2011 NFL Picks Against the Spread | Week 15
Atlanta struggled early on last week, but were able to pull away for the win and the cover after getting the passing game going. Matt Ryan has been outstanding this year, and has passed for 3.474 yards with 23 touchdowns. Atlanta is 9-22 ATS in home games coming off a win against a division rival in the last 19 seasons.
Jacksonville finally realized last week that they need to give MJD the ball more. The Jaguars were 41-14 winners in week 14 versus Tampa Bay, and look to continue their winning ways this week.
Atlanta has the tendency to let their opponents stay in the game. Although I like the Falcons to win this week, 11 points is just too many to give up this week.
Dallas -7 over TAMPA BAY
Dallas let another 4th quarter lead diminish last week versus the Giants. This is the perfect match-up for Dallas this week, as Tampa Bay is giving up a staggering 140 yards rushing per game this season.
After a 10-6 season last year, Tampa Bay looked like they’d contend for the NFC South division title this year. It hasn’t gone the way Buccaneer fans had hope, as they currently sit at 4-9 and are tied for last place in the division.
Tampa Bay is 5-15 ATS in home games over the last 3 seasons. I think Dallas will rebound in a big way this week.
Washington +7 over NEW YORK GIANTS
The Redskins played a good game last week and had a chance to beat the New England Patriots on the final drive of the game, before Rex Grossman threw a interception. Washington always seems to play the Giants tough, even when they are the inferior team.
New York squeaked out a tough road win last week over Dallas and lead the NFC East. Eli Manning had another brilliant game in week 14, with 400 yards passing and two touchdowns. It was Manning’s third game this year with over 400 yards passing. New York 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games at home.
This game should be a typical hard fought division tilt, with a late score deciding it late. I like the ‘Skins plus the seven points.
Green Bay -13 ½ over KANSAS CITY
Green Bay has been outstanding this year at covering the spread, with a record of 9-4. The loss of Greg Jennings shouldn’t hurt Green Bay this week, as they go up against the lowly Chiefs with new interim head coach Romeo Crennel.
Kansas City is in utter disarray, after head coach Todd Haley was fired after a week 14 loss against the New York Jets. One Year removed from having a 10-6 record, the Kansas City front office decided to call it quits with Haley.
Green Bay is 10-2 ATS in non-conference games over the last 3 seasons. Green Bay should easily cover the spread this week.
MINNESOTA +7 over New Orleans
Adrian Peterson looks to be on his way to get the start in week 15, after missing the last three games (ankle). New Orleans is giving up the fourth most yards per carry on the season, with a 4.9 yard average. Christian Ponder who was benched last week, is expected to start in week 15.
New Orleans struggled to get the victory last week against the very physical Tennessee Titans. The Saints are 6-0 at home ATS, but only 3-4 ATS on the road this year. New Orleans is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games when playing on the road against Minnesota.
Look for a healthy dose of AP this week, as the Vikings will look to control the clock to keep Drew Brees off of the field. I think Minnesota will give the Saints all kinds of trouble this week and I would not be surprised if the Vikings get the outright win.
Seattle +3 ½ over CHICAGO
Caleb Hanie might be the worst starting quarterback in the NFL right now. The only thing Chicago has going for them is the running game, which averaged over 5 yards a carry last week against Denver.
Seattle is currently sitting at 6-7 after two straight wins and still have an outside shot to make the playoffs. Chicago sits one game ahead of Seattle in the wild card race, and a win this week will go a long way for the Seahawks playoff chances.
Seattle is 7-3-1 ATS this season when they’re underdogs. I like Seattle to win this game and keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Miami +1 over BUFFALO
Ryan Fitzpatrick better take his $59 million and run because he has not looked like the same quarterback that he did earlier in the year, when he signed a new contract extension. Buffalo has lost six straight games, after the year strong with a 5-2 record.
In the last meeting between these two teams, Miami steam rolled Buffalo with a 35-8 victory.
Reggie Bush continues to have a strong season, with his second straight 100 yard performance last week. Buffalo is a welcome sight for Bush, as the Bills are ranked 25th in the NFL against the run.
It’s hard to believe the Bills are favorites in any game going forward. Buffalo is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Miami. Give me the Dolphins plus the point this week.
Carolina +6 ½ over HOUSTON
Carolina blew a 16 point lead in the second half last week in their loss to Atlanta. The biggest weakness for the Panthers is their defense, as they’ve allowed the 5th most points in the league with and average of 27 points per game.
I’m still not a believer in T.J. Yates unlike the rest of the media. Sure Yates had a great game last week with a career high 300 passing yards, but it took him 44 attempts to get there. Expect Houston to rely on Arian Foster and Ben Tate in week 15.
Cam Newton has only one game this season where he’s had less than 250 total yards. Carolina is 43-24 ATS in December games since 1992. I’ll take the Panthers with the 6 ½ points this week.
INDIANAPOLIS +7 over Tennessee
Jake Locker could be in-line for his first NFL start this week, with Matt Hasselbeck nursing a calf injury. Tennessee is in a fight for the last wild card spot in the AFC with the Jets, Bengals, and the Raiders and will need to keep pace with a win this week.
Indianapolis has been playing a lot better with Dan Orlovsky under center in the past two weeks, even though they’ve lost both games. Call me crazy, but I’m calling for an upset this week and picking the Colts straight-up.
Since I like the Colts to win outright, it’s only fitting to take the points as well.
Cincinnati -6 over ST. LOUIS
Cincinnati, once amidst the AFC North division title race, have now lost four of their last five games. The good news for the Bengals is they will only have to travel a short ways to face the terrible Rams.
The Rams have been riddled with injuries all season and have not been able to overcome their lack of depth. Steven Jackson still continues to have a good year and is on pace for 1,119 rushing yards. St. Louis is only 2-11 ATS this season.
St. Louis is 41-66 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record in the last 20 seasons. I like the Bengals to win big this week.
Detroit -1 over OAKLAND
Oakland has been in a recent free fall after losing two games in a row, and now sit one game behind the surging Denver Broncos. The loss of Darren McFadden seems to be catching up with the Raiders. Oakland is 23-46 ATS in December games since 1992.
Detroit looks to keep the last wild card spot all to themselves, after their win last week against the Vikings. Matthew Stafford will look to continue his stellar year this week against the Raiders, who are allowing the 4th most touchdown passes this season.
Detroit is 18-9 ATS in all games over the last 2 seasons. Oakland is not the same team without their top play-makers Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford. I like the Lions minus the point this week.
DENVER +6 ½ over New England
What else is there to say but Tim Tebow. Tebow is now 6-1 as the starter for the Denver Broncos, enough said.
New England has the worst pass defense in all the league. They’ve been trying everything on defense this season and have played two receivers as cornerbacks this season. New England is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Denver.
This games line opened with the Patriots favored by 4 ½ points. There are many things I look at when picking games, and one is which side the public money is on. It’s pretty clear that the public is all over the Pats, by the 2 point move on the line. Give me the Denver Tebows this week.
New York Jets +3 over PHILADELPHIA
New York comes in ridding a three game winning streak and now sit alone in the sixth seed in the AFC playoff race. Mark Sanchez has been on a tear in his last three games, with nine total touchdowns compared to only two turnovers.
With quarterback Michael Vick back under the helm last week, the Eagles showed why they were once considered a top team in the NFC. The Eagles will look to play spoilers this week, as they have been all but eliminated from the playoffs.
Philadelphia is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games at home. While I do think this game will be close, I expected the Jets to cover and come out on top at the end of the game.
Cleveland +7 over ARIZONA
Arizona might be one of the hottest teams in the NFL after coming off wins against potential playoff teams, in the Cowboys and the 49ers. John Skelton might be the poor mans Tim Tebow and has gone 4-1 as a starter this season.
Colt McCoy will look to take advantage of the weak Cardinals secondary, who are allowing the 10th most passing yards on the year. Peyton Hillis has gotten enough carries in recent weeks to be the kind of running back he was last year. Look for Hillis to get more carries this week, as he’s had 10 days to rest his banged up body.
Arizona is 4-14 ATS in home games after 2 or more consecutive wins since 1992. 84 percent of bets being laid so far are on the Cardinals, which means I’ll bet against the public and take the Browns.
Baltimore -2 ½ over SAN DIEGO
Baltimore comes in to San Diego riding a four game wining streak and hold the AFC North division lead over the Steelers. Ray Rice has been a beast lately, with 470 rushing yards in the past four games. San Diego has a hard time stopping the run, as they ranked 23rd in the NFL in rushing yards allowed.
San Diego is all but out of the playoff race in the AFC and coach Norv Turner is presumably out at the end of the year. San Diego is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games at home.
I don’t think we will see the Ravens take the Chargers lightly in week 15, as a first round bye looms ahead. I like Baltimore to win big this week, especially with Ray Lewis due back in the line-up.
SAN FRANCISCO -1 over Pittsburgh
With Ben Roethlisberger’s status still unknown for the Steelers, it might be a good time to bet against Pittsburgh. Big Ben suffered an ankle sprain in week 14’s game versus Cleveland, but did return with a noticeable limp. Roethlisberger has been in a walking boot all week.
San Francisco has already locked up the NFC West, but they’re still fighting for the number two seed in the playoffs. The biggest reason for San Francisco’s turn around in one year is their defense, as they rank 1st in both total points allowed and rushing yards against. Patrick Willis who missed week 14’s game, is expected back Monday night.
San Francisco is 6-0-1 ATS at home this season. With or without Roesthlisberger, I like the 49ers this week.
Remember to check out our week 15 straight up picks here.