Toby’s Week 15 NFL Picks and Previews for Every Game
TOBY’S WEEK 15 NFL PICKS AND PREVIEWS FOR EVERY GAME -Well, at least the bets I liked did well! After that a bunch of weird stuff happened, but at least it didn’t happen in games I had real actual money on. Just credibility, and really, how important is that?
Week 14 Total (All Games): 6-8-1
Season Total: 99-104
Week 13 High Confidence Games: 2-1-1
Season Total: 39-43
I don’t know how someone can be so aggressively mediocre at something they’ve been doing this long, but here I am!
Sports betting must be like golf. I did at least benefit from getting a few picks in early, as the lines swung wildly last week. As they say, either bet at the beginning of the week or on Sunday morning, never in between.
No more byes, so all 32 mostly middling teams are in action this week.
Surprisingly, I like a lot of the matchups this week, which will obviously get me back on the plus-side of .500. Got to stay above the Wreathway Line.
There are also a good amount of “dome/warm weather team in the elements” games, if betting against those teams is your kink. It usually is for me. My safe word is “chance of precipitation”.
HIGH CONFIDENCE GAMES
#1: TAMPA BAY @ GREEN BAY -3.5
Naturally we have one of the games pitting two weather extremes right off the bat. It’s the Battle of the Bays! In this matchup, the bay of retirees will hop on a plane to Austin Straubel International to face the generally intoxicated natives next to their frozen bay.
Weather is going to be rather pleasant by December in Green Bay standards but not by general human standards and certainly not by Tampa standards. Baker Mayfield is used to difficult weather having played in Cleveland for a few years but he’s probably become acclimated to the warmth and I think it matters.
I don’t love the hook but I’m still going to wait this one out a bit to see if I can get it at -3. If it hits -4 I’ll just take it there.
I have no idea how I feel about Tampa, but I do know that I like the Packers and this seems like a slight discount off of their loss last week in New Jersey. So sign me up to fade the Bucs in a freezing drizzle.
#2: CHICAGO @ CLEVELAND -3
This one’s not really a weather game as both of these teams have their home field in treacherous winter conditions, but in this case I don’t need weather to take the Browns over the Bears by a field goal.
Cleveland is significantly better than Chicago and unlike some of the teams that Chicago has beaten recently, the Browns defensive strength should mostly neutralize the randomness that you can see in Justin Fields games.
And now that the Browns are led by Joe Flacco rather than Random McLate-Round, I don’t see them dropping a game to the Chicagos of the league. Joey Flaccs is nothing special and he couldn’t carry the late 2010s Ravens, but he’s plenty good enough even at 38 to take over a great roster missing its QB.
There is no reason at all for the Jets to have let Flacco go to accommodate….TIM BOYLE?!?!?!? I will never get over the Jets running Tim Boyle out there for two games. Still can’t believe that happened.
#3: HOUSTON +3 @ TENNESSEE
Unless Vegas knows that CJ Stroud is not playing this week, I don’t really see why the Titans are getting a field goal in this one. Sure, they upset the Dolphins. Good for them!
That doesn’t make them good. Sure, the Texans looked atrocious last week in New York. That doesn’t make them bad. This seems like a massive overreaction to last week’s results and I’m here for it.
Will Levis had another good game after a month of mediocrity and I think he’s going to be mediocre again. As long as Stroud isn’t going to be sitting out or affected by his concussion, I’ll happily take the Texans and the points in a very sterile road environment.
#4: NEW YORK GIANTS +6 @ NEW ORLEANS
This one simply boils down to the Giants being ok and the Saints being bad. I will take the ok team plus the points. I think that is a generally good strategy.
Clearly Brian Daboll wasn’t the problem that Daniel Jones made it appear, as both Tyrod Taylor and now Tommy Cutlets can operate just fine behind this bad O-line. Remember that next time you throw a team’s OL under the bus in defense of another dumb QB (*cough* Mitch Trubisky). I’m taking this one now before the spread shrinks.
#5: MINNEAPOLIS @ CINCINNATI -3
Even with Jake Browning, this is a good team. Sidenote: would the Bengals be better off saving the money they paid injury-prone Joe Burrow, or do we only do that with Dak Prescott and Lamar Jackson?
I’m taking a bit of a leap of faith here backing the Jake Browning Bengals as a favorite, but I’m confident that they’ll keep playing at a high level against another dome team playing outside in the elements.
I don’t think Minnesota is nearly as good as some people tend to think, and this week they’ll be led by Nick Mullens. If Kyle Shanahan couldn’t get anything out of you, then who can?
MODERATE CONFIDENCE GAMES
#6: KANSAS CITY @ NEW ENGLAND +7.5
I’m betting on the Patriots’ defense here to cover this one. I think they can find a way to lose 14-7.
#7: ATLANTA -3 @ CAROLINA
Can I interest you in anybody at all giving only three points to the worst team in the entire league? What’s that? Yes, I can? Awesome!
Atlanta is no fun to bet on and even less fun to actually watch but you don’t need to watch a game to bet on it. Derek Carr had like 37 yards on 18 attempts in the second half of their game last week, and the Panthers had still found a way to be down multiple scores. I will trash Derek Carr at any chance I get.
#8: NEW YORK JETS +9 @ MIAMI
This may be an overreaction to last week, and the last time Zach Wilson played well he followed it with another month of being Zach Wilson, but I’m still going to take the Jets and the points this week.
I’ve never fully bought into the Dolphins. Really, what is the homefield advantage of playing in Miami in December?
Oh snap, will the Jets be able to handle picturesque conditions? Wouldn’t you rather face Zach Wilson in a December gale rather than on a tropical postcard?
The Dolphins only gave 9.5 a few weeks ago against Tim Boyle. The Jets still suck with Wilson but I like them to cover this one. Hell, I wouldn’t be stunned if they won it outright against the Dol-frauds. Might do some moneyline magic this week.
#9: SAN FRANCISCO -12 @ ARIZONA
I got lucky last week backing the Niners at -10 before their spread grew to -14.5. This week they are only giving 12 against the Cardinals? This team should ground Arizona into dust. I’ll take the points here.
#10: GREEN BAY -6.5 @ NEW YORK GIANTS
The uncertainty I have on this game has nothing to do with the Packers; I am fully back on board with Green Bay. Nope – it’s all centered on New York.
I don’t think this team is good, but I’m not sure that they are terrible anymore and that is such an indictment on Daniel Jones that he may as well just put his house on the market now.
I mean, Tommy DeVito is making your team better? Anyone who still blindly says “but the offensive line!” as if QBs have nothing to do with sack rates just have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.
This looked like an absolutely abysmal Monday Nighter a few weeks ago but now I think it has just a little bit of juice.
LOW CONFIDENCE GAMES
#11: BALTIMORE -3.5 @ JACKSONVILLE
Baltimore always seems to have weird games with weird spreads and here’s another one. If I had to pick I’d continue to back arguably the best team in the league this season.
#12: PITTSBURGH -1.5 @ INDIANAPOLIS
I’m conflicted on this one. Generally, this seems to me like a game that Pittsburgh wins. Fresh off of two terrible losses, road dogs with 10 days off in between games, lock them in. Set it and forget it. Steelers do what they do to infuriate the people who follow this team.
But….this is the Mitch Trubisky Steelers. I hated the signing when they did it, I hated that they started him last season, I hate it every time he steps on the field. He is the Daniel Jones-iest QB of the last decade, even Daniel Jones-ier than Daniel Jones himself. That by itself is enough to turn my #1 lock of the week into a low confidence stay-away.
I will however take Gardner Minshew over 234.5 yards passing, as that is a mortal lock.
#13: WASHINGTON @ LOS ANGELES RAMS -6.5
The spread is the only thing keeping me away from this one.
The Commanders are trash and have to go across the country for this one but then again, LA has virtually no real home field advantage. This game screams backdoor cover.
#14: DENVER @ DETROIT -4.5
I have no feel for either team and I continue to incorrectly pick the Lions, so they are once again a low-confidence stay-away this week. This game should be played in Mongolia.
#15: DALLAS @ BUFFALO -2.5
Buffalo is so hard to bet on but in this one it just comes down to taking the Bills outside in December against a visiting dome team built around throwing the ball.
I do like under 50.5 in this one.
#16: LOS ANGELES CHARGERS @ LAS VEGAS -3
I have absolutely no idea what I like in the Thursday game. If I had to pick a side, I’ll take tree points against the Easton Stick-lead Chargers on the road on a short week.