NFL Week 15 Predictions: Can't-Miss Picks and Matchup Guide

Alex KayCorrespondent IDecember 12, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 08: Quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens looks to pass in the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Baltimore Ravens won, 29-26. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Week 15 of the 2013 NFL season begins shortly, meaning it’s time to get your last-minute bets in on the Thursday Night Football game and heavily consider making your wagers for Sunday’s upcoming slate.

Whether you are looking to back the underdog or play the heavy favorite, look no further for the latest lines. It’s always wise to know which teams are favored and which aren’t before making a decision at the sportsbook.

Let’s take a look at the updated spreads for every contest, check out my predictions for the winner of each and then highlight a handful of can’t-miss bets for Week 15.

NFL Week 15 Predictions: Can't-Miss Picks and Matchup Guide
Away TeamHome TeamPick (Spread)
San Diego ChargersDenver BroncosBroncos (-10)
Washington RedskinsAtlanta FalconsRedskins (+6.5)
San Francisco 49ersTampa Bay Buccaneers49ers (-5)
Arizona CardinalsTennessee TitansCardinals (-2.5)
New Orleans SaintsSt. Louis RamsRams (+5.5)
Seattle SeahawksNew York GiantsSeahawks (-7)
Chicago BearsCleveland BrownsN/A
Houston TexansIndianapolis ColtsColts (-6)
Buffalo BillsJacksonville JaguarsJaguars (+2)
New England PatriotsMiami DolphinsPatriots (-2.5)
Philadelphia EaglesMinnesota VikingsEagles (-4.5)
New York JetsCarolina PanthersPanthers (-11)
Kansas City ChiefsOakland RaidersChiefs (-3.5)
Green Bay PackersDallas CowboysN/A
Cincinnati BengalsPittsburgh SteelersBengals (-3)
Baltimore RavensDetroit LionsRavens (+6)


Jacksonville Jaguars (+2) over Buffalo Bills

Dec 5, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars fans hold a sign in the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at EverBank Field. The Jacksonville Jaguars best the Houston Texans 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

The Jags are a quality play this week and are once again getting points at home.

They proved that was a mistake with a straight-up win as a home ‘dog last week against the Houston Texans in a prime-time matchup. It seems not too many tuned in to that AFC South battle, as Jacksonville is once again getting points against a subpar opponent.

In case you haven’t noticed, the Jags are winners of three straight contests and four of their last five. While they aren’t exactly knocking out Super Bowl contenders, they are taking care of business, playing with passion and looking good doing it.

Dec 8, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel (3) gets tripped up during the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

That’s about the exact opposite of the Buffalo team they will face on Sunday. The Bills are an absolute disaster as of late and had arguably their worst performance of the 2013 campaign in Week 14.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers exposed this group and forced them into five turnovers, while sacking quarterback EJ Manuel a whopping seven times. They left a blueprint for Jags head coach Gus Bradley to follow, and his team should have no issues handing this lowly opponent its fifth loss in sixth games.


Baltimore Ravens (+6) over Detroit Lions

If there was any doubt that the Ravens were lacking heart, it was alleviated in Week 14.

Baltimore prevailed in one of the wildest finishes to an NFL game in history and is now in position to make a run back through the playoffs as a wild-card team in the AFC.

Now the Ravens must travel to Detroit for a Monday Night Football showdown with the Lions. It’s not going to be an easy win, but it is a game that this team can certainly pull out and definitely cover the spread on.

Baltimore will have to win the turnover battle to get it done, but this group has been slightly better than Detroit in that department. The Ravens have a differential of minus-five, having given the ball away 22 times compared to 17 takeaways.

The Lions are more mistake-prone this year and boast a mediocre turnover differential of minus-10. They have coughed up the rock a whopping 28 times and taken it away a mere 18.

Nov 28, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields (37) intercepts a pass intended for Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) during the third quarter of a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: A
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that projects to be very close, a single interception or lost fumble could make the difference. Even if that doesn’t bounce in favor of Baltimore, it is hard to see the defending champs faltering by more than a field goal.

Take the points and get paid for sure, but also consider upping your risk versus reward by backing the Ravens on the money line.