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Tons of Marquee Matchups in NFL Week 15 Preview

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by •December 14, 2012 •NFLComments (0)200

No other way to say it:  I got my ass handed to me last week.  A dreadful 5-11-1 and 1-3 in Best Picks halted my good streak in its tracks, leaving me at 111-104-10 and 27-22-3 for the season.

As you might expect at this point in the season, there are tons of games this week with playoff implications, but there’s also some really outstanding marquis matchups on the schedule (four of them by my count!) and, sadly, that OTHER sort of game at this point in the season, the absolute clunker.  You have to be careful when teams are playing for nothing, and try to sort out the clubs that have given up from the ones that are still fighting.

Hit the title/continue reading to check out the picks for the fifteenth week of the NFL…
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(All lines as of 12/13/12 @8:30 a.m. – line credit posted per game)

Green Bay (-3) @Chicago (Sheridan’s)

RIght off the bat, we have a dandy of a game, as 9-4 Green Bay visits 8-5 Chicago.  The Bears are reeling.  Not only are they about to blow the NFC North, they may not even make the playoffs.  And they can’t be happy about seeing the Packers, because Jay Cutler is 1-6 in his career vs. Green Bay, and the Packers have long been the hump the Bears cannot get over.  If they don’t do it now, they may never do it, but I rarely bet on anything being the first time.  Green Bay’s the obvious, safe pick here.

Green Bay Packers 24 Chicago Bears 17


NY Giants (+2) @Atlanta (Top Bet)

How’s this for another awesome game?  The defending champion Giants, desperately clinging to a one game lead in the NFC East, go to Atlanta, where the Falcons are 11-2, very good at home, and NEED a credibility win before the playoffs start.  I wouldn’t touch this game.  It could go either way.  I’ve largely been a non-believer in the Falcons this year, and I don’t buck the Giants trends, which include winning late in the season and winning when they absolutely have to.  I’ll take New York and the points.

New York Giants 27 Atlanta Falcons 24


Tampa Bay (+3) @New Orleans (Stations)

Both of these teams saw their playoff chances evaporate last week, and the Saints have lost three in a row.  Of course, those three were to Atlanta, the Giants and San Francisco, and the Bucs are not as tough as any of those teams.  I don’t have a strong feel either way here, but I am thinking it would be best to go with Drew Brees at home in this situation.

New Orleans Saints 28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24


Minnesota (+1) @St. Louis (

The Vikings are coming off a very big emotional win over Chicago, and they are very literally a one man gang on offense in the person of Adrian Peterson.  The Rams, meanwhile, are playing just inspired football, especially on defense, and they have been very good against the spread all season.  I just don’t see how the Vikings score enough points to pull this one out.

St. Louis Rams 23 Minnesota Vikings 21


Washington (+1) @Cleveland (International Business Times)

Even though it’s a virtual certainty that Robert Griffin III will play in this game, none of the major houses have a line on it, so our old friends at the International Business Times have once again given us the spread to work with.  Cleveland is playing very well right now, but so are the Redskins, and if RGIII does play, I’m going to bet he finds a way to pull this game out.

Washington Redskins 24 Cleveland Browns 20


Jacksonville (+8) @Miami (5Dimes)

The Jaguars have screwed me two weeks in a row.  Am I crazy enough to take them again?  Yes I am.  Chad Henne has a revenge game against his old team, but that’s not even the crux of it.  Miami rarely plays blowout games either way, and it seems ridiculous for them to be giving 8 points to anyone.

Miami Dolphins 24 Jacksonville Jaguars 17


Indianapolis (+9.5) @Houston (5Dimes)

I’m one of those people who strongly feels that, despite being 9-4, Indianapolis fully deserves to be a touchdown plus underdog in this game.  That said, I think the Colts can stay within a touchdown of the Texans.  The way to attack Indianapolis’ defense is on the ground, and I’m looking for Houston to play ball control and try to keep their struggling pass defense off the field.

Houston Texans 24 Indianapolis Colts 20


Carolina (+2.5) @San Diego (5Dimes)

The low spread here is actually making me nervous.  I don’t get how Carolina can be getting so few points.  The Panthers are coming off a huge emotional win and have to travel across the country.  They are 0-2 against the AFC West so far this year.  San Diego has found ways to lose just like the Panthers have, but playing at home ought to be worth something. . .like about 3 points.

San Diego Chargers 27 Carolina Panthers 24


Seattle (-5.5) @Buffalo (Sheridan’s)

There’s a number of things going on in this game.  First off, it’s not really a “home” game for the Bills, since it’s being played in Toronto.  Second, the Seahawks are coming off that huge 58-0 win last week, and have a look ahead to the 49ers next week.  Seattle also don’t play as well on the road, especially defensively.   The Bills’ defense, meanwhile, has quietly been playing better football, although not good enough to make a difference in the standing at this point.  The Seahawks are playing for the playoffs, the Bills clearly are not, but I think this is a low scoring close game that Seattle pulls out at the end.  5.5 points is too many to give.

Seattle Seahawks 20 Buffalo Bills 16


Detroit (-7) @Arizona (5Dimes)

The Lions sounded completely despondent after losing to the Packers last week, and now they’ve got to try to bounce back on the road.  How the hell is a 4-9 team giving a touchdown on the road?  This is obviously an overreaction to the Cardinals getting destroyed 58-0 last week.  Well, the Cardinals are bad, but they’re not going to lose 58-0 EVERY week.  Right?  RIght?!

Detroit Lions 23 Arizona Cardinals 17


Pittsburgh (-2) @Dallas (Sheridan’s)

There is no compelling trend to tell you about in this game of teams that both need to keep winning to keep pace in the playoff race.  In fact, I have no real analysis for you at all except that I have a feeling about the Cowboys in this one.  Something tells me this isn’t Pittsburgh’s year, and that that Dallas/Washington game in the final week is going to mean something.  Call it football karma.

Dallas Cowboys 23 Pittsburgh Steelers 21


Kansas City (+2.5) @Oakland (5Dimes)

Wow remember when Chiefs v. Raiders was the football equivalent of a gang war?  What a pathetic game this is.  The bad news is, I have to pick a side.  The good news is, I don’t have to watch it.  Oakland has somehow managed to win six of its last eight vs the Chiefs, so that’s as good as anything else to go with.

Oakland Raiders 24 Kansas City Chiefs 21


San Francisco (+5) @New England (Wynn Las Vegas)

Of all the great games on the schedule this week, Sunday Night Football got the crown jewel.  Ordinarily, you might think the Patriots would have a letdown after a huge win over Houston last week, but there’s no way a regular season game is ever that “big” for a team that’s been to five Super Bowls in the last decade.  And I like the Pats’ chances here.  They are stout against the run, and even with Colin Kaepernick, stopping the 49ers runnings game is really all you need to do.

New England Patriots 27 San Francisco 49ers 21



“Use your head, D’Argo, the last time the Raiders were good, we were still on television.”
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Green Bay @Chicago o/u 43.5 (Sheridan’s)

I’ve got a great trend for you here.  In the Jay Cutler era, the Bears and Packers have ALWAYS gone under the number.  Every time.  That’s a trend you can’t ignore and I’ll ride it.

Green Bay Packers 24 Chicago Bears 17


Denver (-2.5) @Baltimore (Las Vegas Hilton)

On paper, this looks like a tremendous game, as two of the AFC’s premiere teams face off, but there’s an absolutely amazing trend to take here.  In eight meetings, the Baltimore Ravens have never beaten Peyton Manning.  They’ve never even covered the spread against Peyton Manning.  Before you say, “But that was with the Colts,” let me point out that this Denver team is better than about half of those Colts teams, and this Ravens team is worse, especially defensively.  Baltimore has been struggling, and I’m afraid it gets worse before it will get better.

Denver Broncos 28 Baltimore Ravens 21


Indianapolis @Houston o/u 48 (Sheridan’s)

As I said, I’m looking for a ball control game out of the Texans this week which means fewer overall possessions and a little less scoring.  Don’t expect the Colts’ offense to torch Houston the way Tom Brady did either.  The under looks like a good play to me.

Houston Texans 24 Indianapolis Colts 20


Seattle @Buffalo o/u 43.5 (Sheridan’s)

This is a road game for both teams, being played in Toronto.  Seattle’s defense sometimes lets down a bit on the road, but Buffalo won’t be able to take advantage.  The Bills defense has also been playing better, and I expect a low scoring game here, making the under a good side to be on.

Seattle Seahawks 20 Buffalo Bills 16


NY Jets (+2) @Tennessee (Sheridan’s)

Of all the bad games on the schedule this week, Monday Night Football got the used toilet brush.  Jets/Titans?  Sheesh.  You couldn’t pay me to watch this.  There’s an obvious play here, however, because the idiot Jets still think they can make the playoffs.  They’re even writing about it in the New York papers like it’s a thing.  We all know the Jets aren’t going anywhere this year, but they don’t, and against the dreadful Titans, that will be enough to squeak out another ugly win.

New York Jets 20 Tennessee Titans 17

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