Week 15 was one of our worst performances on the season (13-19) and the first losing week in over two months. Regression hits, just as it hit me finally in DFS a week ago. We’re still picking every NFL game at a 53.92% success rate, so it’s been a great year, but for the second week in a row, the Sunday night and Monday night games killed us (0-8 last two weeks).
2019 record: 227-194 (53.92%)
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This week we look to turn things around after a bad week. As always, the betting lines listed come from the BetRivers online sportsbook. If you have a few minutes, check out Collin’s in-depth predictions and analysis. Got just a minute? Here is a summary of Collin’s picks for the upcoming week.
|Matchup/Line||Collin's Pick||Take With the Spread||Over/Under|
|Texans -3 @ Bucs O/U: 49.5||Bucs 31 Texans 27||Bucs||Over|
|Bills @ Patriots -6.5 O/U: 36.5||Patriots 20 Bills 14||Bills||Under|
|Rams @ 49ers -6.5 O/U: 45||49ers 34 Rams 17||49ers||Over|
|Ravens -10 @ Browns O/U: 48||Ravens 45 Browns 10||Ravens||Over|
|Panthers @ Colts -6.5 O/U: 47||Colts 27 Panthers 17||Colts||Under|
|Bengals @ Dolphins (even) O/U: 46.5||Bengals 27 Dolphins 20||Bengals||Over|
|Jaguars @ Falcons -7 O/U: 46.5||Falcons 30 Jaguars 17||Falcons||Over|
|Saints -2.5 @ Titans O/U: 50.5||Titans 27 Saints 23||Titans||Under|
|Giants @ Redskins -2.5 O/U: 41||Giants 24 Redskins 23||Giants||Over|
|Steelers -3 @ Jets O/U: 37||Steelers 19 Jets 14||Steelers||Under|
|Lions @ Broncos -6.5 O/U: 38.5||Broncos 31 Lions 13||Broncos||Over|
|Raiders @ Chargers -6.5 O/U: 45||Chargers 31 Raiders 13||Chargers||Under|
|Cardinals @ Seahawks -9.5 O/U: 51||Seahawks 31 Cardinals 17||Seahawks||Under|
|Cowboys -2.5 @ Eagles O/U: 46.5||Eagles 24 Cowboys 20||Eagles||Under|
|Chiefs -6 @ Bears O/U: 44||Chiefs 27 Bears 20||Chiefs||Over|
|Packers @ Vikings -5.5 O/U: 45.5||Vikings 27 Packers 20||Vikings||Over|
December 21st (Saturday)
Texans -3 @ Bucs O/U: 49.5
The Texans seem to be one of the most difficult teams to figure out each week. Last week was somewhat of a strange outcome. I think the Titans are actually better, despite the loss. Early on, a pass on target popped out of the receiver’s hands and into a Texans defender, who caught it in the end zone and ran it 90 yards the other direction, completely flipping the field.
The Texans scored a touchdown just a couple plays later. Next, the Titans had an easy field goal that was blocked, mainly due to the trajectory of it. The Texans escaped as three-point victors. Call me crazy, but the Bucs have an incredibly solid rush defense and a passing offense that can’t really be stopped. The Texans have been horrendous in the secondary this season as well. I think the Bucs will take this one in a close game, setting up a key Week 17 rematch against the Titans with the division and perhaps a playoff berth on the line. Bucs 31 Texans 27
Bills @ Patriots -6.5 O/U: 36.5
The first meeting between these two was a defensive struggle. The Patriots struggled to get anything against the Bills. Over the past few months now, the Patriots offense still hasn’t looked quite right. I expect much of the same this time around as well. I think the Patriots defense will come up with a big play or two and flip this game. Ihe Bills have improved since the season began, but even with their improvements on offense and defense, this Patriots defense is still elite.
The Bills struggled to put up 17 last week against a similar defense in Pittsburgh, but the Patriots are even tougher on defense and I’m not confident the Patriots offense is going to make the same mistakes the Steelers did to set up the Bills offense a week ago. Patriots 20 Bills 14
Rams @ 49ers -6.5 O/U: 45
The Rams seemed to have turned the corner prior to last week. I was so wrong to believe they could go on the road and beat a team in turmoil like the Cowboys. The Cowboys stomped the life out of the Rams, shut down their run game, and had their way with the Rams on defense. The 49ers also did their part to lose out on the NFC’s top seed by not even trying to pass the ball against one of the league’s worst pass defenses, at home.
I can’t imagine we’ll see the same lame strategy this week from the 49ers. I think the 49ers will bounce back in a big way this week and attack Jared Goff in a variety of ways. I also firmly believe the 49ers will run all over the Rams. I expect this game to get away from the Rams early on. 49ers 34 Rams 17
December 22nd (Sunday)
Ravens -10 @ Browns O/U: 48
The Ravens are one win away from securing the top overall seed in the AFC. The only team standing in their way is the same team that thumped them at home earlier in the season. I think it’s fair to say, the Ravens will be out for revenge this week. I think since their earlier matchup, Baker Mayfield has lost confidence, the Browns defense has gotten worse (and lost Myles Garrett) and Browns receivers want to join other teams. This isn’t the week the Browns are going to somehow come together and put together a great game.
The Ravens coaching staff is elite, and the Browns staff looks like they might spend the majority of their week updating their resumes. I like the Ravens to show up and clobber the Browns at home here. I don’t think this game will be close and I’m not sure we’re going to see the Ravens ease up, even if the game is already in-hand. Ravens 45 Browns 10
Panthers @ Colts -6.5 O/U: 47
The Panthers have moved on from Kyle Allen. At least, that’s essentially what they’re doing. The last few weeks of the season will be a tryout of sorts for Will Grier to see if he has the potential to either start next season or serve as a capable backup to Cam Newton.
They might even be using him as a trade piece. Either way, the Colts will apparently be at full strength this week against them at home. Sure, it didn’t really matter last week when they got absolutely stomped in New Orleans. This week should be different because the Panthers can’t stop the run, at all. I’m pretty certain the Colts are going to run the ball 30+ times in this game and I expect they’ll cruise to a casual victory at home. Colts 27 Panthers 17
Bengals @ Dolphins (even) O/U: 46.5
I feel bad for anyone who has this game as one of their regional coverage games. It’s too bad it’s on a Sunday too, so there aren’t other things you can go and do like get a root canal or go to the DMV or something more exciting.
I don’t have any idea what either of these teams’ motivations will be to actually win this game, so I’m just going to go with the Bengals, since Joe Mixon has been a man on a mission the past few months and the Bengals already pretty much have locked up the #1 pick. All they have to do is lose one of the next two games and it’s all theirs. I think the Bengals will win this one out of pride. Bengals 27 Dolphins 20
Jaguars @ Falcons -7 O/U: 46.5
The Jaguars did something truly amazing last week. In the last home game in Oakland, the Jags came in, riding a nice losing streak, and gave the Raiders a sendoff no one was expecting. Raiders fans booed as the clock struck zero and their team sullenly walked back to the locker room. It was a magnificent sight for every non-Raiders fan in the world.
This week, the Jags are headed to a dome to face the Falcons. The Falcons regained a little swagger after knocking off the NFCs top seed on the road last week. Neither team has much to play for here, but the Falcons have more weapons in this game, and I have not been very impressed with the Jaguars defense since very early in the season. I like the Falcons here at home. Falcons 30 Jaguars 17
Saints -2.5 @ Titans O/U: 50.5
The Saints have only had one outdoor game all season with Drew Brees at the helm. In that game, Brees was not having a particularly good outing. He was injured and the team got crushed by the Rams. I’m not saying I expect another repeat performance but consider the wind factor here. Brees, in his career, completes 70% of his passes indoors and only 65% outdoors. His TD to INT ratio goes from just under 3:1 to just under 2:1. His YPA goes from 8.1 to 7.1 as well.
For such a daring passer who relies on precision, it’s a problem when factors such as wind are introduced. I like the Titans in this game, especially given how well Tannehill has been throwing the ball lately. The only teams to really give the Saints trouble this year have been those with quarterbacks capable of taking advantage of a weak secondary. The Saints have just that. I like the Titans this week to win and set up a battle for the division title in a week against the Texans. Titans 27 Saints 23
Giants @ Redskins -2.5 O/U: 41
This game looks very similar to both the Colts vs Panthers and the Bengals vs Dolphins. We have two teams who both have more of a reason to lose here instead of win. The Redskins honestly need this game more and they actually didn’t look half bad last week with Dwayne Haskins at quarterback.
I’m not saying he’s going to light the world on fire, but he should look okay against a horrible Giants secondary. Saquan Barkley looked legit last week against the Dolphins. I love the matchup this week for him and I firmly believe he’s due another big game. I like the Giants to win this one on the road and move the Skins one step closer to what they really want; a top draft pick. Giants 24 Redskins 23
Steelers -3 @ Jets O/U: 37
The Browns continue to disappoint. Last week, they barely edged out the Bengals, which wasn’t that much of a surprise since the Bengals have been covering spreads most of the season. However, the Cardinals have been worse. Kyler Murray has taken a lion’s share of sacks this season, compared with other quarterbacks in the league. The Browns are 11th in pressure rate this season (24.5%) and they have solid corners.
I’m putting my faith in those two areas for the matchup. I also realize Baker Mayfield hasn’t been good this season (15 TDs & 16 INTs), but the Cardinals are dead last in passing defense. Nick Chubb is going to be a lot for the Cardinals to handle, so I don’t expect much in the way of the Cardinals defense slowing the Browns down much. Steelers 19 Jets 14
Lions @ Broncos -6.5 O/U: 38.5
I have seen some glimpses from the Broncos over the past few weeks that have given me hope. The Texans game was impressive. They wrecked the Texans secondary in the process and capitalized on every Texans mistake. Last week, they threw people off the scent for a few reasons.
For one, the Chiefs secondary isn’t as bad as people think. Their defense has made big strides recently, so I’m not too concerned with the Broncos performance in that snow-covered field a week ago. The Lions are hopeless. They can’t run, pass, block, tackle, or do anything correctly right now. I have faith in the Broncos this week to have a big week against a team in disarray. Broncos 31 Lions 13
Raiders @ Chargers -6.5 O/U: 45
It’s been a bad month or so for the Raiders. Last week, the team were favorites at their final Oakland home game against a terrible Jaguars team and they blew a 13-point lead and lost. The Chargers turned the ball over seven times and just buried themselves early at home against the Vikings. Alas, the Chargers have been playing much better football than last week indicated.
I think the Raiders are finished and I think the Chargers will come out looking to avenge their earlier loss to the Raiders this season. Chargers 31 Raiders 13
Cardinals @ Seahawks -9.5 O/U: 51
The Cardinals hosted a confusing Browns team last week and apparently were more prepared than any of us expected they’d be. Kenyan Drake rushed for four touchdowns and the Cardinals cruised to an easy victory at home. I think the Seahawks are going to be a difficult matchup for the Cardinals and though I believe the Cardinals should be able to get on the board a few times, I can’t go against a highly motivated team like the Seahawks at home in a critical game for playoff position. Seahawks 31 Cardinals 17
Cowboys -2.5 @ Eagles O/U: 46.5
Neither of these teams has made any sense this season. The Cowboys have lost to the Jets and a few other teams who had no business beating them. The Eagles beat Buffalo and Green Bay but lost to the Dolphins. I have no real idea of what to expect here, especially given the uncertainty surrounding Dak Prescott’s health.
Because of the Prescott situation, I like the Eagles at home this week in a weird, low-scoring affair. If Prescott doesn’t play, I like the Eagles to slow Zeke and turn this into a tug-of-war type of game. If Prescott plays, I like the Cowboys and the over. Eagles 24 Cowboys 20
Chiefs -6 @ Bears O/U: 44
This one is easy for me. I love the Chiefs here. I think their defense has improved greatly since the Titans game. I also think Andy Reid has the upper hand in this showdown with his former assistant, Matt Nagy. I think the Chiefs should be good to go in this game, despite the mismatches.
I realize the Chiefs are bad against the run and the Bears are good against the pass. Both seem to favor the Bears. However, the Bears have been eliminated from the playoffs and the Chiefs are fighting for the last two spots in the AFC. I can’t imagine the Bears will show up motivated for this one. I think the Chiefs are creative and dynamic enough to exploit the Bears defense and I expect this game to go much like the Saints and Bears game went earlier in the year. Chiefs 27 Bears 20
December 23rd (Monday night)
Packers @ Vikings -5.5 O/U: 45.5
The line here is odd. I think it’s probably telling. I’ve gone the other way, taking the bait in each of the past two Monday night games and I’m not falling for it this time. I’m going to go with the Vikings at home, with a chance to clinch the final playoff spot in the NFC. The Packers can lose and only need a win against the Lions next week, so I like the Vikings here to win. Vikings 27 Packers 20