Make sure to keep an eye on the playoff standings from this point forward. You need to figure how which teams have something left to gain by playing hard. Also, keep an eye on weather reports. You never know when a game could turn into an ice bowl. If a team is playing outdoors in the Midwest, it shouldn’t be a huge factor since we have weird Autumn-like weather right now.
Can the Steelers keep airing out the ball against the Broncos secondary?
Can Carolina stay perfect against the New York Giants?
We pick every NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets in Week 15 of the 2015 NFL season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at St. Louis Rams (-2) – My pick is St. Louis Rams
Jameis Winston’s performance against the Saints has me worried about him the rest of the year. The Saints secondary is horrible and Winston only managed to pass for 182 yards. Most of those yards were on short passes. The Rams defense is much better and Winston won’t have much time to go through his progressions. Case Keenum is doing well as the Rams quarterback because he understands his role. He’s just supposed to keep handing off to Todd Gurley. I’m taking the Rams to cover at home on Thursday.
New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys (+3.5) – My pick is New York Jets
I went out on a limb by picking the Cowboys last week, but that may not happen again this season. Matt Cassel is not the right quarterback for their system. Dallas needs to invest in a competent backup quarterback this offseason. The Jets will easily cover this spread.
Buffalo Bills at Washington Redskins (+1) – My pick is Washington Redskins
I haven’t had a very good handle on picking Washington games this year. They have yo-yo’d back and forth week after week. They have been playing better the last month, but Buffalo isn’t a cupcake. The Redskins will be tested and they will need either Matt Jones or Alfred Morris to have a big game on the ground. I’m taking the Redskins to win a close game at home.
Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-14) – My pick is New England Patriots
As much as I want the Patriots to have a close game with the Titans, I don’t see it happening. The Patriots looked healthy-ish against the Texans on Sunday night. They may also get Julian Edelman back this week. The Patriots shouldn’t have a problem covering this large spread. They will just keep their linebackers back to spy Marcus Mariota.
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens (+7.5) – My pick is Kansas City Chiefs
Baltimore has a huge issue at quarterback. Matt Schaub is banged up and Jimmy Clausen had to start against Seattle. They signed Ryan Mallett this week, but it’s doubtful he could step in right away to start a game. The Ravens are a mess, so I’m taking the Chiefs to cover the spread on the road.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) – My pick is Chicago Bears
The Bears aren’t as bad as their record. Since getting blanked in Seattle in Week 3, they’ve played only one game that was decided by more than a touchdown. They stay in games and fight until the end. They’ve battled injuries for most of the year and I expect them to be much better next season. The Vikings are coming off back-to-back losses to NFC West foes. I think this line is a few points too high, so I’m taking the points.
Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) – My pick is Jacksonville Jaguars
Man, Atlanta’s season went downhill in a hurry. It’s starting to feel normal is see the Jags favored in a game. They’ve been playing some horrible teams, so this is the fourth time in five games that they come in as the favorite. Blake Bortles has fantastic drives bookend’d by bonehead plays. He’s getting better and think using Denard Robinson out of the backfield will be a huge boost. I’m taking the Jags to cover at home.
Carolina Panthers at New York Giants (+6) – My pick is Carolina Panthers
If Carolina goes down in the regular season, it will probably be this game. The Giants tend to pull off these types of upsets…but I’m not betting on it. I predict Josh Norman to be draped on Odell Beckham Jr. all game. The Giants secondary isn’t very good and Cam Newton should have a peaceful day in the pocket (since the Giants pass rush is bad as well). I’m taking Carolina to cover on the road.
Green Bay Packers at Oakland Raiders (+3.5) – My pick is Green Bay Packers
Oakland has made huge strides this season. Their win against Denver last week could be their season highlight so far. The one thing Oakland needs to do is take care of homefield better. They aren’t a very good home team. All of their big wins have come on the road. Green Bay struggled in the middle of the season, but have now won two straight. I expect them to cover in Aaron Rodgers’ home region.
Cleveland Browns at Seattle Seahawks (-14.5) – My pick is Cleveland Browns
Full Disclosure: This is my ‘shooting fish in a barrel’ pick. I feel like Seattle is due to a letdown after killing Minnesota and Baltimore on the road. Cleveland lost Joe Haden for the year, so their secondary won’t be as strong. Johnny Manziel needs a huge game to cement his future in the NFL. This spread is huge and I feel the Browns could get a garbage time, backdoor cover.
Cincinnati Bengals at San Francisco 49ers (+5) – My pick is Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton could be out for the season, so the Bengals are A.J. McCarron’s team. He will need to rely on Jeremy Hill more than they have been. The running game will slow the game down for McCarron. The Niners allowed the Browns to rush for over 200 yards last week. I expect the Bengals to use the same blueprint and cover in the Bay Area.
Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5) – My pick is Denver Broncos
Denver suffered a bad loss last week. If Vernon Davis didn’t drop an easy catch late in the game, they could have at least forced overtime. The Steelers have been on a roll. Their passing game is the best in the NFL. They carved up Indianapolis and Cincinnati in back-to-back weeks. The Broncos defense is better, especially in the secondary, than those teams. I expect this game will be close throughout the game. I’m taking the points.
Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers (-2) – My pick is Miami Dolphins
The Chargers are garbage at home. Their fans don’t care at this point. The Dolphins have been keeping games close in the fourth quarter. Ryan Tannehill will need to keep his turnovers down. I’m taking the points and possibly putting a few jellybeans on the Miami moneyline.
Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles (+4) – My pick is Arizona Cardinals
Philly has won back-to-back games since Sam Bradford came back from an injury. Their up-tempo offense shouldn’t affect Arizona’s defense as much as other teams. The Cardinals secondary and linebackers rely on speed and are better conditioned to play at a faster tempo. I’m taking the Cardinals to cover in Philly.
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (-3) – My pick is Detroit Lions
I went back and forth with this pick. The thing that swayed my pick was thinking about how easy Calvin Johnson could have a huge game against the New Orleans secondary. If Matthew Stafford can get the ball to him, the Lions will stay in this game. I’m taking the points.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Sweetbob’s NFL picks against the spread record in previous seasons:
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob