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December 15, 2022

Week 15 NFL picks

Jimmy once again picks the winners across a loaded Week 15 NFL slate.

Eagles NFL
121522FletcherCox Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles DT Fletcher Cox has called it a career.

For the gambling degenerates, here are my Week 15 NFL picks. To note, the team logos indicate who I think will win the game, not cover the spread. At the end of the picks, I'll note a few teams that I like based on the spread.


49ers (-3) at Seahawks: The Niners have shown no signs of slowing down after the loss of Jimmy Garoppolo, while the Seahawks have lost three of four games, all of which were to teams with losing records. San Francisco can clinch the NFC West with a win, which they will do in front of the "12s" dorks.


Colts at Vikings (-4): This is an interesting line, in that oddsmakers don't think the Vikings are that much better than this bad Colts team that feels checked out and ready for Cabo.

By the way, there are three Saturday games this weekend. Colts-Vikings is the early game, Ravens-Browns is late afternoon, and Dolphins-Bills is at night.


Ravens at Browns (-3): The Ravens are without Lamar Jackson, hence the Browns being three-point favorites. I don't think they need Lamar to beat this bad Browns team. Deshaun Watson is obviously a far more talented quarterback than Jacoby Brissett, but so far the rusty Watson has been a downgrade. (Also, I googled "rusty Watson." It's clean.)


Dolphins at Bills (-7.5): The Dolphins scored 17 points against each of their last two opponents, and one of their scores was on a weird play in which they fumbled but Tyreek Hill picked it up and ran for a long TD.

The Dolphins have so much talent and speed, but they're inconsistent, and they have struggled on the road this season. Their home point differential is +50. Their road point differential is -46. Give me the Bills in frigid Buffalo.


Eagles (-9) at Bears: A week ago the Eagles faced a team in the Giants that had a running quarterback, a back who runs with some power, non-threatening wide receivers, a bad offensive line, and pretty much nothing going for them on defense. 

This week they'll face a Bears team that has a very similar roster construction. They too have a running quarterback, a back who runs with power, non-threatening receivers, a bad offensive line, and pretty much nothing going for them on defense.

The difference is that Bears have a more dynamic quarterback, but everything else is worse.

When you look at the Eagles' roster, it's hard to find holes. When you look at the Bears roster, it's hard to find where there aren't holes. Eagles, big.


Falcons at Saints (-4.5): The Falcons benched Marcus Mariota in favor of Desmond Ridder, a logical move with the Falcons sitting at 5-8 and two games back (factoring in tiebreakers) in the NFC South. Over their first 13 games, the Falcons have the second-most run-heavy offense in the NFL, running it on 56 percent of their plays. And for good reason — Mariota often missed wide open receivers down the field. Perhaps Ridder can spark a Falcons team that has lost four of five games. The Eagles will certainly hope so.

What the hell. Give me the rookie with something to play for.


Lions at Jets (-1): This is a fun matchup between two young, ascending teams. The Lions actually have a win in MetLife Stadium this season, when they soundly beat the Giants Week 11. They are one of the hottest teams in football, having won five of six games, with their one loss coming to the Bills in a well-played game on Thanksgiving. 

I like this Jets roster, but let's be real. No matter how much Mike White's teammates like him or believe in him, this franchise took a step backwards when they benched Zach Wilson for White, even if it gave them the best chance of winning games this season. Give me the hot team with the more stable offense.


Steelers at Panthers (-3): It would be very funny if the Panthers won the NFC South. The Steelers may have to start Mitch Trubisky or Mason Rudolph on Sunday because Kenny Pickett remains in the concussion protocol.


Cowboys (-4) at Jaguars: Dak is AMAZING!!!

I mean, never mind that moments before that drive he threw a horrendous interception, putting the worst team in the NFL in a prime position to deal the Cowboys a totally humiliating home loss, only surviving because the Texans evidently don't have a QB sneak in their playbook. But sure, he "knows how to lead when it counts 🙌."

The Jags are a team that can look really bad one week, but really good the next. You kind of don't know what you're going to get, which makes them more dangerous than your typical 5-8 team. Ultimately, I imagine that Dallas' alarming performance against Houston last Sunday will serve as a wake up call, and they should be able to handle their business in Jacksonville.


Chiefs (-14) at Texans: Next.


Cardinals at Broncos (-3): This is a huge game for draft order purposes. I feel for those who actually have to watch it.


Patri*ts at Raiders (-1): I hate this Raiders team. Actually, no. I hate myself for picking them (-6.5) over the Rams last week. I should know better. With a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Raiders were about to get the ball back, when Clelin Ferrell inexplicably jumped offsides.

I knew right then and there that the Raiders were going to blow that game (and my pick).

This team is poorly coached, and dumb. Give me the competent coaching staff. In fact, maybe just blindly give me whoever is playing the Raiders the rest of the season.


Titans at Chargers (-3): The Titans have lost three straight, and have given up 71 points the last two weeks.


Bengals (-3.5) at Buccaneers: The Bengals look like Super Bowl contenders again, while the Bucs look completely inept on offense. Why is this line only 3.5? 


Giants at Commanders (-4.5): As noted in the Hierarchy this week, here's where the analytics nerds have each of these teams' playoff hopes, depending on the outcome of this game:


Team Current playoffs odds If WAS wins... If NYG wins 
Commanders 72% 90% 33% 
Giants 44% 25% 85% 

And The New York Times:

Team Current playoffs odds If WAS wins... If NYG wins 
Commanders 73% 92% 43% 
Giants 60% 39% 90% 

So, you know, it's kind of a big game for those two teams.

The Giants, as currently constructed with their litany of injuries, are a bottom 7-8-ish type of team. The Commanders aren't exactly a powerhouse either, but they're certainly better than the Giants. Fun SNF game.


Rams at Packers (-7): ESPN was probably pretty fired up about landing this matchup on Monday Night Football back in April.

• Picks against the spread: 49ers (-3), Lions (+1), Patri*ts (+1), Bengals (-3.5).

• Eagles picks: 11-2

• 2022 season, straight up: 125-82-2 (0.607)
• 2022 season, ATS: 40-41 (0.494) 😱
• 2021 season, straight up: 179-105-1 (0.630)
• 2021 season, ATS: 46-40-1 (0.534)
• 2020 season, straight up: 169-81-1 (0.675)
• 2020 season, ATS: 45-37-3 (0.547)
• 2019 season, straight up: 160-107-1 (0.601)
• 2019 season, ATS: 42-35-3 (0.544)
• 2018 season, straight up: 173-94-2 (0.647)
• 2018 season, ATS: 41-36-2 (0.532)
• 2017 season, straight up: 181-86 (0.678)
• 2017 season, ATS: 36-32-2 (0.529)
• 2016 season, straight up: 171-94-2 (0.644)
• 2016 season, ATS:  41-34 (0.547)
• 2015 season, straight up: 163-93 (0.637)
• 2015 season, ATS: 46-30-2 (0.605)

• Last 8 years, ATS: 335-282-13 (0.542)

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