With four weeks left in the regular season, we’re starting to see more teams get eliminated from playoff contention. To date, only three teams have been officially nixed — Houston, Chicago and Denver. However, starting this week, a lot of those teams on life support are going to run out of time.
While NFL teams don’t “tank,” what we will start seeing are teams making business decisions with some of their veteran players and seeing what they have in young talent. This will make betting a little dicier, because some teams will make decisions that won’t improve their chances of winning.
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook
NFL Betting Odds and Lines: Week 15
San Francisco 49ers (-170) at Seattle Seahawks (+145)
After a 3-7 start, the 49ers have won six straight, while Seattle has lost three of their last four, including their last two at home. The 49ers are a small favorite (3.5 points at -101 49ers, -119 Seahawks). Five of the 49ers’ six wins have been by double digits. If Brock Purdy just manages the offense, this point is too small. Take the 49ers and lay 3.5 points (-101).
Indianapolis Colts (+170) at Minnesota Vikings (-200)
The Vikings’ pass defense is the worst in the league, but the Colts are their own worst enemies. They have more interceptions (14) than TD passes (13) and have fumbled a whopping 30 times (losing 12 of them). Minnesota is small favorite (4 points at -108 Colts, -112 Vikings). The Vikings should have all their key injured players back and, while they always play close, they should have enough here. Take the Vikings and lay 4 points (-112).
Baltimore Ravens (+125) at Cleveland Browns (-150)
The Ravens will be without Lamar Jackson, which explains a very low Over/Under (37 points at -112 Over, -108 Under). The Browns have hit Over this number in 12 of 13 games and, if the Cleveland offense can get a score or two on the board early, they can force the Ravens’ hand and make them keep up. Take the Over (-112).
Miami Dolphins (+280) at Buffalo Bills (-350)
Buffalo is still a Super Bowl favorite, but when they win, it tends to be convincingly – seven of 10 wins by eight or more points. They’re a solid home favorite (7.5 points at -115 Dolphins, -105 Bills). I expect this to drop to 7, but Buffalo needs to start playing postseason ball now and take control of the AFC East. Take the Bills and lay 7.5 points (-105).
Detroit Lions (-110) at New York Jets (-110)
I would take the Lions on the money line, but you actually get a better investment rate taking Detroit on the spread (.5 points at-109 Lions, -111 Jets). Even against good defenses, the Lions are finding ways to put up solid point totals, and I’m not sure the Jets can get into a back-and-forth with them if the Lions score touchdowns instead of field goals. Take the Lions plus 0.5 points (-109).
Dallas Cowboys (-200) at Jacksonville Jaguars (+170)
The Jags are going to be a team to contend with in 2023 but are still missing a couple of key pieces. Dallas is a small road favorite (4 points at -112 Cowboys, -108 Jaguars). This may be an overreaction to their struggles last week against the Texans. Look for Dallas to be focused and go for the knockout punch early. Take the Cowboys and lay 4 points (-112).
Pittsburgh Steelers (+130) at Carolina Panthers (-150)
The Panthers are still in the playoff hunt, and the Steelers aren’t going to the playoffs. The offenses haven’t been brutal, which is why such a low O/U (37.5 points at -110 Over, -110 Under) seems a little too low. A defensive or special teams touchdown will make this very difficult to keep under 38 points. Take the Over (-110).
Atlanta Falcons (+180) at New Orleans Saints (-210)
The Falcons have been a difficult team to figure out because, despite a quarterback change and a lack of elite players, they stay in games. The Saints are solid home favorites (4.5 points at -113 Falcons, -107 Saints). The Saints seem to be mailing it in and don’t play with any consistency, which is asking a lot to five away those points. Take the Falcons plus 4.5 points (-113).
Philadelphia Eagles (-390) at Chicago Bears (+320)
The Eagles are the best all-around team in the NFL and tend to beat up lesser teams. They’re a solid favorite (8 points at -112 Eagles, -108 Bears). The Eagles are putting up huge points, and the Bears don’t have the horses on offense to get into that kind of fight. Take the Eagles and lay 8 points (-112).
Kansas City Chiefs (-900) at Houston Texans (+600)
The Chiefs are huge favorites (14 points at -106 Chiefs, -114 Texans). There’s a reason for that. I’ve tended to avoid giant spreads, because a team takes its foot off the gas with a 20-point lead and gives up a score at garbage time. The Chiefs need to keep winning, because they don’t have the tie-breaker with Buffalo. Give me Patrick Mahomes on a dry track any day. Take the Chiefs and lay 14 points (-106).
New England Patriots (-115) at Las Vegas Raiders (-105)
The Patriots are adept at playing field position games when the opponent is ripe for that. The Over/Under is a little high (45 points at -112 Over, -108 Under). In six of their seven wins, the Patriots have hit under this O/U. The Raiders may win this game, but they’re going to play the Patriots’ style. Take the Under (-108).
Arizona Cardinals (+125) at Denver Broncos (-145)
There are certain numbers that are a breaking point for me. An Over of 55 or above gets serious consideration. An Under of less than 38 does the same. The Over/Under here is 36 (-111 Over, -109 Under). Not much needs to happen for that to go Over. Unless there are 20 punts, I can’t resist. Take the Over (-111).
Tennessee Titans (-112) at Los Angeles Chargers (-108)
The worst thing anyone can do is bet on the Chargers consistently, because they’re so inconsistent. They are a standard home favorite (3 points at -112 Titans, -108 Chargers). The stat standing out is that the Chargers allow 5.4 yards a carry to all runners. If Derrick Henry comes anywhere close to that number, he’ll have 30 carries. Take the Titans plus 3 points (-112).
Cincinnati Bengals (-200) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+170)
The Bengals are road favorites (3.5 points at -112 Bengals, -108 Buccaneers). The problem with Tampa Bay this season is that the offense stagnates for long periods of time. You can’t do that against the Bengals and expect a positive outcome. Take the Bengals and lay 3.5 points (-112).
New York Giants (+180) at Washington Commanders (-210)
The Giants and Commanders are division rivals, making them very familiar with each other’s personnel. Washington has been established as a significant divisional favorite (4.5 points at -113 Giants, -107 Commanders). I think Washington will win, but I’m not willing to give away the required five points for two teams that tied two weeks ago. Take the Giants plus 4.5 points (-113).
Los Angeles Rams (+250) at Green Bay Packers (-300)
When this game was scheduled, they didn’t expect what they’re getting. A California team going to Wisconsin the week before Christmas is never good, which is why the Packers are a touchdown favorite. But the number here is the O/U (39 points at -110 for both). There are a lot of ways this game can play out. Aaron Rodgers wants to make a point, and the Rams are on fumes. One team scores 24 or more points. It doesn’t need much left. Take the Over at 39 points (-110).
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