Week 15 NFL Picks: Will Panthers Finally Lose?
The Carolina Panthers have ruled the NFL for all of 2015. Now they head into New York to try to rob the Giants of a division title and trip to the playoffs. Will the Panthers take Eli Manning and co. down and improve to 14-0, or will the G-Men step up and take over their division.
Find out that and more in our week 15 NFL picks:
Buccaneers @ Rams (-2.5)
The Rams are the odd favorite for what figures to be a defensive battle in St. Louis. The Bucs look like the better team in just about every way, while Tampa Bay is also still mathematically in the race to make the playoffs. Unless Todd Gurley goes nuts like he did last week, I like the Bucs.
Pick: Bucs 20, Rams 16
(-3) Jets @ Cowboys
Dallas is still technically alive for their division, but another loss will seal their fate. The Jets are better by a mile and are in the driver’s seat for a wild card spot. They can’t trip up in Dallas, where the ‘Boys have won just once all year.
Pick: Jets 27, Cowboys 17
(-5) Panthers @ Giants
Here it comes. The Giants have spoiled many a special moment in the past and with the NFC East on the line, I think Eli Manning and co. ruin Carolina’s perfect season at home. If they don’t, the Panthers are going 16-0. However, Carolina has been playing some tight games in 2015 and they’ll be without top running back Jonathan Stewart this week. On the road and a little under-manned against a team that needs a win more than they do, this is the perfect recipe for the Panthers to stumble into a loss.
Pick: Giants 26, Panthers 23
Titans @ Patriots (-14)
Tennessee has been pretty competitive for much of 2015 but they proved last week they can be overmatched and smoked at times, as well. We can expect something similar in Foxboro this weekend.
Pick: Patriots 41, Titans 24
(-1) Bills @ Redskins
The Redskins are in a weird spot, as they can take control of the NFC East at home this week, where they are a very stout 5-2. Unfortunately their bid to go 7-7 and stay atop the NFC East comes against a 6-7 Bills team that might be better and certainly can’t afford to lose. I expect Buffalo to be extremely focused as they come into D.C. and get the huge road win.
Pick: Bills 24, Redskins 20
(-7.5) Chiefs @ Ravens
Jimmy Clausen. That is all.
Pick: Chiefs 30, Ravens 10
Texans @ Colts (-1)
A total pick’em game, as both teams have dropped two straight games and don’t appear ready to win the AFC South division. Someone has to, though, and while the Colts seem like the more complete team, this could come down to quarterback play. It could be T.J. Yates vs. Charlie Whitehurst and if so, it’s hard not to favor the Texans.
Pick: Texans 19, Colts 16
Falcons @ Jaguars (-3.5)
Atlanta is in an ugly free fall with six straight losses, which took them from a dominant 6-1 playoff contender and has all but ended their season. Jax, meanwhile, looks quite dangerous and is at home with a chance to pull closer to first place in the AFC South. They can’t blow this opportunity, right?
Pick: Jaguars 24, Falcons 17
Bears @ Vikings (-5.5)
The Bears aren’t going to make the playoffs, but they can still play spoiler on the road. Minnesota still has a shot at the NFC North title at 8-5, though, so it’d be quite horrendous for them to blow it at home against a sinking Bears team. I expect a competitive battle, but the Vikings will snap their two game slide.
Pick: Vikings 31, Bears 27
(-3) Packers @ Raiders
Oakland had been reeling before showing signs of life with a big win over the Broncos last week. The same goes for the Packers, who have no won two in a row – miracles be damned – and can secure their spot atop the NFC North with a big road win. Normally I’d side with the West Coast team, but the Packers are the superior team and this game means a lot more for them.
Pick: Packers 26, Raiders 20
Browns @ Seahawks (-14.5)
The Seahawks are favored mightily in this one and they should be. They’re red hot with four straight wins and look like one of the best teams in the league. I like what I saw out of Johnny Football last week, but he’s not good enough to take down the ‘Hawks just yet – especially in Seattle.
Pick: Seahawks 38, Browns 17
(-4.5) Bengals @ 49ers
Losing Andy Dalton is a big deal, but A.J. McCarron looked plenty capable last week and now will have a full week as the starter under his belt. Against a tough opponent he might sink, but against a beatable Niners defense, I like his chances.
Pick: Bengals 27, 49ers 20
Dolphins @ Chargers (-1.5)
There are few teams that are tougher to trust than the Dolphins and Chargers. Ultimately, I have to side with Miami, who simply have more healthy, talented bodies. I like Philip Rivers to have a big day and keep it tight, but he’s running on fumes with such little help around him.
Pick: Dolphins 28, Chargers 21
Broncos @ Steelers (-6.5)
This is a massive game for both teams, as the Steelers still have an outside shot at taking the AFC North and either way still need to secure their spot in the playoffs. Denver looks to be a lock to get in, but they still don’t have their division cemented. The difference is Denver’s defense, which could quiet the Steelers’ would-be “unstoppable” offense for a week.
Pick: Broncos 17, Steelers 13
(-3.5) Cardinals @ Eagles
Another huge game goes down in the NFC, as the Cards try to officially win the NFC West and get an 8th straight win in the process. Philly hosts, though, as they fight to get back to 7-7 and stand atop the NFC East. Arizona is the better team without a doubt, but the Eagles may have the emotional edge and will certainly be a little more desperate. Expect fireworks and a close Philly win at home.
Pick: Eagles 34, Cardinals 31
Lions @ Saints (-3)
While neither the Saints or Lions can make the playoffs, both have proven in past weeks that they’ll continue to fight and put up points. Both teams have improved defensively lately, but the Saints pour it on thick at home and this is still a matchup that favors Detroit’s offense. Due to it being in the Superdome, it’ll be hard to go against Drew Brees.
Pick: Saints 30, Lions 27
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