Early Primer on Key NFL Games for Week 15
by Robert Ferringo - 12/12/2006
(This is an excerpt of an article that appears in the current addition of Every Edge Magazine)
While I'm waiting for my modest Wish List to be obliged, here is a quick breakdown of some interesting NFL games coming up in Week 15:
Dallas (-3.5) at Atlanta
I've been saying for two weeks that I was waiting for the Cowboy Bubble to burst, and I had this game in Hotlanta tabbed as the day it would happen. Well, Drew Brees and Reggie Bush but the kibosh on that plan by embarrassing The Boys, 42-17, last Sunday night.
This is a must-win for the Falcons. They control their own destiny but face playoff contenders in each of the next three weeks. They host Dallas here and Carolina on Christmas Eve before ending the season in Philadelphia on New Year's Eve. If they lose to Dallas there's a chance they may not win any of those three games.
Atlanta is 3-1 ATS against Dallas lately, but the Falcons are just 3-7 ATS when playing at home after a straight-up and ATS victory. The Cowboys are 2-8 ATS in their last road game of the year over the past decade.
Kansas City at San Diego (-7.5)
The Chargers are currently in the driver's seat for home-field advantage in the AFC thanks to their seven-game winning streak and Indianapolis' recent collapse. The Chiefs are still stunned after their loss as a favorite against Baltimore in Arrowhead. It was only the second December defeat the Chiefs had suffered at home in their last 22 contests in that situation.
The Chargers were last beaten by the Chiefs back in October in Missouri and will be looking to dole out some revenge. San Diego has covered against Kansas City in each of the last three years in Cali.
Keep an eye on the total in this game because it falls under an obscure but profitable system that had hit at over 72 percent over the past five years. The system suggests an 'over' play due to how many points San Diego gave up in the first half last week and how many points the Chiefs scored in their last game. However, the early line projection I saw had the total opening at 47.5. That seems a bit high to me for a divisional game with two strong defenses.
Jacksonville (-3.5) at Tennessee
What the Titans have done over the past 10 weeks is downright ridiculous. They are 9-1 ATS over that stretch and 9-2 ATS with Vince Young under center. They may not have a realistic shot at the playoffs - but no one has told them that and they're playing as if they are the Super Bowl favorite.
Oddsmakers clearly feel that the time is right to start fading the Titans, who have won three consecutive games on their last play. The emotional roller coaster should come to a crashing halt against the team that just tattooed Indianapolis, right? Well, the roller coaster was supposed to be derailed on the road in Houston last week but Tennessee managed to overcome a 77 percent system to claim another SU and ATS win.
This line seems to be begging for action on the Titans, which should be a red flag. But another mode of thought suggests that Jacksonville is due for a letdown after their overwhelming performance at home against the rival Colts last week. This line will be one monitor all week, and will be a bold play for whoever feels like tempting fate.
Carpe diem, my friend. And good luck.
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