There's nothing better than when the weather begins to contrast the state of the NFL playoff race. Up here in the northeast, we're about to get bombarded by about a foot of snow, but things have never been hotter across the football landscape. With just three games left, the stakes have never been higher and there could be some significant movement in the playoff picture throughout the league. That added weight these games carry only makes it more fun to wager on, in my opinion, and that's what we'll be talking about today.
We're coming into Week 15 after a Week 14 slate where we went 8-8 ATS and 11-5 SU. After getting a few bad beats earlier this season, we were spared from feeling the wrath of that late safety in the Ravens-Browns thriller on Monday night, which was appreciated. In this slate, we have Saturday football to get into and much much more. Let's roll!
All NFL odds are via William Hill Sportsbook.
Pete Prisco, Kenny White and R.J. White join Will Brinson on the Pick Six Podcast to break down all the games and make best bets. Give it a listen below and be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform:
Locks of the Week
L.A. Chargers (4-9) vs. Las Vegas (7-6)
Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (FOX/NFLN)
The Raiders may be in a bit of disarray after firing defensive coordinator Paul Guenther this week and have failed to cover in their previous three contests, but I'm looking for them to turn the tide on Thursday night. Really, I just have a hard time trusting that Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn and his staff will put L.A. in a position to win this game. Miscues from atop the Chargers masthead have been abundant this season and has led them to a 4-9 SU record. They have not won consecutive games this season and are losers in five straight road and primetime games. Las Vegas also won and covered their first head-to-head back in Week 19 while rushing for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
Projected score: Las Vegas 30, L.A. Chargers 24
My pick: Las Vegas -3.5
Carolina (4-9) at Green Bay (10-3)
Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET (NFLN)
Not only does Aaron Rodgers look like an MVP, but the Packers are a wagon in the NFC currently. They're averaging 34 points per game over the last three weeks coming into this Saturday matchup with Carolina and Rodgers has simply been spectacular over that winning streak. He's completed 75% of his passes for an average of 265.3 yards passing, 10 touchdowns, and zero interceptions. With Green Bay running that hot behind Rodgers, it's hard to not see them blowing doors again. Carolina has lost seven of its previous eight contests and likely won't have running back Christian McCaffrey to boost the offense. Green Bay is also 11-1 SU in their last 12 home contests.
Projected score: Green Bay 28, Carolina 17
My pick: Green Bay -9
New England (6-7) at Miami (8-5)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)
New England's offense continues to look lost under Cam Newton, who has just 272 yards passing over his last three games. While it's hardly just Newton's fault that New England has so many shortcomings offensively, they aren't in a great position heading down to Florida to face Brian Flores and the Dolphins. Miami's defense is allowing the second-fewest points in the league entering Week 15 and are tied for the league lead in takeaways. They're also 10-3 ATS this season, which includes five-straight home covers. With the Dolphins still hungry and in the hunt to make the playoffs, they'll come into this game extremely motivated to beat their division rival and effectively put an end to their season.
Projected score: Miami 21, New England 14
My pick: Miami -2.5
Kansas City (12-1) at New Orleans (10-3)
Sunday, 4:25 p,m. ET (CBS)
Despite taking over as the No. 1 seed in the AFC, the Chiefs have been in a bit of a slump against the spread, going 0-5 over their previous five contests. During the stretch, they've been favored by 41.5 total points, but have only won by 21 total points. Patrick Mahomes also looked human against the Dolphins in Week 14 where he threw three interceptions. That said, I expect Kansas City to turn things around against a Saints club that was just upset by Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles. Even with Sean Payton's strong record as a home underdog (9-3 ATS in New Orleans), I don't think Taysom Hill will be able to go toe-to-toe with Mahomes and as long as Brees isn't back under center, it's hard to imagine the Saints pulling this one out.
Projected score: Kansas City 28, New Orleans 20
My pick: Kansas City -3
Cleveland (9-4) at N.Y. Giants (5-8)
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
With Daniel Jones less than 100% and now primed to face an onslaught courtesy of Myles Garrett and the Browns front-seven, it's hard to trust the Giants in this spot, despite owning a 5-2 ATS record over their last seven games. Cleveland will be looking to rebound off that heartbreaker against the Ravens in Week 14 and continue to stamp their ticket into the postseason so there is plenty of motivation from Kevin Stefanski's club. As long as Baker Mayfield and the Browns offense continues to stay hot, it'll be extremely difficult for New York to keep pace.
Projected score: Cleveland 24, N.Y. Giants 17
My pick: Cleveland -4
Rest of the bunch
Buffalo at Denver
Projected score: Buffalo 30, Denver 21
My pick: Buffalo -6.5
Tampa Bay at Atlanta
Projected score: Tampa Bay 27, Atlanta 17
My pick: Tampa Bay -6
San Francisco at Dallas
Projected score: Dallas 24, San Francisco 21
My pick: Dallas +3
Detroit at Tennessee
Projected score: Tennessee 33, Detroit 14
My pick: Tennessee -10.5
Houston at Indianapolis
Projected score: Indianapolis 28, Houston 16
My pick: Indianapolis -7
Chicago at Minnesota
Projected score: Minnesota 24, Chicago 20
My pick: Minnesota -3
Seattle at Washington
Projected score: Seattle 27, Washington 21
My pick: Seattle -.5.5
Jacksonville at Baltimore
Projected score: Baltimore 32, Jacksonville 17
My pick: Baltimore -13.5
Philadelphia at Arizona
Projected score: Arizona 24, Philadelphia 20
My pick: Philadelphia +6.5
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
Projected score: Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 14
My pick: Cincinnati +13
Against the spread in Week 14: 8-8
ATS overall: 99-101-6
Straight up in Week 14: 11-5
SU overall: 137-68-1