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Top NFL Betting Expert Picks For Week 15 (12-15-19)


Week 14 was a weird one in the NFL as several key players went down for the rest of the year. There were also quite a few upsets that made the playoff picture a bit more interesting as we wind down the year. A big thanks to Chris Wassel for filling in for me last week as I had some obligation that kept me from writing. It's not easy to come in cold turkey and advise people on picks to take. However, I am back, bigger and better than ever (for you DX fans)!

I'm here to break down each team's spot, as well as dive into my favorite spreads, totals, team totals, and even moneylines for this week of the NFL schedule. My goal is to find the right value for you to be able to make money. Vegas makes you really work to find the right picks, but I hope I can make things a little more clear for you each and every week.

Follow me on Twitter @sgjanik_6 to chat about football and my picks. I’m also on the Action App @sgjanik6 where I’ll post all the picks below and more this season. 

Editor's Note: Here's a really nice special offer for all RotoBaller readers and prop picks hounds out there, from our friends at the fastest growing DFS site, Monkey Knife Fight. New AND Existing Player Bonus - All players receive a 100% matched signup or reload bonus up to $50 with code 'RBNFL19'.  Sign up and deposit, and use our picks below to get off on a winning foot! 

 

Tampa Bay at Detroit (-3.5)

O/U: 45.5

It's a little more difficult to drool over this offense without Mike Evans suiting up. While Jameis Winston is still going to sling the rock to Chris Godwin and Breshad Perriman, losing a target like Evans is a big hit to an offense. Meanwhile, Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones II are one of the least impressive rushing duos in football. Defensively, Tampa Bay is still stopping the run at an elite level, but their secondary continues to get torched at an impressively bad level.

Detroit continues to be one of the least lucky franchises around the league after losing Marvin Jones (ankle) for the remainder of the season. That follows Matthew Stafford (back) and Kerryon Johnson (knee) missing most of the season with an injury, and now Bo Scarbrough (ribs) is in danger of missing Week 15 after missing Thursday’s practice. That leaves David Blough and Kenny Golladay to try and make pizza without dough on offense. Their defensive unit has dealt with injuries and trades all season and it's shown on the field. They allow 28 points per game and 444 yards per game while at home. It's just an ugly scene in the Motor City.

While Tampa Bay has had its total go over 10 times this season, there are some major offensive pieces missing on both sidelines. I still think Tampa Bay will be able to score but have real trouble seeing Detroit put up more than two touchdowns, unless they get lucky.

Pick: Under 45.5

 

Houston at Tennessee (-3)

O/U: 50

The Texans were stunned last week, 38-24, by the Broncos, and at home nonetheless. It was a pretty brutal loss considering they’re fighting to win the AFC South. Now they get the Titans, who are one of the hottest teams in football. Deshaun Watson has been relatively inconsistent of late, but it certainly helps that he has DeAndre Hopkins to rely on. However, we’ve seen how this passing attack can struggle without Will Fuller (hamstring), and while he may play on Sunday, his hamstring is made of butter and could go down at any second.

Tennessee is arguably the hottest team in the AFC right now, if not the entire NFL. Ryan Tannehill has sparked the offense since taking over in Week 6, throwing for almost 2,000 yards with a 15/5 TD/Int in eight games. Then there’s Derrick Henry, who is having an absolute career year and has rushed for 599 yards and seven touchdowns in his last four games. Defensively, they’re ranked fifth in rushing DVOA but 23rd in passing DVOA, so they’ll need to work on containing Hopkins. However, this Titans team is rolling right now and they’ll be tough to stop.

I look for Tannehill and Henry to continue their strong play and make a real run at the division. They get to play the Texans twice in the next three weeks and getting the first home matchup is a big benefit. The Titans are 3-2-1 against the spread at home and they’ve covered in each of their last four games.

Pick: Tennessee -3

 

Buffalo at Pittsburgh  (-2)

O/U: 35.5

Bills Mafia is still riding strong at 9-4 despite a 24-17 loss to the Ravens a week ago. Josh Allen has remained a steady, rarely stellar NFL quarterback and he’s the main reason they’re in a position for the playoffs. Running back Devin Singletary has had a pretty solid rookie campaign but isn’t a game-breaking back, although receiver John Brown has had a nice breakout season and the Steelers will have their hands full containing him. Defensively, the Bills have an elite secondary, ranking fifth in passing defense DVOA, though they do struggle to stop the run (17th in DVOA). However, they have allowed the second-fewest points in the NFL (212).

Who would’ve thought the Pittsburgh Steelers would be grinding to the playoffs with a 22-year-old who goes by “Duck,” but here they are at 8-5 and in a spot to earn a wild card berth. Devlin Hodges has done exactly what has been asked of him, and that’s to manage games and let the defense do the work. Over the last three, the offense has been without James Conner (shoulder) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) but they’re expected back on Sunday and it will be a huge boost. On the other side, the “Steel Curtain” is back on Pittsburgh’s North Shore. They’ve registered at least two takeaways in 11 of 13 games this season, while they also lead the league with 48 sacks.

With Pittsburgh as the host and Buffalo as the guest, this season, both teams average 23 ppg. Pittsburgh getting Conner and Smith-Schuster back should give some extra confidence to Hodges, meanwhile, Allen and the Bills offense have enough talent to be able to score on Pittsburgh. Even with the defense factored in, this total is just way too low. UPDATE: JuJu Smith-Schuster apparently aggravated his knee on Thursday and isn’t expected to play on Sunday. I still think there is value here and will still be playing the over.

Pick: Over 35.5

 

Atlanta at San Francisco (-10.5)

O/U: 48

The Falcons certainly haven’t lived up to their preseason expectations and it’s safe to consider this season a total mess. Calvin Ridley (abdomen) is now out for the year, but that just opens up more chances for Matt Ryan to throw to Julio Jones and Austin Hooper, who will need to cash in on just about every opportunity to make this one close in Week 15.

On the other sideline, the 49ers have allowed just 16 ppg at home this season, but their 48-46 shootout win over New Orleans last week highlighted that they do have some weaknesses. However, they’ll be without two of their star defensive backs Richard Sherman (hamstring) and Jaquiski Tartt (ribs). While San Francisco may very well get out ahead early, Atlanta will be throwing a lot in this one and I see them finding pay dirt several times.

Pick: Atlanta Team Total Over 19

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