NFL Week 15 Picks

As far as I can tell, there are only two games today that don’t involve a potential playoff team: Tennessee- Jets and Giants-Washington.  Instead, those games could determine who gets the top pick in the draft.  So every game is important this week!  The models are already off to a good start this week with Arizona’s cover (and outright win) over the Rams on Thursday.  The Cardinals have a pretty solid chance of getting a bye and being a home underdog in the second round if they keep this up; they only scored 12 points and lost a QB again.  When I went through some playoff possibilities last time, I had Arizona traveling to New Orleans or Atlanta as the 5 seed, but they all assumed the Cardinals would lose.  Now, Arizona has two wins in hand over Seattle and gets to host their game next weekend.  It isn’t a fool-proof lead by any means, but it’s a decent one.

Atlanta-Pittsburgh involves two potential playoff teams despite the Falcons sitting at 5-8.  The models all have Pittsburgh winning the AFC North, but with no thanks to today.  They all have the Falcons as small favorites, while the line has the Steelers as the way to go.  Pittsburgh has looked good some weeks (vs the Bengals, Texans, and Colts) and pretty bad others (Saints, Browns, Tampa, and Jets) so it’s hard to say.  It feels like the Steelers’ game to lose though.

home away Spread Odds Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
StL Arizona -5.5 -110 1.59 0.58 1.47
Atlanta Pittsburgh 3 -115 1.73 1.53 1.63
Giants Washington -6.5 -115 3.69 1.72 3.63
NE Miami -7.5 -110 6.92 2.52 6.34
KC Oakland -10 -110 8.73 6.02 8.02
Indy Houston -7 -105 3.9 1.39 3.58
Baltimore Jacksonville -14 -105 10.99 6.67 9.89
Buffalo GB 4 -110 -1.05 -1.27 -1.01
Carolina TB -3 -125 4.32 4.15 4.26
Cleveland Cincy -1.5 -110 3.56 1.1 3.44
Detroit Minnesota -8 -110 3.37 0.96 3.44
Tennessee Jets 3 -120 2.66 1.82 2.9
SD Denver 4.5 -105 1.08 1.68 1.21
Seattle SF -9.5 -110 6.25 3.72 5.64
Philly Dallas -3 -125 3.35 -0.13 2.81
Chicago NO 3 -115 -0.63 -0.96 -0.46

Colts and Texans is another interesting one.  Indianapolis is supposed to win handily, sitting at 6.5 point favorites.  But you kind of feel like J.J. Watt could go crazy and keep the Colts offense in check on his own somehow.  On the other hand, the Texans haven’t beat a decent team all year, maybe excluding Buffalo (other wins over Washington, Oakland, Cleveland, Jacksonville, and Tennessee twice).  The models all have Indy hosting a playoff game in the first round, starting on their way today (although not as much of a favorite as the line says).

home away Over/Under Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
StL Arizona 40.5 44.87 43.66 44.62
Atlanta Pittsburgh 55 50.12 45.86 48.91
Giants Washington 47 45.23 43.18 44.62
NE Miami 48 47.51 45.27 46.82
KC Oakland 41.5 41.71 39.27 42.17
Indy Houston 49 48.24 44.96 47.2
Baltimore Jacksonville 45 44.31 43.4 44.65
Buffalo GB 50 48.81 46.35 47.86
Carolina TB 41 44.47 41.65 44.07
Cleveland Cincy 44 45.79 42.91 45.66
Detroit Minnesota 41.5 42.44 41.95 42.74
Tennessee Jets 42 42.67 42.96 42.67
SD Denver 50.5 48.36 42.7 47.26
Seattle SF 38 42.7 42.19 43.29
Philly Dallas 55 49.2 47.17 47.97
Chicago NO 54 49.07 47.58 47.76

We also have the Eagles and Cowboys playing for probably the NFC East title and maybe a playoff spot.  It’s unlikely they both make it.  Whoever loses today has to win out and whoever wins needs to split the other games, meaning Philly loses to either Washington or the Giants or Dallas loses to either Indy or Washington.  That would put them both at 11-5, which gives them both a shot.  Dallas has the tougher road, traveling to Philly today and hosting the Colts next week.  So let’s hope they just tank so that the Lions don’t have to sweat too much.

home away Home Line Away Line Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
StL Arizona -240 200 0.535 0.512 0.536
Atlanta Pittsburgh 130 -150 0.526 0.512 0.531
Giants Washington -290 260 0.604 0.512 0.6
NE Miami -390 310 0.725 0.554 0.663
KC Oakland -525 430 0.766 0.522 0.702
Indy Houston -300 250 0.625 0.515 0.594
Baltimore Jacksonville -900 625 0.803 0.637 0.733
Buffalo GB 175 -205 0.447 0.512 0.462
Carolina TB -165 140 0.614 0.521 0.609
Cleveland Cincy -125 105 0.585 0.511 0.585
Detroit Minnesota -380 310 0.611 0.511 0.602
Tennessee Jets 125 -145 0.568 0.514 0.582
SD Denver 195 -235 0.514 0.512 0.525
Seattle SF 465 370 0.661 0.512 0.627
Philly Dallas -170 150 0.595 0.497 0.562
Chicago NO -135 -160 0.438 0.483 0.477

Bill Simmons’ picks are here as usual.  Instead of belaboring that though, I’ll point out that only one of the three models have the Chargers making the playoffs despite them sitting at 8-5 right now.  San Diego hosts the Broncos, travels to San Francisco, and travels to Kansas City to finish the year.  That’s tough sledding.  Similarly, the 49ers have the Chargers game, today’s game with the Seahawks, and host Arizona in week 17.  They don’t make it according to the models either.  Or using any of the Playoff Machine ‘easy choice’ methods.

home away Simmons Spread Simmons Luigi Yoshi 1 Yoshi 2
StL Arizona -5.5 StL Arizona Arizona Arizona
Atlanta Pittsburgh 2 Pittsburgh Atlanta Atlanta Atlanta
Giants Washington -7 Washington Washington Washington Washington
NE Miami -7.5 NE Miami Miami Miami
KC Oakland -10 Oakland Oakland Oakland Oakland
Indy Houston -7 Houston Houston Houston Houston
Baltimore Jacksonville -14 Baltimore Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville
Buffalo GB 6 Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo
Carolina TB -3.5 TB Carolina Carolina Carolina
Cleveland Cincy -1.5 Cleveland Cleveland Cincy Cleveland
Detroit Minnesota -7.5 Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota
Tennessee Jets 3 Jets Tennessee Tennessee Tennessee
SD Denver 4.5 SD SD SD SD
Seattle SF -10 Seattle SF SF SF
Philly Dallas -3.5 Dallas Dallas Dallas Dallas
Chicago NO 3 NO Chicago Chicago Chicago

Finally, speaking of tough sledding, Luigi’s SuperContest picks are San Diego +4, Tennessee +2, Minnesota +8, Atlanta +2.5, and San Fran +10. I’m just going to hope the Vikings pick is wrong for safety. Yoshi 1’s picks are Minnesota, Jacksonville +13.5, San Fran, San Diego, and Miami +7.5. Yoshi 2 is going with San Diego, Tennessee, Minnesota, San Fran, and Atlanta (same as Luigi). I’m flying today, so let me know if anything exciting happens.

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