The official start of the NFL playoffs remains weeks away, but for a lot of teams, the postseason effectively starts this weekend. With just four weeks of action remaining, only a few teams have been eliminated from playoff contention, which means high stakes in nearly every Week 15 matchup.
Saturday’s games — Vikings-Bengals, Steelers-Colts, and Broncos-Lions — all have implications in the wild card races in both the AFC and NFC, and Ravens-Jaguars on Sunday Night Football will play a key role in determining who ends up with the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
We recommend the best NFL betting sites in Gaming Today’s overview of the odds for the best games of Week 15. Let’s break down the best NFL Week 15 odds and analyze a few of the best matchups here.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) at Indianapolis Colts (7-6)
- Time: Saturday, 4:30 p.m. ET
- TV/Live Stream: NFL Network
These two teams are just two of six in the AFC that are currently 7-6. Both would have wild card spots if the season ended today, but they have plenty of work to do to stay atop the cluster of teams fighting for the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds in the AFC. This game probably has higher stakes for the Steelers based on their remaining schedule, which is more difficult than the Colts’, but both teams will treat this one like it’s do-or-die.
The Steelers’ loss to the 3-10 Patriots last Thursday night generated major red flags about how many more games this team can win this year. That performance also explains why Pittsburgh is to reach the postseason as an AFC wild card team. Indianapolis had its own issues in its 34-14 loss to the Bengals in Week 14, but Gardner Minshew and the Colts should be able to outscore Mitch Trubisky and Pittsburgh at home.
Pick: Colts (-2.5 at time of publishing)
Denver Broncos (7-6) at Detroit Lions (9-4)
- Time: Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET
- TV/Live Stream: NFL Network
Russell Wilson and the Broncos have won six of their last seven games after a 1-5 start, putting them squarely in the hunt for an AFC wild card berth. The Denver D has been solid and offense has done just enough to give the Broncos a real shot at their first playoff berth since their Super Bowl-winning season in 2015. The Lions have lost two of their last three, and the Detroit defense is officially a problem. The Lions have a two-game lead in the division, even if Green Bay wins on Monday night, but it’s hard to see this team winning playoff games without better play defensively.
Denver has found a formula that makes it awfully appealing as the five-point road underdog.
Pick: Broncos (+5 at time of publishing)
Dallas Cowboys (10-3) at Buffalo Bills (7-6)
- Time: Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
- TV/Live Stream: FOX
One of the most interesting games of the week features two teams coming off impressive wins. The Cowboys dominated the Eagles in one of the biggest wins for Dallas in years last Sunday night, while Buffalo pulled off a road win over the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Bills need another massive performance against the Cowboys to stay in playoff contention. If Josh Allen can take care of the football — a big ask for a player with 17 turnovers in 13 games, especially against the Dallas defense — the Bills have a real chance to not only keep this one close, but pull off another upset.
That being said, the Cowboys are playing too well right now on both sides of the ball to bet against them, particularly when they’re getting points against a banged-up Buffalo defense.
Pick: Cowboys (+2.5 at time of publishing)
Baltimore Ravens (10-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5)
- Time: Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET
- TV/Live Stream: NBC
The Ravens needed some overtime magic to avoid an upset loss at home to the Rams, but at this point in the year, there’s no such thing as an ugly win. Two weeks ago, the Jaguars were 8-3 and set to face Jake Browning and the Bengals at home on Monday night before traveling to Cleveland to face Joe Flacco and the Browns. It felt like a lock that Jacksonville would go 1-1, at worst, in those matchups, but instead, they’re coming off back-to-back losses in which the offense struggled. With Trevor Lawrence coming off a brutal three-interception, four-sack performance in the Week 14 loss to the Browns and WR Christian Kirk likely out again due to injury, the Jags enter Sunday’s game in danger of a third consecutive loss.
The Ravens won’t win this one comfortably, but their defense should be able to cause Lawrence enough problems to cover the spread as the road favorites.
Pick: Ravens (-3.5 at time of publishing)