NFL Week 15 Lookahead Lines

Dec 11, 2020
NFL Week 15 Lookahead Lines

Can’t believe we're already talking about the Week 15 lookahead lines—this season has just flown by. Before we dive into this week's lines, a quick refresher of last week. I gave out Panthers -3.5—which was a win despite their COVID issues. I also gave out the Giants +3, which was a push. I'm surprised this line has not dropped yet with Kyler Murray not running the ball and his shoulder injury, while the Giants will likely get Daniel Jones back. As always, these lines are found on FanDuel. Something you want to watch out with these lines, especially in Weeks 16 and 17, is the “must win to make the playoffs” point spread premium. This is exactly what it sounds like—you will be laying a point or two, or more, on a favored team because they have to win. Be fully aware of this point spread tax.

Chargers @ Raiders (-3.5)

This is more of a fade on the Chargers. This team looks like it quit on head coach Anthony Lynn and he had that odd quote comparing his team's struggles this year to Pearl Harbor. The Chargers in the last two weeks alone had the situation versus the Bills when they got down to the 1-yard line with about 20 seconds left and had that atrocious call to run the ball with no timeouts. They then lost 45-0 to the Patriots, where Bill Belichick took Anthony Lynn to a coaching clinic in such a massive mismatch. I won’t back a team that looks like they are quitting on a lame-duck head coach.

The Raiders are still in the playoff hunt. During my research, I found that all 9-win teams who are non-division winners go to the playoffs a little bit over two-thirds of the time under a 7-team format since 2002. I'm not exactly sure what happens in the Colts game, but I feel somewhat confident the Falcons beat the Chargers this week because Atlanta has been playing much better despite losing last week to the Saints.

Pick: Raiders -3.5

Jets @ Rams (-13.5)

The Rams are coming off a very nice win over the Patriots. They lead the NFC West division over the Seahawks and technically hold the tiebreaker (head-to-head), pending their Week 16 rematch. Against the Patriots, the Rams recorded six quarterback sacks and a pick-six. The Rams will have extra prep time to prepare for a Jets team mailing it in for the rest of the season.

The Jets play the Seahawks, who are off coming off an embarrassing loss to the Giants and their backup quarterback. The Seahawks defense did well—it was the offense that didn’t take care of business for them. I expect the Seahawks to fully take care of business against the Jets. That game seems like a 31-10 or 24-9 type of game for the Seahawks versus a struggling Jets offense.

I do worry a bit about the Rams in a massive lookahead versus the Seahawks in a Week 16 matchup that could decide the division winner. I don’t want any part of the Jets, though, who are 4-8 against the spread—and that is with them getting an extra point or two for their ineptitude.

Pick: Rams -13.5

Browns @ Giants (+3.5)

This line baffles me. Why are the Browns laying -3.5 here? What have they done this year to deserve this? They had a fantastic game against the Titans, being up 38-7 at the half, but other than that, the Browns haven’t had a completely dominant game. The Browns play the Ravens this week on Monday night. Baltimate is nearly at the top of the league in blitz rate, about 40%, and can get pressure on the quarterback. The two times this year when teams pressured Baker Mayfield: a 38-6 blowout loss to the Ravens in Week 1, and another drubbing at the hands of the Steelers, 38-7, in Week 6. If Mayfield struggles against the Ravens, and I expect him to, this line won’t stay at +3.5 for long. We are over the key number of three and the Giants offer a great teaser option.

For the Giants, they should get Daniel Jones back and are facing a Cardinals team whose defense has regressed a bit. Plus, Kyler Murray's shoulder injury and decreased running threat. When Murray runs, he really opens up the Cardinals' offense. The Giants are very healthy at this point of the year and their defense is an underrated unit because of their terrible start at the beginning of the year. The Giants lead the NFC East and own the tiebreaker over the Washington Football Team because they beat them twice in head-to-head matchups.

Pick: Giants +3.5

FanDuel Week 15 Lines (spread, price as of 12/11)

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