NFL Survivor Pool Picks Week 15: Advice and Predictions
With the NFL season winding down, each team is looking to put their final statements on the season. For some teams, their goals are still well within reach, while others have shifted gears to looking ahead to next year. All 32 teams have completed their bye weeks, so there will be a full slate of games for the remainder of the season. Favorites went 9-4 straight up and 7-6 against the spread in Week 14. Your choices for the survivor pool are surely winding down, but here are the best game picks ranked from strongest to weakest for Week 15.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
Kansas City Chiefs (-14) over Houston Texans
The Texans nearly pulled off the impossible last week by holding a second-half lead against the 10-3 Cowboys. It took a fourth-quarter comeback from Dallas to pick up the win. Kansas City also is coming off a frustrating performance in which Patrick Mahomes threw three interceptions and allowed the Broncos to score the most points they have all season. Kansas City still managed to secure a 34-28 win over Denver and will surely have a more focused effort this week. Expect the Chiefs to produce a convincing victory this week and for their offensive firepower to be far too much for the Texans to keep up with.
Philadelphia Eagles (-9) over Chicago Bears
It is no secret at this point what an impressive season the Philadelphia Eagles are having. They sit at 12-1 and most recently took down the Giants by a score of 48-22. The Bears enter this game with a 3-10 record and riding a six-game losing streak. Chicago will need from help from Jalen Hurts and the Eagles if they are to have a chance in this one. The team has not shown these bad habits thus far and can be counted on to pick up a convincing victory in this one. They are more talented on both sides of the ball and will be ready to prove this.
Monday Night: Green Bay Packers (-7.5) over Los Angeles Rams
It has been a frustrating overall season for the Packers, who hold a record of 5-8 on the year. The Rams have fallen even further and narrowly avoided their seventh straight loss last week. It took a heroic comeback led by Baker Mayfield for the team to get the win, which will have some major repercussions for both the Rams and Mayfield’s career. While the quarterback’s play will keep it entertaining, he will still have a limited playbook to work with and the Packers are the healthier team. Count on Aaron Rodgers to deliver and put a positive twist on the ending to the season.
Dallas Cowboys (-4.5) over Jacksonville Jaguars
The Cowboys survived their scare against the Houston Texans last week, which required a fourth-quarter comeback to get the win. They sit at 10-3 on the year and will face off against the 5-8 Jaguars, who have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the NFL this season. Jacksonville has some momentum as they are coming off a 36-22 victory over the Titans. While it has been difficult to predict what version of the Jaguars are going to show up on a week-by-week basis, expect the Cowboys to come in more focused to this matchup. The Dallas defense is allowing the third-fewest points per game and trailing only the Eagles for most sacks this season, which should cause some issues for Trevor Lawrence. Count on the Cowboys to put forth an improved performance and get the win.
Denver Broncos (-3) over Arizona Cardinals
If there was ever a time to use the Broncos as your pick, it may be this week. Denver is coming off scoring a season-high 28 points against the Chiefs last week and will face the 4-9 Cardinals without Kyler Murray. While the Broncos have done little to be excited about this season and enter with a 3-10 overall record, Russell Wilson and the rest of the roster still have plenty to prove moving forward. They are too talented of a team to play as bad as they have, and this is a terrific chance to put one in the win column against the Colt McCoy-led Cardinals. Expect the Broncos to deliver and put forth a long overdue convincing win in this one.
Buffalo Bills (-7.5) over Miami Dolphins
Flashback to Week 3, and the Dolphins took down the Bills by a score of 21-19. This was when Miami was just beginning to establish themselves as a team worth noting this season, and Buffalo will not be caught off guard in this one. The Dolphins are also coming off back-to-back disappointing weeks to fall to 8-5 on the year. The Bills are allowing the second-fewest points this season and have the third-best red zone defense, as they have given up touchdowns on just 47.4% of red zone trips. Buffalo is too good to get beat by the same team twice, and expect them to pick up the victory in this one.
Minnesota Vikings (-4) over Indianapolis Colts
The Vikings will be hungry for revenge following last week’s loss to the Lions and have a terrific chance to get back in the win column. The Colts sit at 4-8-1 on the season and have lost three consecutive games. Indianapolis is coming off their bye week and were most recently dismantled by the Cowboys, 54-19, the last time they took the field. While Minnesota has not beaten the Colts since 1997, this is a great chance to snap this streak. They are the better team on both sides of the ball and can be counted on to get the win.
Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Cincinnati Bengals look to have found their stride, having won their last five games and seven of their last eight to move to 9-4 on the season. In contrast, the Buccaneers hold a record of just 6-7 and most recently suffered an embarrassing 35-7 loss at the hands of Brock Purdy and the 49ers. This will be the first time Joe Burrow and Tom Brady square off, but the two teams look to be trending in opposite directions. The Bengals rank 7th in the NFL in scoring and 5th in yards on the season, while the Buccaneers rank 18th in points scored and 24th in yards tallied. Take Cincinnati to pick up the win and continue paving their postseason path.
Detroit Lions (+1) over New York Jets
Detroit proved Vegas right by knocking off the Vikings last week to drop them to 10-3 on the year. While the Lions are 6-7 on the year, they have won five of their last six. The Jets have an impressive defense but have cooled off from their strong start to the season. Mike White took a beating in their previous loss to the Bills, and his status is uncertain for this week. While New York will not go down without a fight, expect the Lions to carry their momentum and pick up a win in this one. On the season, Detroit ranks 5th in points scored, 4th in yards, and Jared Goff has not thrown an interception since Week 9. Expect them to keep this going and continue their impressive season turnaround by picking up another win.
Los Angeles Chargers (-3) over Tennessee Titans
Both teams are sitting at 7-6 and with their eyes on the playoffs but seem to be trending in different directions. Tennessee has now lost three straight games, including the previous two games by a combined margin of 71-32. In contrast, the Chargers are coming off an impressive 23-17 victory over the Dolphins in which they tallied 432 total yards of offense. Look for the Chargers to capitalize on the Titans secondary, which ranks 31st in pass defense, and it will be trouble for Tennessee if they fall behind. While the Titans need a win, it is tough to feel confident about them at the moment. Count on the Chargers to come out on top in this one.
Carolina Panthers (-2.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers
Each of these teams come into the matchup with a 5-8 record and with an uncertain outlook. The Panthers rank 23rd in the league in scoring, while the Steelers are 27th. They also rank 18th and 19th in turnovers per game. Kenny Pickett suffered a concussion in the previous game, which caused Mitch Trubisky to step in. Trubisky had some solid flashes but had just one touchdown and three interceptions. This will not cut it against a Carolina team that has shown a renewed fight under interim head coach Steve Wilks. They are riding a two-game winning streak and sit just one game out of the NFC South. Expect this to be an ugly football game but for the Panthers to get the win.
Atlanta Falcons (+4) over New Orleans Saints
The 5-8 Falcons will be coming off their bye week and have officially named Desmond Ridder the starting quarterback. The third-round pick will be looking to flash enough to convince the team he could be a long-term starting option and will be eager to perform. New Orleans is riding a two-game losing streak and have fallen short in four of their last five to move to 4-9 on the year. Both teams have been inconsistent this season. And when they faced off in Week 1, each team had a different quarterback under center. Expect the Falcons to pull off the upset with a spark from Desmond Ridder to be the difference.
Thursday Night: San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) over Seattle Seahawks
While the injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo are far from ideal, do not count out the 49ers just yet. They put forth a convincing 35-7 victory over the Buccaneers in which Brock Purdy impressed under center. They will now face off against a Seahawks team that has cooled off from their hot start to the season. They sit at 7-6 overall but have lost their last four. With the better defense, and momentum on their side, expect the 49ers to pick up another win on the short week.
New England Patriots (-1) over Las Vegas Raiders
The Patriots produced an impressive 27-13 victory on Monday Night over the Cardinals to move to 7-6 on the season. Their playoff hopes are still alive, especially with the Dolphins skidding of late. The Raiders sit at 5-8 on the year but have won three of their last four. Their most recent game ended in a heartbreaking last-minute loss to the Rams. The injury report will be one to watch as both Rhamondre Stevenson and Damien Harris have some notable knocks. Las Vegas has struggled to score the ball, ranking 29th in points and 31st in yards on the season. Count on the Patriots to pick up the victory in this one and to continue knocking on the playoff doorstep.
Sunday Night: Washington Commanders (-4.5) over New York Giants
The Giants are set to face off with the Commanders for the second time in three weeks. Both teams hold a record of 7-5-1 but remain at the bottom of the NFC East. The Giants are coming off a 48-22 loss to the Eagles, while the Commanders will be coming off their bye week. The Giants have done some damage in the red zone this season and are scoring a touchdown on 61.5% of their red zone trips. However, they have slowed down significantly since their impressive start to the season. Expect this one to remain close but for Commanders get the upper hand behind Taylor Heinicke and the rest of their scrappy roster.
Cleveland Browns (-3) over Baltimore Ravens
The biggest holdup on making a pick on this game will be the status of the quarterbacks for Baltimore. Lamar Jackson missed last week, and it is uncertain if he will be ready to suit up, while backup quarterback Tyler Huntley suffered a concussion in the previous matchup. The Ravens still managed to secure a 16-14 victory with Anthony Brown under center to close things out but will have a more difficult challenge against an improving Browns team. Deshaun Watson is continuing to shake some rust off and will be hungry to prove he still has elite ability. If Jackson and Huntley are out, the path will be paved for Cleveland to get the win. However, this is one you should avoid until there is more injury clarity.
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