Week 15 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Why Deshaun Watson and Josh Allen will get road victories and what to make of the Dallas Cowboys
In a week that felt more like the NFL playoffs than the regular season, elite road favorites were the key to victory not only against the spread but as Moneyline underdogs.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs got a little help from the refs to give the Patriots their first home loss since October 1st, 2017 in their 23-16 road win as 3 1/2 point underdogs.
The 49ers defense struggled mightily for the first time all year, but Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle connected on a last-minute 4th and 2 to lead San Francisco to a 48-46 victory.
Will underdogs pull through again? Let’s dive into my best 3 picks of the Week 15 slate.
Houston Texans +3 at Tennessee Titans
Denver 38 Houston 3. That was the score midway through the 3rd quarter of the Texans pathetic home loss to Drew Lock and the Denver Broncos.
So why are we trusting Bill O’Brien and Deshaun Watson on the road in their biggest game of the season? Their opponent is Ryan Tannehill and the Titans.
I’ve got little to no faith in the resurgence of the Titans who have impressively turned their entire season around, winning 4 games in a row.
These results have led to a recency bias that has swung this line from a pick’em to a 3-point underdog. Look for the Texans to play more like the team that took down the Patriots than the team who laid an egg against the Broncos.
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Dallas Cowboys +1 vs Los Angeles Rams
Somehow, Jerry Jones has kept Jason Garrett as the Cowboys head coach through thick & tons of thin. The entire fanbase has been calling for his head, but the only major change Dallas made this week was cutting kicker Brett Maher and signing Kai Forbath.
Despite all the chaos, they somehow lead the NFC East with a 6-7 record.
A Rams primetime beatdown of the Seahawks and the public embarrassment of the Cowboys have changed this line from the opening of Dallas -3 to now being +1.
If you’re noticing a theme, I like to take advantage of public overreaction. There’s no way a Jared Goff led offense should be a road favorite against a Dak Prescott led offense leading the league in yards per play.
Although betting on Dallas isn’t fun, Cooper Kupp health doesn’t look right and I look to the Rams offense facing some more struggles on the road. Maybe new kicker Kai Forbath will make the difference in getting Jason Garrett back to .500 on the year.
Buffalo Bills +1.5 at Pittsburgh Steelers
Sunday Night Football!
Josh Allen and the Bills have had a fantastic somewhat under the radar season, getting to 9-4 without much hype from the media.
Their defense is top-5 in the league in DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) and they now get to face a former 4th string and undrafted quarterback in Duck Hodges.
Mike Tomlin has done a fantastic job keeping his team in the playoff race, but 3 straight narrow victories by less than a touchdown over the Bengals, Browns, and Cardinals have done little to prove they are actual contenders.
With an over-under of just 36.5, every potential score could be the difference. Expect the Bills defense to make Duck commit multiple turnovers even though elite running back James Conner will return to the Pittsburgh backfield.
John Bown or Devin Singletary will make an explosive play and the Bills will win outright.