Going into week 15, our model(s) continue to perform slightly better than the 52.4% required to break even when betting against the spread. The table below provides all our computer predictions going into week 14. We analyzed them and determined what we think, are the best games to bet on.
|Jets (14%)||Ravens (86%)||Ravens by 12|
|Bears (47%)||Packers (53%)||Packers by 3|
|Patriots (85%)||Bengals (15%)||Patriots by 5|
|Seahawks (58%)||Panthers (42%)||Seahawks by 6|
|Texans (51%)||Titans (49%)||Texans by 1|
|Dolphins (56 %)||Giants (44%)||Dolphins by 5|
|Eagles (59%)||Redskins (41%)||Eagles by 3|
|Broncos (20%)||Chiefs (80%)||Chiefs by 9|
|Buccaneers (45%)||Lions (55%)||Lions by 6|
|Browns (60%)||Cardinals (40%)||Browns by 6|
|Jaguars (55%)||Raiders (45%)||Jaguars by 3|
|Vikings (55%)||Chargers (45%)||Vikings by 2|
|Rams (44%)||Cowboys (56%)||Cowboys by 4|
|Falcons (22%)||49ers (78%)||49ers by 8|
|Bills (60%)||Steelers (40%)||Bills by 11|
|Colts (33%)||Saints (67%)||Saints by 6|
Here Are Our Recommended Bets for Week 15
Against the Spread
Bills @ Steelers (-2.5) – (Our AI predicts the Bills to win by 11) – Buffalo saw its three-game winning streak snapped last Sunday against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens and just barely missed covering the +6.5 spread with a final score of 24-17. They keep it in the AFC North for another week with a road spot against surging Pittsburgh, in which the they will get 2.5 points.
Josh Allen and the Bills defense have kept Buffalo competitive all season long and have managed well against the spread, currently at a mark of 8-4-1. The Steelers haven’t done too bad when squaring off against the line either, as Pittsburgh enters week 15 at 7-4-2 ATS.
The Steelers have won three in a row with the most recent coming against the Arizona Cardinals and rookie quarterback Kyler Murray. One of the best defenses in football and a fine job from head coach Mike Tomlin has gotten the Steelers into the playoff picture on a year where things were expected by many to be tumultuous, especially after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger saw his season end early on.
With the defensive play, coaching performance, and defying of expectations for both teams, this one is without question one of the better games of the week 15 slate. Our AI projects a convincing Bills win, but I am going to emphasize the cover instead.
I don’t see Josh Allen doing much statistically as the league-best Steelers pass rush should make its presence felt all day long. Buffalo’s defense, however, is the key in this one, as Duck Hodges should struggle against what is also a very formidable defensive front.
Bills (+2.5) correlates with our system’s prediction but also serves as a risk management opportunity in case the Steelers were to win the game in close fashion, as a Bills loss within the posted line would result in a win for any bettor who jumps on it. For that reason, I am rolling with the spread, as it is hard to envision the Bills winning with that kind of deficit in Pittsburgh.
Writer’s Pick: Bills (+2.5)
Bears @ Packers (-4.5) – (Our AI predicts the Packers to win by 3) – The oldest rivalry in professional football sees its 200th installment this week with division-leading Green Bay laying 4.5 at Lambeau Field. It was just a few weeks ago when both fans and the media were speculating how much longer the Bears and head coach Matt Nagy would stick with quarterback Mitch Trubisky.
Since then, the third-year quarterback has done what he has needed to do in relatively big spots. With a solid performance on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit and a big Thursday night win against Dallas last week, the Bears have now won three straight.
While they have not been good against the number this season (4-9 ATS), this rivalry spot is an intriguing one given our model projects the Packers to win in a fashion that would allow both a Green Bay victory and a Chicago cover.
I have stayed away from the Bears much of 2019, but in the NFL, you do not bet teams, you bet numbers, and this is a good line that has some backing from the computers. Expect Trubisky and Nagy to do just enough with their game plan to keep within the 4.5.
Writer’s Pick: Bears (+4.5)
Vikings @ Chargers (+2.5) – (Our AI predicts the Vikings to win by 2) – Minnesota followed up its close Monday night loss to Seattle with a dominating victory over Detroit and now find themselves taking on a Chargers team that is very hard to trust.
Los Angeles snapped their three-game losing streak with a 45-10 blowout over Jacksonville and hosts the matchup against Minnesota, getting two and a half points as a home dog.
The Chargers possess talent yes, but their lack of a true offensive identity with Philip Rivers’ ups and downs under center has made them hard to gauge all of the 2019 campaign.
Much of the same can be said about the Vikings, but things have stabled as of late and they sit with the 6th seed intact as of right now when looking at the NFC’s playoff picture.
Possessing one of the best rosters in the league, Minnesota seems to have an elite player in nearly every positional category, and its most important player, quarterback Kirk Cousins has totaled 24 touchdowns to just four interceptions. He has a rating of 112.0 and has silenced many critics as the Vikings close in on a wild card berth. Furthermore, it has proved to be the best season of his eight-year pro career.
There are certain areas where the Chargers matchup favorably, but across the board, the Vikings will be too much for any one standout player to overcome from a personnel standpoint. Danielle Hunter and the Vikings defensive line will make life tough for Rivers, and the use of Dalvin Cook out of the backfield will only make things easier for Cousins.
Our system has Minnesota slated by a 2-point margin of victory, falling in line with what is projected from the sportsbook. Yet, I am deciding not to be compromised by the spread in this one and am rolling with the better team on the road to capture the straight up win.
Writer’s Pick: Vikings SU
Falcons @ 49ers (-11) – (Our AI predicts the 49ers to win by 8) – The 49ers have been featured in potential Super Bowl and conference championship matchups the past two weeks on the road, with last Sunday’s pulse pounding win over the Saints serving as a bounce-back from a close loss to the Ravens the week prior.
San Francisco was able to take back the division lead from Seattle and now sits as the #1 seed in the NFC postseason landscape. With a physical style of play highlighted by their defense and running game, the Niners have shown both substance and flash as the play of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been stellar the past month.
He totaled 349 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception in the shootout last week against New Orleans and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts. He has racked up 25 touchdowns to 11 interceptions on the year and showed his moxie in the clutch last week.
Many will believe that this game serves as a trap spot given the emotional and high stakes win last week. But with no point spread to worry about the degree of victory is a non-factor in this pick.
Atlanta did have a nice 40-20 win over Carolina in week 14 which saw Falcons QB Matt Ryan have a strong day, but Nick Bosa and DeForest Buckner will ensure that it does not repeat itself.
While Garoppolo is the favorable choice in the quarterback matchup, it is San Francisco’s skills in the trenches and ability to run the football with multiple people that will make Sunday a long day for Atlanta.
The AI predicts an eight-point Niners victory, implying that the Falcons will cover the eleven points at the betting counter. If Ryan has another strong outing they could fall in that gap, but the 49ers will take the straight up victory nonetheless while hoping to tighten their grip on first place.