football picks week 15

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football picks week 15

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п»їNFL Week 15 picks: Chiefs beat Saints; Steelers bounce back against Bengals.
Using point spreads with the scores Farmer predicted, the record against the spread would have been 4-12 (.250); season 107-96-56 (.527).
Times are Pacific.
Bills (10-3) at Broncos (5-8)
Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Line: Bills by 6. O/U: 511/2.
The Broncos are young and full of potential, but too up and down. Josh Allen is playing at an MVP level for the Bills, whose defense struggles with consistency but can play really well at times.
Prediction : Bills 35, Broncos 24.
Panthers (4-9) at Packers (10-3)
Saturday, 5:15 p.m.
Line: Packers by 81/2. O/U: 511/2.
This could be a bit of a shootout, especially if D.J. Moore is back for the Panthers. Green Bay’s defense is vulnerable, but the Packers have too many weapons and Aaron Rodgers is too good.
Prediction : Packers 34, Panthers 27.
Jaguars (1-12) at Ravens (8-5)
TV: None. DirecTV: 705.
Line: Ravens by 13. O/U: 471/2.
The Ravens looked great in a thriller at Cleveland on Monday, finally playing with the explosiveness that defined them last season. The Jaguars can hang tough now and again but can’t stop the run.
Prediction : Ravens 34, Jaguars 17.
Patriots (6-7) at Dolphins (8-5)
TV: None. DirecTV: 706.
Line: Dolphins by 11/2. O/U: 411/2.
Bill Belichick routinely schools rookies, even the astoundingly impressive QB Justin Herbert. But Tua Tagovailoa is backed by a smothering Miami defense, and Patriots will struggle to move ball.
Prediction : Dolphins 24, Patriots 18.
49ers (5-8) at Cowboys (4-9)
TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 707.
Line: 49ers by 3. O/U: 45.
The season is slipping away for banged-up 49ers, but they should be able to run over Cowboys. If Raheem Mostert can’t go, Jeff Wilson will have a big day. Kyle Shanahan will carve up a bad Dallas D.
Prediction : 49ers 28, Cowboys 21.
Texans (4-9) at Colts (9-4)
TV: None. DirecTV: 708.
Line: Colts by 71/2. O/U: 51.
Even if they get Brandin Cooks back, the Texans don’t have much left. You can’t run on the Colts, and they still have a swarming pass defense. Indianapolis rushes four and gets to the quarterback.
Prediction : Colts 33, Texans 24.
Lions (5-8) at Titans (9-4)
TV: None. DirecTV: 709.
Line: Titans by 11. O/U: 511/2.
The Lions can’t stop the run, and Tennessee is going to want to run it all game. It doesn’t look as if Matthew Stafford is going to play. If he did, maybe the game wouldn’t be so lopsided.
Prediction : Titans 35, Lions 21.
Buccaneers (8-5) at Falcons (4-9)
TV: None. DirecTV: 710.
Line: Buccaneers by 6. O/U: 491/2.
Where did Matt Ryan go? The Falcons don’t run, and even though their defense is better under Raheem Morris, it’s not good enough. Tampa Bay has kicking issues, but Buccaneers are just better.
Prediction : Buccaneers 34, Falcons 27.
Bears (6-7) at Vikings (6-7)
TV: None. DirecTV: 711.
Line: Vikings by 3. O/U: 461/2.
The Bears have scored 30 and 36 in consecutive weeks, so that makes this interesting. But you never know which Mitch Trubisky you’re going to get. That said, the Vikings are better all the way around.
Prediction : Vikings 28, Bears 24.
Seahawks (9-4) at Washington (6-7)
TV: None. DirecTV: 712.
Line: Seahawks by 51/2. O/U: 441/2.
Could be game of the week, especially if Alex Smith can play. The Seahawks have been better on defense since they started blitzing with Bobby Wagner and Jamal Adams. A lower-scoring slugfest.
Prediction : Seahawks 21, Washington 17.
Eagles (4-8-1) at Cardinals (7-6)
TV: None. DirecTV: 713.
Line: Cardinals by 6. O/U: 491/2.
Now that teams have gotten a glimpse of Jalen Hurts, they know what they’re facing. Hurts will need to throw better to outduel Kyler Murray and the Cardinals. Interesting game, but go with home team.
Prediction : Cardinals 28, Eagles 20.
Jets (0-13) at Rams (9-4)
TV: Channel 11. DirecTV: 714.
Line: Rams by 171/2. O/U: 431/2.
With a spot in the playoffs up for grabs with a win, Sean McVay makes sure his players don’t overlook the league’s only winless team. Rams’ defense is smothering and Jared Goff has a big day.
Prediction : Rams 38, Jets 9.
Chiefs (12-1) at Saints (10-3)
TV: Channel 2. DirecTV: 715.
Line: Chiefs by 3. O/U: 511/2.
The Saints have won a lot but haven’t scored like crazy with Taysom Hill at quarterback. If Drew Brees returns, he won’t be the same . at least not yet. Hard to match Chiefs in a scoring contest.
Prediction : Chiefs 34, Saints 28.
Browns (9-4) at Giants (5-8)
Line: Browns by 6. O/U: 441/2.
The Giants have looked decent at times, but Daniel Jones doesn’t look healthy and will be vulnerable to the Browns pass rush. Cleveland is coming off a heartbreaker, and should bounce back.
Prediction : Browns 27, Giants 23.
Steelers (11-2) at Bengals (2-10-1)
Line: Steelers by 13. O/U: 40.
Ben Roethlisberger virtually always plays well in home state of Ohio, and has the weapons to carve up the struggling Bengals. Pittsburgh regains footing and heads into postseason on upward trend.
Prediction : Steelers 35, Bengals 18.
Go beyond the scoreboard.
Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.
Honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame in recognition of his “long and distinguished reporting in the field of pro football,” Sam Farmer has covered the NFL for 25 seasons. A graduate of Occidental College, he’s a two-time winner of California Sportswriter of the Year and first place for beat writing by Associated Press Sports Editors.


NFL picks, predictions for Week 15: Eagles upset Cardinals; Chiefs win thriller vs. Saints; Bears boost playoff hopes.
There are only three weeks left in the NFL regular season, and the scramble for the playoffs is on. The main event features Super Bowl contenders Kansas City and New Orleans, but there are several other gems that should impact the playoff picture – especially in the NFC East.
Can Washington, led by an improved defense with first-round pick Chase Young, continue its run against Seattle? Will the Eagles get a spark from new quarterback Jalen Hurts? Do the Giants make it interesting in prime time against the Browns? Those are the big questions heading into the home stretch.
SN is coming off one of its better weeks of the season. Here is a look at our track record in picking games straight-up in 2020:
Last Week: 11-5 Season: 94-62.
With that as the mind, below are our picks and predictions for the rest of Week 15:
NFL picks, predictions for Week 15.
Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders (-3)
Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX/NFLN.
The Raiders have allowed more than 200 rushing yards each of the last two weeks, and that is a major concern. The good news is the Chargers are 1-5 on the road this season. Las Vegas keeps its playoff hopes alive, but it's a close call.
Pick: Raiders 27, Chargers 23.
Buffalo Bills (-4) at Denver Broncos.
Saturday, 4:30 p.m., NFL Network.
The Bills made a statement with their Sunday Night Football victory over the Steelers. Denver's Drew Lock passed for four TDs last week, but he will be forced into a few mistakes against a Bills' defense that has 18.7 points per game through a three-game win streak. Buffalo stays hot.
Pick: Bills 26, Broncos 18.
Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (-8.5)
Saturday, 8 p.m., NFL Network.
The Packers hold the top spot in the NFC, but this is one of those trap-door games to keep an eye on. Teddy Bridgewater can test Green Bay's defense with high-percentage throws and keep this game close into the fourth quarter. But the Packers will stay ahead with Aaron Rodgers, who continues to play at a MVP level.
Pick: Packers 31, Panthers 24.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-5) at Atlanta Falcons.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX.
The Falcons have lost their last two games by a combined total of eight points, and the struggles in the running game continue. Tom Brady continues to tune up for the playoffs with a deep group of receivers in a much-needed road victory.
Pick: Buccaneers 28, Falcons 19.
San Francisco 49ers (-2.5) at Dallas Cowboys.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
Two classic brands meet in a game with much lower stakes. The Niners struggled on offense last week against Washington, and they hit the road against an inconsistent Dallas team coming off its best performance of the season. It's a coin-flip game.
Pick: Cowboys 24, 49ers 21.
Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans (-8.5)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX.
Matthew Stafford's status is uncertain after an injury suffered in the fourth quarter against the Packers, and the Lions rank 29th against the run (132.9). This should be another big-time performance for Derrick Henry. Fantasy owners will enjoy that, too.
Pick: Titans 31, Lions 21.
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-7)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
Rookie running back Jonathan Taylor has found his groove in the Colts' offense the last three weeks, and Philip Rivers should continue to benefit from that. The Texans keep it close a half with Deshaun Watson, but the defense is exposed again.
Pick: Colts 30, Texans 20.
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (-3)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
If the Dolphins are a playoff team, then this is a game they have to win. New England won the Week 1 meeting in ugly fashion 21-11, and this one will be a low-scoring affair. Can Miami push the Pats out of the playoffs once and for all?
Pick: Patriots 23, Dolphins 21.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-3)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX.
The Bears and Vikings remain on the outskirts of the playoff hunt, and Minnesota won the last matchup 19-13 in Week 10. Chicago has found some offense since with Mitchell Trubisky, and they've averaged 30.3 points per game the last three weeks. Expect the rematch to have a wild finish.
Pick: Bears 30, Vikings 27.
Seattle Seahawks (-5) at Washington Football Team.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX.
Washington is in the playoff hunt, and the defense has allowed just 14.3 points per game through a four-game win streak. Alex Smith (calf) will be monitored throughout the week, but the Seahawks have found their rhythm on defense, too. Russell Wilson keeps Seattle's home-field hopes alive.
Pick: Seahawks 24, Washington 20.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens (-13)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS.
The Ravens have little room for error in the AFC playoff race, but the key will be keeping the running game going against the Jaguars. Jacksonville has allowed 200.3 rushing yards per game the last three weeks. Baltimore rolls again.
Pick: Ravens 30, Jaguars 20.
New York Jets at Los Angeles Rams (-17)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX.
The Rams are huge home favorites against the hapless Jets. New York is 1-4 ATS as a double-digit underdog, so Los Angeles could easily cover here. Look for the Rams to keep it rolling.
Pick: Rams 34, Jets 16.
Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals (-6)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX.
Can Jalen Hurts lead the Eagles to a last-minute NFC East championship? Hurts offers an element to the running game, and that should lead to a fun back and forth with Kyler Murray. If Philadelphia protects the football, then it will have a chance.
Pick: Eagles 23, Cardinals 20.
Kansas City Chiefs (-4) at New Orleans Saints.
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS.
The marquee game of the week puts more pressure on the Saints, which lost their first game with Taysom Hill at quarterback in Week 14. The Chiefs withstood four turnovers to beat the Dolphins last week. Patrick Mahomes is 3-0 in indoor starts for his career, and he has a 91.8 passer rating in those games.
Pick: Chiefs 34, Saints 30.
Cleveland Browns (-3.5) at N.Y. Giants.
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC.
Cleveland continues its prime-time tour at New York, and the Giants will have to contend with the two-headed running game of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Baker Mayfield makes enough plays to keep the Browns' playoff – and perhaps AFC North title – hopes alive.
Pick: Browns 28, Giants 21.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-12) at Cincinnati Bengals.
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN.
The Steelers are looking for a get-right game after two straight losses, and the rival Bengals provide that opportunity. Cincinnati has a –6 turnover ratio in three games since Joe Burrow's season-ending injury. Pittsburgh will exploit that.


NFL Week 15 game picks: Saints defeat Chiefs; Vikings edge Bears.
Around The NFL Editor.
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Gregg Rosenthal went 9-7 on his predictions for Week 14 of the 2020 NFL season, bringing his total record to 130-76-1. How will he fare in Week 15? His picks are below.
Sunday, Dec. 20.
San Francisco 49ers 28, Dallas Cowboys 24.
This will be the last time this Cowboys team dashes the home crowd's false hope coming off a win. This will also likely be the last time we marvel at Kyle Shanahan and Robert Saleh's synchronized coaching acumen for San Francisco, with the two men making the best of a cursed season that no organization could have survived, and Saleh poised for a ride on the coming coaching carousel.
Seattle Seahawks 27, Washington Football Team 20.
Whether it's Dwayne Haskins or Alex Smith getting the start, Washington's QB situation might not be as decisive for the team's offense as Antonio Gibson's status on Sunday. Washington doesn't have the juice to compete against Seattle sans Gibson, no matter how well Jonathan Allen and Chase Young are playing. The Seahawks would agree that running backs matter, based on the boost Chris Carson gives their offense. My score here will move depending on Gibson's status; for now, I'm assuming he's out another week with turf toe.
UPDATE: Washington ruled Smith (calf) out for Sunday's game. Haskins will start against the Seahawks.
Minnesota Vikings 25, Chicago Bears 23.
This is one of the toughest games to pick all year. Either п»їMitchell Trubiskyп»ї is pulling his final okey-doke on the Bears faithful, lighting up some bad defenses before Lucy pulls the ball away from him. Or this Bears team, with the Jaguars up next week, is going to be in playoff contention into Week 17. With so many factors at play -- I also worry about Minnesota's line against this Bears front -- it's hard not to lean on the better coach and the better quarterback. Those remain in Minnesota.
Miami Dolphins 27, New England Patriots 19.
Miami has a significantly better defense than New England. Despite playing with a rookie quarterback, the Dolphins have a significantly better offense, too, especially now that it appears DeVante Parkerп»ї, Jakeem Grant and their backfield will be ready for Sunday. The Dolphins probably need to win out, but they should feel good that the fine folks at Football Outsiders confirmed that 11 wins gets them to the playoffs in all of their simulations. The season-long underestimation of the Dolphins and overestimation of the Patriots should finally end here.
Baltimore Ravens 33, Jacksonville Jaguars 24Р’.
The Ravens' deteriorating defense is a problem. Their cornerbacks aren't healthy enough to leave in man coverage, which limits their blitzes, which ruins the pass rush from a banged-up defensive line. п»їGardner Minshewп»ї could also be a problem this week, but the Jaguars' run defense is too soft to hold up despite this being Baltimore's third straight game playing on a short week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31, Atlanta Falcons 24.
The Falcons helped bring Tom Brady to Tampa by picking off Jameis Winston in overtime of the 2019 season finale. Now they could theoretically ruin Brady's season, with two games against the Buccaneers in the next three weekends. While the Falcons' defense has improved enough under Raheem Morris to keep this one close, Matt Ryan isn't the same player without a healthy Julio Jones on the field.
UPDATE: Jones will be out vs. the Bucs, Morris announced on Friday .
Tennessee Titans 38, Detroit Lions 24.
The Darrell Bevellution has undeniably helped Detroit's offense. Unfortunately, it hasn't helped п»їKenny Golladayп»ї -- or the Lions' key missing linemen on both sides of the ball -- get any healthier. I know Mike Vrabel wants п»їDerrick Henryп»ї to get 2,000 yards, but this looks like a game in which the Titans won't need him that much. (Especially if п»їChase Danielп»ї starts in place of a banged-up п»їMatthew Staffordп»ї.)
Indianapolis Colts 30, Houston Texans 26.
The Texans may nearly be out of receivers, but this is a division game where the teams are facing off for the second time in three weeks. It could not have been more evenly played last time around, and familiarity in the NFL is the great equalizer. The Colts aren't quite as good as they looked last week, and the Texans aren't as bad.
Arizona Cardinals 24, Philadelphia Eagles 21.
The Eagles had their best offensive game of the season, by far, in Jalen Hurts' first start. It came against one of the top defenses in football. And for some reason, the focus in Philly seems to be on finding ways not to hurt Carson Wentz's feelings. If the Eagles' offensive line and secondary weren't newly destroyed by injuries, I'd pick the Eagles to win this game and make life truly chaotic in Philly.
Los Angeles Rams 27, New York Jets 9.
Adam Gase's patented run-run-pass approach led to 12 first downs and 116 net passing yards against a Seahawks pass defense ranked last in yards allowed. Now the Jets have to face a Rams defense that ranks first in the league in expected points allowed, with the knowledge that Joe Flacco might give the team a better chance to win than Sam Darnold.
New Orleans Saints 30, Kansas City Chiefs 27.
People are giving up on the Saints too quickly because of a bad (if overdue) loss. Despite missing Drew Brees for a month, the Saints have been a more complete team than the Chiefs all season, with more truly impressive wins. They are a proud team coming off an embarrassing loss, and Sunday's game means far more to them than it does to the Chiefs, who can afford to lose and still get home-field advantage. The injury report will help make my pick here. The Chiefs could be down their top three tackles, while Taysom Hillп»ї's limitations show up more each week. If Brees returns, I'm picking him to help Sean Payton's Coach of the Year candidacy.
UPDATE: Sean Payton announced he's planning to start Drew Brees against the Chiefs on Sunday .


NFL odds, lines, spreads, picks, predictions for Week 15, 2020: Proven model loving Cardinals, Colts.
SportsLine's computer model simulated every Week 15 NFL game 10,000 times with surprising results.
The Pittsburgh Steelers began their season with 11 consecutive victories and were 8-3 against the spread, but after suffering back-to-back losses and failing to cover the spread, they're hoping to stop the bleeding in Week 15. They'll face the Bengals on Monday Night Football, and Cincinnati has lost five games in a row while covering the spread just once during that span. That's why the Steelers are 14-point favorites in the latest Week 15 NFL odds from William Hill Sportsbook, but can the banged up Steelers get the job done after two letdowns in a row?
On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs will visit the New Orleans Saints. Patrick Mahomes and company are favored by three according to the current NFL spreads. And in a game featuring one of the largest NFL Vegas odds of the week, the Los Angeles Rams are favored by a whopping 17 points over the New York Jets. All of the Week 15 NFL lines are listed below, and SportsLine's advanced computer model has all the NFL betting advice and predictions you need to make the best Week 15 NFL picks now.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NFL game 10,000 times and is up nearly $7,900 for $100 players on its top-rated NFL picks since its inception five-plus years ago.
It's a sizzling 22-11 on top-rated NFL picks this season, already returning over $800. The model enters Week 15 on an incredible 118-76 roll on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season. Additionally, the model also ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch in three of the past four years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 95 percent of CBS Sports office pool players three times during that span. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now, it has examined the latest Week 15 NFL odds and NFL betting lines from William Hill, simulated every snap, and its predictions are in. Head to SportsLine now to see them all.
Top NFL predictions for Week 15.
One of the top Week 15 NFL picks the model recommends: Arizona covers as a 6.5-point home favorite against Philadelphia. A dominant 26-7 win last Sunday over the Giants snapped a three-game losing streak for the Cardinals and Kliff Kingsbury.
Against a top-10 defense, the Cardinals had strong balance with 390 yards of total offense fueled by 159 rushing yards. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had nine catches for 136 yards in the victory, while the Cardinals recorded eight sacks while forcing three turnovers.
The model predicts that Hopkins will approach 100 yards once again and that Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray will generate nearly 300 yards of total offense and multiple touchdowns. The Cardinals cover in well over 50 percent of simulations, while the under (49.5) hits nearly 60 percent of the time.
Another one of the top Week 15 NFL predictions from the model: The Indianapolis Colts (-7) cover at home against the Houston Texans. The Colts are 15-3 in their last 18 games against the Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis has won four of the last five meetings between these AFC South rivals and the Colts covered as three-point favorites in the teams' first meeting this season.
The line opened at Indianapolis -6.5, but has moved up half-a-point since then. The model is calling for Colts quarterback Philip Rivers to throw for over 280 yards and two scores, while wide receiver T.Y. Hilton racks up 75 receiving yards. Indianapolis covers the spread in well over 50 percent of simulations, while the under (51) hits 60 percent of the time.
How to make Week 15 NFL picks.
The model has also made the call on every other game on the Week 15 NFL schedule and identified a Super Bowl contender that goes down hard. You can only get every pick for every game here.
What NFL picks can you make with confidence in Week 15? And which Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Check out the latest NFL odds from William Hill below and then visit SportsLine to see which NFL teams are covering in more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that is up nearly $7,900 on its top-rated NFL picks.
NFL odds, matchups for Week 15.
Sunday, Dec. 20.
Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts (-7, 51)




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