NFL Week 15 Picks: Home Teams That Are Locks to Cover the Spread

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 10: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots smiles from the sideline in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium on December 10, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Of the 15 games yet to be played in Week 15 of the NFL regular season, 10 feature point spreads of a field goal or less.

That may lead you to believe that picking games this weekend should be relatively easy, but you'd be mistaken. According to, 10 NFL teams have either won or lost games this season by an average of...a field goal or less.

In Week 14, four games were decided by a field goal or less.

With so many evenly matched games on tap for this weekend, teams playing at home will be looking to capitalize on the fact that they are playing in familiar territory.

Here are three teams sure to take advantage of playing at home this week.

All spread info courtesy of


New Orleans Saints (-4) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

When you combine Tampa Bay's lack of a pass rush (only 19 sacks on the season) and a pass defense that ranks last in the NFL, things don't look promising for the Bucs heading to the Superdome to take on Drew Brees and the Saints' dynamic passing attack.

Brees is having an off season—his 18 passes are the second most that he's ever thrown—but he's led the Saints to the second most prolific passing game in the NFL, averaging nearly 300 yards through the air.

Josh Freeman and the Bucs offense will put points on the board, because let's be honest, New Orleans' defense isn't any better than Tampa Bay's.

But you can't bet against Drew Brees in a shootout, and he will lead the Saints to victory by at least a touchdown.


Oakland Raiders (-3) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The Raiders already walked out of Arrowhead Stadium with a victory, beating the Chiefs by a score of 26-16 in Week 8. Expect more of the same in Week 15.

Neither team is very good, and Oakland's one strength, its seventh-ranked passing game, is somewhat negated by Kansas City's ninth-ranked pass defense.

But Kansas City cannot protect the football. The Chiefs have turned the ball over 33 times (17 interceptions and 16 fumbles lost), by far the highest total in the NFL—and their minus-22 turnover ratio is the worst around.

Oakland hasn't been outstanding in the turnover battle either, entering the game minus-seven on the season—Carson Palmer has thrown an interception in nine consecutive games—but are superior to the Chiefs in that department.

Oakland will win the turnover battle, which will lead them to victory in this one, easily covering a field goal spread against the hapless Chiefs.


New England Patriots (-5) vs. San Francisco 49ers

A potential Super Bowl preview, the Patriots face a stiff challenge in San Francisco's elite defense.

But the Patriots don't lose at home, dropping only one game at Gillette Stadium, 20-19 to the Arizona Cardinals back in Week 2 when Kevin Kolb was fooling people into believing that he might actually be a starting QB in the NFL.

There's no doubt that second-year QB Collin Kaepernick is a starting NFL signal caller, and his dual-threat ability will lead to the 49ers putting points on the board against New England's improved, but still shaky defense.

Yet the 49ers have to deal with Tom Brady and the Patriots' offense, and few teams have been able to contain that unit, much less stop them over the years.

When it's all said-and-done, the Patriots, who have lost three games this year by a total of four points, are the best team in the NFL. 

New England will prove it again on Sunday night with a touchdown victory over a tough 49ers squad.