Week 15 NFL odds, picks, how to watch, stream: Colts win thriller over Cowboys, Patriots over Steelers
Wondering which NFL teams are going to win in Week 15? You've come to the right place to find out
I'll be honest guys, I almost didn't get my picks done this week and that's because I decided that watching 71 straight replays of the "Miami Miracle" would be a better use of my time than finishing my Week 15 picks.
If you put the word "miracle" next to a football play, there's a 100 percent chance that I'll be watching it on a loop, non-stop, for at least three straight days. I didn't leave my house for a month after the "Minneapolis Miracle."
With the play in Miami, you have to watch it at least 10 times just to fully appreciate the poor tackling effort that Rob Gronkowski made at the end of Kenyan Drake's run. You know what, let's watch it one more time, because you can never watch it too many times.
That will never get old. Patriots fans are going to be forced to watch replays of that and the helmet catch for the rest of eternity, which is enough to make you feel good inside.
You know what else makes you feel good inside? Watching football, and we'll be getting plenty of it this week. As a matter of fact, Week 15 is the only week of the entire NFL season where we get treated to four days of football (Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday). I'm not good at math, but I think that means more than half our week is going to involve football, which means I need to hurry up and get to these picks, because we don't have any time to waste.
Actually, before we get to the fun stuff, here's your weekly reminder to check out the picks from all our other CBS Sports NFL writers, which you can do by clicking here. Also, if you're looking for a new podcast to listen to -- and who isn't -- you can click here and subscribe to the Pick Six Podcast. I team up with Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough every week for an NFL recap show that you can download each and every Monday morning during the season. It's basically music for your ears, except no one actually sings.
Alright, I think I've delayed long enough, so let's get to these picks.
NFL Week 15 Picks
L.A. Chargers (10-3) at Kansas City (11-2)
8:20 p.m. ET, Thursday (Fox/NFL Network)
Guys, I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that this is the final Thursday night game of the season. That's bad news because I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my Thursdays from here on out. Actually, you know what, I do have 17 Hallmark Christmas movies currently on my DVR and they're not going to watch themselves. Now I just need to figure out if I want to watch "The Gingerbread Romance" or "Christmas Incorporated" first.
Now, I also said I have some good news and the good news is that the NFL is ending "Thursday Night Football" with a bang by giving us the Chargers and the Chiefs. There are only two teams in the NFL that have scored at least 20 points in every game this season and those two teams are playing in this game, which means there's a 99 percent chance that we're going to get a crazy shootout.
The one thing that makes this game difficult to predict is that both teams are dealing with some big injuries. On the Chiefs' end, Tyreek Hill (wrist, heel) and Spencer Ware (shoulder, hamstring) are both battling injuries. On the Chargers' end, they probably won't have their two running backs this week: Melvin Gordon is still dealing with a knee injury and Austin Ekeler can't really move his head right now.
Now, I'm not a doctor, but if you can't move your head three days before you're supposed to play in a football game, that probably means you're not going to play in that football game.
Although the Chargers are going to be hurting at running back, the one thing they will have is all of their wide receivers, which is all Philip Rivers needs to win. In the first meeting between these two teams, Rivers threw for 424 yards and he might double that going up against a Chiefs passing defense that ranks dead last in the NFL this year.
As much as I like Rivers, there are a lot of reasons to pick the Chiefs in this game: They have the best record in the AFC, they've won nine straight against the Chargers, and home teams are 11-2 on "Thursday Night Football" this year. However, I'm not going to pick the Chiefs.
Back in August, I pickedand I'm going to stand by my pick, because if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
Did I steal that quote from my niece's tumblr page? Yes. Is it the most overused quote ever on the internet? Probably.
Am I still picking the Chargers? Definitely.
The pick: Chargers 34-31 over Chiefs
The result: Chargers 29, Chiefs 28
What NFL picks can you make with confidence in Week 15? And which Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which NFL teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that has beaten 98 percent of experts over the past two years.
Dallas (8-5) at Indianapolis (7-6)
1 p.m. ET (Fox)
If the Cowboys make the playoffs this year, they should probably send a thank you note to Jon Gruden, and that's because he's basically single-handedly responsible for the the Cowboys success this year. Gruden hasn't been able to turn the Raiders into a contender, but he turned the Cowboys into one when he decided to trade Amari Cooper from Oakland to Dallas. That , and since then, the Cowboys have been unstoppable.
Cooper started his first game for the Cowboys in Week 9, and in the time period since then, he leads the NFL in both receiving yards (642) and receiving touchdowns (six). Oh, and the Cowboys are 5-1 in the six games that he's played in. If Gruden hadn't decided to implode his roster and sabotage his own team, none of this would have happened and the Cowboys wouldn't have Cooper, so maybe they should send him a fruit basket and a gift card to Chili's on top of that thank-you note. However, they definitely shouldn't send him any cookie dough, because apparently, that stuff is bad for you.
I don't want to say the CDC is overreacting, but I've been eating cookie dough every day for the past three weeks and I feel fine. As for this pick, I'm taking the Colts, and if I end up missing it, I'm blaming the cookie dough that the CDC said I wasn't supposed to eat.
The pick: Colts 27-24 over Cowboys
Note: The Cowboys will clinch the NFC East with a win on Sunday, and although I'm not picking them, I am giving you a heads up so you can avoid all Cowboys fans for at least 24 hours after the clinching. As everyone knows, there's nothing Cowboys fans like to talk about more than how amazing the Cowboys are. If you have a lot of friends who happen to be Cowboys fans, you might want to turn off your phone and quit all social media.
New England (9-4) at Pittsburgh (7-5-1)
4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
The Patriots are coming into this game after losing on a miracle play in Week 14, and yet somehow, I'm fully convinced that the Steelers actually had the crazier loss on Sunday. For one, they lost to the Raiders, which is basically the NFL equivalent of hitting rock-bottom. The Raiders don't even have a general manager. I mean, it doesn't get any more demoralizing than losing to a team and then watching that team fire their general manager the next day.
I didn't think it was possible for a first-place team to be in total disarray this late into the season, but the Steelers have proven me wrong. The most baffling part of the Raiders game is that Mike Tomlin kept his starting quarterback on the bench even though he was healthy enough to play. After Ben Roethlisberger left the game in the first half with a rib injury, he was ready to return in the third quarter, but Tomlin wouldn't play him because he didn't want to ruin the "rhythm and the flow of the game." That would be like not pulling the chord on your parachute because you don't want to ruin the rhythm and flow of your free fall. PULL THE CHORD OR YOUR SEASON IS OVER MIKE. Not pulling the chord would end in disaster and it's starting to feel like that's where the Steelers season is headed.
if Roethlisberger plays against the Patriots -- and he likely will -- he's going to be dealing with a rib injury. If James Conner plays, he'll be dealing with an ankle injury. The Steelers can't beat the Patriots when they're healthy, so I have no idea how they're going to do it when they're banged up.
I've been writing this picks column since 2013 and in that time, the Steelers have never beaten the Patriots. Including the playoffs, these two teams have met a total of five times over the past five years and the Patriots have won every game. Watching the Steelers choke against the Patriots has basically become an annual tradition and I don't see that ending this year.
On the other hand, Roethlisberger did win a game on a miracle play once, so maybe the Patriots should be concerned.
The pick: Patriots 30-23 over Steelers
Seahawks special: Seattle (8-5) at San Francisco (3-10)
4:05 p.m. ET (Fox)
The fact that this section is back for another week can only mean one thing: My record picking Seahawks games this year is still perfect. This section will only exist as long as my record stays perfect, and right now, it's sitting at 13-0. Last week, I said the Seahawks would win by double digits in a beatdown of the Vikings and that's basically what happened on Monday night.
At this point, I've decided that if my streak continues, I'm going to start celebrating each new win. If I improve to 14-0 this week, I'm going to buy a Marshawn Lynch elf on the shelf, which sounds weird, but I don't care. At $19.99, this thing is a steal.
I will say that I think the marketing team for the Marshawn elf blew it. I mean, how is this thing not called "Lynch on a bench?" You get all the fun of an Elf on the Shelf, except on a bench. Someone at NFL Shop needs to make that name change happen.
As for this week's game, the Seahawks can clinch a playoff berth if they win, which means there's a 100 percent chance I'm going to pick the Seahawks in this game, and I won't be surprised if things gets ugly. For one, I'm pretty sure everyone in Seattle's locker room is still slightly bitter about the fact that Richard Sherman called the Seahawks a "middle of the road team."
If the Seahawks are a middle of the road team, then I'm not sure what that makes the 49ers. Not only did they lose to the Seahawks 43-16 back in Week 13, but they've also lost nine straight games to the Seahawks dating back to the beginning of the 2014 season.
This definitely has all the makings of a trap game, but with Sherman's quote and the 49ers upsetting the Broncos on Sunday, I don't think the Seahawks will be overlooking anyone.
The pick: Seahawks 31-20 over 49ers
NFL Week 15 picks: All the rest
Browns 19-16 over Broncos
Bengals 30-27 over Raiders
Vikings 30-17 over Dolphins
Rams 34-23 over Eagles
Best pick: Last week, Iwould score 20 points and lose to the Packers, and then the Falcons went out and scored 20 points and lost to the Packers. Of course, the reason I picked the Falcons to lose had nothing to do with the Falcons and everything to do with the Packers. When it comes to making picks, I only have one rule and that rule is that there's a 100 percent chance I'm going to pick a team to win if they just fired their coach. However, I now feel bad for picking the Packers and taking advantage of Mike McCarthy getting fired, because apparently, he's a classy guy.
Even though the Packers kicked him to the curb, McCarthy stillover the weekend to thank the team and fans for their support. That's basically the complete opposite of the scorched earth tour that Hue Jackson went on after he got fired. You know, the one for the Browns' failures. Jackson also added insult to injury by taking a job just weeks later with one of the Browns' biggest rivals.
To put this in layman's terms, McCarthy's firing would be the equivalent of a guy getting dumped and then sending his ex-girlfriend a thank you note for a wonderful relationship while Jackson's firing would be the equivalent of a guy getting dumped and then setting his ex-girlfriend's house on fire in the same week where he also started dating her slightly less attractive sister.
I think the lesson to be learned here is don't date your ex-girlfriend's sister.
Worst pick: Last week, I spent roughly three paragraphs talking about how the freezing cold weather in Chicago would have no effect on a team from California and let me just say that I've never been more wrong about anything in my entire life. Not only did I pick the Rams to beat the Bears, but I said they would score 26 points in the win. I'm not sure if you watched the game, but the Rams definitely didn't beat the Bears and they didn't come anywhere close to scoring 26 points.
I have no idea why I said the Rams could handle cold weather. As someone who lived in California for six years, I know for a fact that the only thing people in California hate more than non-organic food is cold weather. If it's not beach weather, then there's no reason to go outside, but it's always beach weather, which is why everyone in California is always happy.
I mean, I can't even type on a computer when the temperature drops below 35 degrees, so I'm not sure why I thought Jared Goff would be able to throw a football. Lesson learned, which means if the Rams play any playoff games this year in a cold-weather city or a city that doesn't serve organic food, then I'll definitely be picking against them.
Finally, if you guys have ever wondered which teams I'm actually good at picking, this is the part where I tell you, but I don't need to tell you, because you already know. Through 14 weeks, I only have a perfect record picking one team: The Seahawks (13-0). Also, I'm 11-2 picking the Rams and 10-3 picking the 49ers, Chargers and Browns (9-3-1).
As for the rest of the NFL, I'm somewhere between 6-7 and 9-4 picking the 27 teams not listed above.
Straight up in Week 14: 10-6
SU overall: 132-74-2
Against the spread in Week 14: 9-7
ATS overall: 98-105-5
Exact score predictions: 2
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