Expert NFL Best Bets: Picks and predictions for Week 15


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Week 15 NFL best bets and predictions

Each week, I’ll be looking through Sunday’s NFL games to try and feed my readers three winners. That continues with the three best bets I have for the Week 15 slate. Keep reading to find out what I have and make sure you also check out what my talented VSiN colleagues are playing. Those plays, along with all of our NFL content for the week, are available at our Week 15 NFL Bet Hub. You can also get all of our picks for the week on the Pro Picks page

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Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns – 1:00 pm ET

The Bears have been a different team since the start of November. Chicago is 4-0-1 against the spread since then. A big part of that is because the team has been tremendous defensively, giving up 13 or fewer points in three of its last four games. The Bears are now up to 18th in the league in Defensive DVOA, despite being near the bottom of those rankings for the first portion of the season. And all of that is good news against a Cleveland team that currently has Joe Flacco under center. 

Flacco has actually performed admirably as the starter for the Browns, but I can’t imagine him not falling off at some point soon. And this Chicago defense could be trouble for him. The Bears are 10th in the league in Defensive DVOA against the run, so the Browns probably won’t be able to get the ground game going. That’ll make the play action less effective for Flacco. Chicago also has a solid secondary, plus a good pass rush — thanks to the addition of Montez Sweat. So, I don’t think the Bears will get beat for many big plays here. 

Offensively, the Bears undoubtedly have their work cut out for them here. The Browns are first in the league in Defensive DVOA. However, Justin Fields’ ability to improvise makes it hard to defend the Bears, even though I don’t like offensive coordinator Luke Getsy. With that in mind, I think Chicago will make just enough plays to get the job done here. Not only do I think the Bears will cover here, but I also like them to win outright. Cleveland is also 2-3 straight-up and 1-4 ATS when coming off a home win this year.

Bet: Bears +3 (+100)

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots – 1:00 pm ET

It’s absolutely terrifying to back the Patriots right now, as they were on a five-game losing streak before earning a 21-18 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. But I’m also extremely down on the Chiefs at the moment, as they are just 2-4 both SU and ATS in their last six games. So, I find it hard to believe that they’re going to somehow win by more than a touchdown, especially on the road. 

The reality is that Kansas City has scored 21 or fewer points in five of its last six games. Patrick Mahomes and this offense have been unable to get going recently, and that’s not a great thing entering a matchup with a New England team that is third in the league in Defensive DVOA — and had a few extra days to prepare after having played in the Thursday night game last week. I just don’t think the Chiefs are going to put a ton of points up in this game, which is why I’d rather be taking the underdog with the points. 

Naturally, I do have some concerns over whether or not Bailey Zappe can lead the Patriots on enough successful drives to get this done. However, the Chiefs are just 30th in the league in Defensive DVOA against the run. So, New England should be able to run the ball rather efficiently here, and that’ll then give Zappe the chance to make some throws. 
All in all, the Chiefs should find a way to win this game outright. But I don’t see them doing it convincingly. 

Bet: Patriots +8.5 (-115)

Dallas Cowboys at Buffalo Bills – 4:25 pm ET

The Cowboys are the hottest team in football right now, but I’m going against them this weekend. I just have loved what I have seen from the Bills over the last three games. They’re just 2-1 in that span, but they nearly beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the one road loss. And overall, things have been encouraging on both sides of the ball. Last week’s win over Kansas City was especially impressive, as the defense stepped up and held Mahomes and Co. to only 17 points. Now, the Bills head back to Buffalo for the first time since November 19. These fans are going to be fired up, as the Bills are alive in the playoff picture. It’s also worth noting that Buffalo is 11-2 ATS when coming off a win by three or fewer points under head coach Sean McDermott. The Bills have won those games by an average of 7.6 points per game. 

I just don’t think you can expect the Cowboys passing game to come through like it has in recent weeks. Dak Prescott has been tremendous for Dallas this season, but it’s going to be cold and windy on Sunday  — and potentially rainy. That means that the conditions won’t be ideal for the passers here, and that favors the Bills. They know exactly how to win in Western New York, and Josh Allen should be used to games like this one. I trust him more to come up with the goods, both with his arm and his legs. 

It’s also hard to ignore what this game means to the Bills. Sure, the Cowboys are competing for the top spot in the NFC East, but the Bills are fighting to make the playoffs. They can’t let home games slip away now.

Bet: Bills -1.5 (-110)

Added Plays

Ravens -3 (-110) vs. Jaguars – READ MORE

Seahawks +3.5 (-112) vs. Eagles – READ MORE

Best Bets Record: 31-24 (+5.05 units)

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