It’s that time of year when the NFL plays on Saturdays and, in Week 15, we’re treated to a doubleheader. In the NFC, the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers continue to fight for the #1 seed, with the Packers currently holding the top seed. Meanwhile, the Saints will host the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in a potential preview of Super Bowl 55.
In the AFC, the playoff race rages on with a couple of teams on the bubble, including the Baltimore Ravens and Las Vegas Raiders.
The New York Jets are still hopelessly seeking their first win of the season. DraftKings listed an 0-16 prop bet for the Jets, and they’re -275 odds to finish the season without any wins.
Here’s our NFL quickie betting preview for Week 15, including Thursday Night Football.
Thursday Night Football: Chargers/Raiders
LA Chargers (4-9) at Las Vegas Raiders (7-6)… The Raiders are in a bubble fight, which means the postseason has begun early for them. However, they are a team that plays up/down to the level of their competition. They’ve dropped three out of their last four games after a 6-3 start. Rookie Justin Herbert is fourth in the NFL in passing (270.4 yards per game), and he’s up against the third-worst defense in the league, allowing 30.1 ppg. LINE: LAC +3
Saturday NFL Fever
Carolina Panthers (4-9) at Green Bay Packers (10-3)… The Packers are 5-1 at Lambeau Field. Aaron Rodgers leads the highest-scoring team in the league, which faces a Carolina team without Christian McCaffery (thigh). LINE: GB -8.5
Buffalo Bills (10-3) at Denver Broncos (5-8)… The Bills Mafia continues their amazing season, which is their best since 1991. Josh Allen leads the third-best passing offense (272.8 yards per game) in the league. Denver is tough to figure out. Despite only five wins, the Broncos are 8-5 ATS this season. LINE: Buffalo -6
Tommy Boy vs. Matty Ice
Tampa Bay Bucs (8-5) at Atlanta Falcons (4-9)… The Bucs are ranked #2 in total DVOA and their defense is in the top five. But, they’re only 2-2 in NFC South divisional games. The Falcons, who have terrible end-game skills, lost back-to-back close games once again. LINE: TB -6
Marquee Game of the Week: KC and NOLA
Kansas City Chiefs (12-1) at New Orleans Saints (10-3)… I picked these two teams to meet in the Super Bowl for the past two seasons. Could they meet this year? If they do, pundits will point back to this Week 15 matchup. The Saints had a nine-game winning streak snapped when they lost their first game with Taysom Hill starting at QB instead of a banged-up Drew Brees. The Chiefs keep on rolling and currently hold the longest active winning streak in the league with eight wins. The Saints are rare home dogs at the Superdome. LINE: KC -3
When Bad Teams Meet a Good 9-4 Team
Detroit Lions (5-8) at Tennessee Titans (9-4)… The fourth-best offense (30 ppg) goes heads up against the fourth-worst defense (29.9 ppg) in the NFL. Derrick Henry races toward 2,000 yards as his MVP odds continue to improve. The Lions are circling around the drain. LINE: TENN -11
Houston Texans (4-9) at Indianapolis Colts (9-4)… The Colts currently hold a wild-card spot, but can’t afford to drop this divisional game against the Texans. The Texans are one of the worst teams in the NFL with a 4-9 ATS record, whereas the Colts are near the top with an 8-5 ATS record. LINE: INDY -7
New York Jets (0-13) at LA Rams (9-4)… The LOL Jets are fresh off the worst loss in Adam Gase’s career after a 37-point ass whipping by Seattle. The stingy LA Rams allow 18.9 ppg, which is ranked #3 in the NFL. That’s bad news for the offensively-challenged Jets (14.1 ppg), who are ranked dead last in offense. Let’s keep fading the LOL Jets, who are 4-8 ATS. LINE: LA Rams -17
Cleveland Browns (9-4) at NY Giants (5-8)… Baker Mayfield and the Browns lost a heartbreaker on Monday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens. They play another prime-time game on Sunday Night Football in a battle against the New York Giants. The G-Men are still in the thick of the NFC East title and the #4 seed in the playoffs. LINE: CLE -5
Philadelphia Eagles (4-8-1) at Arizona Cardinals (7-6)… It’s a battle of Oklahoma QBs between Jalen Hurts and Kyler Murray. The Eagles looked like a different team with rookie Hurts at the helm when they upset the New Orleans Saints last week. The Arizona Cards occupy the #7 seed, but need a win to keep the NFC bubble teams at bay. LINE: Philly +6
IT'S HURTS TIME IN PHILLY 😱
Jalen throws a TD to Alshon on 4th down
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 13, 2020
NFC Bubble Watch
Chicago Bears (6-7) at Minnesota Vikings (6-7)… NFC North action is also a battle of bubble teams. The loser will officially be sent to the showers, while the winner keeps their postseason hopes alive. The Ringer referred to this game as the Shrug Emoji Game of the Week. LINE: Minny -3
Seattle Seahawks (9-4) at Washington (6-7)… Washington currently sits in the #4 seed as the top team in the NFC East, while the Seahawks are the top AFC wild-card team, which means they’ll have the #5 seed. This could be a preview of a first-round playoff battle. Alex Smith is questionable to start at QB for Washington. He’ll be a game-time decision. LINE: Seattle -6
AFC Bubble Implications
New England Patriots (6-7) at Miami Dolphins (8-5)… The Patriots have yet to be eliminated from the playoff hunt, but Tua and the Dolphins can have the pleasure of delivering a death blow. With the Ravens eying their playoff spot, the Dolphins know this is a must-win spot. LINE: Miami -2
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-12) at Baltimore Ravens (8-5)… Gardner Minshew returns to the starting lineup. The Ravens are fresh off a comeback win in a shootout against the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football, which is the leading contender for Game of the Year. This is another must-win playoff-type game for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. LINE: BALT -13
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 15, 2020
Poo Emoji Game of the Week
San Francisco 49ers (5-8) at Dallas Cowboys (2-4)… The Cowboys are the worst team in the NFL against the spread with a 3-10 ATS record. They’re even worse than the Jets. The Niners head to Dallas in this lackluster Degen Game of the Week. LINE: SF -3
Gotta Get Unstuck Game of the Week
Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-10-1)… The tired Steelers look to bounce back in a smashmouth AFC North contest after back-to-back losses. The Bengals only won two games, but they’re 7-6 ATS. At least when the Bengals lose, they keep it close. LINE: PITT -12.5