NFL Week 15 Betting Recap and Playoff Implications
NFL Week 15 Betting Recap
We enter Week 16, so let’s take a look at some of the betting implications from last week’s (mostly insanely entertaining) games from Thursday-Monday and the playoff implications.
(closing lines) (Home team in caps)
Thursday, Dec. 15
San Francisco (-3) over SEATTLE 21-13/Under 42
Brock Purdy won another game for the 49ers, tossing for 217 yards with two TDs. Both TDs went to tight end George Kittle. He received help from Christian McCaffrey (108 yds, 1 TD) and a defense that held the Seahawks to 70 rushing yards. The Niners are now 10-4 and lead the NFC West by three games over the Seahawks.
Saturday, Dec. 17
Indianapolis (+3.5) over MINNESOTA 36-39ot/Over 46.5
Maybe the craziest game of the year. Indianapolis was up 33-0 at the half thanks to a 17-yard INT return for a TD from Julian Blackmon and a 24-yard blocked punt return for a TD. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong for the Vikings. They woke up in the second half thanks to four TD passes from Kirk Cousins who helped force overtime. For Minnesota bettors, they needed a touchdown in overtime, but it was not meant to be. Greg Joseph kicked a 40-yard field goal, which was fine by Colts’ bettors, but not Indy fans. The Colts dropped to 4-9-1 and they are in full tank mode with QB Matt Ryan benched for Nick Foles. Minnesota moved to 11-3 and they clinched the NFC North.
CLEVELAND (-2.5) over Baltimore 13-3/Under 39
There is entertaining and there was this game. The Browns found a way on a cold and windy day to beat Tyler Huntley and the Ravens. Justin Tucker missed a 48-yard field goal right before the half and then had another kicked blocked in a very rare situation for the Pro Bowler. Cleveland did enough offensively with 143 rushing yards, but allowed 198 rushing yards. Yes, Baltimore had nearly 200 rushing yards and three points. Cleveland’s red-zone defense was on point.
Miami (+7) over BUFFALO 29-32/Over 45
The big snowstorm didn’t come to the stadium until the fourth quarter as both offenses were able to put up big numbers. Miami had a 29-21 lead early in the fourth quarter before the snow and wind hit and Josh Allen took over. The superstar QB threw for four TDs and ran for 77 yards to lead his team to the big win in the AFC East matchup. Tua Tagovailoa added 234 yards passing and two TDs. The Fins also received a huge game from RB Raheem Mostert, who ran for 136 yards. A 25-yard field goal by Tyler Bass left the Bills in first place by three games over Miami, who fell to 8-6.
Sunday, Dec. 18
Atlanta (+5.5) over NEW ORLEANS 18-21/Under 43.5
The Saints kept their slim playoff hopes alive by beating Atlanta, but not covering. The NFC South is in disarray with Carolina, New Orleans and the Falcons tied at 5-9 and Tampa Bay leading the division at 6-8. The Saints found a way thanks to two TD passes from Andy Dalton to Juwan Johnson. Backup QB/TE Taysom Hill also threw a TD pass to Rashid Shaheed. Rookie QB Desmond Ridder completed 13 of 26 for just 97 yards while rookie Tyler Allgeier rushed for 139 yards and a TD.
Pittsburgh (+2.5) over CAROLINA 24-16/Over 37.5
Just when you thought the Panthers were back in the playoff race..well they still are because of the lousy NFC South (three teams tied for 2nd at 5-9). But Pittsburgh moved to 6-8, which ties them with Cleveland for last place, but both still have wild card dreams and the Steelers have never finished less than .500 under Mike Tomlin. Mitch Trubisky threw for 179 yards with no picks, but rookie Kenny Pickett (hip) is expected to return as starter. The Steelers ran for 156 yards and held the Panthers to just 21 yards on 16 carries. Running the ball and stopping the run worked in this case.
CHICAGO (+8.5) over Philadelphia 20-25/Under 47.5
Jalen Hurts somehow rushed for three TDs with a sprained shoulder and passed for 315 yards to give the Eagles the tough win. Philly moved to 13-1, while the Bears fell to 3-11. Chicago had a chance to take the lead after Jake Elliott missed a 38-yard FG with 8:25 left and down 17-13, but couldn’t convert. Chicago QB Justin Fields rushed for 96 yards and passed for 152 with two TDs.
HOUSTON (+14.5) over Kansas City 24-30ot/Over 48.5
Another great effort for poor Houston, who fell to 1-12-1 with their ninth straight loss. The Texans nearly upset Dallas last week, but Patrick Mahomes was too good with 336 yards passing and two TDs (one rushing TD). Houston rushed for 94 yards and passed for just 125 yards, but nearly beat one of the best teams in football. Jerrick McKinnon’s 26-yard TD run in overtime was the difference.
JACKSONVILLE (+3.5) over Dallas, 40-34ot/Over 47.5
Where do we start? How about them Jaguars! Trevor Lawrence threw for 318 yards with four TDs and one pick, while Travis Etienne rushed for 103 yards. But Dallas couldn’t put this game away after a Lawrence fumble late in the game. They allowed Jacksonville to force overtime on a 48-yard field goal from Riley Patterson. In overtime, Rayshawn Jenkins picked off Dak Prescott, who threw a pass that went off Noah Brown’s hands and somehow found Jenkins, who took it to the house for the win. So the Jags are 6-8 and just a game behind Tennessee for first place in the AFC South. Dallas is 10-4 and three games behind the Eagles for first place in the NFC East.
Detroit (+1.5) over NY JETS 20-17/Under 43.5
The Lions and Jets are now 7-7 after this tough game. It all came down to one lay and that was a fourth down, 51-yard TD pass from Jared Goff to TE Brock Wright. It wasn’t a pretty effort by the Lions against a strong Jets’ defense. They needed a 47-yard punt return for a TD by Kalif Raymond. Zach Wilson threw for 317 yards, but completed just 50% of his passes. The Jets are sliding with three straight losses and it appears Wilson will start again on Thursday night against Jacksonville at home.
DENVER (-1.5) over Arizona 24-15/Over 37.5
Brett Rypien stepped in for Russell Wilson and threw for 197 yards with a TD and a pick. But it was Latavius Murray (131 yds, 1 TD), who appears to have rejuvenated his career with the Broncos, who are 4-10 and playing for draft picks. Wilson is expected to return this week but Rypien did help Denver break a 5-game losing streak. On Arizona’s side, they are down to their third-string QB after Colt McCoy suffered a concussion in the third quarter and Trace McSorley replaced him. At 4-10, expect major changes for the Cardinals after the season ends.
LAS VEGAS (-2.5) over New England 30-24/Over 45.5
The Patriots had a 24-17 lead in this game with 3:43 left and then Derek Carr hit Keelan Cole for a 30-yard TD pass to tie the game at 24-all with 32 seconds left. This game was headed to overtime, but instead Rhamondre Stevenson took a handoff and ran for 23 yards. Instead of just going down or running out of bounds on the last play, he tossed a lateral to Jakobi Meyers, who lateraled it back to Mac Jones. Chandler Jones caught the lateral and ran over Jones and then to the end zone for 48 yards in a miracle finish for the Raiders. Despite that last error, Stevenson ran for 172 yards on just 18 rushes. But the only thing that matter was that the Patriots are 7-7 and fighting for a wild card spot with the Raiders (6-8), who won their fourth of their last five games. Another bizarre game over the weekend.
Cincinnati (-3.5) over TAMPA BAY 34-23/Over 46.5
Some may have wondered why Tampa Bay was getting 3.5 with everything to play for at home. When they were up 17-0, it looked as though they were going to get the big “W”. But the Bengals turned things around late in the first half and through the second as they scored 34 unanswered points. Joe Burrow threw for four TDs outdueling Tom Brady, who threw for three TDs but also had two picks. That was the key as Tampa Bay turned it over four times in the second half. Cincy has won six straight and is now one game up on Baltimore in the AFC North. Those teams meet in Week 18.
NY Giants (+3.5) over WASHINGTON 20-12
What is a Sunday night game without a little controversy? The Commanders struggled offensively in this game and should have been sharper coming off a bye. But they fell to 7-6-1 as Kayvon Thibodeaux scored on a strip-sack fumble and Saquon Barkley rushed for 87 yards and a TD. Taylor Heinicke, despite several miscues, had a chance to tie the game with less than a minute left. Washington had an illegal formation penalty on Pro Bowl WR Terry McLaurin and then Curtis Samuel appeared to be interfered with in the end zone with no defensive PI called to give the Giants the win. The Giants moved to 8-5-1 with a leg up on the second wild card berth.
LA CHARGERS (-3) over Tennessee 17-14/Under 41
This was an uninspiring game that the Titans needed to find a way to win. They nearly did before the Chargers kicked a late FG. Justin Herbert had an uneven game with 313 yards passing, but no TDs and two red-zone picks including one late in the half when they were in field goal range. They improved to 8-6 and with a wild card chance, while the Titans fell to 7-7 for their fourth straight loss. They also lost QB Ryan Tannehill to an ankle injury that will cost him this season. Rookie Malik Willis, who played just one series in their last game, will take over.
Monday, December 19, 2022
GREEN BAY (-7.5) over LA Rams 24-12/Under 39.5
Did the Rams really want to be here, in below freezing weather in Green Bay? Nobody does, but give Baker Mayfield and RB Cam Akers credit for trying. The Packers were up 24-6 in the third quarter and the Rams made it a game as Mayfield hit TE Tyler Higbee for an 8-yard TD pass with 22 seconds left in the third quarter. That was enough scoring for either team as the Rams are done at 4-10 and the Packers still have life at 6-8, but will need to basically win out to have a shot at the wild card in the NFC.