Week 15 of the 2013 NFL season is beginning shortly, with the Denver Broncos taking on the San Diego Chargers on Thursday Night Football.
This AFC West battle will be the first opportunity for gamblers to increase their bankroll ahead of Sunday’s slate of contests. However, even if you back the wrong side in this one, there will be plenty of other opportunities to get your money in with the winning team.
Let’s take a look at the latest line for Thursday night’s matchup and the rest of the week’s action, plus my predictions on the winner of each against the spread. Then continue reading for a guide on the best games to bet big in Week 15.
|Away Team||Home Team||Pick (Spread)|
|San Diego Chargers||Denver Broncos||Broncos (-10)|
|Washington Redskins||Atlanta Falcons||Falcons (-6)|
|San Francisco 49ers||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||49ers (-5)|
|Arizona Cardinals||Tennessee Titans||Cardinals (-2.5)|
|New Orleans Saints||St. Louis Rams||Rams (+5.5)|
|Seattle Seahawks||New York Giants||Seahawks (-7)|
|Chicago Bears||Cleveland Browns||N/A|
|Houston Texans||Indianapolis Colts||Colts (-6)|
|Buffalo Bills||Jacksonville Jaguars||Jaguars (+2)|
|New England Patriots||Miami Dolphins||Patriots (-2.5)|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Minnesota Vikings||Eagles (-4.5)|
|New York Jets||Carolina Panthers||Panthers (-11)|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Oakland Raiders||Chiefs (-3.5)|
|Green Bay Packers||Dallas Cowboys||N/A|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Pittsburgh Steelers||Bengals (-3)|
|Baltimore Ravens||Detroit Lions||Ravens (+6)|
Jacksonville Jaguars (+2) over Buffalo Bills
This is the stone-cold lock of the week. The Jags are simply getting too many points in a game they should be giving some away in.
It seems that the gambling world hasn’t been paying attention for the last month or so, as Jacksonville is currently riding high on a three-game winning streak and has emerged victorious in four of its last five matchups.
That’s extremely impressive, regardless of the quality of opponents. On the other hand, Buffalo is going downward and may have reached rock-bottom last Sunday.
The Bills turned the ball over five times and rookie quarterback EJ Manuel took seven sacks against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that hasn’t been all that impressive in 2013.
Factor in that they will be playing on the road, have lost two straight since their Week 12 bye and faltered in five of their last six games and there is simply no way that the Bills are winning this one.
Take the points or, better yet, hammer the money line in favor of the Jags. They are the superior squad—one of the hottest in all of football—and are guaranteed to win in Week 15.
Atlanta Falcons (-6.5) over Washington Redskins
At the start of the season, who would have expected this matchup to be between two of the NFL’s absolute worst teams?
Regardless, we have arrived at this point and one of these franchises has to leave the Georgia Dome with the fourth win of 2013.
Go with the Falcons here, as they are still competing hard and have the desire to win. They may not be the most talented group right now, but the players haven’t quit on their coach and there isn’t controversy and infighting to blame—just a rash of injury and poor free-agency decisions.
On the other hand, the ‘Skins have benched their starting quarterback for the remainder of the campaign and it seems that head coach Mike Shanahan already has his bags packed and a foot halfway out the door.
It’s a tumultuous, ugly situation that is spilling over to the on-field play, as evidenced by Washington’s 45-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last week.
Which team will cover?
While backup quarterback Kirk Cousins is more than capable of carrying this team, it just seems that the roster isn’t in any position to succeed nor does this group even have the desire to.
Back the chalk playing at home and watch as the Redskins finish their complete and utter meltdown against the Falcons. Expect the Dirty Birds to win this by at least two touchdowns and potentially end Shanahan’s tenure in Washington in the process.