NFL Predictions Week 15: Underdogs Sure to Cover the Spread

R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IDecember 10, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 22:  Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs #55 of the Baltimore Ravens is introduced before the start of the Ravens and Houston Texans game at M&T Bank Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

With just three weeks left in the NFL season, one this is for sure: Fans should expect the unexpected. From Thursday's showdown all the way to Monday night, there are games in which the underdogs might make it closer than expected this week.

The NFL is a league of uncertainty. The Chicago Bears can beat the Dallas Cowboys with backup quarterback Josh McCown, Tom Brady and Joe Flacco can throw for two touchdowns in less than two minutes to win games, and LeSean McCoy can trudge through over six inches of snow for 217 yards.

But as unpredictable as the NFL can be, here are predictions for underdogs who will cover the spread in Week 15.

Complete Week 15 Predictions
AwayHomeSpreadPick ATS
San Diego ChargersDenver BroncosDEN -10.5Chargers
Buffalo BillsJacksonville JaguarsBUF -3Jaguars
Chicago BearsCleveland BrownsCLE -2.5Bears
Houston TexansIndianapolis ColtsIND -6Colts
New England PatriotsMiami DolphinsNE -2.5Dolphins
Philadelphia EaglesMinnesota VikingsPHI -4.5Eagles
Seattle SeahawksNew York GiantsSEA -7Seahawks
San Francisco 49ersTampa Bay BuccaneersSF -5.549ers
Washington RedskinsAtlanta FalconsATL -6Falcons
New York JetsCarolina PanthersCAR -11Panthers
Kansas City ChiefsOakland RaidersKC -4Chiefs
Green Bay PackersDallas CowboysPKCowboys
New Orleans SaintsSt. Louis RamsNO -5.5Saints
Arizona CardinalsTennessee TitansARI -3Cardinals
Cincinnati BengalsPittsburgh SteelersCIN -3Bengals
Baltimore RavensDetroit LionsDET -6Ravens
Spreads provided by Vegas Insider

Dec 8, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the second half against the New York Giants at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers won 37-14. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

 

San Diego Chargers (+10.5 at Denver Broncos)

The Chargers have traded wins and losses over the last four weeks to go 2-2, but they are still in the playoff race. In order to pull off a wild-card berth this season, San Diego will need games like this one against the Denver. While it might be unlikely they will down the Broncos, the Chargers will cover the 10.5-point spread.

The Chargers have one of the best quarterbacks in the league this year in Philip Rivers, who can spread the ball around to multiple weapons such as Keenan Allen, Danny Woodhead and the trusty Antonio Gates against nearly any defense.

On the other side, Peyton Manning is a one-man wrecking crew, but he could be without a reliable target in Wes Welker, who suffered his second concussion of the year in Week 14 against the Tennessee Titans. Despite the fact that Manning has several other targets, including Julius Thomas and Demaryius Thomas, being down a player for a Thursday night game is not a good thing.

The Chargers have lost seven games this year, but they have not been outscored by 10 or more points in any of them. In fact, over their last four losses, the Chargers have been beaten by an average of 6.25 points, including an eight-point loss to the Broncos in San Diego.

Prediction: Broncos 27, Chargers 23

JACKSONVILLE, FL - DECEMBER 05:   Brice McCain #21 of the Houston Texans attempts to tackle  Maurice Jones-Drew #32 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the game at EverBank Field on December 5, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

 

Jacksonville Jaguars (+2 vs. Buffalo Bills)

After losing eight straight games, the Jaguars have won three straight and four of their last five. They are hardly playoff contenders, but they've been hot as of late.

The Bills will once again travel to the great state of Florida after being beaten 27-6 in Week 14 by none other than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That's right, Buffalo was just beaten by another Florida team that lost eight straight games and has won four of its last five.

Behind Chad Henne, Marcedes Lewis and a cast of playmakers that includes Maurice Jones-Drewwhose status is uncertain, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.comthe Jaguars should see similar results against the Bills if they can limit the rushing game like they did against Ben Tate and the Houston Texans.

Prediction: Jaguars 24, Bills 13

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 08:  Wide receiver Marlon Brown #14 of the Baltimore Ravens makes the winning catch against the Minnesota Vikings at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Vikings 29-26.  (Photo by La
Larry French/Getty Images

 

Baltimore Ravens (+6 at Detroit Lions)

The defending Super Bowl champions still have plenty of work to do if they plan to repeat, but the weapons are certainly there for a Monday night upset against the Detroit Lions.

The Ravens have shown glimpses of what they are capable of all seasonin wins over the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers, for example—but their true determination was revealed when their backs were against the wall in Week 14 against the Minnesota Vikings.

The unbelievable comeback with just four seconds remaining on the clock showed not only that Baltimore is a playoff contender but also that the team has a blossoming star in Marlon Brown, who is nearing a team rookie record for touchdowns, according to Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com.

Against a porous pass defense that ranks 25th in the NFL, expect the Ravens to find enough holes to make this a close game against the Lions. But with Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson on the other side, the Lions will pull out the close win.

Prediction: Lions 35, Ravens 31