.

Kansas City ranks No. 3 in EPA per play on both offense and defense since Week 10 and hasn’t allowed more than 17 points since its last game in October. The Chiefs are on an absolute roll and have even covered in four straight games, while Patrick Mahomes has thrown just two picks in five after throwing 10 in the first eight contests. But the key to this one, as always with the Chargers, will be stopping the run.

Los Angeles can’t do it, and the Chiefs have committed to a more well-balanced offense that doesn’t place all the onus on its star QB. Especially when the opponent has such a specific weakness, expect the Chiefs to exploit it and keep Herbert off the field because of it. Add in the fact that both Austin Ekeler and Derwin James could miss this one, and it’s hard to go with the home underdog in this spot.

The public has already come back around on Andy Reid’s team and this week, the masses are backing Kansas City. The line hasn’t really budged from Chiefs -3 or -3.5, and that could be a signal that sharper money is on Los Angeles. But we’ll take our chances at an even field goal. These offenses are capable of huge numbers, as we’ve seen from Los Angeles in the past three weeks, so we’ll go with an over even if the pace isn’t all that quick.

Picks: Kansas City Chiefs -3 (-115 or better), Over 50 up to 51 (-110)

Full Chargers vs. Chiefs Betting Preview

Saturday, Dec. 18 (8:20 p.m. ET)

New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts ()

Saturday night’s matchup pits two of the AFC’s hottest teams against one another, as the Patriots travel to Indianapolis to play the Colts. New England has won seven in a row and covered each time, while Indy has won four of five in mostly dominant fashion. Now, both get to come off the bye before facing one another in a potential playoff preview.

This game hinges on the trenches and the run games. Can the Colts’ top-ranked rushing attack (according to DVOA) will be slowed enough by New England, which ranks third in run stop win rate? Can the Pats, which is Pro Football Focus’ choice for the top rushing offense in football, be stopped by an Indy defense that DVOA has No. 3 against the run?

The Colts are an easy team to root for, especially if you want new blood in the AFC title race. That said, the Patriots’ defense doesn’t allow one player to beat it, and that will go for Jonathan Taylor as well. New England ranks No. 1 in the NFL in yards per play against, and that combines ranking No. 1 against the pass and No. 2 against the run. This group will keep everything in front of them and make Carson Wentz beat them, which may be the opening that the Pats need.

This may very well be the best game of the week and it’s taking place on Saturday. Indianapolis is and will be a team to be reckoned with, but New England shouldn’t get blown out of this game. Put them in a teaser and consider taking the two points if betting straight up.

Picks: Patriots +2 (-110), Under 46 (-110)

Full Patriots vs. Colts Betting Preview

Sunday, Dec. 19 (1 p.m. ET)

Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills ()

If there was ever a bounce-back spot for the Buffalo Bills, it’s Week 15 at home against Carolina. Buffalo has lost three of four games, though all three have come against elite opponents in Indianapolis, New England, and Tampa Bay. Now, it welcomes in a Panthers team that is in absolute shambles waiting for the season to end.

The Panthers’ offense ranks 29th in EPA per play this season and PFF has this group ranked No. 31. The offensive coordinator is fired, Cam Newton is benched, and CMC is out for the season. Carolina managed to come out of a bye for a home game and still lose to the Falcons, so we have no hope for them here. To make matters worse, this game should be freezing in Buffalo, and that only spells more trouble against the Bills’ top-ranked DVOA defense.

Pick: Bills -10.5 (-110), Under 44.5 (-110)

Full Bills vs. Panthers Betting Preview

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins ()

The Dolphins took a calculated risk asking for a late bye and not taking one right after their trip to London. It looked like a bad decision at first, but this team has since turned things around with Tua Tagovailoa back in the fold. Miami has won five in a row and gets to come back in Week 15 completely refreshed against a bad Jets team.

The Dolphins’ offense generally isn’t strong enough to give away more than a touchdown, but that’s only until you watch the Jets. Zach Wilson has the arm talent but fails to make the easy throws, and even an easy check down for five yards can become a spike into the dirt. Miami’s defense excels against the run and blitzes as much as anyone in football, which should put a banged-up Jets offense into some unenviable positions.

With Corey Davis and/or Elijah Moore, maybe the Jets can make some noise. New York was devoid of talent before its injuries and now, it’s just overmatched. It was only a month ago that the Dolphins beat Gang Green by seven, and we think that can turn into double digits here.

Pick: Dolphins -8 (-110), Under 43.5 (-110)

Full Jets vs. Dolphins Betting Preview

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants ()

If you’re betting a side in this game, it has to be Cowboys or bust. New York covered some larger spreads as underdogs early in the season, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside recently. After another significant injury to DL Leonard Williams, Big Blue is waiting for the season to end.

Enter the Cowboys, whose fans will fill up MetLife Stadium and likely outnumber the Giants fans in attendance for this one. Dallas is Pro Football Focus’ No. 2-ranked offense, ranking in the top five in both yards per pass and yards per rush. The Giants’ defense is 31st in DVOA against the run and 31st in pressure rate, both of which were on display in a 37-21 loss to the Chargers in Week 14.

Picks: Cowboys -10 (-110), Under 45 (-110)

Full Cowboys vs. Giants Betting Preview

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars ()

If you were to have asked at the beginning of the season which team would be in a worse spot come Week 15, it was likely a toss-up, but the majority probably would’ve said Houston. Even though the Texans will have some offseason drama waiting for them, the current laughing stock of the NFL is the Jacksonville Jaguars. Urban Meyer may be gone, but firing a coach mid-week before a game is never conducive to winning.

Look, the Texans are no good no matter which QB plays. This team is dead last in EPA per play since Week 9, but the Jags aren’t much better at 30th. Even though this one may not be the safest game to bet, it seems wild to me that Houston is getting up to five points at some books, even on the road.

Picks: Texans +4.5 down to +3.5 (-110), Over 38.5 (-110)

Full Texans vs. Jaguars Betting Preview

Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers ()

The Steelers are on extra rest and at home, where they just pulled an ugly upset over the Ravens a couple of weeks back. But we aren’t forgetting the entirety of the season as a whole, including how last Thursday went down against a Minnesota team that managed to lose to Detroit just four days prior.

That said, we also need to keep in mind that Titans’ offense is a shell of itself without Derrick Henry, and being forced to throw the ball a ton won’t be easy against the Steelers’ defense in the freezing cold. We like the under but with A.J. Brown still sidelined, Najee Harris is the best player on the field in this game and that means we may have to take the points.

Picks: Under 41.5 (-110), Steelers +2 (-110)

Full Titans vs. Steelers Betting Preview 

Green Bay Packers at Baltimore Ravens ()

The expectation is that Lamar Jackson (ankle) will be in action for the Ravens when the Packers visit in Week 15. But we can’t be sure of his level of effectiveness, and that comes on top of the fact that Baltimore has been slumping a big in recent weeks.

Over the past month, the Packers’ offense ranks No. 2 in the NFL in EPA per play despite injuries along the entire offensive line, while Baltimore has ranked 22nd on defense. The Ravens have serious issues in the secondary, which Aaron Rodgers should be able to exploit, and Baltimore’s struggles to throw the ball don’t bode well for a team that could be playing from behind.

Picks: Packers -5.5 (-110), Over 43.5 (-110)

Full Ravens vs. Packers Betting Preview

Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions ()

Giving away this many points on the road isn’t enticing and most sharps would tell you that they avoid spreads like this altogether, especially late in the season when the variables become less predictable. If this was a week ago, the Lions and all those points would be the immediate reaction, but seeing Week 14 play out has to make you second guess backing Detroit in any way, shape, or form.

The Lions have remained in most games throughout the season, but all those close calls combined with the energy-sucking win in Week 13 have this team just completely out of juice. The Cardinals have everything to play for and just a one-game lead in the NFC West, so the motivation is there. You need to avoid Arizona laying an egg on the road and sleepwalking through the first half of this early game, but it’s the only bet if taking a side.

Picks: Under 47.5 (-110), Cardinals -13 (-110)

Full Cardinals vs. Lions Betting Preview

Sunday, Dec. 19 (4:05 p.m. ET)

Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos ()

The Bengals are fighting for their playoff lives and if motivation matters, that should give this team a major leg up and it’s a great reason to bet Cincinnati as a road underdog. But underlying numbers over the past few weeks show that the Broncos are in better form than the Bengals, even though the latter is the group that could be headed for the postseason.

The Bengals’ hot start against the run has cooled considerably, while the Broncos has utilized the run game well in recent weeks to ease the burden on Teddy Bridgewater. Denver is capable of eating up huge chunks of time with long drives, which will give Joe Burrow and Cincinnati fewer possessions. We know the weapons that Burrow is working with, but Denver defends the pass well and the Bengals’ line struggles to protect its franchise QB.

Picks: Broncos Moneyline (-115 or better)

Full Broncos vs. Bengals Betting Preview

Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers ()

This is as simple as not trusting the Falcons to put together two straight games of competent football. San Francisco has major motivation here and its fourth-ranked DVOA offense should have little trouble forcing Matt Ryan to play catch-up. Giving eight points is a ton and San Francisco makes for a much safer teaser play, but taking the Falcons on the road isn’t an option for us.

One thing to keep an eye on is the Niners’ run game. Atlanta has excelled at stopping the run over the past month, and that could spell some trouble for Jimmy G and the passing game, which needs the rush attack to set the table. But if Elijah Mitchell (concussion) returns, our worries are mitigated a little bit. In the end, Atlanta hasn’t beaten a single high-quality team and each of its last three losses has been by 13 points or more.

Picks: Over 46 (-110), Niners -8.5 (-110)

Full Falcons vs. Niners Betting Preview

Sunday, Dec. 19 (4:25 p.m. ET)

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams ()

The Rams are suddenly just a game out of the NFC West lead and have another divisional matchup on the schedule in Week 15. The Seahawks would love to play spoiler for Los Angeles taking a run at the Cardinals, but that seems unlikely to happen at SoFi Stadium.

Since Week 9, Seattle’s defense ranks 26th in EPA per play against the pass, and it doesn’t have the bodies or scheme to cover up Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr., both of which annihilated the Cards in Week 14. Seattle also ranks 25th in pressure rate while the Rams’ offense is No. 2 in pressure allowed, and Stafford having some time to throw makes all the difference.

Last week’s Seahawks can cover in this game, and possibly even win. It’s quite clear that Russell Wilson’s finger is healed and he’s back to his old self, but he doesn’t block and he doesn’t play defense. This should be a high-scoring game that results in the Rams running away in the second half.

Picks: Rams -6.5 (-110), Over 47.5 (-110)

Full Seahawks vs. Rams Betting Preview

Sunday, Dec. 19 (8:20 p.m. ET)

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers ()

Don’t let a 20-point road win over the Jets fool you, these Saints are absolutely no match for the Buccaneers. That doesn’t preclude New Orleans from pulling out a cover on this huge line, but chances are much better than Tom Brady, Leonard Fournette, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin,  and Rob Gronkowski (somehow there are more weapons we could name, too) manage to score 30+ points and Tampa wins a fifth straight game.

Even still, one thing to keep in mind is that the Saints want to keep the ball on the ground with Alvin Kamara and QB Taysom Hill. And while Tampa’s season-long numbers against the run are elite, the last month will actually show this run defense ranks dead last in EPA per play. It’s the only way New Orleans can stay in the game, as the offense can’t really throw it and the Bucs have improved against the pass as the season has progressed.

We think this one actually stays pretty low-scoring because of the game script for the Saints, and the early action seems to have come in on the under as well. If the score does stay low, that would correlate to New Orleans having a chance to cover 11 points, perhaps on the back door if they’re down big.

Picks: Under 46.5 (-110), Saints +11 (-110)

Full Saints vs. Bucs Betting Preview

Monday, Dec. 20 (5 p.m. ET)

Las Vegas Raiders at Cleveland Browns ()

Beginning in Week 15, the NFL has two games on Saturday so the slate is a bit more spread out. And the very first one is already encased in drama.

From a betting perspective, a wrench gets thrown into this game once QB Baker Mayfield and coach Kevin Stefanski test positive for COVID-19. Then, backup QB Case Keenum tested positive as well. The line has now moved nine whole points, with Las Vegas now the favorite and the much more healthy team.

Despite the absences along the offensive line and now being down the third-string QB, Nick Mullins isn’t a nine-point dropoff from Mayfield and we’re still siding with the Browns.

While Cleveland does want to run the ball first and foremost with Nick Chubb, the Browns’ offensive line ranks No. 1 in pass block win rate, and Mayfield wasn’t sacked a single time in Week 14. Las Vegas ranks 32nd in blitz rate so if Mullins is kept upright, the Raiders will once again give up yards and points. With inclement weather expected, we’re taking the team that gets it done in the trenches.

Picks: Browns +3.5 (-110), Under 38.5 (-110)

Full Browns vs. Raiders Betting Preview

Monday, Dec. 20 (8:15 p.m. ET)

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears ()

The schedule works out in a way that the Vikings and Bears play one another for the first time in Week 15, and then again in Week 18 to close the season, so we’ve learned who these two teams are long before they ever face one another. Before getting into the game, a key factor when it comes to Soldier Field in December is the weather, which is expected to be around freezing while wind could play a role as well.

At the same time, we also need to consider Minnesota’s offensive prowess on the road and the fact that it is playing on 10 days’ rest. Away from, the Vikings’ offense is No. 3 in yards, No. 2 in touchdowns, and No. 3 in plays of 20+ yards. That includes matchups at Arizona, Baltimore, and San Francisco, all difficult places to play.

At the end of the day, the Vikings look to only play close games, plus we expect Chicago to control the ball with David Montgomery and the run game, which should work considering the Vikings’ extremely poor run defense. The under is the play here and we’ll take the Bears and four or more points, though we know Minnesota on the long rest is a much easier pick to stomach.

Picks: Under 44.5 (-110), Bears +4 or higher (-110 or better)

Full Vikings vs. Bears Betting Preview

Tuesday, Dec. 21 (7 p.m. ET)

Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams ()

The Rams are suddenly just a game out of the NFC West lead and have another divisional matchup on the schedule in Week 15. The Seahawks would love to play spoiler for Los Angeles taking a run at the Cardinals, but that seems unlikely to happen at SoFi Stadium.

Since Week 9, Seattle’s defense ranks 26th in EPA per play against the pass, and it doesn’t have the bodies or scheme to cover up Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr., both of which annihilated the Cards in Week 14. Seattle also ranks 25th in pressure rate while the Rams’ offense is No. 2 in pressure allowed, and Stafford having some time to throw makes all the difference.

Last week’s Seahawks can cover in this game, and possibly even win. It’s quite clear that Russell Wilson’s finger is healed and he’s back to his old self, but he doesn’t block and he doesn’t play defense. This should be a high-scoring game that results in the Rams running away in the second half.

Picks: Rams -6.5 (-110), Over 47.5 (-110)

Full Seahawks vs. Rams Betting Preview

Washington at Philadelphia Eagles ()

Washington and Philadelphia will play twice in a three-week span late in the season, and the first matchup comes in Week 15 at Lincoln Financial Field. While we love almost any opportunity to take a divisional underdog getting more than a field goal, the WFT is a bad matchup for Philly and it’s all about the run game.

The Eagles are one of the best rushing offenses in the NFL, ranking 6th on Pro Football Focus. Its offensive line boasts the second-highest run block win rate, and this offense is No. 2 in yards per rush. Since Week 9, the Eagles are third in rush EPA per play. On the other side, Washington ranks fourth in run defense according to PFF, but it remains 23rd in EPA per play against the run over the past month.

Philadelphia has also stepped it up on defense, particularly against the run. The WFT needs the offense to get going with the run game going back to EPA, Philly is ranked No. 1 in the NFL over the past five weeks against the run, while the WFT has been just average at moving it on the ground. It also has a third (or fourth?) string QB starting doesn’t help.

We got this at -4 early in the week but would take this up to -7.

Picks: Eagles -4 (-110), Over 43.5 (-110)

Full Eagles vs. WFT Betting Preview

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Brian Sausa

Brian Sausa is a longtime sports content creator with extensive betting experience and knowledge of the industry. A journalism graduate with a ranging sports background, Brian has been employed by multiple professional leagues including MLB, MiLB, and the NHL.

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