NFL Picks Week 15: Underdogs Guaranteed to Get the Upset

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NFL Picks Week 15: Underdogs Guaranteed to Get the Upset
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Each and every week of the 2013 NFL season has been impossible to predict, and that trend will continue in Week 15 with some surprising upsets. Here are the picks (both straight up and against the spread) and a breakdown of the upsets that are sure to happen this weekend.

Week 15 Picks
Away Team Home Team Pick ATS Pick
Washington Redskins Atlanta Falcons Atlanta Falcons ATL -6
San Francisco 49ers Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB +5.5
Seattle Seahawks New York Giants Seattle Seahawks SEA -7
Chicago Bears Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns CLE +1
Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Indianapolis Colts HOU +5.5
Buffalo Bills Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars JAC +2.5
New England Patriots Miami Dolphins New England Patriots NE Pick
Philadelphia Eagles Minnesota Vikings Philadelphia Eagles PHI -6.5
New York Jets Carolina Panthers Carolina Panthers NYJ -10
Kansas City Chiefs Oakland Raiders Kansas City Chiefs KC -5.5
Arizona Cardinals Tennessee Titans Arizona Cardinals TEN +3
New Orleans Saints St. Louis Rams New Orleans Saints NO -6.5
Green Bay Packers Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys DAL -6.5
Cincinnati Bengals Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers PIT +2.5
Baltimore Ravens Detroit Lions Baltimore Ravens BAL +6

All spreads courtesy of

Baltimore Ravens (+6.5) over Detroit Lions

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens have struggled mightily as the defending Super Bowl champions, but they’ve quietly won three games in a row. Granted, those games were all at home, but the Ravens offense has been better in those games.

In addition, the return of tight end Dennis Pitta has given Joe Flacco a go-to target in tough situations. The running gameor lack thereofis still a problem, but the Detroit Lions secondary can be exposed.

The Lions are the 25th-ranked pass defense in the NFL, and Baltimore has an underrated receiving corps now that Pitta is back in the mix.

Detroit Lions Pass Defense
Passing Yards Allowed Per Game Yards Per Attempt Passer Rating Allowed Per Game
256 7.7 88.3

This game is going to be a shootout, and a very good Ravens defense will carry Baltimore to a crucial road win.

Prediction: Baltimore 31, Detroit 27

Pittsburgh Steelers (+2) over Cincinnati Bengals

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals routed the Indianapolis Colts last week, but that was Andy Dalton’s first good performance in four games.

Andy Dalton's Last 5 Games
Week Passer Rating
9 55.4
10 52.3
11 62.7
13 83.6
14 120.5

Furthermore, Dalton’s struggles have largely come on the road.

Andy Dalton Home and Away
Location TDs INTs Rating
Home 14 5 98.9
Away 11 11 80.0

In Week 15, Dalton and the Bengals travel to Heinz Field to play a Pittsburgh Steelers team looking to play spoiler.

Ben Roethlisberger has been in excellent form and leads a dangerous Steelers offense that is averaging 28 points per game in its last four contests. Pittsburgh has been relying on the passing game, and Roethlisberger has rewarded that faith due to better offensive line play.

Steelers Sacks Allowed
Games Sacks Allowed Sacks Per Game
1-8 35 4.4
9-13 5 1.0

Antonio Brown, the league’s leader in receptions, will create problems for a Bengals defense that is missing cornerback Leon Hall, and the Steelers will help out their archrival Ravens by beating Cincinnati at home.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 23, Cincinnati 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+5) over San Francisco 49ers

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

This is a classic trap game for the San Francisco 49ers. They’re flying across the country to play a game at 10 a.m. on their West Coast clocks. To make matters worse, they’re doing this after the most important game of their season last week when they beat their NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks.

In addition, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are actually playing pretty well right now. The Bucs are second in the league with a turnover differential of plus-13, and their defensive front (led by Gerald McCoy) will pose some problems for a Niners offensive line that could be without starting guard Mike Iupati.

Mike Glennon has been playing well recently, passing for 2,052 yards and 15 TDs since taking over as the starter.

With playmakers on both sides of the ball, Tampa Bay will be able to jump on the Niners early and pull off the upset.

Prediction: Tampa Bay 24, San Francisco 17 

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