Last week’s NFL games brought a flurry of excitement, including Baker Mayfield’s game-winning touchdown drive off the bench for the Rams on Thursday and the Chargers edging the Dolphins on Sunday Night Football.
It wasn’t a good week for the huge favorites, as Buffalo, Dallas, and Kansas City all failed to cover. With the playoffs on the horizon, our NFL Week 15 betting picks and predictions take a look at some of the best bets to make this weekend.
Dallas Cowboys (-4.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Looking to keep up with the Eagles in the NFC East, the Cowboys head to Jacksonville as a slight favorite. The Cowboys were able to come from behind and defeat the Texans last week, 27-23, but failed to cover a 17-point spread.
NFL · Sun (12/18) @ 1:00pm ET
|TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville, Florida|
The Jaguars blew the doors off the Titans last week in one of Trevor Lawrence’s best games as a pro, beating their division rival 36-22 to stay alive in the playoff race. Before Week 14’s action, the lookahead line had the Cowboys as a touchdown favorite. Last week’s performance has caused the line to drop, opening up value for a bet on the Cowboys in Week 15.
Dallas has won six of their last seven with an impressive 20.3 average margin of victory. Their eyes are set on a vital rematch against first-place Philadelphia in two weeks, but first, expect them to take care of business in Jacksonville. In our NFL Week 15 predictions, we have the Cowboys winning 26-17 and covering the spread.
Jacksonville has been up-and-down all season, especially of late, alternating wins and losses the past six weeks. One week after edging out the Ravens, they were blown out by the Lions before picking up a win against the Titans.
Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars’ offense will continue to struggle to put up solid back-to-back performances. The Cowboys’ defense will be a more formidable test. As a unit, they’ve notched 48 sacks and 23 takeaways — both good for second-best in the NFL.
Dallas is 5-3 as a favorite this season and is the better team across the board. Recency bias is always something to consider in betting and despite their disappointing performance against Houston, they should be a touchdown favorite in North Florida.
One of our best bets for NFL Week 15, take the Cowboys to cover and put the final nail in the coffin of the Jaguars’ playoff hopes.
Atlanta Falcons (+4) at New Orleans Saints
All of a sudden, each team in the NFC South enters Week 15 with their playoff hopes alive. This is more of an indictment against the quality of teams in the division, as each team is at least a game under .500. Somebody has to win, however, and the Falcons head to New Orleans in this crucial divisional battle.
6-8 Atlanta can keep pace with the 6-7 Buccaneers with a win. New Orleans, last in the division at 4-9, isn’t dead yet but a loss this week seriously hampers their chances. This will be the second matchup of the year between the two teams, with New Orleans topping Atlanta 27-26 back in Week 1.
Both teams went to the bye last week following back-to-back losses. Atlanta’s last game was a 19-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Saints’ last on-field action was a one-point loss to rival Tampa Bay.
Atlanta used the break to turn to Desmond Ridder at the quarterback position. The rookie replaces Marcus Mariota and will be making his NFL debut. The Saints’ defense has had some strong outings this season, but offensive ineptitude has failed to translate into wins.
As an underdog of at least four points this season, the Falcons have covered three out of four games. Turning to Ridder at the quarterback position creates some uncertainty, but the talent difference between these two teams — even if played in the Superdome — isn’t worth four points.
Only one point was the difference between these two teams to start the season, and this rematch should also be close and low scoring. Take Atlanta getting the points in our Week 15 NFL predictions.
Tennessee Titans (+3) at Los Angeles Chargers
The Titans still hold a spot in the playoffs despite losing four of their last six games. Tennessee has hardly been a force, but the AFC South looks incredibly bare behind them. Jacksonville — who romped the Titans 36-22 last week — is nipping at their tails in this division.
Tennessee heads to Los Angeles this week in a crucial AFC battle, as the Titans need a win to stay ahead in the AFC South. As for the Chargers, they’re in the thick of a close race for a wild card berth.
In one of our best bets for NFL Week 15, we like the Titans to keep it close in the City of Angels. RB Derrick Henry has been the focal point for the Titans’ offense this season, and the All-Pro back faces one of the league’s worst rush defenses in LA. The Chargers’ defense is allowing a league-leading 5.4 yards per rush.
Neither defense has been strong this year, but the Titans have a slight edge. They’ve epitomized the bend-but-don’t-break philosophy, as they’re allowing the second-most passing yards per game yet are allowing the 12th-fewest points per game.
The Titans’ defense has been solid on third-down, allowing opposing offenses to cover on just 31.6% of third-downs — the best mark in the league. Against Justin Herbert and a Chargers offense that throws more than anybody, the Titans’ defense will limit their opportunities to convert drives into points.
This season, the Titans are 5-2 against the spread (ATS) on the road and 4-2 ATS as an underdog. Tennessee should keep it close and be in a position to win late, making the Titans’ spread one of our best bets of NFL Week 15.