NFL Picks Week 15: Highlighting Best Vegas Odds and Expert Predictions

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 12, 2019

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 08: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs looks for a pass against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 08, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs are expected to hand Drew Lock his first loss as Denver Broncos quarterback Sunday. 

The AFC West winner is one of five Week 15 favorites with a spread of nine points or more in their favor, and it is one of a few sides chosen to win in commanding fashion by NFL experts. 

With their Week 14 win over the New England Patriots, the Chiefs moved into the AFC's No. 3 seed, and they reside one game behind the AFC East leader for a first-round bye. 

The New Orleans Saints are in a similar position as the Chiefs as the NFC's third-best team. 

Sean Payton's team is also an overwhelming favorite, according to the experts and odds, and a win over the Indianapolis Colts keeps it in the hunt for a spot in the divisional round and home-field advantage. 


NFL Week 15 Schedule

All Times ET

Odds via Caesars and Oddschecker; predictions against the spread in bold

Thursday, December 12

New York Jets at Baltimore (-16.5) (Over/Under: 45.5) (8:20 p.m., Fox/NFL Network)


Sunday, December 15

New England (-9.5) at Cincinnati (O/U: 40.5) (1 p.m., CBS) 

Denver at Kansas City (-9.5) (O/U: 45.5) (1 p.m., CBS) 

Miami at New York Giants (-3.5) (O/U: 48) (1 p.m., CBS) 

Houston at Tennessee (-3) (O/U: 50 (1 p.m., CBS) 

Seattle (-5.5) at Carolina (O/U: 48) (1 p.m., Fox) 

Tampa Bay (-3) at Detroit (O/U: 47.5) (1 p.m., Fox) 

Chicago at Green Bay (-4.5) (O/U: 41) (1 p.m., Fox) 

Philadelphia (-4.5) at Washington (O/U: 40.5) (1 p.m., Fox) 

Cleveland (-2.5) at Arizona (O/U: 48) (4:05 p.m., CBS) 

Minnesota (-2.5) at Los Angeles Chargers (O/U: 45) (4:05 p.m., CBS) 

Jacksonville at Oakland (-5.5) (O/U: 46) (4:05 p.m., CBS) 

Los Angeles Rams (-1.5) at Dallas (O/U: 49) (4:25 p.m., Fox) 

Atlanta at San Francisco (-11) (O/U: 47.5) (4:25 p.m., Fox) 

Buffalo at Pittsburgh (-2) (O/U: 36.5) (8:20 p.m., NBC) 


Monday, December 16

Indianapolis at New Orleans (-9) (O/U: 46) (8:15 p.m., ESPN)


Expert Predictions

As of Thursday morning, the expert picks collected by NFLPickwatch.com were unanimously in favor of five teams. 

Kansas City, New England, Seattle, San Francisco and New Orleans were picked to win by all experts. 

All of their opponents are under .500 and only one still has a path to a playoff berth, but Indianapolis enters the Superdome Monday night with three straight losses. 

Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Philadelphia and Oakland all received over 90 percent of picks involving their matchups. 

The toughest selection is for Sunday night's clash between Buffalo and Pittsburgh. At the moment, 58 percent of picks are in favor of the Steelers. 

Mike Tomlin's team is the second-lowest favorite on the Week 15 odds chart. The smallest are the Los Angeles Rams, who have 61 percent of experts in their favor ahead of a matchup with Dallas. 


Best Vegas Odds

Denver at Kansas City (-9.5) 

Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The Kansas City defense can bring Lock back to reality fast Sunday. 

In their last two games, the Chiefs allowed 26 points to Oakland and New England to lock up the division and move past Houston for the No. 3 seed. 

Andy Reid's team is one of four sides with an unblemished division record. New England, Green Bay and Dallas are the other three. 

In four AFC West clashes, the Chiefs outscored opponents 122-42, and none of those foes have hit the 20-point mark. 

In Week 7, they held the Broncos to six points and 205 total yards in a 24-point victory. 

The smallest margin of victory in one of Kansas City's divisional victories was seven against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 11. 

During their three-game winning streak, the Chiefs have forced eight turnovers, with seven of them coming against the Chargers and Raiders. 

Lock deserves credit for injecting life into the Denver offense with 443 passing yards and five touchdowns, but he has not been perfect, as he threw an interception in each start. 

Conversely, Patrick Mahomes has a single turnover in four contests at Arrowhead Stadium, and he has been kept clean in the pocket with three sacks suffered during the recent winning run. 

If Kansas City continues to play at a high level, it could take over the No. 2 spot through a New England loss. 

The Chiefs may not defeat the Broncos by 34 points, like they did the Raiders in Week 13, but a double-digit win is expected based off their recent form and AFC West record. 


Indianapolis at New Orleans (-9) 

Mark LoMoglio/Associated Press

The Colts' downward spiral has taken away the hopes of winning the AFC South, and they could be eliminated from playoff contention Monday. 

Since the winner of the Houston-Tennessee game will be three games ahead of the Colts after Sunday, they can't win the division.

If Pittsburgh loses to Buffalo, the Colts would technically be alive for one more day in the wild-card hunt with two fewer wins than the No. 6 seed. 

But any lingering hope will die at the Superdome against a Saints team looking to rebound from a loss to San Francisco and with plenty still left to play for. 

Since the start of November, the Colts have allowed an average of 340 total yards per game. 

In the same time span, the Saints' offense has averaged 320 total yards per contest and eclipsed the 400-yard mark in two of their last three games.

Frank Reich's team forced six turnovers in the last two games, but that run should end against one of the cleanest offensive units in the NFL.

Since Week 6, the Saints have given the ball away on three occasions, while their defense has forced at least one takeaway in five straight outings. 

New Orleans can also take away Indianapolis' offensive strength with the fifth-best rushing defense in the NFL. 

By winning the turnover battle and silencing the Colts' running backs, the Saints appear to have a perfect formula in place to win their regular-season home finale by double digits. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from Pro Football Reference