NFL Week 15 Predictions: Atlanta Falcons and More Favorites That Won't Cover

Eric BowmanFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 11:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons calls out to his teammates against the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

With only three weeks left to the season, there aren't many chances to make up for losses from earlier in the year, but Week 15 does offer up some favorites sure to flop. 

Rooting for the underdog will be no problem this week because some favorites won't be covering. It's fun to cheer on the underdog, but even more so when you've got more than just bragging rights riding on the game. 

With that said, here are three favorites that won't cover the spread. 

Atlanta Falcons (-11.5)

The Falcons have had their ups and downs this year, and if they play as poorly as they did a week ago, they could end up losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night. 

I don't see that happening, but coming off a short week where they did struggle, the Falcons aren't going to cover. 

Whenever the Jaguars have been double-digit underdogs this year, they've either tied the line or won it. That trend will continue when they roll into Atlanta on Thursday night.

Maurice Jones-Drew will be tough to bring down, and the Falcons' sloppy play will allow the Jaguars to hang around longer than they should.

Prediction: Falcons 28, Jaguars 20

New York Giants (- 7)

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 11:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants at FedExField on September 11, 2011 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The first time the Giants took on the Washington Redskins this season, they were embarrassed. That isn't going to happen again, but it's not like they're going to win a blowout either. 

The Redskins come to play when they're up against division opponents, and while the Giants will be fully prepared, early game mishaps will keep the Redskins competitive.

Washington may have lost eight of its last nine games, but the Redskins still have the talent to give the Giants a tough battle for all four quarters.

Expect another close game between these two teams, but in the end, Eli Manning will do enough to put the Giants back on top.

Prediction: Giants 30, Redskins 26

Houston Texans (-6.5)

Playing at home this Sunday is a big relief for the Texans. Even though T.J. Yates is surprising everyone and winning games for Houston, this Sunday is when he finally makes costly errors. 

Yes, the Texans are playing the slumping Carolina Panthers, but this team has proven it can score at will. Houston's defense is solid this year, but stopping Cam Newton is no easy task.

The Panthers' confidence is rising with the more touchdowns they get against good teams, and they'll do enough to stop Yates from exploding.

Arian Foster will carry the team, but with the game on the line, the rookie sensation will come through for the Panthers to steal a victory.

Prediction: Panthers 23, Texans 20  

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