NFL Betting Odds: Week 15 Line Movements and Last-Minute News
As if we needed any more convincing, Lamar Jackson went out on Thursday Night Football and cemented his place atop the MVP race with an emphatic five-touchdown performance. There is no catching him in the MVP race as the second-year pivot out of Louisville will add that major trophy to go along with his Heisman Trophy and potentially (looking increasingly likely) a Super Bowl Ring.
The entire Baltimore offense just runs so smooth. The play-calling, the decision-making, the route running, the blocking, the deception, it's all made possible the having Lamar Jackson and his ability under center. I tip my hat to the Ravens organization, which traded back into the first round to select Jackson and their willingness to build the offense around him. It takes guts to trust an unknown commodity, but it looks like it's going to pay off handsomely.
As always, here are some line moves or potential game-changing injury notes for Week 15.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-4.5, 40.5): Let's hope this Bears vs. Packers game isn't as bad as the one in September when these two teams combined for just 13 points in a 10-3 Packers win. Both teams have come a long way since then, with the Packers sitting at 10-3 and the Bears sitting at 7-6. This game opened up with the Packers laying seven points on their home field, but because of the recent play of the Bears - winners of three straight - the public thinks they can hang with the Packers and have bet the line down to +4.5 . I'm not sold on the resurgence of the Bears as they've only beat the Giants (who suck), the Lions (who started a third-string QB, and suck) and the Cowboys, who are in the midst of a brutal run of form. This will be a test for the Bears, and there may be value now with the Packers laying less than a touchdown. As for the total, the line opened up at 41 and has dropped a tick to 40.5. Defense could be the name of the game once again as these two teams hook up for the 200th time.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5, 50): What took the Denver Broncos so long to anoint the chosen one, Drew Lock, the starting quarterback of this football team? I say that with tongue in cheek, as Lock essentially came out of nowhere and has produced two decent wins for a franchise that's been miserable since they won the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, Lock's fairytale run is going to come to a screeching halt as he ventures into Arrowhead Stadium to face Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. This line opened up at KC -13 but has since been bet down to KC -9.5, and I believe there is now value with the Chiefs. Denver simply won't be able to go toe-to-toe with the Chiefs and consistently come away with points on every drive. The Chiefs are a good team. And as they come off a win against New England, they'll be well aware of what happens when a team is not prepared to play a full 60 minutes of football. As for the total, it opened up at 46.5 but has since been bet down to 45.
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-3, 47): I don't think there could have been a bigger letdown spot for the Houston Texans than the one they fell into last week. The Texans were coming off an emotional Sunday night win against the Patriots, which led them to lay an egg against a bad Broncos team the week prior. Because of that, the point spread has risen from Tennessee -1 to Tennessee -3, and I don't believe that move is justified. We've seen what the Texans are all about when they are clicking on both sides of the ball. The Titans have been one of the hottest teams in the league over the last month or so thanks to a resurgent Ryan Tannehill under center and a dominant version of Derrick Henry that we've yet to see in his career. We don't believe that will continue this week as it's tough to back a team as a favorite that's used to being an underdog. As for the total, this game opened up at 47.5 before being bet up to 50.5 thanks in large part to the lack of defense showed by both teams last week.
Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys (+1.5, 49): There aren't many people in the sports world who think highly of the Cowboys right now and rightfully so. The Cowboys have lost three straight games and have looked pretty lethargic and unmotivated in doing so. Now they have to try and contain a resurgent Rams offense that has looked more like the team we remember from last season than in the first 12 or so weeks of this season. When this spread was released, Vegas had tabbed the Cowboys as four-point favorites. As you can see, that's no longer the case as the betting public has pounded the Rams to the point where they are now laying 1.5 points on the road. Normally, I would try and find any reason to bet against the Cowboys, but I believe this is a great spot for them , in front of their home crowd, against a good team to bounce-back in a big way and reassert themselves atop the NFC East division. The only thing that scares me is the fact that the Cowboys are a bit banged up on both sides of the ball, with Michael Bennett, Sean Lee, Zack Martin, and Byron Jones all listed as questionable for this week. As for the total, the line opened up at 47 but has since been bet up to 49, and that's likely due to the injury concerns and the fact that the Rams are starting to look like the Rams of old.
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