NFL Confidence Pool Picks Week 15: Expert Pick'em Predictions No Point Spread
"Spygate 2.0" is upon us, and I'm not sure I can stomach another month talking about the Patriots and their cheating ways. I mean, come on. How many times are the Patriots going to try and cheat to get a leg up on the competition as if they haven't already won a million Super Bowls this decade. To make matters worse, they were caught allegedly spying on the Cincinnati Bengals. You mean to tell me that the Patriots need every single competitive advantage that they can get to beat a team that's led by a first-year coach, a terrible quarterback, and that has one lousy win on the season? Give your head a shake, New England. Hopefully the league will punish them accordingly and all will be right in the world again when the Patriots dynasty comes to a screeching halt. But I digress, on to my Week 15 Confidence picks.
Week 15 Confidence List (my selection listed first)
Baltimore Ravens vs New York Jets: The Baltimore Ravens just continue to find ways to win football games. And outside of a complete let down against the Jets , we just don't see them losing this football game. The Jets were taken to the wire against the hapless Dolphins and needed a last-second field goal to just win the game outright. Keep in mind, they almost lost to a kicker, who accounted for all 21 of Miami's points. The Ravens will have no issues putting points on the board and inching closer to the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC.
San Francisco 49ers vs Atlanta Falcons: Could this be the flat spot we've been waiting for the Niners to hit for the last month or so? Possibly, but I'm not willing to jump in front of this moving train against this week against an Atlanta team that is banged up. Atlanta may have dropped 40 on the Panthers, but the Niners are a different beast. And as they are back at home, should be able to take care of business. Niners roll by double digits.
Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers: We were all over the Rams last week, and they got the job done for us. However, we have no problem backing the Seahawks here as they look to bounce back and do so against a Carolina team that is playing some terrible football of late, losing five straight games. They are getting no production from the offense, and their defense has been M.I.A for the last month and a half. Russell Wilson gets the Seahawks back in the win column on the road.
New England Patriots at Cincinnati Bengals: Some could argue that the Patriots should have beaten the Chiefs last week if it weren't for incompetent officiating. I say maybe, but it's nice to know the refs don't always favor the Pats. Tom Brady should have no problem bouncing back against the Bengals, who still only have one win on the season. Look for a heavy dosage of Sony Michel as the Bengals are dead last against the run. Patriots win in a blowout.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions: Jameis Winston threw an interception on the first offensive snap of the game and then threw a pick-six midway through the second quarter. Yet, somehow, he still finished the game with 456 yards passing and four touchdowns, all without Mike Evans, who left the game after the first quarter with a hamstring injury. No way in hell the Lions offense with David Blough can keep up with this explosive Bucs' offense. Tampa wins again, and we live and die on every Winston throw for another week.
New Orleans Saints vs Indianapolis Colts: Once again, the Saints found a way to get screwed by the officiating and lose a football game. Well, that's what they'll claim, but it wasn't the officials who gave up 48 points to San Francisco. Despite that poor defensive performance, they are going to bounce back against a Colts team that has lost three straight and can't stop anyone themselves. The Saints still have plenty to play for over the next three weeks, and we believe they won't lose a primetime home game to the Colts.
Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears: We've seen the Bears steadily get better over the last month or so, having won four of five football games to give them a slight chance at the postseason. However, as they lose to the Packers here, that chance will vanish into thin air and the Packers will push themselves closer to a first-round playoff bye week. The Packers have played well on offense lately, posting 51 total points in their last two wins and will need to play against a good Bears defense. They typically don't lose at home, and we don't see it happening this week.
Kansas City Chiefs vs Denver Broncos: There is absolutely no chance that the Denver Broncos march into Arrowhead Stadium and drop a 38 like they did last week on the road in Houston. The Chiefs are coming off an emotional win vs. the Patriots, but we don't expect a letdown as they have too much to play for and too much talent to lose to Drew Lock. This game is going to be a blowout, and I'm taking the Chiefs every which way possible.
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins: The Eagles almost lost to the Giants. The Redskins gave the Packers quite a run for their money. However, it's the Eagles with more to play for as the division is within their grasp, while the Redskins have been playing out the remainder of their season since about Week 3. The Eagles find a way to win - I'm not saying it's going to be pretty - but they get the job done.
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans: The NFL is weird. As the saying goes, "On any given Sunday…" anyone can beat anyone. The Texans kicked the Patriots butt then proceeded to get carved up by Drew Lock and the Denver Broncos. The Titans benched their second overall draft pick and are being led by Ryan Tannehill and have won four-straight to get in the playoff hunt. We don't see the Texans laying another egg in this game, especially with the division up for grabs.
Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Chargers: Both of these teams come into this game off impressive wins, but unfortunately only one of these teams is making the playoffs. The Vikings are the vastly superior team and will be able to navigate the "hostile" environment at the soccer stadium in LA. The Vikings know they can't afford a slip-up. And with the Chargers just playing out the string, the Vikings will get a much-needed win.
Los Angeles Rams at Dallas Cowboys: The sky is falling in Dallas, and I'm enjoying every minute of it. The Cowboys are a mess, and they can't stop anyone or get anything going offensively despite having a QB who leads the league in passing yards. The Rams followed up a blowout win over Arizona with a dominating win over a good Seahawks team, and I believe they can go into Dallas and pull off a win. There are simply too many distractions surrounding the Cowboys organization, and they have a lame-duck head coach still calling the shots.
Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers: This game is going to be ugly, but it's almost the most important game on the schedule as it pertains to the AFC wild-card race. The Bills and Steelers currently occupy the two wild-card spots, with Tennessee breathing right down their necks. This game is going to come down to which QB can make a play against a good defense, and we feel as though Josh Allen will be the one to do so as he has more experience and a healthy complement of weapons.
Cleveland Browns at Arizona Cardinals: The Browns got all they could handle last week against the one-win Bengals. Now they head on the road to take on a Cardinals team that has lost six in a row. Normally I wouldn't lay points on the road with the Browns, but they are the better team and have more talent on the field not to win this football game.
Oakland Raiders vs Jacksonville Jaguars: I want absolutely nothing to do with this game. The Raiders were supposed to put up a fight against the Titans but got torched for 42 points. The Jaguars were supposed to ride Gardner Minshew to a victory over the Chargers, but they gave up 45 and scored just 10. Give me the home team in this game only because they have a competent coach and have looked okay at times this season.
New York Giants vs Miami Dolphins: Another game I have no interesting in betting. The Giants got shut out in the second half vs. the Eagles, while the Dolphins kicked seven field goals in a loss to the Jets. If I had to pick a side, I guess I'd take the Giants because they are at home and Eli Manning looked OK at times vs the Eagles. Please do yourself a favor and don't watch this game.
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