2014 Quick Hitters (Week 15 NFL Picks)
Another successful 11-5 week as the Cleveland Browns choked away my shot at a perfect 2-0 record on my upset picks. Luckily the Baltimore Ravens came through on my other upset pick and I went a comforting 3-1 on my even picks. Enough about the past, let’s get on to the Week 15 NFL Picks. We have an interesting week as this is the time where the really bad teams stop trying and the mediocre teams knock off a contender. The NFC South and their mess of a division has really thrown a wrench into things because they have three bad teams fighting for a playoff spot, thus non divisional opponents have to be on watch. I’ve decided to continue to fade their bad play. Here’s to another successful week in your pick’em pools!
*Remember that my picks are straight up (MONEYLINE) and vegas lines are merely used to determine whether I’m choosing an upset, favorite or even pick.
Here are my results on the year:
Overall Record: 138-69-1 (0.663)
Last Week’s Record: 11-5
Record in Thursday Games: 11-5
Record in Sunday Games: 108-53-1
Record in Sunday Night Games: 6-8
Record in Monday Games: 13-3
Record in Upset Picks: 11-14
Record in Even Picks: 30-19
Record in Favorite Picks: 97-36-1
Record in “Toss-Up” Picks: 66-43
Record in “Moderate Confidence” Picks: 62-23
Record in “Lock of the Week” Picks: 10-3-1
*Even picks are classified as opening lines under 2.5 points.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Atlanta Falcons
Vegas Odds: Pittsburgh (-1.5)
The Pick: Pittsburgh at EVEN
Reason: Atlanta and Pittsburgh are pretty much the same team in that they have an unbelievable wide receiver (Antonio Brown and Julio Jones) and a horrible defense. Besides fading the NFC South, I like the Steelers because they have a better running back in Le’Veon Bell and a better coach in Mike Tomlin.
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts
Vegas Odds: Indianapolis (-6.5)
The Pick: Houston in an UPSET
Reason: I’m taking the Texans in this game for two reasons. First and foremost, they know how to run the ball and everyone knows the Colts are abysmal at stopping the run. While Andrew Luck has a bright future in this league, he continues to make stupid decisions and that’s the second reason I think the Texans will have a chance in this game. Moreover, I’m pretty sure the Colts will be one-dimensional with a poor running game which is never a good thing when you go up against JJ Watt.
Green Bay Packers at Buffalo Bills
Vegas Odds: Green Bay (-5.5)
The Pick: Green Bay as a FAVORITE
Reason: Here’s a matchup of strength versus strength. Green Bay has arguably the best offense in the league which will go on the road and take on arguably the league’s best defense. The reason I’ll take the Packers is because I don’t think their defense is near as bad as they played against Atlanta. I feel the Packers played a soft defense on purpose knowing their offense could do what they wanted against the Falcons. They will come out with an adequate gameplan to stop Kyle Orton and ultimately topple the Bills in an impressive road win. It very well could be a close game though.
Tampa Bay Bucs at Carolina Panthers
Vegas Odds: Carolina (-5)
The Pick: Carolina as a FAVORITE
Reason: Looks like Derek Anderson will make the start for the Panthers which is a blow to their playoff chances.. I love to fade the NFC South, but it gets really screwy when they play divisional games. As much as I would like to not pick a winner, I’ll go with the Panthers who have a lot more at stake than the Bucs do at this point.
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Vegas Odds: Cincinnati (-2)
The Pick: Cincinnati at EVEN
Reason: I’ll probably be kicking myself for picking the Bengals come Sunday, but I still don’t understand how the Browns lost that game to the Colts. Cleveland decided to start Johnny Manziel and I think people forget to realize how hard it is to play quarterback in this league. It won’t be a cakewalk to come in during your first start and beat a hungry division-rival. I don’t trust Andy Dalton or the Bengals one bit, so don’t put too much confidence in this prediction.
New York Jets at Tennessee Titans
Vegas Odds: Tennessee (-1.5)
The Pick: New York Jets at EVEN
Reason: The weekly “flip a coin” game between two of the worst teams in football. Both teams are turnover prone and don’t do anything very well. The Titans are better suited to tank and not try to win, so I’m going with the Jets who took the Vikings in to overtime last week. The Titans are in play for Marcus Mariota and have no reason to try to win any of their games in my opinion.
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers
Vegas Odds: Denver (-4)
The Pick: Denver as a FAVORITE
Reason: For some crazy reason, everyone is jumping off the Broncos’ bandwagon because they lost a couple of tough road games at St. Louis and New England. This team is still legit and handled a decent Buffalo team at home last week. The Chargers are a good story, but the Broncos are hungry for revenge after losing to San Diego last year. Additionally, the Broncos need that number one overall seed in the AFC.
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday Night Football)
Vegas Odds: Philadelphia (-3)
The Pick: Philadelphia as a FAVORITE
Reason: The Eagles didn’t look near as bad as the final score indicated against the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle’s defense is playing out of this world right now and the Eagles offense was barely on the field. No way Dallas’ defense can do even half of what the Seahawks did. Moreover, we saw this game on Thanksgiving and it wasn’t even close. I’ll take the better team to win at home on Sunday Night.
New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears (Monday Night Football)
Vegas Odds: New Orleans (-3)
The Pick: Chicago in an UPSET
Reason: This is probably one of the worst match-ups of the year for Monday Night Football. Neither of these teams are very attractive draws and I think I’m going to return to fading the New Orleans Saints after they were thoroughly dominated by the Carolina Panthers at home. The Bears are only semi-terrible and the offense is good enough to make this at least a shootout in Chicago.
MODERATE CONFIDENCE PICKS
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams (Thursday Night Football)
Vegas Odds: St. Louis (-3)
The Pick: St. Louis as a FAVORITE
Reason: This is the type of game that I call coming back to reality. The Rams are a decent team who gets to play at home off a short week while the Cardinals are a mediocre road team that’s dealing with a slew of injuries. If the Cardinals pull this one out of the hat, they truly are a team of destiny.
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
Vegas Odds: Detroit (-7)
The Pick: Detroit as a FAVORITE
Reason: As a Packers fan, I would love to pick the Vikings to upend the Lions on the road, but I can’t really see it happening. No team can run the ball on the Lions and the Vikings don’t exactly have an awesome passing game with rookie Teddy Bridgewater. The Lions offense has played slightly better over the last couple of weeks, so they should win without much problem.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots
Vegas Odds: New England (-7)
The Pick: New England as a FAVORITE
Reason: Why do the Dolphins always give the Patriots trouble? Yes, they are a divisional opponent, but most importantly they can rush the passer. Tom Brady is a lot less dangerous when he doesn’t have time to work through his progressions and pick you apart. The main reason I like the Patriots in this spot is because their defense is a lot better than when the Dolphins pulled the upset earlier in the season.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens
Vegas Odds: Baltimore (-13)
The Pick: Baltimore as a heavy FAVORITE
Reason: Tell me how the Ravens go in to Miami without Haloti Ngata and a horrible secondary, yet come out with one of the best games of their respectable season. I think Baltimore is a well-coached team who has the ability to mask their glaring weaknesses. The Jaguars passing game doesn’t have near what it takes, similar to Miami, to pull an improbable upset in the Ravens’ house.
Washington Redskins at New York Giants
Vegas Odds: New York Giants (-6.5)
The Pick: New York Giants as a FAVORITE
Reason: Washington has all the makings of a team who has packed it in for the season. They have a mess at quarterback and I have to believe the New York Giants want to try for Tom Coughlin’s sake. Plus, the Giants have way more talent and are at home. Give me the Giants, but not with a ton of confidence.
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Vegas Odds: Kansas City (-9.5)
The Pick: Kansas City as a FAVORITE
Reason: Kansas City really was screwed last week in Arizona because I don’t think anyone believes that Travis Kelce fumbled, yet the referees still ruled it that way. I think the Chiefs are closer to being a good team than a mediocre one. Arizona had success running the ball against Kansas City, something the Oakland Raiders can’t do at all, so I have no problem picking the Chiefs as their playoff hopes dwindle by a thread.
LOCK OF THE WEEK PICK
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
Vegas Odds: Seattle (-7.5)
The Pick: Seattle as a FAVORITE
Reason: Seattle’s legion of boom is back and the 49ers’ offense is the worst they’ve had in some time. San Francisco can no longer dominate in the running game and the poor offensive line has only compounded how bad Colin Kaepernick has been. I still don’t like the Seahawks offense much, but it will have enough to get it done at home in my lock of the week pick.
Week Fifteen Pick Summary: 11 Favorites, 2 Upsets and 3 Even Picks
Let me know where you agree and disagree in week fifteen. Good luck and most importantly enjoy the games!