Week 15 NFL Previews
Let's cut right to the chase with the NFL Week 15 menu:
On this Saturday, it's ...
HOUSTON (9-4) at NEW YORK JETS (4-9) - 4:30 p.m. ET, NFL Network
The Texans aren't getting to the enemy quarterback much lately (just two totals sacks in their last two games) but better believe they'll give rookie QB Sam Darnold plenty to think about here ... and think about this: Houston's a solid 21-15-1 ATS (against the spread) as betting favorites since the start of 2014.
CLEVELAND (5-7-1) at DENVER (6-7) - 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Truth be told, the Browns have enjoyed just one winning spread season the past six years but this here-and-now edition is 8-5 versus the vig with rookie hot-shot QB Baker Mayfield (2,877 yards passing with 19 TDs and 10 INTs) likely feeling "dangerous" here. If Mayfield chucks another couple of pinpoint passes to WR Jarvis Landry here, then Cleveland - a 2.5-point dog here -- will snag the "over" wins bet for the year (it was 5.5 wins at season's start).
On Sunday, it's ...
MIAMI (7-6) at MINNESOTA (6-6-1) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
So, what will the Dolphins do for an encore here after last week's wild/wacky finish against New England? Maybe you have not noticed but Miami's covered three in a row following its Nov. 18th bye and here the Fish defense goes against a Vikings' team that just canned offensive coordinator Jon DeFilippo. Hmmm. Minnesota's a zippy 4-1 ATS as home betting favorites this year but the Vikes come off a putrid offensive performance in Seattle this past Monday Night and QB Kirk Cousins looks lost.
DALLAS (8-5) at INDIANAPOLIS (7-6) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox
How about this spread stat? The Cowboys have nabbed five consecutive ATS wins since Nov. 11th and three of 'em were outright upset winners (versus Philadelphia, Atlanta and New Orleans) and gotta say WR Amari Cooper (3 TDs and plus 200 yards receiving in last Sunday's 29-23 OT win/cover against the Eagles) probably is the league's most impactful in-season trade acquisition in the last quarter-century!
NEW ENGLAND (9-4) at PITTSBURGH (7-5-1) - 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
When these clubs clashed last year in an NFL Week 15 affair, the Patriots were 10-3 SU (straight-up) but coming off a loss in Miami; the Steelers were 11-2 SU and fresh off an eight-game winning streak. Now, these perennial powerhouses limp in here with a combined nine SU setbacks to say nothing of a somewhat shaky 14-11-1 ATS combined spread mark. Well, we know New England boss-man Bill Belichick won't be putting TE/TV pitchman Rob Gronkowski back on defense - egads - but gotta say if this comes down to the kicking game (see Pittsburgh PK Chris Boswell with six missed FGs, five missed PATs) then Mike Tomlin's chaps are in deep trouble!
On Sunday Night, it's ...
PHILADELPHIA (6-7) at LOS ANGELES RAMS (11-2) - 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC
Here's a spread stat that'll knock your socks off: Since the start of Week 4, the Eagles and Rams have combined to go 5-13-2 against the Las Vegas price tags ... a hurtin' .278 winning percentage! Okay, so the defending champs have never found their footing this year and now QB Carson Wentz (fractured back vertebrae) is a goner for this prime-time clash while LA's Rams have their own offensive woes as QB Jared Goff comes off a four-INT game in Chicago while RB Todd Gurley II rushed for just 28 yards (a season low). Number jumped to Rams - 13 on Friday night ... up from 9.5-point opening price.